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Official: How Can We Serve You Better?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bibbinator, May 14, 2014.

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  1. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    I think the work they're putting into Unity 5 so far is evidence that they're trying to move away from this situation.

    1.) GUI (NGUI, ezGUI, iGUI, eDriven)
    2.) PBR (Alloy, Jove, Lux)
    3.) UNET (Photon Unity Networking, uLink, TNet, etc)
    4.) GI (well, OK not so much. there's Dynamic GI, which is voxel cone traced so not really the same thing...)
     
  2. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    I don't know if 2, 3, and 4 are really fair to put in there since there's still a lot we don't know, especially in UNET's case. Like, our replacement for the webplayer is WebGL but that costs $1500. Are these things going to cost us $1500?
     
  3. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    2 will not cost anything (I think it's already been stated it will be available in Unity free, just not GI or the other fancy bits that really make it shine)
    3, On the blog post they mentioned "Unity Cloud". It sounds like there will be a service to host game servers at a later date? If so, then I'm willing to bet that's where the cost will be (rather than UNET as a whole package)
    4, I think it is fair to include. Existing GI solution requires Pro anyway, so who cares whether Enlighten does or doesn't? Especially considering it's miles ahead of current solutions in terms of efficiency and supported platforms.
     
  4. shkar-noori

    shkar-noori

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    I don't know that much about Unreal (never liked the workflow), but i thought that CryEngine was voxel-based!! , I know that there were very good terrains long before PBR, but I thought if they are changing the shaders, they may take a look at the terrain, and Integrating SpeedTree for the terrain seems like a good deal, but we never know until an official answer is approving
     
  5. shkar-noori

    shkar-noori

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    uNet sounds promising while I wouldn't stop for a second to Pre-Order Unity 5 (IBL, PBR, Realtime GI, HDR Reflections, HDR SceneView , any plans for Shuriken? ), but i just need some new official info's for my team.
     
  6. Ocid

    Ocid

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    By this point everything I would've said has probably already been said.

    I'd like to chime though with support for a more reasonable subscription. Whether you go for royalties or not isn't as big of a deal to me. I'd still keep the outright purchase though for those that prefer to own it outright.

    Also like to say after 5.0 comes out UT takes a period of time to focus solely on bug fixes and polishing up existing features. Everything is there you just need to tighten everything up. :D
     
  7. shkar-noori

    shkar-noori

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    +512
     
  8. Foxxis

    Foxxis

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    Well, to be perfectly frank I have skipped submitting bugs on numerous occasions simply because I knew that 1) I would get no feedback for at least a week and 2) I would never see it fixed in time to help me. So I spent the time on working around it instead. I know the same goes for coworkers here, and I would be surprised if it did not echo at other companies. When it gets that bad, you have a real problem and I am happy you do realise it. The passage where you state "Because of the large backlog of bugs, we cannot fix them all.." really scares me though. I had hoped the situation was not fully that bad.

    I really think you should offer personal support, for free, to pro customers.
    I would bet that the majority of support load comes from free customers. I understand the desire to attract new users, but frankly the experience for paying customers has gone downhill.
    Premium support should be for customers needing priority access and swift responses, but a pro customer should be able to fire off an email and get a relatively quick (48 hrs or so) reply. I think you should be selective though; support should be for technical questions regarding engine problems, not basic questions that are covered by documentation.

    We are considering premium support, but due to Nordic Game I have not been able to get any details. My sales contact seems to be busy.

    Please do if you would like further feedback. I would definitely rank my top three problems with unity as 1) Poor communication / dev. relations 2) Poorly supported product (ie. slow bug fixing and incomplete/broken features) and 3) poor technical support (unless you are really big, and/or pays per hour).

    I really do hope you solve these issues.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  9. eskovas

    eskovas

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    I think they are doing that with 4.5, there are not "major" features but it's mostly focused on bug fixes and improvements, i think.
     
  10. Ebkac

    Ebkac

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    That is what the subscription service "should" be for. It should also have tiers for different levels of support needs.

    If I purchase a piece of software with a perpetual license, I'd be out of my mind to think that two years after I bought it I can e-mail or call the company and ask for support without having given them any kind of money for maintenance or support contract. That is not how professional level software is handled. 90 days is typical or one year at the absolute most and frankly, what many companies do is have tiers, silver, gold platinum etc.
     
  11. Carpe-Denius

    Carpe-Denius

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    Has anybody seen anything about particles?
    There are no mentions anywhere about GPU particles, volumetric smoke or at least correct lighting with the current shuriken. The Transporter demo looks like neither is coming.
     
  12. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    I'll add another 512 to this suggestion.

    Seriously, Unity, you have released a lot of half-baked features. Stop doing that, it's annoying.
     
  13. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    You could only do this stuff on DX11 anyway because the version of OpenGL that Unity uses doesn't support things like compute and geometry shaders.
     
  14. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

    Unity Technologies

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    Dear Microsoft,

    I am writing a letter to my mother, who I have not seen for some years, using your Word software application. Please can you give me some ideas how I can explain why I have allowed the years to pass. I purchased Word so I could write this letter. If you are not going to help me, then I will need a refund.

    Thanks,
    Graham

    Dear Adobe,

    I have to make a very large poster to cover the exterior walls of my house. I note, when I try and create a large image in your Photoshop application, it will crash. Please fix this. It's important that I get this poster finished today. You can email me the fixed version of Photoshop.

    Thanks,
    Graham

    These are meant to be light-hearted equivalents of the kinds of support issues that come in. Typically the support requests ask us to help people understand how Unity works, or help them troubleshoot issues they have, but cannot work out. If, on the other hand, after two years you need to activate your Pro license, but have lost the serial, or your machine has died, and you need help decommissioning it, or you have some other problem running the software, we'll help you free of charge. We're legally (and morally) obligated to assist you.

    Our equivalent of silver, gold, platinum are called Indy, Small Team, Pro and Enterprise.
     
  15. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

    Unity Technologies

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    All "real" bugs that get sent into out bug tracker get looked at by our QA team. By real, I mean bugs that contain enough information to be understood. If the QA team can replicate a bug, then it'll get passed over to development for fixing. The time between the submission of the bug, and Dev resolving it can be lengthy - many months. Working around a bug is a perfectly sensible, pragmatic thing to do. Not submitting bugs is your prerogative however if you do not tell us you have a problem, then how are we to know there is a problem? Also, we can compare stack traces on bug reports to help us get some intelligence on how many customers are affected, which in turn tells us something about which bugs need to be prioritised.

    When I say "we cannot fix them all" what I mean is the new sustained engineering team (which is part of my support team) is not aiming to fix every bug. Rather, we are fixing critical bugs that affect customers with support contracts, and are prioritising bugs from enterprise support customers. Note, as I have said in other threads, we use the votes on issue tracker as part of the prioritisation process, so many customers and free users should benefit from this new process.
     
  16. ZJP

    ZJP

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    'How Can We Serve You Better?'

    a) Better GC
    b) A 64B Editor
    c) Physx Upgrade.
    d) DLL Plug-in for Unity Free
    e) Improving Mecanim API
    .
    .
    .
    Fix bugs before adding new features. :(

    That all for the full indie developer that i am.

    Thanks a lot UT Guys. :D
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  17. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    a) They'll do that after they finish porting several platforms to their new IL2CPP stuff (which is holding back the Mono upgrade)
    b) Unity 5
    c) Unity 5
    d) This is already supported
    e) Agreed
     
  18. ZJP

    ZJP

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    Lucky me. :D :D
     
  19. NoPiece

    NoPiece

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    If a feature came out half baked, but there was a public roadmap, and frequent point releases (weekly), then I think half baked is fine. I'm sure the Mecanim team is sitting right now on hundreds of fixes and features just waiting for a major release.

    To me this is the best case for moving to a subscription model and away from the major release model. It frees the development teams to iterate quickly and decouple from the business needs of selling upgrades.
     
  20. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    Exactly.
     
  21. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    You know, I suppose I wouldn't be at all opposed if Unity decided on this pricing structure:

    * Unity Noncommercial (free) - Like Unity Pro, but with giant clearly visible Noncommercial splash and legally can't be used for commercially released games.
    * Unity Indie ($30/mo, 5% revenue cut) - Regular Unity splash, can be used for commercially released games but indie license only applies if studio makes less than $100,000 per year
    * Unity Professional ($75/mo, 5% revenue cut) - Unity splash can be removed, can be used for commercially released games and used by studios that make over $100,000 per year.

    So for instance I could fully develop my game on Unity Noncommercial, and then when it comes time to release I upgrade to Unity Indie and release the game (just as with UE4 licensing terms, I'd be required to hold the license as long as my game is sold), and then if it becomes successful upgrade to Unity Professional.
     
  22. SeanPollman

    SeanPollman

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    Subscription only at $75/mo for "pro" is a terrible idea. My team would instantly switch to UE4, there would be no reason not to, less than 1/3 the cost and same Royalties?

    For that matter if they take away the low cost of "owning" the license without royalties we are out, due to the terribly slow patch and development times UT has established, its about the only thing that would keep us using Unity.


    Same applies to you, this line of thinking is nuts. They have real competition now, that is a cheaper alternative. Why would you want them to INCREASE the cost to develop on Unity?
    VV
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  23. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    * Unity Noncommercial (free) - Like Unity Pro, but with giant clearly visible Noncommercial splash and legally can't be used for commercially released games.
    * Unity Professional ($75/mo, drop out at any time but lose update/asset store access, no revenue cut) - Unity splash can be removed, can be used for commercially released games.

    I think this simplified model might work a bit more effectively.

    Except it wouldn't cost more unless you're really attached to the free version.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  24. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    As great as all this stuff is, I'm worried at what appears to be a deterioration of the legacy animation system in the meantime. It's understandably going to take time to get Mecanim fleshed out - I'm not actually worried about that. What does worry me is that the legacy system seems to be getting pushed aside prematurely, before Mecanim is able to fully take its place for some use cases.
     
  25. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    The point of the "Indie" version in my scheme was something that costs less than Pro (for games just starting out) that would then be required to upgrade to Pro after they take off revenue-wise. And additionally, the license should state that they cannot drop the license as long as the game is being sold - otherwise, what's to stop someone from just paying once and then canceling? Dropping the license should require that they (at least temporarily) freeze sales of their game, just like UE4's license.

    Because that's what people are complaining about, right? That the barrier to entry is too high? This would remove the barrier to entry (making the developer happy), and then ramp up the price later when they can actually afford it (making UT happy).
     
  26. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    With a $75 drop out at any time system instead of the current busted "you have to pay for a year and it costs more than a point release lifetime with no upgrade path", Unity is very accessible.

    UE4's license doesn't do this.
     
  27. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    That's close to what I was thinking of as well. Some people have suggested a watermark but honestly those are a complete waste of time. Anyone who wanted to use the client in a legitimate way would simply buy a commercial license and those who don't would simply modify the client to remove the watermark.

    Alternative licensing schemes such as these coupled with support for an alternative to that horrid MonoDevelop would satisfy me as those are the two major reasons I am considering Unreal. Yes, some may find $1,500 or $75/mo to be cheap but I cannot justify spending that much when the competition is only $19/mo. Especially as this is both currently a hobby for me and I am very comfortable learning new tools and languages.
     
  28. goat

    goat

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    The dogs barking is a good way to light a fire under the devs' *ss or said more nicely they can be creative with mecanim or in maintenance mode with legacy. Most developers would be much happier with being creative.

    As far as this bizarre ideal that doing away with Unity Free is going to make Unity Pro cheap or rid you of competition in the App Stores, LOL, that's a fallacy.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  29. violinbg

    violinbg

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    Adding 5% of revenue and removing the royalty-free Pro version doesn't sound good at all. Including all plugins for the 1500$ price sounds very very good. What's the problem with having both a cheaper subscription based Indie version and the current Pro pricing model?
     
  30. ZJP

    ZJP

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    Mecanim?! The big LOL. Apart retargeting, I do not see that this system has better offer.
     
  31. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    What's wrong with cheaper + royalties and then more expensive and no royalties? Unless someone would buy the royalty version and then, right before shipping it, buy the more expensive subscription to get out of the royalties. If that could be handled, it wouldn't be that bad?
     
  32. goat

    goat

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    Except legacy is called legacy for a reason, so laugh and be wrong.
     
  33. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

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    What deterioration are you talking about, exactly? (Got bug #s?)
     
  34. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    Ah, I misunderstood the terms. You don't need to continue paying the subscription, but you do still owe them 5% of your game's revenue.
     
  35. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Aside from animations made in-Editor we're now using Mecanim for almost everything, so no I don't have my own bug reports. (At least, I don't remember making any.) Having said that, I do remember having run into issues definitely reported by others, such as needing to open a debug inspector and change a number from '2' to '1' before a legacy animation will work (see here and here).

    While I could be mistaken, I vaguely recall reading someone from Unity mentioning in one of those threads that it's unlikely to get fixed because the focus is now on the new system.

    As a non-technical example, the Legacy section of this page has an apparent link for people using the legacy system, but it's not actually a link. On this page he manual tells us that the legacy system is more efficient for simple animations, but the workflow for those simple situations is no longer being maintained (see the links above re: needing to use a debug inspector). The impression is that it's getting left behind.

    I know everyone wants the new shiny thing. Me too! But until it's ready to take over in full can we please still keep the existing system going strong?
     
  36. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    ...Well yeah. The revenue share has always kinda been core to the unreal engine indie experience
     
  37. AnomalusUndrdog

    AnomalusUndrdog

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    As far as native DLLs are concerned, no, it's not supported. I think that's what ZJP was referring to in the first place.


    ----

    Here's another suggestion I have:

    Create a new type of .unitypackage file type that will work more like installers:

    1. This is mainly for Asset Store packages. It's currently a hassle to upgrade our asset store plugins. It's clear that the .unitypackage file type was never initially meant for this application.

    2. Removing obsolete files: When there's a file that needs to be deleted for the new version to work properly (e.g. obsolete files), we, as users, need to look for it and delete it manually. With an installer, this part would be automated (think NSIS).

    3. Keep track of versions: When we install an asset store plugin, our assets folder would have some sort of manifest file. This should tell us at the very least what version is installed. I manage a team of devs and they all work on several small projects, but it's hard to keep track of what version was installed in what. (strangely, some asset store plugins do not mention their version in their readme).

    4. Plugin dependencies: Some plugins include the free version of NGUI in their packages, causing some haywire when I install them since I already have NGUI in my project (error: duplicate definition of so and so class!). It's quite straightforward to fix this, simply delete the offending files, but it's a hassle. With an installer, the plugin author could make code that queries if the user's project already has an installation of so and so (via the manifest file in #3), so it can be more intelligent in what it puts into your project. It can also warn that it requires so and so plugin(s) to be installed.
     
  38. jc_lvngstn

    jc_lvngstn

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    I don't see how a monthly subscription somehow frees Unity from a major release model. I honestly doubt we'll see monthly releases. And really...we've been on a subscription model all along right? It's just every year and a half or so that we "resubscribe".

    Not only that...you are switching to a pay to use model, instead of paying and owning. As in...how would it affect someone who decided to stay with Unity 5, and never wanted to go to 6 or 7. Still having to pay $75 a month? Is there a total cap you can pay? Ok great. Can folks pay all at once then, like...now?

    And...what is to prevent them from more frequent updates all this time? Why does it have to be...3.4. 3.5. 3.6. Why not...4.4. 4.45. 4.5. 4.55. 4.6. The point updates come as often as they want, it's jsut a number and it's been obvious for a while that people want more frequent updates. Not necessary giant features more frequently, we understand there are limitations.

    But small things could be addressed more often, surely! Crap...fix the weird tree billboarding issue, where they bow toward the camera already. Cap the ends of trees so when they are lying down you don't have a big hole. There are a boatload of "smaller" things that really could have gotten some attention along the way, in "smaller" point releases. But there is just such a big fixation on big, new shinies.
     
  39. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    It's just... say they have a bunch of features done right now, but they're waiting for Unity 5 to release them. Why don't they release them right now? Why wait until Unity 5? I mean, why wait until all of the features announced for 5 get done and then release them all at once, rather than release each one independently when it's ready?
     
  40. Hikiko66

    Hikiko66

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    The problem with not including the watermark with a non commercial version of pro is that there is no incentive to buy or subscribe until you are ready to release a product, and most users don't release products. Unity would lose revenue from people who release non commercial products, and they would lose revenue from people who are willing to pay money but never actually finish anything.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  41. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Unity has very real competition from UE4. Unity needs to add a new subscription plan that includes Unity Pro features and matches the pricing and terms of the UE4 subscription.
     
  42. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Even if somebody did do that, Unity would still come out ahead. Unity would actually make more money from that situation than they make now.
     
  43. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    I personally think a more expensive license for larger studios is necessary.
    If I can cancel the subscription and still retain the features (just as with UE4), then I could just pay $30 once, download Unity and then cancel my subscription, develop my game on it, release, and then just pay a 5% royalty after that.

    That is not a sustainable business model for UT in the long run. UE4 can get away with it because they have AAA customers practically lining up out the door to obtain UE4, but UT has no such thing and they'd be essentially getting 5% revenue from a bunch of shovelware and vaporware (which, let's face it, is 90% of what is made with Unity, as with any free or cheap software - UDK was the same) with relatively few AAA productions.
     
  44. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    But the often raised and always ignored point is that once you're making over $100k income per developer the Unreal deal is actually more expensive. Matching that deal is a benefit for some users and a drawback for others.
     
  45. AnomalusUndrdog

    AnomalusUndrdog

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    Re: subscription

    Btw I'd like to point out that for UE4, the first $3,000 gross per product per quarter is exempt from royalties:

    From https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/14123/the-license-isnt-very-clear.html


    Re: Unity splash screen:


    The weird thing is, Unity's ease of use and low barrier to entry means any Tom, Dick, and Harry can more easily churn out a half-assed game compared to if they used UDK or UE4 (C++ and all that).


    With the Unity splash logo attached, that gave the stigma that Unity games are always crap.


    Do we still need to advertise the Unity logo? Unity's gotten quite ubiquitious, I'd hazard to say no.
     
  46. NoPiece

    NoPiece

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    Yes, I agree, but that's why it takes a year and a half for new features to show up, because they need to bundle them with major releases so people "resubscribe". A monthly subscription incentivizes Unity to release often so that people see a benefit and don't cancel. A year+ release cycle incentivizes Unity to hold back features to justify the large upgrade cost. If Unity started releasing features from Unity 5 now, they'd make us happy, but hurt their upgrade business. Shorter release cycles and a subscription gets everyone's interests aligned. I'd bet devs on the Unity team would be much more satisfied if they could release more often. There is probably some sweet code checked in a year ago, just waiting for Unity 5 to be released. Let it out! :)

    It doesn't bother me, but they could either do something like UE4 and let people use the last version released under their subscription, or they could sell a full price pay to own version in addition to offering subscriptions.
     
  47. DalerHakimov

    DalerHakimov

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    To Officials:

    After this 53 pages of conversations, can you say what would be your conclusions? I mean after all, you should have to figured out something.. Maybe you want to share it, and see if you've got ppl right, or it's too early yet?

    P.S I'm not a game dev, just started and so far happy with Unity ;) Curios about pricing... and no I don't have any suggestions about it)
     
  48. rwetzold

    rwetzold

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    Graham, I need your advice here: I have submitted quite some crash bugs the last weeks. They happen after importing assets, starting the editor after doing an Android build, doing DestroyImmediate in the wrong spot, shift clicking on trees etc.

    The thing is, most happen sometimes and very rarely (though often enough to crash at least every one or two days. The answer I get back nearly every time is: "could you please send us the steps to reproduce". So what now? I am close to stop submitting bugs. If a customer selects "Sometimes" then there is most often not a way to reproduce it somehow specifically.

    I had quite a complex software released back in the days and also had crash issues. What we did was to allow customers to start the software in a "log mode". This would write away logs while they were working. If the app crashed, we could attach these in addition to thread dumps etc and we nearly immediately saw what they did before. Couldn't this also be an interesting option for Unity? I'd be willing to switch that on if the speed panelty was below 5% but the positive response rate from QA abd dev would go up 50%.
     
  49. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Something like this would be super handy. I've also been asked a few times for repro steps and, while I'd love to be able to help, the reality is that in a commercial environment I don't have time to go back to whatever I was doing days ago when I sent the report and fiddle around to get you useful info. Also, I often can't attach repro projects because a lot of our work contains stuff that I can't send off to a third party. I've often made repro projects for my hobby stuff, but for work stuff I don't think I've done a single one despite the best of intentions.

    So, some alternative to get you useful data that doesn't require my time or my client's stuff would be mutually beneficial.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  50. Tiles

    Tiles

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    By getting told more than once that it makes no sense to submit a bug anymore because you don't fix it anyways. Count me as one of them.

    With all respect, this is a really bad strategy. ONE bug report and some common sense of the developer should be more than enough to take action. Most users will never submit any bug report. They simply vote with their wallet then, and move on.

    I know quite a few professional developers who told me that they will never submit any bug report, no matter for what software. Because that's not what they get paid for. They get paid for using the software, not for fixing it. But they are very well affected.

    Do you really think that the crashy tree maker just affects a handful users? That one is a showstopper bug. Or that the joypad does not have gravity is just interesting for some folks? That one is broken since 2.6 or even earlier. I've never seen it working. The workaround made me mad, and has cost me quite a few planned features because it made things really complicated. And yes, it is reported and known. The workaround by HiggyB dates back to 2009. Or that everybody is happy with Obj just comes proper in with maximum one texture? Or even such small things like the FBX import size of 0.01 that bugs masses of Unity users since eons?

    What you are basically saying here is that you will continue as usual, no matter what we users say. The half baked and broken features will remain half baked and broken as long as not a big company moans. And the big companies will not moan, but do workarounds instead. Because it is ways faster to fix it by themselves. They know how long a fix at Unity takes. Eons. Plus see above, they don't get paid for reporting bugs ...

    Purrfect strategy to don't fix bugs at all. And the number one reason why i don't buy commercial games anymore. They are usually close to unplayable. Just fixed to the point where the users doesn't moan too much. They already paid, so who cares. Unity is not this far away here, unfortunately.

    A bug should be fixed. No matter who reported the bug. Because it is usually the other way around. It's the professionals who benefits from the time that is invested by hobbyists and enthusiasts to find and report the bugs.

    One more thought. The time that you invest into sorting and priorizing what bug is worth to be fixed, in reading thousands and thousands of similar bug reports for the very same thing over the years, the time to get the "what is your favourite bug" quiz page running and mainainted, in short: the time that you invest to avoid bug fixing is much better invested into fixing the bugs. It is most probably ways less work to fix the bugs immediately when they appear.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
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