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Official Introducing Gigaya: Unity's upcoming sample game

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by LeonhardP, Mar 23, 2022.

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  1. timmehhhhhhh

    timmehhhhhhh

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    Would really appreciate an official response here. The announcement of Gigaya (and the GDC presentation, which was wonderful) was the first time in a long while I felt optimistic about the direction of Unity and their relationship with the community. Finally, there was an embedded team with a mandate to be the voice of the developer community, that spoke a language I understood.

    Seeing another blog post today about another acquisition written in a language I can hardly understand... I just...

    Y'all laid off an entire team of talented, hardworking, and dedicated people two weeks ago. A team that was created to be our voice, to dig into the details of what it means to work with the tools from start to finish and provide a formal feedback loop between the company and community. While I think it would be valid to question any number of aspects of the project, if anything I would have expected the team to evolve (and grow) over time to provide a broad range of insights. Instead the entire thing was canned, just months after being unveiled and with zero communication provided.

    I don't post on here often, but I've been a strong advocate for Unity in my own circles for nearly a decade. I use it on a daily basis professionally. Like most others who have publicly commented on recent events, I'm not going to immediately drop a toolset I've grown a level of efficiency with over one decision I disagree with. But Unity Answers, Gigaya, and continued acquisition mindset lead me to believe you don't understand and aren't interested in your community. So help me understand.

    - Is the project canceled?
    - If not canceled, how will it continue forward?
    - If canceled, in non-corporate speak, why? ie, was the feedback not valuable, or are there better mechanisms in place to improve Unity's history of generating this kind of feedback? How will you continue 'making sure we have the right tools and focus that are delivering the most value to our user community' going forward?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2022
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  2. landon912

    landon912

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    What an embarrassment it is to leave the community out to dry until Andy came and gave an answer even after no longer being employed.

    Best of luck to you Andy and the rest of the team!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
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  3. bnmguy

    bnmguy

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    I'm done with Unity. This was their last "trust" straw for me. They seem pretty committed to their attempt of luring Film and Production clients from other Engines over to Unity (and failing), all while abandoning their actual customers and/or leading them on with false promises into infinity. Mark my words, this business direction will drive them into the ground. As an investor, I'm pissed. They honestly and truly need a new CEO. One who understands what made Unity good to start with, and innovating based on that. Not one who wants to change Unity into a lesser version of another game engine. Unity's current identity crisis is a mess.

    P.S. Please take it easy on hippocoder. I think they are really trying to be fair here and are doing good job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
  4. TwiiK

    TwiiK

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    This is so depressing. Gigaya was the first announcement in years that made me hopeful for the future of Unity, then they effectively reverted that announcement, and now they're rubbing salt in the wound with the ironSource acquisition, which clearly isn't meant to benefit me in any way, same as 9/10 acquisitions Unity has been making in the last years.

    And the messaging feels so clear to me that they could just as well come out and say it, they don't give a S***. There isn't a person alive that doesn't think that firing hundreds of employees, then immediately announcing a $4.4 billion merger, that could pay for the salaries of those fired workers for dozens of years, is in extremely poor taste and would be badly received, even by investors?

    After the Gigaya announcement my Twitter feed was for once filled with positivity surrounding Unity. After the ironSource merger it's worse than it's ever been. It honestly feels like at tipping point. Especially for someone who has been with Unity since version 2.0, never made a cent from the engine, but has probably "invested" close to $5000 in it. As a hobbyist with no clear project I need to deliver before deciding on my next engine, a lot of the time and money I've spent on Unity has been spent in the hopes that I've been betting on the right horse for that eventual day when I sit down and try to turn my game development hobby into my day job, but at this rate if that day ever comes I most likely won't be using Unity for that game anyway and a lot of this has been wasted.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
  5. dorusoftware

    dorusoftware

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    well ok, all is explained now. unity fired 400 people then somewhat they didn't want the world to know about it. and this resulted in questions in this thread being deleted. I was really annoyed but obviously out of the loop.

    how they even think they could hide the layoff of so many people is something else

    I've called the purchase of the outdated weta tools as a mistake back when it was announced. This is how you burn billions of dollars then you need to fire normal people that worked hard to create this company.
     
  6. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

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    Thank you! But just a note that it wasnt an official announcement; that will be up to Unity to do. :D
     
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  7. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    what has happened to the gigaya team and gigaya (which was the only decision unity made in last 5 years most users who actually use the engine really got behind and wanted), is an absolute joke and really highlights how out of touch unity are with the user base.
     
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  8. dorusoftware

    dorusoftware

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    I really wanted to see how a proper game is made by a team that knows what he is doing. As someone that didn't worked at a game dev studio I have no clue how a game needs to be properly organized, classes, assets, best practices.

    As many, I've build my game dev knowledge from bits and pieces, various tutorials made by different people who most of the time have only experience in creating a tutorial not actually creating a game. I've figured out by now that some of them are good at reading documentation and presenting that documentation in a video. Fine to figure out a particular topic but how to actually combine all this knowledge remained an arcane art for me. Most of them have no clue and they just present wrong information.

    then here comes unreal 5 with the Lyra shooter game. Night and day, I've watched countless tutorials about unreal and they are not even close to how that game is actually build. How the menu works, how the characters are set up, animations, systems.

    It was why I wanted to see this gigaya game from this thread. open this project on my computer and see how is done. Would had be nice to see a project that was made by people that work as a team and they know what they are doing.

    But noooope. unity CEO decides to fire the team building this game. Like really, you want me to pay for the weta tools? And expect to make billions? You must be joking. can't wait to see the monthly fee the CEO asks for the weta tools. Would love to see the management faces when no one actually want to use those tools or pay for a subscription. peter jackson is laughing out to the bank.
     
  9. PhilSA

    PhilSA

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    I was so excited to look at the Gigaya character controller code and see the approaches used, maybe learn a few things. From the videos it looked like it had a pretty great level of interaction with rigidbodies. Very sad that we might never get access to any of it

    I wonder; was the Gigaya project in a state where it could be released as-is and the project would run, or did it still need some repairs before this would be possible? A few little bugs or incomplete features wouldn't be a problem, but I'm just wondering how much effort would be required if Unity just wanted to put this on a public github repo and let the community play with it
     
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  10. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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    Hello everyone,

    We would like to share an update about the Gigaya project with you.

    As part of recent structural changes, we decided to stop the production of Gigaya. Gigaya will remain as an internal resource at Unity but there are currently no active plans to publish it.

    It served its purpose as a source of product feedback during its active development and will continue to provide value as an internal resource. Any further learnings would have been minimal during the additional required time to get it to the finish line and would have been disproportionate to the necessary investment.

    Gigaya was conceptualized as an internal production to generate first-hand product feedback, as well as a learning resource for our users. To release it as a sample project would have required a thorough cleanup and optimizations in its current stage.

    We appreciate that this would have been helpful to some of you, but considering the remaining development effort against putting more focus on the evolution and improvement of the tools we are shipping to you, it did not seem like a well-justified way to spend our R&D resources. In the end, Gigaya replicated the struggles of game production (albeit at a small scale), which made it valuable for internal validation while also making it labor intensive and costly to be turned into a clean and organized example of best practices

    Please feel free to ask any related questions in this thread and we will do our best to answer them where we can.
     
  11. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    "We are fully an ad company now, spending money on games and game engines no longer makes any sense"
     
  12. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    This is singlehandedly the worst decision yet in the time since unity 5. Unity really is no longer the company or engine it once was.

    I appreciate you updating us, but yeah this absolutely reeks of "we are completely mismanaged".


    Good luck to unity, they sure as hell are going to need it going forward if this is the type of decision making going on behind the scenes. Thats before we even get into how bad a decision ironSource is for anyone but shareholders.

    Unity used to be about empowering creators to make whatever they wanted and helping democratise the games industry, now its about contributing to the awful practises that ruined it like aggressive monetization practises.

    I guess we made it folks, it really is the end times.
     
  13. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    Unity continues the ol' tradition of not being able to put out sample projects that would actually be useful for the wider user base past the eye candy. If it's so hard and it requires so many resources Unity don't have despite throwing down billions for gamedev adjacent acquisitions, perhaps that signals a problem? Maybe it shouldn't be so hard and labor intensive to produce sample projects of limited scope?

    And where are these saved R&D resources going besides acquiring ad companies? I doubt it's engineering.
     
  14. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    In another universe Epic Games never released Fortnite thinking that it was a low value endeavor.
     
  15. EagleG

    EagleG

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    Isn't it expected for such big projects?? Why u guys need to organise it so much?? It doesn't look like a viable reason to not release it!! The gigaya team (if wasn't laid off) would have later just explained the tools and code used in the project in great detail so the need to organizing things would have decreased..
     
  16. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    At least dump it in a Github repo so the work is not wasted. You don't have to advertise it or anything.
     
  17. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Unfortunately we already have too many people complaining about the existing samples. Unity is far too large for it to slip under the radar.
     
  18. TechnicolorMage

    TechnicolorMage

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    First the layoffs, then ironSource, now "we're not releasing Gigaya, we already got the press boost for it and we don't want to spend money on making games".

    It's like they're actively trying to sabotage themselves. Seriously, fire whoever the hell is making these decisions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
  19. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    Perhaps you know how game dev goes: When you think the first 80% are done, the second 80% begin :D Honestly I'd tend to believe there would be things to learn from the "last miles" too. Especially the publishing and maintaining process.

    Oh well, too bad. Thanks for the information in every case.
     
  20. Metron

    Metron

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    This entire text, sir, is complete bullshit.

    Statements were made that the project would serve as a validation of a complete game development cycle from project start to publishing. Stating now that it has served its purpose and that "further learning would have been minimal" clearly shows that Unity doesn't know what they're talking about. Even from the outside, we, the users, can clearly see so many points that can be improved and which would have surfaced once you progress with the development.

    I'm so disappointed... I'm paying monthly for multiple subscriptions since so many years, advocating Unity to my customers... but I completely lost faith in Unity and the management.

    You clearly have to get your S*** together!
     
  21. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    I appreciate the honest update, but I have concerns that you are missing out on experiencing the full scale of pain that game devs using Unity go through getting their projects over the finish line. You specifically mention optimization and how much work that would require, isn't that a big part of the problems that indie devs face on actual projects? If you leave that part out, you're leaving out a crucial part of the devcycle it would seem to me.

    P.S.: Don't envy your position of bearer of bad news one bit. My condolences!
     
  22. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

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    By my estimations we were on track to ship V1 by end of 2022 (as promised at GDC)

    And it is true we had optimisations to make (as with every game ever) and were on track in sorting through them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
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  23. Rastapastor

    Rastapastor

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    I mean that was expected. Well RIP Gigaya.
     
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  24. EagleG

    EagleG

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    @LeonhardP can u guys atleast try to release in 2023???
     
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  25. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    As soon as you mention "indie" ol' Johny boy taps out because you're likely not making him money or are not making him enough money. Therefore, any kind of appeal representing the indie crowd will fall on deaf ears unless you're manufacturing highly successful ad based hyper casual games every week or two that trend on the app stores because you're spending tens of thousands in user acquisition to get there.

    As he mentioned in the yesterday's interview, he's not here to be popular, he's here to do business i.e. make money.

    How can they when the whole Gigaya team was sacked? There's no one left to work on it. All the people who knew the project inside out are gone. Forming a new team that also has to learn a project someone else made just ain't happening. This is it for Gigaya.
     
  26. Ruchir

    Ruchir

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    I really would love to see the gameplay code; I've been waiting for it since the day it was announced.

    It really doesn't affect me if the source code isn't really all that well organized, I would still learn a LOT from the project.
    I really hope you guys publish the source. :(
     
  27. judah4

    judah4

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    That is depressing to hear. There is so much more to learn with Gigaya and getting the game to release to improve Unity with. Leaving it unfinished is a disservice.
     
  28. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

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    Sorry to be a bearer of bad news for folks but I don't think it would be a good idea for another internal team to adopt the project, finish it and release it. Especially when the entire team who worked on it aren't around to help with that transition of knowledge etc. It would probably be much more work (and cost in time) than the original team just finishing it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
  29. kogi_rc

    kogi_rc

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    Are there any other plans to develop actual real-world game in-house to gather this first-hand product feedback? Most recent LTS releases that break most basic workflows make it seem that you only test if the individual isolated features work without actually trying to build an actual game in Unity.

    In the latest LTS iterations build time increased dramatically, android build stopped working completely. This are two major regressions that indicate that in-house team that actually uses the product that we are all paying for would be of great value and prevent such issues in LTS which is supposed to be the most stable release channel of them all.
     
  30. Ruchir

    Ruchir

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    Wouldn't it be possible for Unity to release the source if it didn't contain any NDA/Copyright related issues?
     
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  31. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

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    I dont see how thats related at all. Unity could release source today BUT its not finished, some systems were in the middle of being reworked and improved and there is no plan for it to be finished. The value of Gigaya both internally and externally was it was going to be a rounded vertical slice game with a finger in each part of the game-dev pie and process. Releasing something part of the way there, with no intentions of finishing, would miss the entire point. Plus the knowledge and information that would come with asset pipelines, optimisations, game architecture etc that would be released alongside it. Explaining why we did X and how using Y api is better than Z api.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
  32. TwiiK

    TwiiK

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    Slightly off-topic, but what I don't understand is that Unity must need game developers using its engine to make money, right? From what I've understood they make most of their money from ads, but these ads are put inside Unity games? I would assume anyone not using Unity isn't using Unity ads inside their games. So without games there's no ads? Or am I completely wrong here?

    At least if that's true then if Unity continues to S*** on its game developers, and they start leaving, then who's going to make the games they need to earn money from all their other crap? Even from an evil corporation standpoint I fail to see Unity's vision here. They just merged with a company doing more ads so clearly ads is still where they feel the money's at, but surely you need games made with your engine to serve ads?

    At the end of the day I would imagine you need people using your engine to make money from it, and therefore that it's worth it both to try and attract new people to it as well as keep those already using it happy. Gigaya looked like it could have done that. It could have recruited future users directly from Steam and it was clearly a ray of hope for existing users. I would think just the goodwill alone was worth it to keep Gigaya going, but apparently not.
     
  33. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Unity merging with ironSource means that if it isn't the case it will be soon.
     
  34. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    The thing is, ad based games are basically on mobile. And specifically hyper-casual games. Any engine can output hypercasual games. They're typically low poly, and mass produced every couple of weeks. It's mainly about the idea and juiciness but mechanically they're simple and small in scale.

    Then there're the Raid Shadow Legends of the world which can afford source access while still using all the ad/user acquisition/etc integrations Unity provides. They likely have internal engine teams that do engine level fixes and improvements for their projects.

    i.e. current Unity is serving ad based markets well enough as it is. There's no incentive to improve since Unity dominates mobile and no competitors threaten them in the short term.
     
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  35. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    Think the CEO mentioned in that interview why the merger still makes sense for ads: Now when someone clicks onto an ad in a unity game that leads to another app, it's more likely that that app/game has ads that also come either from old Unity or ironSource and both benefits Unity. Good old Synergy.

    Sure at some point you wonder where the customer actually spends money vs just bouncing from game to ad to game, haha.

    If it's actually true that their only competitor now is Google/Alphabet, that's.. something.. Not very helpful for non monetization-focused devs, but it's respectable for the company and a reasonable chance to be successful once the economy bounces back up.
     
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  36. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    I'm speaking about the core engine. I couldn't care less about ads. My point is, ad based games are either so simple that any engine works or they're so big and swimming in publisher money that they can afford source access. So either Unity can do the thing or someone else fixes it internally, which is why the core engine is left to stagnate. It's good enough for ad based markets as far as the core engine is concerned.

    Gigaya was to address the issues of Steam/console crowd. And Unity doesn't care about that. The money's in ads, user acquisition and microtransactions.
     
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  37. Chubzdoomer

    Chubzdoomer

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    I'm just so disappointed and frustrated with Unity's leadership right now. This was a monumental opportunity to show what the engine is capable of and allow everyone to get hands-on with a truly "large" project, which is something very few of us have been able to experience.
     
  38. CarmenXero96

    CarmenXero96

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    Between this and what the CEO just said I'm completely convinced this engine is a lost cause and nothing can reverse the direction Unity is going.

    I hate to be the "im switching engines" guy but how can I not anymore.
     
  39. useraccount1

    useraccount1

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    Honestly, all of this sounds like the company doesn't care about the purpose of the Gigaya, and the more I read this message, the less sense it makes.
    The Gigaya has brought valuable feedback to the internal teams (so far?), then why would you fire the entire team?
    Does the company think the feedback gathered from the project is valuable or doesn't want more of it?
    Preparing the project for the public is time-consuming? Then cancel the public version, creating another demo is a better option than firing the entire team.

    Unity is often bringing monetary issues but at the same time, the company is burning money for takeovers that bring close to nothing to the customer. I think unity has bought out over 15 companies by now, and their revenue is still mostly based on ads.

    I see a talk about R&D, but most teams are too small, and many others focus on pointless tasks/ experimental projects that are not very important to the customers.
     
  40. joshcamas

    joshcamas

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    That's the point. Do that. Eat your own dog food. It's something every single one of your customers does every single day.
     
  41. pwka

    pwka

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    There are a bunch of companies that don't care if Gigaya exists or not (so do new toys like SRP). They make games on older versions of Unity. Most mobile games are made without the new stuff. They don't care about anything as long as their Unity works and allows them to release another game that will make money from microtransactions and ads. Another Hollow Knight, Ori or Limbo won't make them money. It's just a bonus. If it weren't for the car, film and arch viz business we'd probably lose SRP too. Unity won't make money from helping you create your dream game.
    @LeonhardP Thanks for your reply. I imagine it was not an easy task :)
     
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  42. timmehhhhhhh

    timmehhhhhhh

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    @LeonhardP This was more than I was expecting and I really do appreciate you taking the time on this response. Some follow-ups:

    How will it continue to provide feedback if no one is working on it?

    Getting to the last 10% is the toughest part of any production. However, it's often the most valuable for finding where your weak points and edge cases are, providing critical information as to how to build your next project and what tools you'll need to get there. Taking a project across the finish line allows for honest, thorough retrospectives which are so, so, so vital. Not to paint a target on @Andy-Touch and team (who have been nothing but professional throughout), but everything that was communicated at GDC and since the layoffs has indicated that the project was within scope and on schedule.

    I'm totally sympathetic to the fact that economic realities happen, but what this communicates to me is that Unity doesn't consider the final phase important in this regard, which is a perspective I can only understand coming from those completely disconnected from the realities of game development.

    I understand the desire for cleanup when opening up a project to the public (or even internal teams). But many of us that were looking forward to this, it ain't our first rodeo. We weren't expecting perfection and are capable of taking a nuanced look.

    There were also many solutions here that didn't include shutting things down completely - beta gating it, opening it up in stages / modules, or even simply releasing 'as-is'. Unity waxes about 'synergy' in the abstract but here you had a concrete instance that people were actually excited about. It's extremely concerning how little consideration seems to have been put into alternatives to canning the entire thing.


    Then why not just pause the project and spin up a new one? Support the team in evolving in scope? A simple example: one of the first things the team talked about in the GDC presentation is the pain of locking yourself into a render pipeline at the start of production.

    There is sooooo much richness contained in just that ONE insight. It touches on feature sets, platforms, performance, and building shaders, materials, and tooling that can be shared across projects, all of which seriously impact the bottom line of teams that choose to build with your engine. How does Unity plan to get any level of holistic feedback going forward without an internal productions team that's worked on a scale larger than a one-off demo and under pressure of meeting tight deadlines and ambitious goals? Because years after SRPs were lifted out of preview, in addition to 'which render pipeline should I use?', we're still asking questions like:

    - how to blit
    - how to render with shader
    - why are builds suddenly taking a day

    There are some very talented people working on the SRPs, and some really amazing projects have been done in them. I've worked on some. And in the end, these are just a few micro examples from one aspect of the development process. But dogfooding, integrating your bottom line into the equation, it's a forcing function to creatively solve for all the things. They reveal your blindspots in an immediate and powerful way, whether it's animation, audio, story telling, AI, UI, even monetization!

    So again, in these and other areas, how does Unity plan to gather feedback and improve how they holistically look at these tools going forward?
     
  43. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Leonhard, thank you for stepping up and letting us know. And please let your bosses know that everyone wants to be part of Unity's future but it's difficult if there is no communication. It is a great first step.
     
  44. Supergeek

    Supergeek

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    Unity management keeps showing you who they are, and a lot of you are still too naive to believe what they're telling you. I feel sorry for the employees who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the engine, only for the execs to tell them to stop working on the things the engine actually needs for making games and start incorporating literal malware into the engine.
     
  45. forestrf

    forestrf

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    The dogfeeding that this project was going to create would have made Unity a lot better.
    How are the improvements and fixes to the tools and workflows get tested without this game? will there be another one?

    When I first heard about what Gigaya was trying to accomplish I became very happy and for once tried to not be skeptic.
    Now I feel stupid.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
  46. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I'll give it a go, solo. I know I can. Just give me FTP access and let me F*** around with it. I'll have it 60FPS on most machines before a month is done. I didn't dick around for over 3 decades being the unsung outsource hero of a rather large amount of games out there to sit here in my older years playing find the sausage. Let me be useful at least.

    I know it won't happen. But it shows what could happen if it was just elbowed onto github and some people asked to just run with it.
     
    Immu, jeromeWork, Morbeavus and 42 others like this.
  47. ronJohnJr

    ronJohnJr

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2015
    Posts:
    104
    Man, I just defended unity yesterday too, now I look like an ass. This definitely does not make me happy
     
  48. AnomalusUndrdog

    AnomalusUndrdog

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Posts:
    1,538
    When I first heard about Gigaya I was pretty surprised. I always thought it would have made more sense to have that set up as an external studio with close ties to Unity to give them feedback to the engine. I'm sure there have already been studios that gave lots of feedback to the Unity engine, like Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest).

    Being an external studio would have meant they have autonomy and could potentially stay profitable by eventually selling their game.
     
  49. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    29,722
    Unity, just dump it on github. Let the internet play with it and fix it. Let us rip what we want. Stop being pricks.

    It's how you get back into dev good graces. By listening. It's a small action, but it'll keep the crowd busy. Trust old hippo for gods sake.
     
  50. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    29,722
    It's OK if it's broken. Put that in the markup. Because what you broke wasn't Gigaya. It was people's trust.

    And if people are given a chance to mend that, maybe that's great for all of us, including Unity.


    Oh yeah, make sure people can sell whatever they make with it, so long as it's in Unity. That kind of license or don't bother. Do a good job giving people what they want.
     
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