You submitted your asset to the Unity Asset Store and after weeks of waiting for the approval, you receive a rejection email stating:
“This package is too simple for our current standards.”
How did the Unity team get to that conclusion and what can you do about it? And for starting developers: how can you make sure your asset won’t be considered as being “too simple”?
Unity is telling you!
The message you received continues (highlights by me):
Please spend more time researching the current game market, polishing and tweaking your package to a high degree of quality, and expanding its contents to reach a broader audience.
Take that as a task list!
And if you haven’t started working on your asset yet, the next point should be the very first thing you should do! And do it frequently!
Research the Market!
No matter what product, market research is vital to finding your unique niche or either outdoing or evading your competitors!
Unity Asset Store Research
New publishers are particularly confused when their asset is “too simple” but there are more comparable assets already in the store!
“Why didn’t mine get accepted?” they wonder.
This usually happens when the competing assets are simply old and outdated! They have been released a long time ago! They may not even have been updated in years.
Check each asset’s product page on the store and look for the “Latest release date”. Is it older than (roughly) two years?
The standards for getting a product accepted in any online store gradually increases over time. For example, the fart apps that were once ubiquitous are no longer acceptable apps these days. In the same way every child outgrows playing tic-tac-toe.
Thus be sure to compare your asset only with modern assets released within the past two years! Ignore outdated / abandoned assets!
Side note: This also applies to asset store advice, success and failure stories, marketing tips – if the original post is several years old it likely doesn’t apply anymore!
Game Market Research
Sometimes an asset creator has seemingly found a niche without any competition: pens and pencils! Still, the asset is rejected. Why?
You have to consider the video game creator’s needs. Which game could make use of a collection of pen and pencil meshes? Not many.
And those that do need pencils, well, even the programmer could simply create a cylinder with a cone at the end, apply several color variations, and be done with it. There’s simply no considerable effort involved and thus no time saved making such an asset. All the variation of pencils is simply not needed.
In addition, for most games a pen is a very minor detail at best and it has to be very low-poly due to it being such a small object.
Always ask yourself: is what I’m making usable by games? And if so, by how many? What are the game genres and platforms it can be used for? Will it save the game developer considerable time?
To some extent this also applies to tool makers. Maybe you’ve made a super-fast falling sand simulation algorithm. But .. how many (commercial) falling sand games are being published these days?
Polish & Tweak your Asset
This is all about quality!
Polishing means getting rid of all the rough edges around the user experience, including documentation and intuitive workflow.
As Tool maker always keep in mind: you are not the user! You know how this works, the user doesn’t. The user needs instructions that are unambiguous. The user may also have different expectations on how your tool works.
Talk to your users! Find some testers willing to give you feedback!
For artists, this often means cleaning up your work. Be disciplined about the naming scheme. Make sure it works out of the box with the render pipelines your asset supports. The complexity, level of detail, texture resolution, compression or codec should match the target platform(s).
For example, a 4k texture and 10,000 polys for a prop model targeting mobile is simply too much! Likewise, don’t provide music or long ambient sound as wav files, neither should short sound effects be in mp3 format.
Ask around in forums to get guidance on the technical side of your art. Many junior artists often don’t consider or don’t even know about what the various technical requirements and limitations are, as well as the developer expectations.
Expand the Content!
So you made an animated 3d avatar or an abandoned house. It is technically perfectly matching the target platforms and of high quality thanks to your previous game making experience. It is also commonly useful for game makers and will save them time.
So why, even after adding some color/texture variations, you receive the “too simple” rejection letter?
In such cases the crux here is that the asset you made has little use by itself. A game developer may add your avatar or house to their game – but they need tens of avatars, and they need plenty of houses to build a town. They may get additional avatars and houses from the store, but their style and size won’t match yours.
In such cases you’re best advised to extend your content by adding more of the same. Several characters to fill a restaurant without making them all look the same. Enough types of abandoned houses to make a ghost town. Then game developers can make that work in their game, even build an entire game around your assets!
For tool makers, it’s a little more difficult. You may have made one small thing simpler and faster, like switching scenes. But that in itself isn’t enough because those small usability improvements are often included as (minor) features of larger tool assets.
Maybe you can find more of these workflow improvements and over time create a collection of cool tools you couldn’t live without. But for each, do the market research so that you aren’t re-inventing the wheel.
Still getting rejected?
If you read and followed the above but your asset is still getting rejected, please do leave a comment below and state your case and I’ll have a look at it!
Also post your case and question in the Unity Asset Store forum. I get email notifications from there so I’m likely to chime in.
Important: provide screenshots or video (specifically for animations and tool) of your asset so others can assess quality, quantity, workflow or whatever else is crucial!