Search Unity

  1. Good news ✨ We have more Unite Now videos available for you to watch on-demand! Come check them out and ask our experts any questions!
    Dismiss Notice

Asset creators not supporting their work

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by firejerm, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. EstudioVR

    EstudioVR

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Posts:
    123
    I bought many assets in the last 12 months. From a consumer point of view, it is very frustrating to buy an asset and it has errors in the latest available engine version. This makes me avoid future purchases from this developer
     
  2. nhold

    nhold

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Posts:
    50
    You expect 2-3 years of support for (a one-time) 81 dollar product? Maybe if they sell that 5-10k times they can do that, but what is the audience size of the Unity Asset store?
     
    Teila likes this.
  3. coverpage

    coverpage

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Posts:
    385
    I've purchased very capable software at around that price, so that's where I'm coming from. Quixel Suite, shader map, substance designer/painter. I know the argument you'd have in mind is the size of those team, and the numbers they rake in. But that's precisely it, they need to pull in the number because they have large headcount. And of course it's more full featured.

    For indie developers who wants to sell at that same price point, in my opinion, you must give support to the extent of at least the stated functionality of the product for the latest unity version.
     
  4. jbooth

    jbooth

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Posts:
    4,427
    Lets break down what support costs on a product. If I sell a copy of MegaSplat at $50, that nets me $35. At my day job as a graphics coder, I make $125 and hour, and get various benefits and potential bonus's on top of that, and that salary doesn't change each month. That means that each sale works out to being worth 16 minutes of my time, and this doesn't include the thousands of hours I already put into my products. I do quite well on the UAS between all my assets, but I would be surprised if it's earning me more than minimum wage when you add up all the time spent.

    Now lets talk about user expectations and Unity:

    I have been one star'd because the latest version of Unity throws a warning. For instance, in Unity 2017.3, they started throwing warnings because substance was going to be removed in 2018.1. I had to quickly remove substance support from my product so I would not receive one star reviews from Unity users. They even expect you to support beta versions of Unity.

    Unity changes the lighting function on a regular basis, on patch releases and major releases. They provide no documentation on these changes, and often no warnings about them either. So fixing one of these can easily take 20 hours of diffing their shader code and figuring out what changed. That works out to $2500 worth of work I have to do when this happens, which is more than my assets makes in a month. For a point release change in Unity, mind you.

    Unity users expect you to bend over backwards for them, teaching them game development, doing their work for them, etc. Read one of my threads, or any well supported asset thread, and see how many hours are put into simply typing responses to users, most of which are already covered in the documentation, or are incredibly simple things like "Q:Why didn't my changes save", "A: Hit the save button".

    Unity has moved to a subscription model. There is no model available for UAS publishers which allows them to get paid for support or extending their products. On top of this, even large companies do not follow the license, which requires them to buy one copy per seat of my product, and instead buy one copy for the whole company. Unity explicitly prohibits us from enforcing their license too.

    Unity users pirate your asset, and expect support. I have a free asset that has a one star review on it from a known pirate who was kicked off the forums for posting links to pirated copies of my assets - Unity would not remove his review, because obviously it's important to support pirates, not UAS publishers.

    Next month, Unity will release SRP as part of 2018.1. If you write shaders, they will be broken on the two render pipelines that are available (LD/HD), because Unity has not provided a common interface to write code-based shaders across common pipelines (like surface shaders). Updating any of my assets to a single SRP pipeline is going to take hundreds of hours of work, and as expected Unity has provided no documentation on this change as of yet.

    UAS is just not a viable business. The top selling assets on the store earn less than I make in my day job, and require a hell of a lot more work and uncertainty. A supported asset is a gift from the developer, because it's just not a viable business compared to what they can get paid elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    one_one, Akshara, Vondox and 15 others like this.
  5. recon0303

    recon0303

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Posts:
    1,634

    I do not, to many asset devs friends, 5 star assets no matter what an people who compete down vote good reviews, its exploded..badly... I been here for many years, and friends with many asset devs as well... I'm fair with everyone regardless if I rate anything but a 5 star I get hammered with vote downs...off my experience , legit issues, like no support, ever...and I wait awhile, I do not give bad reviews often but when I do, I see this crap.... so its a horrible system period as far as the review.....

    Far a developer supporting, for ever, I don't think its right, because they would never make money.... Now they should flag, take off, unsupported trash.. that gets old..
     
  6. recon0303

    recon0303

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Posts:
    1,634
    while I agree, this is why I refuse to sell code assets of any kind...period, but there are some..developers who will make an asset, makes games and never support the asset, right off the bat, those assets need to come off or be reviewed as some peoples games depend on some assets, since small teams can't make it all them selves, hell larger teams buy assets its cheaper.

    Issue is many engines have alot of these basic tools built in and should...as Unreal, Cry, and many others, I have used ... Unity is bare bones and have to rely to much on assets for smaller stuff, or you would never finish your games, I have many of my own tools.assets, and not easy to make games with a small team support your own assets, then someone elses, I end up trashes many assets due to them being bad, or not supported and there code is a mess. Sadly Unreal store is turning into this to, but I don't ever buy assets for Unreal nor need to....which is main reason I use it more.. Hopefully one day Unity does the same...


    and they just don't care.. Issue is, many Unity users, are not developers, they do it for fun some maybe to try to learn, realize its to hard for them and leave....Then you have the ones who want you to make your game for them....Well as a AAA developer and indie, freelancer, I get one stars for things I never said I would add in any of my game, or they said we promised, I do not use that word ever... So we see it as well thats business sadly ...

    When I was an Auto mechanic, I had people wanting me to bust my butt, for free, when I have to spend 100k a year buying tools, just to do the job so I lost money, so i have to do enough jobs to make a good living, wasn't easy the first few years I lost money, but every year after new stuff comes, I had to buy new tools, new education, learn, etc...Yet you have customers, saying, 80 bucks for brakes are you joking me....The tool for some cars alone cost way more. So my point in any business, people do not understand, what it takes, as they NEVER DID
    IT....
     
    TeagansDad likes this.
  7. MaliceA4Thought

    MaliceA4Thought

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Posts:
    406
    There's no way that everyone will be happy.

    I have a lot of assets, some great, some good, some rubbish... but in all these cases the warning signs were there.. I just wasn't experienced enough to see them at that time.

    Buying Assets is like learning to use Unity.. every day you learn something new and use that knowledge to save you time in the future.

    Twisting this topic on it's head, slightly.. perhaps it's time that Unity introduced a system that restricted who can review an asset to someone who has worked with Unity for long enough to not rate something 1 star because they don't know how to save a prefab for example or are importing an asset designed for unity 3 into unity 2017.3 and ghaving an issue.

    One of the complaints I read was along the lines of.. it's very frustrating to get errors in the latest version.. On that basis.. how do you rate Unity, let alone the Assets?

    I guess that my criteria runs as follows...

    1) Does the Asset actually do what I want? (yeah no %^&* sherlock.. I have bought way to many assets that don't do what I think they do because I am stupid)

    2) Read the docs, not just scan them, read them. no docs = -ve points

    3) Watch any videos for them. no vids = -ve points

    4) Is there a thread for them on the Unity forums. no thread = no buy full stop.. sorry, I'm not going to start going to private websites or discord or anything else when I have a number of assets and the support is in lots of different places.

    5) Reviews. Read reviews.. eliminate those from known trolls or dumb users.. remove all reviews from beta testers or people with vouchers provided. Not looking for 5 stars, looking for honesty and issues that I may face to see if those are within my range of expertise to solve, if they hit me. In addition.. I always click on the name of the reviewer to see what other reviews thay have put onto the asset store.

    6) Do I "know" the author of the Asset.. ie.. is it someone I have chatted to before or seen their assets and support systems, or worse seen issues with before +ve or -ve points.

    7) Does the version match up with my base version that I am using.

    8) Think about it for a few days.

    Now, having said all that, the support that is provided is a wonderful service from the developers considering that it is a free service and I for one seriously appreciate it.

    but back to the point because I ramble a lot as you can see.

    1) I think that all paid for assets should be required to have a support forum on the Asset forums.
    2) I think there should be a date set on the asset showing the last date a developer logged into the system (and did something.. not just logged in and straight out again). Likewise I think there should be a last seen date on reviewers as well.
    3) I think that asset owners should have the ability to rate reviewers, in the same way as reviewers rate assets.
    4) I think that it should be explicitly stated in the store what versions the asset has actually been tested on and is compatable with, not just the versions it was uploaded from.
    5) I think that Unity should take a LOT more responsability for reacting to known pirates and deliberately false reviews and if needed remove reviews and users who are known to be an issue.
    6) I believe that there should be a way to incentivise the giving of consistantly accurate reviews (notice I did not say good) by users, probably based on my point 3 above.
    7) I think that there should be shown an average of ratings for ALL assets that a developer has on the asset store shown on all those assets so you can see the Average rating of all the stuff that developer has produced, and a similar rating on reviewers.

    Finally, I believe there should be a new tier of support available for asset developers.. (oh people are going to hate me for this) but I believe that asset developers should be able to add a category of "paid support" for any asset that costs more than $x and users have an ability to "subscribe" to that, for a % of the cost of the asset, which requires a new section of the forum and allows you to log into your subscriptions to get help from the developer. The money raised from that new forum section should then be paid to the developers as a support fee on a quarterly basis. (This also helps to prove that as far as Unity is concerned, the Asset was actually bought through the asset store as well since the links are available and not freeloaded from a pirate site).

    At the end of the day, like everything else in this world, there's the good bad and ugly and the larger the community gets, the more this is going to happen.. however, it's on both sides of the coin. Considering some of the wonderful stuff that's on the store I would hate to see it vanish either by intent, or because asset developers decide not to waste their time there.

    M
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    zoran404 and Teila like this.
  8. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    I have some of those assets. Shader Map...I have had trouble getting support from them. When I ask, they send me these three word responses. Fortunately for my less than $50, it is a powerful but simple tool. Not much support needed. Of course, when the new updated version comes out, I will need to pay for the update.

    Quixel...I do not have the Suite but I do have Megascans. They seem to break the mixer often or it has weird errors. First time, it took a long time for them to respond to my problem. When they finally did, I had found a work around. The second time they messed it up, it took them less time to respond...and actually, they were quite helpful. I ended up having a nice conversation with one of them. I pay less than $50 a month for Megascans. So overall, not cheap and my monthly fees pay for support. They get a lot more than $81 out of me in ONE year, let along 2-3 years. ;)

    Substance Suite is $239 annually, which means each year I have to pay a maintenance fee. Or you can pay about $20 a month and then after a year can upgrade to perpetual for $49.

    So...hmmm...not sure how $239 annually really equates to $81 for 2 to 3 years.

    Besides, these big companies have support staff. They have folks who do nothing but answer your emails.

    Comparing an asset developer on the Unity store to these big wigs is really like comparing apples to oranges.

    If you want to compare them, then you really are saying that you are okay with the big companies charging you monthly, or for each major update, or annually, but you expect much more from the little guy who is selling stuff on the asset store.

    So...if he starts charging you $40 for each major update to match the new Unity versions, I suppose you would be okay with paying for that too? Seems fair to me. Maybe he could hire someone to answer emails if he can make a bit more money.
     
    TeagansDad and Lurking-Ninja like this.
  9. zenGarden

    zenGarden

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Posts:
    4,538
    Ouch, i don' t do shaders and graphics code but i didn't know there was so much breaking changes.
    Unfortunatelly, more the plugin uses low level Apis, the more new updates will have chances to get some plugins not working. This is the problem with "high tech" plugins could it be with Unity or other 3D engine.

    I agree that so much time invested on support and not rewarded is wasted as you could instead work on new plugins or new features.

    Perhaps author plugins should decide on a new standard :
    - free support : limited time to respond for each user on unity forums from time to time.
    - personal site with a paid ticket support : mail, skype or anything else , let's say 5$ to 10$ for some half hour support, i don't know the pricing for such support.


    If they sell a game anyone could crack the game and look at what plugins are used. If the game would sell well it would be very risky for a pirate to have used pirated plugins :rolleyes:


    There is a simple solution Unity should really make instead of letting down plugin authors about support and piracy :

    1) Each plugins would have their own forum sub section that would be locked and users would need to sign up with the plugin invoice number to access discussion and support

    2) On the Asset Store app a new functionality that is "plugin support".
    So users could connect to asset store to do some stars rating but also click on "Plugin support" button, to get access to some forum support specific to that plugin any buyer could use.


    It really depends on the plugin nature, support can be easy for some plugins.
    For example Pro Builder is less impacted than high tech Gpu plugins , because they are not using lot of low level functionality, and the plugin is very visual and easy to understand compared to complex.
    So they won't spend lot of time to fix the plugin with new releases.

    More complex is your plugin, more users support will be needed and more possible work will be needed to fix it with Unity possible changes.You can' t avoid that.
    So to balance the time you spend on support there is only few solutions :
    - sell your plugin in your own site (you'll loose some exposure but this could have been something to try)
    - increase your prices 100 or 150$ instead of 50$ .
    I find you sell your plugin for a price that is really too low, considering there is not other plugin proposing as much and as advanced for the same price.
    - stop making complex plugins

    Without author plugins Unity would have been behind other challengers and would not be so great for non mobile games, some efforts could have been made to make it more easy for plugin authors:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    AGregori likes this.
  10. coverpage

    coverpage

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Posts:
    385
    Excuse the brevity and ineloquence as I'm not that dexterous on my phone.

    Substance on steam is 120usd, on sale I reckon usd 80 or 90.

    Again it's hard to argue factually for these mattersas it is a matter of opinion. For 80-150usd you can purchase many professional software out there. The fact they have many staff also means they need proportionally that many sales and hence more customers to support.

    In my opinion again if an asset in unity falls within this price range, asking that the advertised feature works for the latest unity version is the bare minimum. If you read my previous posts, you can see that I empathize for problems faced by developers. But setting an exceeding low bar will mean we lack that same empathy for consumers.
     
  11. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    5,457
    Are you really comparing a software, which sold world-wide for every artist who touch digital art with a unity-specific plugin which made by one person?
    Really?

    Well, there is a reason why expectations on UAS are unrealistic. We need to find out why. Because this is not sustainable.
     
  12. coverpage

    coverpage

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Posts:
    385
    The fact that substance and Playmaker are not equals is not the reason I asked for more expensive Unity assets to have minimal compatibility update for the latest Unity version (not instantly more eventually). You might want to read it more calmly.
     
  13. coverpage

    coverpage

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Posts:
    385
    @jbooth , since its massive amount of work to port the shaders to the new pipeline, perhaps you should somehow charge an upgrade fee. Separate packages that we can upgrade to if we own the current packages. Those who don't want to upgrade can stay on 2017

    That said I can't see how all shader assets need a rewrite is a viable option for Unity.
     
    Teila likes this.
  14. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    5,457
    It's simple. They say you shouldn't be in a hurry to upgrade your pipeline. And they only count people who actually can script their pipeline. They don't calculate with the small wannabe game developers who expect and demand @jbooth (among others) to update their assets for the latest Unity version as soon as it's out and use the leading edge techniques from day 1 otherwise they throw a temper tantrum and throw sh*t in the review and score down the assets. I saw it many times.

    Actually with more empathetic user-base Unity wouldn't be wrong. No need to update everything to the new pipelines, since the original will stay for a long time. But wannabes always want to use the cutting edge for their flappy-bird clone. (Okay I was ironic, obviously and maybe not entirely fair, sorry about that, but won't delete it.)
     
  15. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    On sale? Most of us do not have the luxury of always buying things on sale. lol

    Please list the professional software you can buy, NOT ON SALE, that costs only a one time charge of $80-$90.

    Realize that even for $80, you will have to pay to update ever year. So you pay $80 a year to use that for sale software, that is if the sale is still on. Even if you pay half price for the update, that is still $40 a year. If you never update, some you might be able to keep for a while, but most software updates every year or so, which is why the push the subscriptions.

    If developers could charge half the price of the asset for major updates, such as when Unity makes big changes that create a lot of support time and development time, then it will be similar to your yearly updates with your professional software...only probably much less.

    Odd that you are willing to pay for those but not for the guy who develops on his spare time to help you make it easier to make your game. Shader Map is great for your models. But....many of the asset save you hours and hours and hours of time and often include lots of code.

    Why do they not deserve the same courtesy as the big companies?
     
  16. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    You are not being unfair. Honestly, those that expect so much for so little are the ones being unfair. Expecting an asset to be upgraded for a beta is unfair. How many times will it change? Expecting major updates for free is unfair. Expecting super low prices. And...expecting asset developers to do an integration for every single other asset they might use is unfair.

    I have asked for integrations, but when they do not happen, I do not write bad reviews and I still appreciate the developer. Asking is one thing, whining when you do not get it is just ridiculous. After spending more time with some of these guys, I doubt I will ask for an integration ever again. lol Fortunately we have found that we can do a lot of it ourselves, part of the growing process as you learn you can actually do more and more without hand holding. :)
     
    TeagansDad and Lurking-Ninja like this.
  17. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    5,457
    Actually the UAS has started like that and should have stayed like that. Yeah, I agree with you 100%. I throw the first rock to that UAS developer who was the first to implement integration with other assets! :D (joking of course).
    You (as a general subject here) should be able to integrate your different assets. That's the baseline. Everything else is a gift from the asset developer.
     
    Teila likes this.
  18. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    Yeah, the integrations have gotten out of hand. The ones that bug me the most are the ones with the terrain tools. A terrain is a terrain. The tools do nothing to stop you from using other assets. You typically remove the components for the tool after you are done.

    And yet...I have responded to dozens of people on and off the forums who ask things like...can you use UMA with Gaia? Can you use Enviro with TerrainComposer 2?

    Of course you can! No integrations needed. In fact, I find that the easy buttons that some developers put in their assets to make it easy to add another asset to the scene annoying. If I do not use that other asset, I get errors. I have stop using some tools because of that.

    I love the way developers like Opsive does the integrations. I can go to a website, put in my invoice and have access to the integrations. They are simple to use and always work, no errors.

    But promise, Justin and Tony, I will not ask for any more integrations! LOL
     
    TeagansDad and Lurking-Ninja like this.
  19. Fortitude3D

    Fortitude3D

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2017
    Posts:
    155
    Always annoying having developers not polish there work..full support
     
  20. coverpage

    coverpage

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Posts:
    385
    80usd upwards was what was said, not 80-90, perhaps you should read less aggressively as I don't intend to argue. There're plenty of software within this price range, from audio composition, graphic tools etc. Substance painter/designer individually are 120usd on Steam without sale which is "upwards of 80usd". This is the opportunity cost.

    So again my opinion is that if an asset store developer asks for 120usd for an asset, for example, it's not too much to ask for compatibility updates to the latest Unity version not instantly but eventually for at least 2 years. This is my opinion, if yours goes like, "every year, these author should charge an additional 40/60usd for updates" then we differ on this.
     
  21. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    Perfectly okay to differ in opinion. :) But in that 2 years, that developer still has to handle support. That is a long time without any other payment for the support. Regardless, if Unity required that developers commit to 2-3 years, we will see fewer developers and more developers dropping their assets.

    You cannot force someone to keep their product around or updated. It is a courtesy to do so, especially free. Every thing ends eventually, Windows versions, graphic cards driver updates, car models for sale, New Coke....we just move on to something else. :)

    It is not too much to ask for compatibility updates. But it is also not too much to be willing to pay to update assets in order to encourage the developer to continue to update. We have lost some really important tools due to disappearing asset developers and no updates. So I get it. But....it is a risk one takes. I would have been more than happy to pay if those assets could have stayed around. Sadly, in some of those cases, the support was so overwhelming, that the developer just gave up...and after they gave up, the angry mob descended.

    PS: My $40/60 was simply half the original price, which is exactly what most large software companies charge for the yearly update, Substance Suite and many others included. :) You can always stick with the old version though, as you can with Unity and assets.
     
    dogzerx2 and TeagansDad like this.
  22. jbooth

    jbooth

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Posts:
    4,427
    Speaking of (from today, 2 star review), this is why we can't have nice things:

    "Great but got one error
    5 hours ago
    MccoringPLon version 1.72
    I had Unity 2017.1f and on this shader were working great but now when i updated Unity to 2018.1.0b8 shader got bugged. Everytime im import it, he gonna crash. I've got error Shader error in 'MicroSplat/Terrain': 'Setup' : output parameter 'config' not completely initialized at line 280 (on d3d11). So..."

    This is on a free product, btw..
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    Tethys, Steve-Tack, Teila and 3 others like this.
  23. coverpage

    coverpage

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2016
    Posts:
    385
    Pretty annoying
     
  24. firejerm

    firejerm

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Posts:
    38
    I'm back for the drama lol.
    How bout this then?

    quick mod to unity editor to send error log when package is installed and link back to seller.
    Reviews: No reviews option for free products.
    paid products will have option boxes when item gets to 3 star or less.
    version not as described box in review menue would pull up the compiler error from Unity editor. That way a product uploaded with and claiming "works with 2017.3" but it has update errors such as being tightly integrated into web player
    or still using depreciate functions. It can already detect when you want to add and older version and you have higher, it gives a warning pop up. Make that pop up before reviewing or changing a review as well. (seen some reviews where people said they bought something years ago...but now its not updated and they dropped down to 1 star).

    Heck, even a quick compile check that would block sellers from uploading assets with compile errors would be handy.
    but I know that would take up Unity's money for servers to do so.
    Big label: Free products are as is. they may or maynot be updated...do not expect support or reply from seller.

    Paid subscription based support sounds nice. Option for limited "taking their time don't expect anything" free support would help too.

    I guess it would be hard to change the mindsets of both customers and sellers.
     
  25. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    I would prefer they fix the new asset store first. ;)
     
    Flurgle and Lurking-Ninja like this.
  26. mrbdrm

    mrbdrm

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Posts:
    510
    Simply don't update unity if its going to break your game.
    unity is stable. must likely you don't need to update and deal with the issues.
    publishers are not going to keep fixing around unity updates, especially with the poor revenue.

    lot of games are released with older versions of their game engines even if they miss out on some new features simply because its stable and updating will open Pandora's box.
     
  27. walledcityinfotech

    walledcityinfotech

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Posts:
    712
    Trust me, I got a warning from a user of my Easy Main Menu, that in the Asset's Documentation, I wrote "instance" with lower case "i" but my scripts were having "Instance" with upper case "I".

    He said please correct this or you will going to be in great trouble!
     
  28. firejerm

    firejerm

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Posts:
    38
    LOL. Can we just put goofies like this on blast? Screenshot with username and all. Both goofy buyers and sellers.
    Like an entire thread dedicated to the best "worst of Unity community". Rules would be no bashing, just post and laugh.
     
    Teila and walledcityinfotech like this.
  29. MaliceA4Thought

    MaliceA4Thought

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Posts:
    406
    LOL totally agree.. once I have a stable platform, I don't upgrade anything.. not unity NOR any of the assets I have used.

    I don't have enough time to fight fires like that when I can cause enough issues of my own.

    M
     
    Tethys, punk and Teila like this.
  30. walledcityinfotech

    walledcityinfotech

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Posts:
    712
    Awesome idea man!!!!!!!
     
  31. jbooth

    jbooth

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Posts:
    4,427
    This is why I support the idea of developers being able to rate users. If you find a reduculus review, click on that user and look at his other reviews, you will often find they follow the same pattern on other reviews.

    Additionally, I’ve had some users send me a patch to a bug they found and fixed, or do the legwork in helping me figure out what is causing their issue. I would love to write a glowing review of these users..
     
    Tethys, Flurgle, firejerm and 4 others like this.
  32. AGregori

    AGregori

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Posts:
    421
    @jbooth, your original (long) comment up here should be made sticky and form the basis of some in-house UAS Patreon solution. Seriously, it's that good and clear.
     
    Flurgle, jbooth and Teila like this.
  33. Tethys

    Tethys

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Posts:
    672
    Lots of great points here. As a seller on Steam being exposed to a mega community, we don't have the option of just dropping support on a product 1 year in just because it doesn't sell like we wanted it to. But, it's also a career path, vs the Unity Asset store which seems more of a hobby for many developers. Still, what it is to the Asset Developer is a moot point - if new people to Unity see how bad the support is for assets on the asset store, why would they feel confident in spending money there? 3 1/2 years into using Unity and I have a complete different opinion of asset developers and the Unity asset store NOW then I did 3 years ago. 3 years ago I was spending money on assets that I needed for the project without hesitation (greenhorn on my part I know). Now I have learned better, seen too many potentially good assets just get dropped or never finished. What I am talking about is products being finished and major bugs fixed, not hand holding support via questions chains in Email and skype or the message board. I think support to the customer and support to the asset are different. I don't really need support from the developer, often enough its the product that needs support (I found bug a, b and c that needs fixed). If there is a manual and a little bit of training, that can go a long way in terms of support IMO. I agree that developers should not be expected to provide personal 1 on 1 support for products 3 years down the line.

    What I think is incorrect is to keep covering for asset developers in this "you have to consider how they feel considering problem A, B or C".... no... as a consumer and from a business standpoint consumer I don't - that isn't the normal purchasing process. We buy stuff and it should work as intended, if it does not, and the item isn't supported and never reaches the potential that was sold to the customer, well then that IS a problem, regardless of the developers personal life or business model issues. If its on the store it should work and be supported, or it should be pulled. Too many people get stuck buying Assets like that are complex, launch, never get finished and stay buggy for 3 years with 2 updates per year if we are lucky and never really get the finished product or something that is usable. I also think many GOOD developers have set the standard as well, but they also have done well in sales to justify it probably.

    That said, there are some really great developers here and products, and some developers just go above and beyond to make sure their products function well and are supported. To them I say well done, and thank you, as I always have.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    firejerm, coverpage, Akshara and 3 others like this.
  34. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    First part, me too. I do not buy as many anymore. When I do, they are usually things that I know are well supported or that I know we can fix if we need to do so. Now we can fix them....as we have learned a great deal over the past few years.

    Second part....It is a problem. But a huge part of the problem is the users who want more than updates so the product works. They want more and more and more. And some developers cannot say no. So the assets becomes bigger and bigger and bigger until it encompasses a scope well beyond the intended use of the asset.

    This is when developers get overwhelmed and leave, not all of them, but some of them.

    Instead, a developer should describe the scope of the asset when they first release. Then any additions to that asset should be sold as separate packages. Jason does this and I think it works very well. If someone wants them all, they can buy them or they can buy want they want.

    We have stopped using some assets, even supported ones, only because they have become a bloated mess, that is impossible to use and takes forever to put in our project. Mostly, these are scripting and editor assets as models can be easily broken into parts.

    Much of this is the hobbyist part of the equation. Not many of these folks are doing this for a living. A few, like 3dForge and Devdog are and it shows in the support they give. But many are not and these are side projects. They haven't the time to devote to the growing asset but they just keep adding because people keep asking and they love to make their customers happy.

    I am happier if first of all, support is there, even if I rarely use it and if the package is concise, has what I need and if I can buy add-ons or plugins later. A concise clean asset with good clean code is easier for us to integrate ourselves and easier for us to make our own add-ons. A mess like some of the larger assets is impossible for us to use.

    Now, not all part time devs do not support, Rory from Archimatix and Hendrick from Enviro give exceptional support. But even some of our past giants have faded away because they are tired. Maybe not an excuse but if you read the forums, you know that we, as customers are part of the problem too.
     
  35. MaliceA4Thought

    MaliceA4Thought

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Posts:
    406
    I have to fully agree, and one thing I have found over the last year which I find disconcerting is the number of devs who are moving to Discord, Twitter or Skype for support. In some cases this is fine as it builds a community, but for many (and am including some well thought of devs here) its a means to not allow people to see how often they reply to questions raised in order to cover the fact that development has slowed or stopped.

    If a post went for a couple of weeks on the forums without a reply, people would start to wonder.. if there is no forum but a question goes for a couple of weeks on discord without a reply.. who's to know.

    I now know that having no thread on this forum and only having Discord, or worse Twitter is a huge no-no sign for any asset for me.

    M
     
    firejerm likes this.
  36. AGregori

    AGregori

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Posts:
    421
    I'm with @Tethys on this: I would happily pay on Patreon (or GoFundMe or whatever else) on a monthly basis to the best asset developers --- but it is up to them to set up these options for us customers.
    Some of us are trying to make a living out of making Unity games. When asset developers are "fading away" or "growing tired", they're ruining it for all of us. Instead, they could re-motivate themselves by simply setting up funding options outside of the mess that is the UAS.
     
    Tethys likes this.
  37. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    5,457
    Although I agree most of the things written here, especially by @Teila, @jbooth and @moria15.
    But I took another direction, I started to buy in assets I think useful and I want to support the dev even if I won't use the asset for a while.
    I paid for the assets, I will give my opinion to the developer, maybe it's helpful, maybe not, but I won't ask for support for a while. (So they get the income but they don't have additional burden from the support).
    Now, I know, not everyone can do this and I don't expect anyone to do the same.

    And what I've said earlier, making support for free and very low priced assets optional would have benefit for everyone. A lot of great ideas would surface with it if the devs would think they can share their work (and maybe they can get a cup of coffee in return) without the huge burden of the support. (I know, sharing stuff on github, bitbucket, etc, is great, although precisely the newbies and hobbyists won't use that, who will rely on assets the most at the first place).
     
    Teila and TeagansDad like this.
  38. zenGarden

    zenGarden

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Posts:
    4,538
    Same, i've been very disappointed about some assets getting very low support, or assets no more supported, it's wasted money.
    Asset Store is still interesting when users create high level interesting plugins like Dugeon architect for example. But i buy a plugin if it's something i absolutely need to make the game, otherwise i just pass and find another solution.

    It's better to have official features supported in the long term, Unity takes long time to bring new editor features , but it's good they started with a shader editor and now integrating Probuilder.
    I hope Unity will continue that way.
     
    Tethys likes this.
  39. jbooth

    jbooth

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Posts:
    4,427
    The way I treat asset store code at my day job is to treat it as code someone on your team wrote who got fired. It might be great, or might suck, but either way you own it.

    We often buy a $50 asset, prototype with it, then rip it out and write our own system - and that's a huge value for $50 since it allows us to prototype faster. Heck, today I bought a fog of war system for $20, opened it up and ran the demo, saw that it was using 52ms in it's Update loop and started to write my own instead. If it had not been that bad, it would have saved me a day or work, which at my rate + what my company pays for space, insurance, etc, is like $1200 or something.

    We rewrote large parts of TextMeshPro because the memory use was so awful, and even though we invested hundreds of hours rewriting it all, it was likely still a huge savings over writing our own from scratch..
     
    punk, TeagansDad, Tethys and 2 others like this.
  40. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Posts:
    3,873
    It comes down to this: buyers knowing what they're getting before purchase. When you go to the supermarket to buy a box of whatever, you don't know (and don't have to know) how difficult the production process was, or if the brand is turning a profit at all with it. The buyer's job is to inform themselves enough about what they're buying, and then meeting the price point.

    Bu the tricky part is that there're always assumptions involved. How much should buyers assume they're getting ... ideally nothing. The clearer the description the better, but how do you rule out all possible misunderstandings in a paragraphs and some screenshots? Some assumptions are bound to be made. So the question is: what things are common enough to always be included in the description?

    Conclusion: Asset support evidently is one of them! As we can see here.

    So maybe... yet another idea, you know how Facebook pages have "response time"? Maybe support should be done from Asset Store itself, so it can track response time. Maybe also a positive, neutral and negative votes for every support ticket (all this off the top of my head), but you get the idea.

    So, let say an asset is giving developer $25/mo, developer can choose not to give much support, but also the 1 customer a month who buys the $25 (or $50 once every two months) can know for a fact there's little or no support, and make an educated choice before purchasing. That's key to customer satisfaction. Customers don't want to be unreasonable, they just want to know what they're putting their money into.

    It's a shared responsibility. Seller must provide a clear enough description. Buyer must read it carefully, or contact before purchase to clear any doubt.
     
  41. fafase

    fafase

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Posts:
    156
    Not only those, on the dev side, there should be some kind of default content in an asset, proper documentation, some assets just come up with a quick one page "tutorial", a proper demo scene (most of the time it is there), comments on public methods when it is code assets, clean code, sometimes it look more like a dev code than prod code (comments saying not yet implemented or old code comments) and finally Unity should take some responsibility on it and review assets.

    But Unity should also consider it is their tool.
    There could be some automated process, anything with latest update older than 1 year would be reviewed, anything older than 3 years, removed or author has to update.

    User could flag an asset for review so in those cases like I have faced lately, the plugin does not work and author can't take care of it, I would flag it and Unity could review. If genuinely faulty, they would suspend the asset until fixed.

    I know this is a lot of work but isn't Unity making a lot of money?
     
  42. Tethys

    Tethys

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Posts:
    672
    No doubt, well said. I've seen this now with a number of assets where people instantly knee jerk reaction ask for support for the simplest things when the answer is in the manual or the getting started video. That's also why personally I've always been fine with expecting limited support from developers with the expectation that support pretty much only comes in the form of potential bug reporting or legit issues with the asset, not issues with not understanding how to USE the asset. Those questions take up way to much of devs time, but it is incumbent on the DEV to clarify, I think, that their support is limited to fixing bugs, not teaching every Tom, Dick and Harry how to use their asset.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    Teila likes this.
  43. TeagansDad

    TeagansDad

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Posts:
    916
    I haven't encountered this myself yet (moving as a means to hide how little support is being provided). But I have to say that for most assets that I use, the external support channels are infinitely more useful than their official thread on the Unity forum. When a thread gets to be dozens of pages long, it's nearly impossible to see if a particular question has been asked before in a reasonable amount of time (even using the search function). And often, browsing the support topics is better anyway, as people will use very different words to describe the same issue.

    So I pretty much only use the Unity forum threads for a particular asset if they don't have their own forum or Discord channel. Particularly for complex assets, like character controllers, inventory systems, RPG frameworks, etc.

    And more directly on the topic of the level of support that asset developers should provide... I think that too many users have come to assume that "support" not only includes bug fixes and periodic updates to ensure compatibility with new versions of Unity, but also the continuous development of new features. That's what I think tends to be responsible for developers eventually giving up on an asset. And I've seen regularly-maintained scripting assets getting 1 and 2 star reviews because they're "only" being maintained and not receiving new features.
     
    Teila and Tethys like this.
  44. dogzerx2

    dogzerx2

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Posts:
    3,873
    Unity already does that, and they put a lot of work on that. Submission times have gone from 2-3 days to 20-30 days, so they're putting a lot of time in reviewing every asset. They decline assets without proper documentation, and many other standards.

    Raising standards too much may not just trim the bad assets, but many of the good ones as well. Because higher standards means more declined content, less people submitting things, much less content. And less content means the Asset Store is not swarming with people buying and selling their work in there. The reason the elite Assets are there is because they take advantage of all this activity ... and this activity might not be there if there wasn't a reason to check back Asset Store often.

    Don't forget Asset Store are also indies for the most part. No humongous marketing budget. They need a proper environment for their content to thrive.
     
    Teila likes this.
  45. TooManySugar

    TooManySugar

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Posts:
    864
    This is really a problem on poorly documented and complex assets.

    On the store there should be a green orange red like color flag based on their current support status.
     
  46. jbooth

    jbooth

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Posts:
    4,427
    As far as I can tell, the actual review process is not very complex. Mostly "does it have documentation and a demo scene? Does it throw errors? Does it seem like a reasonable asset? Ok, go"..

    Any negative rating will just be used to try to punish asset store developers who don't do exactly what user78182 wants. IE: No, I won't add that to my product- 1 star, red flag..
     
    Teila likes this.
  47. TooManySugar

    TooManySugar

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Posts:
    864
    I was thinking of dev flagging their assets. Rather than users. Meaning the dev tells users if does provide support or not or if asset is dead. Unity would send automatically a request for update their support level status. They would choose.
     
  48. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,820
    Just talked to a developer who was considering this, but it really is not worth it. The Asset Store works because it is driven by all the Unity developers who come to it every day. An outside store does not do as well. A few of the developers who do have their own store have told me this as well.

    I do buy stuff from developers from their stores at times. I used to worry that the developer stores would not be around forever, but have since realized that in many cases, it is more likely the developer will leave the store or even worse, leave but not deprecate the asset, meaning I could be buying stuff that no longer works.
     
  49. zenGarden

    zenGarden

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Posts:
    4,538
    I got also an expensive AI asset where the manual listed all features, but many important ones didn't have any documentation only the title.
    Still i agree many times users ask beginner questions because they are not enough experienced with Unity, it's a waste of time for the plugin author to respond to those.
     
    firejerm likes this.
  50. firejerm

    firejerm

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Posts:
    38
    This...Soooo much this.
    But, our economy for tangible products has gotten to the point people will pay $35 for a new vacuum at walmart that is clearly stated company doesn't allow returns...and the thing might last a month if lucky. The same people says oh well, get what you pay for and goes to buy a higher priced one until they find a good one. As well, the "buy it, return it if you don't like it" system at wally world. All that stuff goes to liquidation pallets that get bought by yard and flea market sellers. company takes very very little losses. Manufacturers can produce crap, and sell it for triple or more than what its worth.
    Then you have dollar stores. the literal everything 1$. You can buy items there cheaply that last just as long as their $5-$10 counterparts.

    Then you have other countries. Some have the type of economy where $20USD better that thing better last you 5 years of hard usage. Or with software, come with at least 3 months support and 2 years of bug fixes and patches.

    So there is a divide. Higher class Americans are used to buying stuff that is cheaply made and expandable af, at any price. Way Lower class knows value of everything, can tell you how long a product will last down to the minutes...
    When this gets transferred to digital products...well yeah, we have this thread and others like it.

    All I ask is honesty about the product. If you plan on asset support(bug fixes, editor version upgrades) then stick to it, if you falter or unable to for whatever reason, we understand. If you say its updated and works with latest version...then it should do so without compiler errors on import. If you say it can handle 1000 pooled animated 3d objects...at least tell us your machine's specs. If we have the same or better...then it should do it.

    Btw.
    some assets passed inspections with documentation....
    documentation leads to a 2 page website that has home, and install. Install consists of : download, drag package into empty scene.

    thats literally their documentation. That to 20-30 days to be passed?

    I see you are for the "quantity over quality" aspect. Thats why Steam and Playstore got to be a trainwreck.
    But then them and UAS is made out to be like they are the only trustworthy place to buy anything.

    I hate Apple with a white hot supernova passion...but they did enforce more "Quality over quantity" in the iOS store.
     
unityunity