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Category proposal for Unity staff + community contributions (Community Tools)

Discussion in 'Package Manager' started by hippocoder, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. hippocoder


    Digital Ape Moderator

    Apr 11, 2010

    I noticed dotted around Unity from Unity staff, that they often have really cool tools they do in their free time but can't justify the dev time to keep it going (as we all have main jobs to do) - so why not a Community tab for package manager?

    Here, Unity staff could freely add the tools that they can't really commit to maintaining in the long term - these usually get dumped on github or someplace where nobody finds them and languish despite great potential.


    Community Tools tab - here Unity staff add tools that are probably not going to be polished up and finished, but definitely have benefit - as we all know, it's one thing to initiate a tool or feature but quite another to keep it in good condition.

    With Community Tools, Unity staff makes the tool - such as decals by Matt Dean, or the BOTD foliage bending similar to Uncharted 4 - and make it clear that Unity merely manage the contributions rather than maintain it - it's up to the community to take it further.

    This way, we can have a visible resource and much more source coming from the community than there would be normally. I think it's a potential talking point for the following things that are hard for Unity to directly maintain such as:

    • Demo stuff that has situational purpose or too expensive to maintain directly in hours
    • Highly experimental tools (things that are untamed but could have awesome potential)
    • Tiny tools that are super useful but so niche (PBR texture channel packer etc)
    • Open source projects such as voxel GI, water and so forth
    • Anything by Kejiro, Matt and other stars who keep putting out great but unseen work

    Github has a lot of these amazing resources but people can't find them, much less contribute to them. And when the community is involved in contributions using forums, it gets too noisy. So by having another category or tab, and letting Unity just remain in charge (and using the Unity license) we can contribute to things that may be too risky for Unity to develop at the time, but can ultimately one day become first class citizens with contributions. These may or may not eventually move to the main PM area if Unity feels the time comes for that.

    So I'm just suggesting that currently, we can do that, but a lot of work isn't pushed to PM because Unity feels the need to maintain it and I fully understand that need. But that doesn't mean we can't actually work with this stuff and push it to a state where it benefits a lot of people.

    Just a few thoughts, perhaps kick off some discussion about what to do with all these quasi-abandoned projects that have deep potential.
    technicat, optimise, M_R and 3 others like this.
  2. Lurking-Ninja


    Jan 20, 2015
    I wholeheartedly support this idea. Even if Unity (obviously) would put a big red banner on the community package manager tab which says "Use your own risk, no official support for these. You may find help here <link to the forum section where these can have threads about them>."
  3. Rotary-Heart


    Dec 18, 2012
    Definitely an amazing idea, I would love to have this instead of using any other external section to hold them.
  4. GameDevCouple_I


    Oct 5, 2013
    +1 for this idea, would stop me having to relentlessly stalk every unity staff via github daily.
  5. pedro_unity


    Unity Technologies

    Jan 16, 2017
    technicat, Baste, optimise and 3 others like this.
  6. pedro_unity


    Unity Technologies

    Jan 16, 2017
    Just a quick follow-up:

    I sent this to our Product Manager. He is receptive to the idea, but that doesn't mean that it will get traction, unfortunately. I can't promise results, but I can promise that I will annoyingly pursue and harass the right people...

    Unity STE
    technicat, elcionap, SugoiDev and 3 others like this.