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Not game ready. by Anon_128
I have just reviewed the Sci-Fi design kit and I am curious to compare with this Sci-Fi Modular Pack, that is in fact exactly the same thing. There are some really good points compared with the other kit, and the most important is that the demo scene is organised by room, so you can find what you want easily. Also everything is working, you can run the scene without any modification and bug fixing, thats the base but in the Asset Store, there is no quality control, so they sell whatever shit they can to make money. In this case you have at least a functional asset!
But there are a lot of annoying things in this asset that is a bit of a turn off for me. First there are these flares everywhere that are cheesy and you only want to remove them. In this pack you have a lot of atlased textures, that are not as good as SF design, but at least they have only one materials and not 2 like in the competitor...optimization guys, we are doing games, not the next Pixar movie!
Talking about optimization, this pack is very hi-poly (about 3 Million of them is most rooms) but they do not show. Things are simple, not too many details, but a lot of polygons everywhere. The hospital rooms are bed that should be optimized, they are right coming from whatever was used to make them. Optimization, is the key. We do not pay only for good looking walls to look at, we need to make a game, and if you see how the commercial games are made, they are not blasting 3 Millions poly just with some walls and tubes! So clean up your mess before putting a $50 price tag and let the people finish your job. I will never give 5* to a lazy job regardless of the wow factor the asset may have.
This asset has many useful objects that you can re-use for doing a scifi race for example. The crates, cables and consoles are universal, but the vehicles are great too. You have also 2 nice robots that could be talking in an adventure game.
The work to optimize this asset to be game ready is tremendous. For example most roof tiles are around 4500 polys. They should be less than 1000. Everything is modelled, nothing is backed in the textures. Who is going to use this in a game? What about using normal mapping? These techniques are used to lower the number of polygons by baking them in the textures, but apparently the Methexis Studios never worked for the game industry. If you want to do it, you will need to have the originals from 3dsmax or Maya and you dont have them, so you are pretty much doomed with your 3 Million polys / frame. How Unity accept that is beyond my understanding. They should reject the asset and say: hey, we are a real-time game engine, you need to design you assets for real time, that mean 350,000 Polys anywhere you look maximum. Come back when you learned. But well, you are scammed $50 and have something that is looking good, but for doing what? A game that will run at 4 FPS once everything is included, the AI, the effects, the characters, the enemies? More money wasted.
Another problem with this pack is the excessive use of the reflections and metallic look. It is over shiny. You need to balance the metallic and the soft flat look or it is aggressive and adding effects cannot hide that.
Last problem but not least, some choices seems to be lazy, like the rooms for the staff. Even in Alien, they have some carpets and cozy ambiance. But here, you have the rooms and the kitchen with the same metallic looks as in a damn factory. Thats bad design, and not realistic. No one will sleep in these beds, and god, if you get some water on the floor it will be slippy like hell. Believe it or not, people who are designing space ships, take Star Wars, Star Trek etc, are thinking about these details.
So as a conclusion, a lot of average assets does not make an asset great. Attention to detail, inspired design, optimization: none. It is version 1, maybe the author will change something. No need to have a lot of props. The workflow must be more based on optimising the hell of that asset. Baking relief in the texture with displacements or normal maps. Take the Creepy Cat assets in example, the Sci-fi pack 2 is game ready. 5 atlased textures for the whole pack, <300,000 polys at all time with exteriors visible through the windows, just a few reflection probes, and a limited number of lights; it looking great. Back to Sci-Fi Modular Pack: I spent over an hour on this pack and didnt found a way to improve it or make it usable without having the originals and optimize it, regenerate the textures and re-atlas them. The video is awesome, thats it. While Sci-fi Design Kit is not optimized too, at least it is looking way better than this one.