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A different perspective on Unity development.!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Deleted User, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Ony

    Ony

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    Not necessarily trying to jump on you here, but... As a lifetime entrepreneur with some level of success, I strongly disagree with that statement.
    • An entrepreneur is interested in the business. They understand that the main goal is to put out product and/or provide a service, to make a profit.
    • A developer is more interested in the product or service itself. If there's no real goal or desire to release that product ASAP they will work on it until it's perfect, which could be (and often is) a never-ending project.
    There are grey areas in there as with all things.

    This isn't to say that you haven't spent a lot of money and a lot of time on your development business. I know from your posts that you have. All I'm saying is that @frosted is correct. At some point, you have to focus on getting the game out instead of making the game perfect. Those are each hugely different undertakings.
     
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  2. frosted

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    Dude, if you're making a flappy bird clone - you're beginning from compromise. Nobody dreams of building flappy bird clones, but those who do are making inherent compromises - if those compromises are to skill, time, experience, or whatever. The fact is, people who make that degree of compromise tend to succeed more.

    This is deeply embedded in every aspect of game development. From fundamental technical trade offs like fidelity and performance, to trade offs between the scope of procedural generation and the detail and variety from handcrafting. We make compromises to our own skills, resources and limitations, we make compromises to hardware, we make compromises to time.

    We always need to make tradeoffs and those tradeoffs will always involve compromise. This is a truth in every creative work at every scale.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
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  3. Deleted User

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    It's all cool guys and gals, it's really difficult to relay emotion in terms of text and I'm actually enjoying this conversation. It's interesting to hear other perspectives and debate the situation as a whole. So lay it on me.!

    The point I was trying to make is, it all starts from the core product. You need something to sell, I used to own a company making software for telco's and in-house PBX's.. We'd go to meetings, do the pre-sales stuff and of course one of the biggest questions was what can this do over my key system for example. So for an entrepreneur's standpoint, the product was key and then all the sales / marketing spiel came around that..

    I don't believe it's too different in games, you need a product worthy to build so the business can create mass media around it. So of course it's in the business interest to have it right.. Although I do agree, you need a product to sell in the first place..

    Although as I said earlier, for me personally there is no strict deadlines as we're covered for a long while.. I'd rather get it right because I have the time to get it right.. We have a rough deadline of first quarter 2019..! Which I think at that point it'll get released whatever the scenario.
     
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  4. Ony

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    How many people are on your team, @ShadowK?
     
  5. Deleted User

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    HAHA, I can gurantee someone around the world will be sitting on a train thinking.. Man I wish I could make a game like flappy birds :D.. There's always one.!

    That's not the point.! I always say, if we're getting to the point of semantics we have an issue.! If the game is easily do-able within let's say two years, then there's no specific "compromises" being made. Yeah I get you on the whole scope thing, if I had the money and resources.. I'd make a game that beats Witcher 3 hands down, just because I could.! It's something I'd like to do, but I have to compromise "in that scenario"..

    Although, we talk often in business about "minimum" viable product and I think the key difference between what we're talking about is compromise vs. biting off more than you can chew (which I relatively associate). If you start affecting the quality of gameplay / graphics / sound / AI to an extent where it looks like a half cocked attempt at a game because you can't handle it.. Then don't you kind of deserve to fail? WHY should they buy YOUR game?

    Nobody asked you to make the game you did, the consumers don't give a S*** that YOU had to compromise because you lack the skill or resources.. They'll be fresh off playing Witcher, then go straight into some half assed RPG and want a refund.

    It's a tough old world out there in game land, the flurry of "indie" dev's have really not helped the situation..

    @Ony

    It's variable, at the moment six (three core / three contractors) I don't need any more for now (just doing the demo).. Dependant on what I need I can expand that anywhere up to 30.. Although money would run dry very quickly, so I'd have to actually release something :D.. Or go bankrupt.!

    The demo will be make or break, it all depends on how much feedback / interest I get.
     
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  6. GarBenjamin

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    Yeah this is the kind of thing I am talking about. I know I have said much about graphics around here and probably ticked some folks off in the process. And I get it the AAA has made folks oooh and aaah for decades over their graphics. It's basically more of what @frosted mentioned. It's about making compromises and getting things done. Cutting corners here and there because at the end of the day having a product is what matters.

    I can relate to what @Ony said a lot and maybe this is another reason why I view things the way I do. I guess it is just embedded deeply in my mind that having a product (or service) is what ultimately matters for a business. And it doesn't need to be a perfect product or service right out of the gate. I think that is the difference between how I view things and many others. It's like @Ony said trying to perfect things is definitely more in the realm of the engineer or the artist than it is in the realm of business.

    Business sees that as a huge expense. R&D and continual iteration on the same thing before you get any money coming in is very costly. Basically you're bleeding out cash and the goal should be to get to the point where you have some money coming in asap. Ideally enough to cover this R&D and ongoing improvements to the products (or services).

    And trust me I am just as bad at this as the rest of you. I have spent way too much time continually striving to build the perfect architecture, the ideal code structure. We all have our things we enjoy doing and strive to achieve. But we need to really ask ourselves "is this really the most important thing?" Like I said I am no better on this aspect than anyone else. I iterate way too much.

    I agree with you. I do think there are many people who care about the artwork. For a business approach it is very important because it falls under removing a reason a person may not buy the product. It definitely goes in that list so in this way it is important.

    However, what I mean is nobody said you have to get everything perfect or even great at the moment of first release to the public. Steam Workshop / Greenlight is a perfect example of this. And the development process itself is an ideal opportunity to build the fan base for your product. We don't need to make all of these decisions "right now" up front and maybe it is even a bit vain for us to think we have to and that we can. What we could do is follow the kind of approach used by many other successful Indie game devs and build the game sort of publicly. Show it with all of its imperfections and let the gamers be a part of its creation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  7. RockoDyne

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    Don't take this too negatively (it's hopefully constructive), but this reeks of an inferiority complex. It sounds like it comes from a mindset of needing to be the new top dog or else you end up in a ghetto of posers. I just want to dig up the clip of George Lucas during filming saying it'll never out-perform Titanic, as though that was what he should have been worrying about.

    A time should come where you have to stop looking at the competition. For the initial creative spark and to have an X meets Y pitch, it's good to know what other people are doing, but if it gets to a point where you are sizing up what you have against what others have, you've already failed in my book. For me it's not a matter of quality, but one of character.

    At some point a work's character should show through. Development should stop being about making the game you want to make, but making the game it wants to be. It's a "David was in the stone and I just set him free" sort of thing (to horribly butcher a quote that likely isn't even a quote).

    This probably goes along way to explain our differences. If resources were no obstacle, I would tackle Majora's Mask, but at no point would I concern myself with making a better MM. Instead I want to lovingly rip out its soul, feed it my still-beating heart, and nurture it to become something only I could create.
     
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  8. Deleted User

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    Nah I'm not taking it negatively. If I'm being straight forward lot of this just sounds like an excuse / justification to release a load of rubbish most people won't touch with a ten foot barge pole. But it's "okay" because at least you have a product right?

    End of the day, the game will get released when it's ready.. Not before, neither will that prototype ever see the light of day. I have a set of standards and I will abide by them, even if the tradeoff is more resources and time.

    That MMO I assisted with moons back, got a lot of flack for graphics / generecy (is that a word?) / issues so I have learnt by doing.. It did truly bring out the ugly side of the gamers market..

    I don't believe you have to beat AAA (which will never happen) neither do I believe it has to be the most awesome fantastical thing ever and I never said otherwise. We all start somewhere, where the dividing line between professional game dev and someone trying to be a games developer is in an especially crowded market I'll leave up to you..!
     
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  9. GarBenjamin

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    Absolutely. I was thinking about this a bit ago. Most of the discussion I think just illustrates the differences in the type of games people enjoy and the differences in their goals.

    For you... you are after something like...

    Witcher 3
    40,453 Reviews on Steam "Overwhelmingly Positive"


    And for me... I think an excellent starting point is something like...

    Downwell
    1,855 Reviews "Overwhelmingly Positive"


    And I'd guess the rest of the folks around here fall somewhere between these two scopes.

    Neither is wrong or right. It just depends on what our goal is and how we want to "get there".
    You want to tackle the Great Beast head on and get it done with all at once.
    I want to start small and gradually increase scope.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
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  10. Voronoi

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    This. Sure, I could make a tool to get around the fact that a core organizing principle - Scenes - is incompatible with a sharing workflow, but isn't that a problem with the engine? OP was just sayin' there are some things that prevent big teams from working with Unity.

    Unity devs knew that code would be shared, worked on simultaneously, so it all works great with Git. With scenes, it's a total nightmare if you try to do it the 'Unity way'. We end up naming scenes after the artist working on them, using additive scene loading which introduces 'other issues', and then, we end up spending valuable development time on the 'other issues'.
     
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  11. Ryiah

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    Why would you have to make a "tool"? You literally create one scene, put one GameObject in it, attach one script and you write code for the engine as if it were another programming framework. It's quite trivial to do so.

    How many team members need access to the same scene at the same time? Or more accurately how many of them need to make changes to the same scene at the same time?
     
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  12. goat

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    Personally, ShadowK's art that I've seen is already nicer and the subject matter in that Witcher 3 video that Gar posted, well I'm not buying.
     
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  13. goat

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    Well it is difficult to have basically the same framework used in multiple scenes if you do much customization to the framework differently for each scene. You basically have to duplicate the code for each framework. OK, so it's not difficult but programmers are taught to dislike doing that.
     
  14. Deleted User

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    Thing is I enjoy pretty much EVERY type of game :D, small list below:

    Broken Sword, Seiken densetsu (Secret of mana), Chrono trigger, Baldurs gate, command and conquer, diablo (1&2 ;)), Farcry, Final Fantasy (1 -10), Mario, Duck tales, Fallout, Metro, Super Metroid, Resident Evil (1-4), Silent Hill, Witcher, Crash bandicoot, Super smash bro's, Dragon age, Mass Effect, Nier, Red Dead Redempetion, LA Noire, The last of us, Bioshock, Dishonered, The longest Journey, Street Fighter / MK, Black and white, tony hawks, Civilisation, hero's of might and magic, Curse of monkey Island, Need for Speed. etc. etc.

    I need to stop there, or it might take a fair while.. The only factor relevant to all the games I like is they are all done well.!..

    @goat

    Ok I'm getting really confused now :D.. Although thanks :)..
     
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  15. Ryiah

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    That's just it. You wouldn't have multiple scenes with that approach. You'd only have one scene.
     
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  16. goat

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    Well, technically a scene yes, but not if you accomplish your goal of re-configuring one scene to look like it is multiple scenes. I have interest in doing just that but I am doubtful because i want some of the scenes I want to create need to behave quite differently. (I can still change the scripts used to the slightly altered versions too I know but it flies in the face of how I like to organize things).
     
  17. ladyonthemoon

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    Forums are for complainers, not for people who are happy with something. It goes for game engines, games, cars, toilets...
     
  18. Deleted User

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    Gotta agree with that, I nearly avoided buying a car after all the complaining reading a forum.. I personally love it :).
     
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  19. goat

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    Which reminds my I need a new toilet, shower, sink, and tile and not a clue as to how to install those things.
     
  20. Ryiah

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    YouTube. :p
     
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  21. goat

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    Hmmm...seems the tools I'd need to do the job myself would cost more than hiring a plumber. Besides, I don't want my bathroom to look like my code.
     
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  22. Ryiah

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    Replacing a toilet and sink are trivial. You basically just turn off the water, unscrew the plumping, unscrew the bolts, replace it, and reverse the process. Modern sealant for the pipes is a white ribbon that you wrap around the threads before screwing them together.

    Tiles will be a little harder but it's basically a process of cutting them to fit, applying goop to them, and placing them of the floor and walls with some more goop in-between them. If you're concerned with spacing you can buy cheap plastic guides to assist with the process.

    Once the tiling has dried you go back with a sealant liquid and a sponge to prevent moisture damage. If you do decide to go with a plumper I'd recommend doing this a few years down the road as well because it eventually wears off. Or at least the stuff our last contractor used seems to have worn off around the bathtub.
     
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  23. MV10

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    Run away when you hear this phrase: "All ya gotta do is..." :D
     
  24. Ryiah

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    I have a plumper friend who assisted me with replacing the faucet to a kitchen sink. My sister learned the process of laying tiles through a combination of Lowes (one of their service men explained briefly) and using the backporch as a learning experience. We've also replaced at least one toilet ourselves.

    So it isn't entirely YouTube knowledge. There is some experience there too. Still YouTube can be very valuable.
     
  25. Deleted User

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    How? I mean how did we get from the original article to plumbing?... HAHAH!..

    I love this forum.!
     
  26. MV10

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    Yeah, done plenty of that myself ... kind of an inside joke I guess. Among my old-car friends, whenever somebody suggests something is easier than it probably really is, one of us says "All ya gotta do is..."
     
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  27. goat

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    I will not do the plumbing but the walls & tiles are OK although I'm not a talent at those things.
     
  28. Ryiah

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    I knew what you were referring to. I've heard something along those lines around here. That said I'm surprised you didn't comment on the "backporch as a learning experience" part. Not that it turned out badly or anything. My sister just neglected to seal it. :p
     
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  29. Ryiah

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    Is it that they want to make a game like Flappy Birds though? Or that they want to make a game as successful as it is? ;)
     
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  30. ladyonthemoon

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    I'm afraid I'm responsible for the drifting away. :D
     
  31. Martin_H

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    Now I know whom to ask when something breaks around here :D.

    So far I've left most of the work to "the pros" and quite often I thought, I myself - doing research and taking my time - would have done a better job than the guy with plenty of experience, who just doesn't give a F*** and only wants to be done ASAP. E.g. I never connected a washing machine, so when we got our new one we've booked the service for setting it up too when we ordered the thing on amazon. The two guys they sent were all muscle, no brain, and damaged the outflow hose without even noticing it themselves. It was only superfiscial, but still, I was super pissed I didn't just do it myself.
     
  32. frosted

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    The point is that there are certain levels of compromise that can be made and certain levels of corners cut that can still match your product to it's audience.

    Success and failure aren't absolutes, they're ratios between your gains and your losses. Those gains/losses can be purely financial (your costs vs your revenue) or more complex and subtle (risks vs life goals).

    You can make a better game and sell more copies, or you can make a worse game but lower your costs. Either method can produce success.

    Or... it can be the ratio between the cost of a plumber vs your faith in youtube learning skills, with success measured by the likelihood of you being able to flush that toilet next morning.
     
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  33. tatoforever

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    We actually share some of your pains, we spend a hellish amount of time trying to make the perfect survival horror game and it drew all our entire team crazy. To the point we all burned out and almost left the project entirely. We then took few steps back and did a lot of research, brainstorming even an abusive amount of internal meetings and redesigned the story to be more like compact self-contained 4-5hours games, instead of one big 15h game. It helped us release something that people enjoyed (and still enjoying) a lot quicker. We are now working on our second game (Director's Cut) which will get released this year and have planed the third one already for next-year. Focusing on quality not quantity lets us iterate a lot more and avoid cutting down important features (or at least features that we consider important) and end up with a quite unique interesting product, people love it and it works for us.
    Although it works for us, doesn't mean it will work for you. Architecting your game and your workflow are crucial things to get it done right (also the hardest one in this business).
     
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  34. Voronoi

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    This is definitely coming from working with artists while working out the game design:

    Artist - "Oh god, I could never make a game."
    Me - "Sure you can, Unity is just like working in 3D programs!"
    Artist - "Awesome, this is fun! I can place objects just like in 3D programs!"
    Me - "Oh god, don't ever work on my scene again! I lost a days work!"
    Artist - "Oh god, I could never make a game."

    I actually do both, art and programming. I'm just pointing out that why set it up this way? It looks friendly, but it's not. That said, a larger team (Disney) may well have this all worked out and people are trained to do it the 'right way'. But, for the average team and even larger as the OP mentioned, it's a poor design choice.
     
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  35. MV10

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    And probably (speaking as a long-time architect and process/workflow guy) getting people to actually stick to the plan...
     
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  36. Martin_H

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    The crazy thing about this ongoing discussion is that you guys seem to be in disagreement, but to me both sides make perfect sense when I read your posts. ^^
     
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  37. Ryiah

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    Wait. Am I misunderstanding or is your line of reasoning that a team needs to be capable of working together? o_O
     
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  38. Deleted User

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    @frosted we can keep repeating this in a cyclic fashion for a fair while, all I can say is when you release the game come back to us with figures and we'll see if what you say is correct. I probably more than most hope you succeed.!

    @tatoforever, yeah I remember your game was in development for a long time.. We did quite a few things you did AFAIK, like swapping renderers / shaders / ragdoll systems / IK / IBL / creating destruction systems / having a go at deferred decals etc.. I mean I have a 54 page synopsis somewhere of all the crap we researched and tried to implement in various fashions from the 3.X to 4.X cycle.. Looking back it's mad.!

    I'm tired of it, I just want to make games.. Don't get me wrong, I get a proper nerd on when a new piece of tech comes out.. Friday night, let's put on some candles and mess around with some total illumination.. Aww yeah.!

    Umm anyway, yeah this is where one of the biggest boons for us was simply swapping engines.. It's set us back six months but we've got further in the last six months than we ever did with Unity.. Again guys and gals, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with Unity but it's clear as day what it's made to do and that's not to service developers with screw looses trying to make large high quality openworld RPG's..

    It's not about graphics (really) and it ain't about anything but workflow.. UE's a clunky confusing beast at best and if I ever did this again I would release something a bit smaller and then pay for more staff.. I've become extremely reliant on Unreal's workflow and toolset to get by.! That's the way it is, but it's not an issue we can just do what we need to do.

    I think you guys just really wanted to play that game I showed and that's super sweet, but Unc'y shadowK is going to make something much better.. Stay tune'od.!
     
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  39. zombiegorilla

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    This isn't a problem at all, it is a benefit. This is really part of the reason unity has become so popular, it has a lot convenient elements and tools that allow you to things very quickly, but you still have the flexibility to use or not use, and build however you want depending on your needs. The larger the team the larger the resources and skills available, and the more specific requirements your game will require.

    Many large teams do use Unity, and many use it in different ways depending the game requirements. Its no different in that respect to the days of Flash. Yes, you could throw a bunch of movie clips on the stage and give them all inline code. But if you game is larger you will walls. So you blit, don't use movie clips, load dynamically, etc. Unity is the same. A small game is very easy to assemble for a single person. Most of the time monobehaviours, prefabs and scenes will work just fine. Larger, heavy content type games, will require things be handled differently. Larger teams have the skill and resources to create solutions to better fit their particular needs. If 20% of your time is fighting the default methodology and trying to fit round pegs in to square holes, then it seem the best solution would be fire and replace your engineers, and get ones that are capable of solving problems and creating an architecture that works, or at least better understanding the tools they are using.

    Zynga, EA and many large studios do use Unity successfully for large projects. Sure, no tool (or experience in game development is perfect). The OPs opinion is his own, and may come from poor experiences with either staffing or management or choices on those projects. I know several folks from both of those studios (and others), whose opinions differ, or at least their issues and reasons for moving were poorly run teams/projects, not the tools/tech.

    Certainly, with Unity (and many tools), there will be a point where the benefits don't outweigh the costs. If you consider AAA console games, there is usually not a good reason to use Unity. You don't need the multiplatform, don't need the ease of use features, and need much deeper access to customize for rendering and pipeline. Usually that is an in-house engine or one built around those needs already. There will never be a tool that works for every need. If your needs are not served by Unity, there several options that will work better. If you are picking your tool first, not putting much effort into planning or architecture, and beating your head against the wall rather than finding solutions... well... its hard to blame a tool for that.
     
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  40. zombiegorilla

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    Why would anyone say that? Are you just messing with your artist? ;)


    There is no such thing as "the right way". (Though there are many wrong ways). For each project we determine what will work best for the requirements of that project. Not all are built the same way, my new project does use scenes to a degree for example, but has very different requirements than SWC did. We put a lot of effort into sharing as much as possible across teams in both learnings and tools, but each project is unique. Planning is key. Know what your tools can and can't do, and adapt/improve as needed.
     
  41. TJClifton

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    This is the biggest issue I have seen with Unity for teams. As the OP said its only when you start to hit teams sizes of more than 3 that you really start to hit these issues. I'd say that the 20% of time spent on Unity issues is probably a worst case scenario but its certainly not uncommon.

    To that end I've actually just released an editor extension (Cahoots) to the Asset Store that solves all these issues. It's based on a system that was used successfully my medium to large sized teams for years and it finally let's teams collaborate properly on the same scenes and avoid the awful scenario where 2 people have worked on a scene and committed their changes!
     
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  42. TJClifton

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    You'd be surprised that that's not always the case. A lot of big teams just bang their heads against these issues like everyone else. I only know of 1 or 2 that have actually built systems to work around the problems.
     
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  43. zombiegorilla

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    I can name 3, all just looking up from my monitor. ;). Beyond that I know of dozens of large projects/teams that have (and continue to) tailor solutions to use unity in large teams. For sure, challenges arise, particularly recently with some of the 5.x releases.

    A popular definition of insanity is repeating the same thing expecting a different outcome. If something is a constant headache in unity (or whatever tool), and impacting your game, you need to tackle it. Whether that is process, architecture, tooling, working with unity support or if a big enough issue, switching tools.

    Ultimately you have decide if you are a unity user, or a game developer.
     
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  44. Voronoi

    Voronoi

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Posts:
    296
    I get this. But at the same time, how often have you swapped out Photoshop for some other tool? Yeah, sure, it's possible, but I also don't want to spend my days learning new tools. I prefer to live in a dream world where I only have to learn one program :rolleyes:
     
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  45. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    15,139
    Technically Blender has a game engine built in. I don't know of anyone that actually uses it though. :p
     
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  46. Voronoi

    Voronoi

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    Jul 2, 2012
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    I did say "dream world".
     
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  47. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

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    True. But reality is what it is, even when it sucks. I much preferred Freehand. When it went away, fireworks was my weapon of choice. Sadly, it is now gone as well. I was pretty kickass with lingo, as3, pascal and decent with perl. Probably never use any of those again. Of the last three games I launched, they were 3 different stacks, unity being only the most recent.

    I want unity to continue to improve, I don't want switch again for at least a few more years. ;)
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  48. GoesTo11

    GoesTo11

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2014
    Posts:
    587
    So what factors lead you to think that scenes would or would not be appropriate? How do you load and unload assets? Are you using asset bundles? I think that I remember you writing that you should avoid the resources folder.
     
  49. zenGarden

    zenGarden

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
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    4,538
    This is a necessity when you are dealing with missing features, technical issues, otherwise you would not find Unity as complete as it is today (still missing out f the box , next gen terrain out of the box , a shader editor or a visual scripting tool )
     
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  50. ladyonthemoon

    ladyonthemoon

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Posts:
    236
    Sure. :) On the other hand, the developers know better than us what their piece of software is missing and what it's issues are.
     
    knr_ likes this.
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