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Make your assets open source when you deprecate them!

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by hippocoder, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Hi community,

    I'm strongly advocating that any authors who cannot support a given asset, deprecate it for a 1 month period and then make it open source with github link. I will support you on this and help manage your community in that transition - just give me a PM and I'll help out.

    The reason for this initiative is to combat the rising problem of deprecated assets and angry customers. We can fix this by acting on the following:
    • Deprecated assets have no support :'(
    • Support from open source is worth far more than nothing <3
    • Honesty is always the best policy <3
    • Something new and great could happen <3
    • Great portfolio piece and goodwill gesture <3
    • community is king <3

    Deprecated? SEND IT TO GITHUB!
    Other assets have done this: Ceto and TextmeshPro, both of which I purchased and recommended to the authors to go open source before (in TMP's case I merely recommended Unity buy it).

    We are all stung by deprecations at some point or other, but there are zero downsides to letting everyone support each other. This way, it isn't "deprecated", but "let free".

    For people who are annoyed at something going open source:
    Even if we pay for something, be it a big service or small (mixamo anyone?) eventually things come to the end of their lives, and people who pay for an asset that later goes free - you are helping yourself get support if it goes open source. It's the best thing that could ever happen to you, otherwise you get NO support.

    Customers helped to make it but eventually even parents have to let the kids go.

    Authors:
    Here, I ask asset authors to be brave enough to deprecate their assets that they no longer can support properly, or aren't making any real money from, and let the community take care of it. I will help and explain if asked to do so to ease the process for the author, and the community.

    Rationale:
    We can make the deprecation aspect of the asset store turn from a bad thing into a very good thing. And I hope Unity backs me up on this with a polite email reminder to all authors who deprecate an asset, so people can build goodwill not fires and pitchforks. I haven't spoken to Unity about this, but I'm pretty sure it's the smartest possible thing to do. I just wonder why nobody's stepped up and said "lets make this a real and normal thing." since deprecation is only a question of when, in the end.

    There are no downsides, so lets get cracking and fix up all those deprecated assets that could help the buyers who paid for them and people who want to help continue them!

    Peace <3
     
  2. ceebeee

    ceebeee

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    Yes I agree with this wholeheartedly.
     
  3. jawasjnsdjn

    jawasjnsdjn

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    I also agree with the reasoning. here is where deprecated things go to die i have an rss feed watching when something is posted. https://www.gameassetdeals.com/?show=nowfree
    how about this becomes a thread of the ones that have gone from asset store to github.
     
  4. MostHated

    MostHated

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    100%. I have tried to share the gospel of going open source at the end of a product's lifecycle, but many don't listen. It can honestly bring the product into an entirely different, new, and sometimes better lifecycle. Going open source is great, but it also definitely helps to at least check the pull requests now and then or at least give another active and trust-worthy person in the community access to manage them on your behalf.

    It was (and still is) great for the community when the Master Server Framework went open source, and I greatly thank alvyxaz for doing that and sharing his amazing work, but there have been many people who wanted to contribute, update, etc but unfortunately after it went open source no one has been able to update the wiki to try and help make corrections, help with code fixes, and the Discord of 350ish people was left with no admin/mod or anything.

    I can understand that some devs are just done and over something sometimes, it is just super helpful to at least make sure someone is able to help manage things!

    Thanks,
    -MH
     
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  5. Cosmas

    Cosmas

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    Open source is the antithesis of an asset store. The execution and flexibility behind a good script is what gives it value.
    Still there is some merit to what's being asked here. I think the main issue however is the update schedule with Unity itself. It's so frequent that it's becoming cumbersome for content creators to manage their works on the asset store.
     
    halley and JBR-games like this.
  6. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    "Deprecate". ;)

    --Eric
     
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  7. PROTOFACTOR_Inc

    PROTOFACTOR_Inc

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    Just FYI, certain assets have to be deprecated so that publishers can create a major update with upgrade path for it. This way they only support the major up to date version and not the older. I think it's fair if the older version isn't available anymore. It's the best way to try to be sustainable these days....
     
  8. elbows

    elbows

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    SEGI also did this.

    Any other examples beyond that and the couple Hippocoder mentioned?

    I advocate it, its better than nothing, although there is still a big leap required from someone making it available, to people actively maintaining and improving it. But at least the chance to do that is there, even if nobody seizes it.
     
    hippocoder likes this.
  9. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It's totally up to the author and obviously means assets otherwise unavailable, I think that's pretty obvious.
     
    ceebeee likes this.
  10. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Hippo is talking about assets - probably mostly code-based assets - that are abandoned by their authors due to low sales, age of the product, or changes in life circumstances for the developer (poor health, new job, new family commitments, etc.). Developers can't reasonably be expected to keep maintaining compatibility with each new version of Unity forever. At some point the asset developer has to withdraw, and that can leave old customers or customers who just bought it up a creek without a paddle.

    A community chest of open sourced deprecated assets is an idea that covers the natural end-of-life of a code asset.
     
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  11. SickaGamer

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    RFPS and Ice Creature controller come to mind as great candidates for this.
     
  12. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Ideally with a license that is compatible with Unity.
     
  13. MostHated

    MostHated

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    While we are on this I wish devs would do this, not only ones that have been officially deprecated, but assets in which they either have flat-out said they no longer plan to support or update it, or where the devs just one day up and disappeared, yet still leave it on the asset store for sale in which poor unsuspecting people end up buying randomly down the road. A few come to mind such as.

    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/particles-effects/zone-controller-pro-53632
    (he said on the forums he just doesn't have time for it anymore and won't be supporting / updating)

    and

    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/modeling/mesh-combine-studio-101956
    (As far as I know, the devs of this and several other assets fell off the face of the earth)
     
    Recon03 likes this.
  14. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    It's not the first time words have been appropriated for computer-specific things, like "scroll" as in "text scrolling down a display". Or "sprite". Etc. etc. But it is the correct word here. :)

    --Eric
     
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  15. ceebeee

    ceebeee

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    I've never heard anyone use "Deprecated" in talking about code. I assumed he was trying (unsuccessfully) to make a joke.

    Depricate means to make fun of, it's not applicable to development. Depreciate is.
     
    Flurgle likes this.
  16. StevenPicard

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    "Deprecated" is the common term used to indicate code is out-dated (but not yet removed) and anything using that code should be updated to something more recent before it is actually removed.

    https://stackoverflow.com/questions...n-deprecated-depreciated-and-obsolete/9208164
     
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  17. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    "Depreciate" means "decline in value"; it's not really applicable, or rather I'd rather asset store stuff not depreciate (any more than it already has). ;)

    --Eric
     
  18. Flurgle

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    @hippocoder can we sticky this? This is a great thread, needs to be seen.

    Also, abandon, deprecate, or delete is a fair bit better word to use, as depreciate can be confusing for some people, as the usage here in the title is very much unconventional, and unusual.
     
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  19. hopeful

    hopeful

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    FWIW, MCS, Terrain Composer2, World Composer, etc. should all be getting updates and support again, now. Check the threads.

    IDK about the Horizon[ON] and other kits by the associated developer though.
     
  20. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Please talk to other mods or admin about stickies, I don't feel I have the right to sticky my own post, due to morals I suppose.

    (And yes I fixed my naughty grammar)
     
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  21. MostHated

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    Those were just examples, of course, to get the idea across. That is definitely good news, though! I have been a huge fan of MCS, it has done me well, so glad to hear it may be getting brought up to date.
     
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  22. GfK

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    Definitely this. I'm using an asset called Dynamic Decals in Unity 2018, and support for that has stopped because the author couldn't or wouldn't update it to support Unity's new render pipeline.

    Unity's Decal Projector is so primitive, it's virtually useless at this point. You can't even project onto a specific layer/layers.

    There's currently no alternative or replacement for Dynamic Decals that's going to play nice with HDRP.
     
  23. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    HDRP has a full built in way better, way higher performance auto-atlasing, fully graph-enabled AAA decal system.

    You will never want 3rd party over HDRP's built in one (which also even does star citizen style mesh decals).

    Check docs link for HDRP in package manager.
     
    GfK likes this.
  24. tcmeric

    tcmeric

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    Sigh, the worst is DLLs. At least put the uncompiled code up so we can update it ourselves even.
     
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  25. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Yep! that's a bit of wisdom there! If buying from asset store, try to buy only assets with code you can look after in the long term.

    Some extra thoughts about source access:

    No fault of the asset store itself, but having guidelines like releasing deprecated assets for free is never a bad idea. In reality, when you buy an asset, you're really just buying support, and when people realise this, they will learn that if an asset goes free, it's not taking anything away from them; it's just stopping paid support for a given subject.

    So do try to buy assets that come with source code. If they do not, it is usually going to be a conversation that asks for more money (and if that's not the case, then it's possible the DLL contains stolen code. I've had to wade through issues like that before as well for the community)

    None of this actually Unity's fault, all they can (and should continue to do) is give strong guidelines, published recommendations for what authors should do through the 3 points of the asset lifetime:
    • Beginning
    • Ongoing
    • Deprecation
    Those are the 3 stages of an asset's life, and all assets will eventually be deprecated - it is a matter of when. Even Unity's own tools do go through this lifetime.

    A guide is not a law or rule but just logical and useful guidance. you would be surprised how easy it is to forget to do that when running a community or store. This is about customers talking about long term needs and authors talking about about their own needs, and successful business is when two parties get together and both benefit from it.
     
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  26. DavidJares

    DavidJares

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    Great Thread and a great Mission. Another good Example is "SabreCSG". Did cost 50€ when I bought it, now its opensource and it is better than ever.
     
  27. GfK

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    I checked quite recently and while it does seem really quick and powerful, I couldn't find any way of projecting a decal onto just one object/layer. Will Goldstone checked and apparently it's complicated and not a priority. But if there's some way of achieving this right now then I'm all ears!
     
  28. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    You can control this:
    • per material, choose if the material will receive decals or not (so you can restrict to env for example)
    • use mesh decals for closer fit, less overlap
    • use shadergraph to fade decals based on criteria of your design
    That's plenty, and actually more than half the AAA games out there. It's a rock and hard place for HDRP because they want decals to be used with impunity and heavily otherwise why bother making it a native feature? so there are some restrictions to make it fast. These compromises are more important to console developers I guess, or people wanting to make things work well on general hardware.
     
  29. julienkay

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    Cross posting this here for visibility. I've never used TC Particles, but the asset looks great and it's cool to see that they've open sourced it.
    https://forum.unity.com/threads/ope...-of-gpu-particles.172251/page-13#post-4646983
     
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  30. OccularMalice

    OccularMalice

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    Totally agree with this thread and idea. It's too bad not a lot of asset authors have taken this up. I know DevDog did and I paid for all of the assets they eventually open sourced.

    I think the important thing is if someone is going this route they also need to either manage that repository (accepting PRs for fixes/updates) or designate someone to. Putting out the source is one thing, keeping it current and fixing bugs as new versions of Unity come along, is another thing. At least if more authors open sourced their assets instead of deprecating them and walking away, we would have more options out there.

    Thanks
     
  31. StevenPicard

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    Your idea is not a bad idea but I think when the developer is done with it and they kindly decide to open source their code they just want to move on. Most likely they feel they've sunk enough time into it. If there's any interested developers they can always just fork it and work off their own fork.
     
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  32. OccularMalice

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    True but then you end up with dozens (or hundreds) of forks all with different features, etc. Think of the Doom community with the dozens of variants, nobody really knowing which one to choose. I can see the point is if I was an asset author and decided to abandon my asset by open sourcing it, I'm walking away and never looking back. Still I think I would probably try to feed the monster from time to time and see if it's on a good path. Nothing I can do about it once it's released to the wild but there are mechanisms out there that can be put in place so control it.
     
  33. StevenPicard

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    You're not wrong but I don't see any open sourced Unity code getting hundreds of branches. ;) If an author wants to commit time to their open sourced project then that's ideal but I'd rather see them open sourcing the project and walking away (after informing devs and leaving a link to the repository) rather than them just deprecating the asset and walking away.
     
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  34. ouraf

    ouraf

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    @hippocoder can you pin this thread? It's a very importand and noble initiative bruied so deep in the forums almost no one sees it.
     
  35. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I guess people have asked so there is good reason to sticky it. I obviously can't guarantee it'll stay pinned.
     
  36. Razmot

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    There is the xNode model too that is interesting, it's free and opensource on github but $10 on the Asset Store as an easy way to contribute financially if you want
     
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  37. BornGodsGame

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    Aside from scripting, there are also a ton of really good older packs that were deprecated because of shaders where the seller was probably not making enough in sales to justify redoing shaders when Unity5 launched. I own one in particular that was amazing, but used all custom shaders that broke with Unity 5 and so the guy just deprecated it and everyone who bought it had to fix all the shaders. All it would take is one of us who redid the shaders already to put it somewhere.

    Ironically Unity did this a lot with some of their own assets that were nothing but graphics.. where they just couldn't be bothered to update to the standard shader and didn't want to leave the asset on the store with the old shaders (looking at you ham chuck). I was thinking of just uploading all of the old unity models and putting them on the asset store for free with new shaders, but not sure it is worth the time. I know InfinityPBR and someone else redid the BOTD and put it back on the store.
     
  38. khushalkhan

    khushalkhan

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    Agreed 100%
     
  39. Rowlan

    Rowlan

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  40. khushalkhan

    khushalkhan

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    It's a shame i bought them all & was waiting for hdrp update, cz snaps hd work with old hdrp
     
  41. hopeful

    hopeful

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  42. gRtVnAUoolam1492

    gRtVnAUoolam1492

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    Yes. please.
     
  43. Recon03

    Recon03

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    Old thread but glad it got pinned, I never seen this before and always felt this way, I personally find DLL's to be a joke in game development anyways.. if people are that worried about your code being used/stolen, then don't sell assets.. if people want your stuff bad enough they will get it... So DLL's hinder development.... So I actually stay away from them anyways...

    But for developers who stop selling assets, I like the fact that some have put them on GIT for the rest of us so that we can update them and share.....

    I have a few assets that been gone for years, and I still update them myself, I also use older assets that are no longer supported as well.. So this post should be shown more to asset developers for sure..



    Unity, should OPEN Source as well.... completely like Epic has.... for years..... and not just to Pro users and not just so we can read it... Every other engine does this.... Unity is out of date in that regard for the game engine and any assets....... we shouldn't have to wait for fixes that never come, and we should not have to hack things together.. Something I never have to do in Unreal...

    In my opinion, what would not be a bad idea, is to have assets that are no longer, and for the developers who have put on GIT, maybe having a post some where sharing all of them..... I have people who ask me about such and such asset all the time... Some are gone but some are on GIT.. So, we should keep a list of the ones that are on GIT and no longer on the store..

    For example..
    Dynamic Decals I use this too.
    Ceto, which I still use...
    the developer of Odin but most of there assets like Inventory among many of the others on GIT...I don't use this, but I know of it.

    So I suggest having a pinned some where for people to know which assets are on GIT now , as some new users would of never heard of many of them, but they are still good to learn from for new users and others..

    Just a suggestion anyways.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022 at 5:45 AM
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