Southpaw Technology, developers of the open source digital asset and workflow management system TACTIC, announced today an integration for the Unity game engine, TACTIC | aWare for Unity, which will be available to purchase in early April 2014. With the integration, game developers and other content creators can now use the familiar Unity interface to access digital files directly from a TACTIC database, where all files are securely stored and automatically organized and versioned. The integration will cost $399, and requires TACTIC to operate.
Unity is a complete game development ecosystem: a powerful rendering engine fully integrated with a complete set of intuitive tools and rapid workflows for creating interactive 3D and 2D content. The Unity Asset Store also includes thousands of ready-made assets. TACTIC | aWare of Unity will offer an integrated and automated method for applying naming conventions, for versioning files, for moving files down the production line, and for applying business logic to understand the status of each file or entire productions.
“Software to handle the storage and movement of files through the game development process have been sorely missing from the game development industry since Alienbrain got acquired by Avid almost a decade ago," said Wanda Meloni, CEO of M2 Research. "This new offering from Southpaw couldn't be more perfectly positioned. TACTIC is mature software, open source and completely customizable. The integration is a commercial offering, but the price is right in line with many of the apps offered on the Unity Asset Store. It's a great solution for teams in need of asset and workflow management."
TACTIC is a dynamic, open-source, web-based platform that allows users to manage the development and delivery of digital assets through the entire content creation process. Unity users will never have to leave the Unity interface to access their assets or to enjoy the security and productivity-enhancing features TACTIC provides.
“Mismanagement of assets can cost teams thousands of dollars in wasted time,”said Gary Mundell, CEO of Southpaw Technology. “No where is that more true than in game development, where teams of all sizes are creating tons of assets every month. Our integration with Unity is designed to give teams all the benefits of a production-proven asset and workflow management system from day one by allowing those teams to work in Unity, a development environment that is familiar to them.”
Using TACTIC as the primary asset library helps create structure. TACTIC enforces naming conventions and manages the creation and administration of the project folder structures on local machines. This ensures predictable asset locations and provides the creative teams with a local sandbox to work in. Couple this with TACTIC as a tear off TAB inside the Unity application and designers can now seamlessly interact with the asset database without having to leave Unity.
Files are now “aware” of TACTIC
Once files in a Unity project become “aware” of TACTIC, game developers and other Unity users will enjoy the following benefits:
• TACTIC Automation
With a consistent data structure, TACTIC can anticipate and automate event triggers to advance the development pipeline. For example, events such as file review, feedback/notes & approval, background batch processing and rendering remotely can also be managed. This frees up local resources to continue working.
• TACTIC review and approval
In an attempt to bring project managers and key stakeholders closer to the creative workflow in real-time, and assisting with current AGILE and SCRUM workflows, finished models that are checked into TACTIC from within Unity can be natively reviewed, scaled and rotated from inside TACTIC, which ensures that non-Unity users can comfortably review content. IT systems that do not have the Unity game engine installed can also seamlessly review completed models.
• Metadata tracking and cost of assets
Moving files around multiple applications becomes less daunting as TACTIC is tracking version history, names, dates, times and people associated with the file by embedding this information within the TACTIC asset. Using business logic, TACTIC is able to very accurately track asset cost and development time with this information.
Comparing this data month over month also enables valuable operational data analysis on each job, and manage resource efficiency at a per job, project, or team level. With TACTIC aware of the check-in and delivery events users have a very powerful version control history, not only with the Unity environment but also between all graphic and 3d applications.
TACTIC | aWare for Unity will be available in early April 2014 for $399. Users will need the latest version of open source TACTIC, which can be downloaded from the TACTIC Community site or from the TACTIC GitHub project.
A more customized version of TACTIC | aWare for Unity can be created by the Southpaw Professional Services team, which provides workflow advice and technical expertise for companies needing to rapidly extend the functionality of TACTIC across departments, studios and entire enterprises.