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Build app with Editor VR features

Discussion in 'EditorXR' started by Mike99, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Mike99

    Mike99

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Posts:
    160
    Hi,

    I'd like to know if I can use the Editor VR features from Unity and build them in my own app. So the final app would be a VR Editor but without the need of Unity.

    Thanks,
     
  2. VRARDAJ

    VRARDAJ

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Posts:
    86
    It seems like you don't intend to do anything consciously malicious with this, but you'll want to be careful with the way you go about it.

    It sounds a bit like you want to use Unity3d to build a Unity3d competitor. That's certainly possible, but I'll bet it goes against their licensing agreement. There are companies that buy knockoff electronics, stick a new logo on them, and resell for a markup. Making your own VR editor on top of Unity would be somewhat analogous to that.

    It might seem above-board at first glance to say, "my product is different because it focuses solely on VR," but it'd still be Unity driving a majority of the functionality under the hood (rendering/physics/behaviors/jobbing/all the hard stuff). A more above-board way to do what you're describing is to offer a Unity plugin, a la VRTK.

    Unity has provided source code for EditorXR. It is possible to use large chunks of their code and prefabs in play mode, but you can't do that out-of-the-box without a bunch of rewiring because EditorXR requires the UnityEngine.Editor framework throughout. The Editor framework is purposefully not included in builds. Including it would fill every build with a compiled copy of the entire engine - it would make every build massive. If they gave the option to include that framework, it would imply that it's okay for Unity's customers to compete with them using their own tech.

    To create your VR editor, you'd have to create your own EditorXR based on Unity's code, but with all the Editor framework dependencies replaced by something else (an interface you'd have to write from scratch since Unity doesn't provide source for their Editor framework).

    Look into building a tool for EditorXR. That way, you can leverage all the work Unity has done for us while respecting their license at the same time. You can sell the tool via the Asset Store or anywhere else online. Tell your customers to use Unity. If you really want to brand your own engine, you have to do the legwork of building it from the ground up.
     
  3. Mike99

    Mike99

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Posts:
    160
    In their presentation of the sdk, Unity talks bout Tvori which seems to have used their api to build their app... that's what I'm asking here : is it one of the purpose of this editor vr sdk ?
     
  4. VRARDAJ

    VRARDAJ

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Posts:
    86
    I haven't tried Tvori, but from everything I've seen they are primarily focused on being a VR animation solution. Mindshow too. It will certainly become a grey area for certain Unity customers as they expand their offering.

    What constitutes a game engine? If you can create a complete experience with staging, lighting, animation, and audio, is it a direct competitor to Unity? Arguably maybe not. But what if you include physics too? Add scripted behaviors in on top of that, and you're almost certainly approaching game engine territory.

    Unity and other engine makers will have to work out with companies like Tvori and Mindshow what constitutes fair use on a case-by-case basis. Apps like Tvori and Mindshow will have to be careful not to expand into fully-fledged engine territory for fear of Unity calling foul. It's safer to sell a plugin unless the plan is to eventually replace the underlying licensed engine with one that's custom-built. A line is crossed when a Unity app becomes fully-featured enough that Unity customers start to see it as an effective alternative to Unity itself.
     
  5. VRARDAJ

    VRARDAJ

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2017
    Posts:
    86
    There's also the acquisition angle. Unity occasionally buys the products of its customers and rolls them into the engine. Customers like Tvori sometimes get absorbed before they hit that inflection point of becoming a competitor.
     
  6. unity_andrewm

    unity_andrewm

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Posts:
    73
  7. Skyfly

    Skyfly

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Posts:
    110
    There are already a lot of content creation tools done with unity, like tiltbrush, blocks, agf and 99% stuff thats been worked on for VR. So this seems to be perfectly covered.
    What is interesting tho, you seem to ask if you can use unity EXR, modify it and build a tool with it. You don't ask, if you can build a content creation tool with unity, but if you are allowed to use the vr editor part (that probably is just a unity app itself).
    btw, I don't speak lawyer english and don't know what helpful answer might have been hidden in that license text.