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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. ippdev

    ippdev

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Posts:
    3,853
    On subscription. I own Unity Pro. I have an oDesk account and was chosen as a top Unity dev by them. Hence, I get alot of requests to build for mobile come in from oDesk but have to turn them down as shelling out 3000.00USD all at once is not doable without suffering hunger or late bills like electricity and rent.. The subscription does not give me a way out of the 150.00USD a month and often I am not working in any given month on Unity projects at all..hence it is throwing money away I can eat with. Either a lower subscription for the various other platform modules or the ability to convert subscription fees into a discount on the purchase price of a full license at any given point would alleviate financial issues with being locked in to a schema that may or may not pay for itself via work done during a given month.

    On bugs. On a few contracts I have been made to look like bozo the clown in the eyes of the client and lost the contract or my dollar per hour ratio went from 30.00USD per hour invested to less than minimum wage..less than 10.00USD per hour...and was not due to my lack of scripting or module set-up knowledge. An example was early in the 4.0 cycle I made a custom avatar system for a client. Upon mirroring any animation the avatar jaw would pop open when the mirrored animation was triggered in Mecanim. The client owed me 2K USD and refused to pay until I fixed the jaw popping open. They did not care it was a bug and to replace all the animations that were mirrored was another two weeks. No explanation that I was not responsible and all code was correct did not fly with the client. They summarily yanked the contract and I faced eviction and lost the 2K plus the week I spent trying to get the jaw to remain closed so I could get paid. A few weeks later I saw the bug confirmed with other users confirming that it was not my work or lack of knowledge causing this..So..be aware that not fixing bugs costs developers their livelihood and puts enmity between them and their client or kills their shipping scheduling. Clients could give a hoot or holler about a bug..they want what they paid for. Devs looking to ship end up sitting on their hands awaiting fixes, again costing time=money.

    Best Regards
    Randy Blain
     
  2. Breyer

    Breyer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Posts:
    412
    I'm hobbyist and, particulary, asset maker , i very like Unity extension design and, simultanelously, very annoyed with that - im working on very powerfull localization tool which probably will be base for later dialog/quest system. Its not realese partially by that im lazy, im student on Faculty of Architecture, and very important for this topic - ocean of bugs in Unity (more words later). I'm in "Unity is too expensive" camp - but reason is simply - missing localize pricing - I live in Poland where currency ratio is something like 1$ : 3-3.5PLN and salary ratio is approximately 1:1 so i must pay 3-3.5x more than who live in USA or Western Europe



    My need is:

    -more transparent roadmap (i dont need promises i need only direction and approximately realese based on cycle - NOT date - like UNET is for 5.x)
    -more PRO licenses with pricing steps (like Indie PRO->PRO->Enterprise PRO) with smooth trasition pricing (e.g. if i bought Indie PRO for 500$ and, now, i need PRO for 1000$ then i should pay additional 500$ NOT 1000$). these steps have lower obligatory annual income (like Indie PRO ->10k $ per year, PRO-> 30k$ per year and so on)

    -more editor API (like overriding existing GUI window tool like Animator controller or animation window or simply possiblility of adding new GUI and functionality without possiblity of overriding) or possibility of open these tools via script (particulary Curves Editor window which exist in Shuriken tool- this editor can be VERY useful in some cases like Weather temperature random over year) or possibility of dock specific editor window via script (existing solution is close useless because it has huge limitiation - i can dock only first exist EditorWindow via script and other i must attach manually as far as i remember), reorderable list functionality like layer

    -Editor API bug-free - there are tons of bugs in existing editor which are very annoyed - like strange behaviour of Rect returned by EditorGUILayout.Begin*(), Z-fighting, completely disappearing GUILayout.Window, completely idiotic implementation CustomPropertyDawer for arrays - sorry for that rude but im shocked that noone predict that PropertyDrawer will be break toy if there wouldnt be any possiblity of completely overriding GUI, non-support for Generic class serialization, some small visual artifact - and so on, and so on.....

    EDIT oh and i forgot for obvious element - newer Mono or new powerful language which is company-dependency-free like c++

    - better editor GUI for better workflow - for example in Animator window i cant hide parameter list - if it become too long then i cant hide them and keep easy use window - of course its teoretical but what happen if we have big amount of parameters AND layers?... or bad positioned "plus" and "minus" button in reorderable list which should be moved to up instead of placing them in down of list (minus button should be inline with elemets of list) - reason is simply - when i need create 10 new elements or delete them, after every click i must move mouse or have to click on elements then click minus button instead of fast and repeat click on button - its very small benefits of course but imagine that u must use bad-designed GUI million times in development process.....

    sorry for some hard-understandable words but im not englishman....
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  3. arkon

    arkon

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Posts:
    1,122
    Ok seeing as you are asking about us and maybe listening…

    My name is Paul and I gave up normal paid employment as a games designer software engineer of 25 years to create indie games full time as a one man band. I primarily decided to use unity as it was cross platform for mobile and desktop which is what I wanted (with a bias towards IOS mobile)

    Well it's been a struggle, I have half a dozen games now live on 3 platforms and my combined income from them means that the for me huge cost of Unity Pro plus Android and IOS amounts to about 5% of the revenue I make! How ironic is that.

    In a nutshell I'm using unity now to maintain my existing games while now using Unreal Engine for the next games on Mac, IOS and Android, Unity is frankly too expensive for Pro + pro platforms and yes any self respecting indie realising games doesn't want the unity logo on the splash screen! This is the ONLY reason I

    I'm not a great fan of subscription models but the UE price over 2 years is only $480 for pro everything is just a way better deal for me. I feel Unity blackmails me into upgrading because I target mobile and if you don't upgrade you start to not be able to target those platforms any more as Apple and Google don't sit still. I've only recently upgraded to 4.x from 3.x because the list of hoops I had to jump through to release stuff was getting longer and longer.

    My ideal price to stay with Unity is either $240 per year plus 5% royalty same as UE and for that you get pro everything, with no cost when you upgrade, intact there shouldn't be upgrades, just a perpetual development. I don't really care if it's monthly or a yearly cost.

    Or say $1000 per year for pro everything with no royalties.

    I also think the support from staff on the forums is woefully inadequate. We shouldn't have to rely on the good will of other users to try and help us.

    Lastly, there is so much that unity does not do out of the box that it's incredibly annoying to have to rely on 3rd party plugins for basic stuff like iAD, IAP, Admob, Game Center, Sensor input, Fracture objects, decent materials and shaders for mobile, oh and social stuff like Facebook, twitter etc. A decent GUI without needing to buy NGUI or TK2d etc. Particle effects libraries optimised for mobile and same again for desktop. Secure player prefs, spline editors, decent 1st and 3rd person controllers etc etc, the list goes on...
     
  4. Kylotan

    Kylotan

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Posts:
    212
    A developer's time is expensive, so what you would do is have a community manager observe the various forum threads, watch for common issues or problems that can be easily resolved by a developer and not easily resolved by the community, and produce some sort of report which can be passed to developers, directing them at the relevant threads. That way you know that time spent on the forums by developers is useful and targeted.

    Think of it as QA for the community. Decide which 'bugs' to prioritise and assign developers accordingly.
     
  5. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Posts:
    1,813
    Well, it appears to be incredibly easy to accidentally bug out the dynamic font and what you end up with is a horrible mess of garbage glyphs. Same thing appears to happen when you hit the texture limit, by the way - I'm not entirely sure what should be done in that case, maybe throw a descriptive error so we at least know what's going on?
    If these aren't bugs, and are actually just user error, some kind of "best practice" for using dynamic fonts with self-rolled text renderers would be helpful. Doesn't need to go into nitty-gritty details, just describe the general process of text rendering in order to avoid any potential issues.

    Actually one idea to solve the maximum texture size issue that I would really love is the ability to have "multi-page" dynamic fonts - so maybe you define a maximum page texture size like 1024 or something. When a glyph is added to a page, if it would exceed the maximum size it gets added to the next available page - so instead of just bugging out and generating garbage glyphs, it creates a new texture page. Then I could look up which texture a particular glyph is located in. This should be optional, but could be very useful indeed. AFAIK this is what Steam does for their font rendering (if you watch the console logs you can see it creating new font pages)
     
  6. jonas-echterhoff

    jonas-echterhoff

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Posts:
    1,666
    You are right, but there are some tradeoffs involved. If there is a feature we think is too slow to use in practice, but we ship it anyways, that means:
    -Bigger distribution sizes for everyone, even if nobody is using the feature
    -More support load for us (fix/work around GPU driver bugs for the feature, explain to people that this feature we have is actually to slow to use).

    Apple might have dropped 10.6 support (they want to sell new machines), but from what we are seeing, it has still been 15% of mac web player users in the last quarter, so not quite insignificant - and I often see comments praising us for supporting old hardware, so some people obviously care.

    As for supporting both GL 2.1 and GL 4.x, I don't believe it is that simple (but I am not a gfx programmer). I think we should rather drop 10.6 support soon-ish (but not quite yet).

    I assume because it's not easy to do, and because nobody has done it. It probably can be done, but then I'd argue there are more pressing issues (many of which are mentioned in this thread) to work on.

    So, I understand your frustration, but it's not like we are holding back features because we don't want to give them to you :)
     
  7. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

    Administrator

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    Jun 2, 2009
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    4,287
    Believe me, there is a gazillion people listening.
     
  8. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

    Administrator

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    @Aurore does that every day of the week. And has been for two years.
     
  9. eskimojoe

    eskimojoe

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Posts:
    1,440
    Make it easier to manage serial numbers.

    Here's our Xamarin license page for our non-game employees.


    1. They are linked by email addresses. So I just add their email addresses and they are activated. See? No need to give or send serial numbers.

    Leaving our company? Just press the 'Remove' button.


    2. Need for IP addresses for new activations and deactivations. This is to prevent our serial numbers being abused or misused by rouge employees.
     
  10. jonas-echterhoff

    jonas-echterhoff

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
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    This should not happen. Can you refer a bug #, so I can take a look?

    Wait, but we do throw a descriptive error in that case, don't we?

    This is possible, but would add a lot of complexity, of course. I'm wondering: Is the case of characters not fitting into a texture actually something you hit in real life? We allow font textures to go up to 4096x4096 - that should be enough to hold all characters you can fit onto a screen for any reasonable resolution available these days. So, how come you need more character space then that? Can you explain your use case?
     
  11. LAUDSOFT

    LAUDSOFT

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Posts:
    102
    I advocate the watermark idea as well. There's lots of software out there that do this and I think it just works.
     
  12. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Posts:
    1,813
    Actually, eskimojoe raises a good point I think.

    Unity should really be more team friendly in general, both for Unity licenses AND for Asset Store product licenses (in cases where license is per seat).

    We should be able to purchase and keep track of multiple Unity licenses individually. New employee? Register license to that employee. Employee leaves or is fired? Take license away from that employee, give it to next employee. Same for purchased assets that are per-seat.
     
  13. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

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    Jun 28, 2011
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    1.) Isn't this a well-known error? I know Michael Lyashenko was ranting about it a while back, and how it was difficult to actually submit a good repro case. He mentioned that they would probably be re-doing the font rendering for UGUI, but that remains to be seen.

    2.) Nope. Or at least not that I've seen.

    3.) 4096 is great, but mobile chipsets are generally limited to 2048, as are some low-end PC graphics cards (I know Rust has encountered some similar issues on low-end PCs which only supported 2048px textures - Game Over text would get completely bugged out)

    EDIT: And even 4096 isn't really enough with just one texture.
    Think of it this way - if you use a particular font throughout your game, you'll get to a point where eventually you will have had to fit every character you use at any point in your UI. This gets worse as you have different font sizes and styles. It gets EVEN WORSE when you use Kanji sets and such. I think a multi-page solution is more bookkeeping but is definitely the way to go.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  14. pierrepaul

    pierrepaul

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Posts:
    162
    Hi there!


    We are constantly improving Mecanim - like AnimationEvents / Play API / Performance / OverrideControllers to name a few that where added in 4.3.

    For 5.0 we want to add the following :

    StateMachineBehaviours -> can add script function for OnStateEnter / OnStateUpdate/ On StateExit etc.. Which fixes the "no events on state changes" hole :). I think this really opens up a world of possibility!
    Creation API -> Can create and edit Controllers, StateMachines, BlendTrees etc with script
    StateMachine Transitions -> StateMachine now have Entry and Exit nodes. Transtions can now be done from a StateMachine to another ! Makes StateMachine re-usable and self contained.
    RootMotion authoring -> can convert animation curves to root motion - deltaAnimation.
    DirectBlendTree -> a new type of blendTree that allow direct control over animation weights. Works super well with blend shapes ( blend shapes where added in 4.3 btw!)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
    Wahooney likes this.
  15. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Posts:
    800
    Hey maltadirk! Thanks a lot for this reminder, decided to switch tasks today and jump in and get some of this stuff made - the first one I just finished is up on youtube now, covering the 2D Sprint Joint. Will stay late tonight and get some more of this done and we have some other guys working on a couple of the others - sorry for missing these in our tutorials for 2D! we must've got too distracted having fun with physics! This one's for you!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvHB1fsRadQ

    More to come..
     
  16. Wahooney

    Wahooney

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Posts:
    281
    @pierrepaul: Sounds awesome!
     
  17. jonas-echterhoff

    jonas-echterhoff

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
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    1,666
    I remember Michael talking about this to me. It turned out to be an issue in some particular android GPU drivers, for which we have added a workaround (I believe in 4.5).

    It does show an error for me. Try creating a GUI Text with a character of size 5000. Maybe you are looking at a different problem?

    But, then, still the same question: on those low-end machines, why would you need more then 2048x2048 pixels of text? It is unlikely that the screen actually has more pixels then that, so why would you need them? (I'm not arguing against it, just trying to understand the use case).
     
  18. maltadirk

    maltadirk

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Posts:
    43
    @willgoldstone Actually looking into what the community needs. Man you guys at Unity rock!
    Much appreciated Will ;) I look forward to watching them.
     
  19. tswalk

    tswalk

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Posts:
    1,109
    Answer:
    I'm new to game development, but not development in general. I have spent the past 14 years in IT where I was involved in small sprint development solutions using procedurally based languages to solve enterprise issues, on a global scale (C, ASP, HTML, JS, VB). Prior to this, I was a certified Alias animator. So, I have a weird background coming to this but I have similar core capabilities that apply to game development. How I got here was a matter of choice as I was granted a small startup fund by Nokia via their employment transition services (unemployment opportunity :? ) a little over 18 months ago. The first 6 to 8 months of that time I spent retraining my 3D skills from long ago and learning C# development (among other things). I'm now 9 months into my first game and applying that mantra of continuous learning. So, I would say I'm pretty green here, but....

    I'm going to cherry pick some of your points and provide my view as an independent developer, working on their first title (3D).



    Answer:
    I think it's affordable. I really do not see any reason after reviewing other engines why the base professional license model should change unless your major release cycle is less than 20 months, in which Pro license owners are being over-charged for the same product that they could "lease" for a lower expense. In that situation, having the ability at a later point in time (for non-subscription licenses) to retake development without requiring the subscription is a minor benefit, but the lack of concurrency in the product (updates) is a huge detriment. In other words, if for some arbitrary reason I stopped development with Unity in the near future and choose to do something else with my life, I more than likely would not pick up that old version of my non-subscription license to "feel out" the product again. I would just simply grab your latest free version and start swinging away, but more than likely would have moved on with life and not looked back.

    With regards to the free version. You sure give a lot away.. honestly, why the hell people are complaining so damn much about not having a gray background or a splash screen is the most ridiculous thing to cry about I could ever imagine considering how much they can actually do with the free product. In my personal opinion, the free product needs to be reined in... as in, no more free publishing and cut back on how many platforms you can develop for with it. Trim it down... a lot, but yet give enough scope to it for people to get a good understanding of how Unity works. It should be a jump start to see what you think before going to a subscription level (which would give you the bells and whistles). People will bitch and moan about that (probably those that are publishing crap games with the free version), but tuff titties in my opinion.. you want to make a living doing this, then pull your big-boy pants up and get a subscription.

    Pro trial license? The 30 day trial was honestly to me, not long enough to get a good understanding of the entire scope of the product capabilities. And that was probably because I dove head first from ground zero... and face planted. But, it really doesn't need to be any longer than 30. In my case, I should have probably stuck to the free version for a couple of more months while doing the training, and exploring/prototyping certain things. But that's ok for me, it lit a fire under my ass to be productive.

    The watermark idea is a terrible idea, you know someone will figure out a way to circumvent it.

    If you want to offer a royalty based sub-level, then do it. Just make sure, when I do my math and match it to yours, that all the levels of cost are fair and equitable. I want you guys to be successful as much as you want me to be.... That's one reason why I choose to get the perpetual license, I considered it an investment in my future and a means to help support you while you make great tools to help me get there. win-win.



    Answer:
    Being free is the least of one's worries when entering that realm... getting into the realm is the hard part.


    Answer:
    ya, adding that extra dimension is definitely a huge leap... more time, more tools, more work.


    oh hell no...no no no no. Keep working on your product. If it is a team leader, perhaps they can write more articles like this:
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2012/10/25/unity-serialization/

    with follow-ups like this:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/155352-Serialization-Best-Practices-Megapost

    I do not see any reason to be much more than that... the occasional, "hey, I poked my head in your thread to guide you" is ok.. is actually quite surprising, but we (as the community) should know that is rare (but welcome) and should be involved and support one another. Will people lurk, and milk whatever they can without giving back.. sure. Welcome to the Internet. Some people were lurkers before it, I think they called them peeping-toms or something.




    Answer:
    I guess a subscription is ok, if that is my only choice AND the value proposition is the same as any other option. In other words, if having a subscription means I pay more over the same time period of the product use versus having perpetual license ownership over the same given period... I would take the perpetual license. The time period after stopping the lease or perpetual license usage is moot. If you move to subscription and free only propositions, I can understand why as it's the trend right now for software.

    Answer:
    it's a trap, I seriously do not believe this will benefit the competitor in the long run... just look over time at open source history and see how slow it is to make major changes and all of the fragmentation that occurs because of it. In the long run it will be bad.

    btw, I think it is almost laughable that people got a hook in the jaw over that and are now basically for free, fixing UE4's product and are actually paying UE4 to do it... wow, let's see how long that lasts.


    Answer:
    Even though you have most of the API documented, it is really.. really difficult to get a grip on certain things like "tool" development. If I were to make an analogy of it, it is like dropping me in the middle of the Ardennes and saying "with this tree, tie a rope around it and walk 100 meters in any direction to find the next "correct" tree to tie it too,... but we're not going to say what direction and which tree, you have to guess until you find the right one before moving onto the next." Honestly, that is how I feel some times.

    And the biggest deal with tool development for me is... you have all of this API sitting there, yet no tool to help me put even a simple interface together to make a tool? I have to scour the API with small samples in this or that language and poke pixels for a button around until I can mash a few lines of code together to make an interface.. for a custom tool, that I need to build my game or to framework a manager or data. argh! That is a killer of time... so perhaps a RAD tool, to help me make a tool would be beneficial in reducing my development cycle. It doesn't have to be so robust that it does everything little thing, but something with enough meat to get past the nitty little S*** that we should be years past in tool development already. Maybe this would help tool makers make more stuff for the asset store too that is somewhat consistent for the platform.. cause wow, I see a wide variety of crap sometimes there.
     
  20. PhobicGunner

    PhobicGunner

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Posts:
    1,813
    You'd think so, but still it happens that we run out of space (as I mentioned, it happens in Rust on low-end machines)
    At the very least, it would help to separate text by style and size. That would at least mitigate the texture space issue, and would also reduce the bookkeeping needed to keep track of the texture pages.
     
  21. Wolfos

    Wolfos

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Posts:
    961
    Unity already has this kind of watermark in the student version. Basically this would turn the free version into the student version.

    I agree having this, but the pro version should be significantly cheaper then, because as it is currently the $4500 or $225 a month (Unity Pro + 2 mobile platforms) would be a gigantic step for someone just starting out. A lot of mobile products simply won't make back that investment even, or it will take a significant dent out of their earnings. Unreal might not be better in the long run, but when just starting out it's choosing between something you can afford and something that you can't possibly afford, and then Unity simply isn't an option.
     
  22. NTDC-DEV

    NTDC-DEV

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Posts:
    593
    Background

    First off, and to echo the general sentiment here, I would like to thank you for doing this. Other than Unite (went to Montreal and Vancouver it was awesome!), direct communication with the community felt very dry proportionally to the size in the last few years.

    Professionally, I'm the lead developer for MS&T projects, in my department, working for the government. My relationship with Unity is a bit exotic; I'm leading what can be called a very small indie studio within an enterprise concept. We mainly build 3D simulations for eLearning, delivered through Web due to the requirement of needing a LMS.

    Hobby-wise, I'm working on a side project with a 3D artist aimed for mobile desktop. We are at the prototyping stage and using Unity Free.

    In total, I've been using Unity for over 4 years now, since version 2.6.4. Before my current job, I was a front-end Web and Flash developer in the private sector. I essentially went from doing web dev. to doing serious games dev.


    Pricing / Value / Subscription

    Enterprise perspective; Throughout my years of working for the government, I've learnt that patience is not only a virtue but it's also a necessity for not losing your mind. We don't update often, simple software buying takes half a year and most of the time we cannot buy from the Asset Store as it's a license and bureaucratic hell. That is on top of justifying left right any acquisition with ROI... so R&D (testing a 20$ plugin) is out of the question.

    The conclusion is that we cannot use the subscription model. The licenses need to be perpetual or we just won't buy it. Also, contrary to the popular belief, each (tax-payer) dollar counts. My unit (and myself) react very badly to price gouging just because we're "The Government" and we won't hesitate to switch boat if required. That said, I believe that Unity saved more public funds than any other solution out there so we're grateful for the product you're developing. I just wanted to put that on the table as a warning... We've had our share of dealings with product providers that lose all sense of value and start pressure-sell on us.

    Hobby perspective; Unity Free has a lot of usefulness. I really cannot argue against it and most people underestimate what can be done with it. Once it's time to switch to Pro, I think the 9k$ license is going to hurt a lot (Pro + Android + iOS x2) so the subscription model is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Value:

    - Pro License; I believe that there is a way to address the comments about opening Unity's development road map more AND adding value.

    Proposition: Give access to the Beta / Alpha testing groups to _all_ Pro users by default.

    The rationale is that, if you've invested into a Pro license, you are much less likely to generate noise, which is the main argument against allowing _everyone_ (incl. Free users) into the Testing Groups. Right now, those testing groups are quite exclusive and under NDA to not share any information. I think that NDA should be revoked. It will then allow Free users to get indirect feedback from Pro users testing new features in those future versions (feed the need of knowing the road map) while at the same time giving the Pro users a good head's up on what's coming up. That is, on top of adding value of having a Pro license.

    - Team License; It's good to hear that the UAS is being revamped. However, right now, I think the of 500$ team-license for just having the cache server is quite lack-luster in terms of value... borderline insulting. The Asset Server is useless even dangerous for professional work with big projects.

    When free solutions (Plastic SCM, Git, SVN) are more stable and offer more features (branching, locking, visual graphs, code review)... charging money for a broken software feels unprofessional. To be fair; kudos for the Cache Server. It's great.

    - WebGL(possible) License; Understanding that it is Google's fault for pushing you into WebGL, the message I'm receiving from Unity is that in order to publish to _all_ the browser (my professional bread and butter), I will now have to pay an extra cost compared to before.

    A similar analogy would be Apple creating for iOS 8 an offshoot of iOS for iPad only, and Unity splits the iOS license into 2 in order to publish to iOS 8 (iPhone) iOS 8 (iPad). Is it fair for the users? No. Is it fair for you as a business to make it free? No. But in the end, the customer gets less value for the same amount of money.

    Proposition: Make WebGL publishing a Pro feature.

    I think it is a good middle-ground of "lose-lose" (or win-win, depending on your point of view) where the Pro user gets more value for the same $ and Unity doesn't look greedy.


    General Comments

    - In the future, I would wish to see a Web Player - Editor compatibility chart. The reason is that we have an enterprise-level web player license. It's standalone, doesn't communicate with your servers and contain all the runtimes up to version x.x.0. The problem is that patches (x.x.1, x.x.2, x.x.3, x.x.4) don't always affect the runtimes and the webplayer x.x.0 _can_ run content generated from the editor x.x.4 for example. Unfortunately, it's very much unofficial, undocumented and trial-based.

    - Another request; please evaluate the absolute minimum requirement version for the new sample assets. I understand it's easy to just stamp on "use the latest version" but then again, some of your users don't have the luxury to use/install the latest Unity version. It would be appreciated that you could follow the same standards that most asset-store content providers do; which is to set a "real" minimum requirement version on your sample assets in order to reach the highest number of users.


    Conclusion

    I've been following your growth closely, trying to guess Unity's direction, gauge the competition, dig up the gems that your developers post on Twitter... and I'm proud to say that I'm a Unity developer.

    For the long haul, my hope is that you find a way to balance a philosophy where you manage to stay flexible for cutting-edge projects while also providing long-term conscious effort to support (the less fortunate) 'legacy - long term' projects.

    Thank you.

    (edit: formatting and precisions)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  23. 3agle

    3agle

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Posts:
    508
    That's a tad negative, don't you think?

    Surely you should be pleased that you get to appreciate bug fixes and new features faster than normal because others are contributing to development?
    Nobody says you have to be the one doing the fixes.
     
  24. Grungi_Ankhfire

    Grungi_Ankhfire

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Posts:
    5
    I am part of a small team (~5) of hobbyist developers. We work in the evening and weekends on our first 'bigger' game using Unity Free, a turn-based survival horror game in 3D :)

    As far as price go, since we develop for desktop OSes (Linux/Windows/Mac OSX), the price seems fair. Of course, we long for some of the unity Pro features (especially the lighting/dynamic shadows and fullscreen effects), but all in all we make do with the limitations of Free until we can buy the several licenses needed for us... (That's maybe the biggest hurdle, since we will need to all have the money for that at the same time, but what can you do :D).

    I have a hard time seeing how you could do that in a viable way... The small watermark would be a good idea maybe for hooking people on those sweet Pro features, but if I think about our case, we would need to buy the licenses before releasing the game, which would still be too expensive for us as hobbyists (again, taking into account the fact that we will need at least 2 licenses for the devs, plus maybe 1 for one of the artists who might do some level design inside Unity itself). A royalty scheme could work, but I'm not well-versed into the legal aspect of it to really have a firm point of view on this.

    We might be making games targeted at the desktop for the ease of it, but if/when we get the chance to go Pro, consoles provide very, very interesting targets for us!

    I think many teams or individuals embarking into the making of 3D games might bite more than they can really chew. I know that even though we had a solid plan and ideas about what we needed to do to take our game from Ludum Dare entry to full game, it is still the case. So probably that explains why the completion rate is better for 2D games? We plan on doing both 2D and 3D games though, depending on the genre we want to tackle. And by the way, we are from Belgium :D

    I for one am pretty happy with the communication from you guys so far... Would I be bombarded with sneak peeks at future features and such, I would be too tempted to "wait just a bit more, because this would be SO USEFUL" every time... ^^; Targeted answers to direct questions are good, but I don't trust myself to keep my head down and just get things done if shiny things are unveiled or discussed all the time :D

    I plan on using Unity for quite some time, and honestly the subscription model doesn't appeal to me AT ALL. If it was a "subscribe until you've paid off the license (and then some)" it would be something, but else it's just over my budget, and I wouldn't like to feel pressured to use Unity because else it is money lost... With an upgrade model, which has its own downsides, I can choose to skip a version or not, and I feel generally more in control. Not to mention, if I have one game that does well and lets me afford a Pro license, I could continue making games without having the pressure of needing to make enough money off of them to pay for the subscription.

    So, yeah, I have never been a fan of subscriptions models that, when I quit, leave me with nothing. And I understand you couldn't let people who cancel after 2, 3 or even 6 months keep the Pro software either... Maybe what could be done is that if you cancel after having "paid off" a regular license, you get to keep the latest version at the time of the cancellation? That would sound much sweeter to me, while encouraging people to stay subscribed longer to get newer versions. And maybe returning subscribers could have half the "value" of their latest subscription (not the ones before) count towards that "keep the latest version" total? It's a bit of bookkeeping, but prevents people sporadically subscribing to get the newer version and then cancelling again (well, potentially it could happen once, but then the next time it would start again from basically zero). I hope that makes sense? Don't hesitate to ask me to clarify :D

    We actually do not see the need to access Unity's source code, at least for now. But, of course, that might open the door to a Linux version of the editor, soooo... :p

    Scope creep, without a doubt! That and managing to have time to actually do the things we want to! So mostly things outside the scope of our tools and such :) If anything, Unity has made us capable of making the game we are currently working on, so kudos for that!

    And thanks for being this open to the community, this thread is a real breath of fresh air! So happy to be able to have a voice :)

    -Grungi, from GSM Productions
     
  25. asancio

    asancio

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Posts:
    3
    Full time mobile developer here, i'm ok with Unity prices, what i don't like is:

    1) If we buy iOS Pro or/and Android PRO we shouldn't be forced to buy Unity PRO base too or we should get the base features automatically.. having to pay 75$ for something we'll never use doesn't make much sense. The more addons Unity will add, the more it get will expensive and hard too manage. A 150$ month get everything subscription would be great.

    2) 12 Months subscription is too much, 6 months would be a lot better, and almost all the contracts we get are 6 months contracts.

    3) The asset server should be part of Unity PRO, not paid as a standalone product (or at least until it get improved, right now is very lacking).

    4) Lately the editor has been very unstable, tons of crashes both on Mac and Window. Would be great to have faster bugfixes, and a download without the included demo.

    Said this, i've recently upgraded to Unity PRO, i trust Unity and i love using it, but there are many aspects that could be improved and that could make our life much easier.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  26. kappische

    kappische

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Posts:
    1
    I have used Unity since 2.6 and I like most parts of it. I have only worked as an "artist" and done very little coding in Unity. Some of the things I have written has already been touched upon, but I just want to re-iterate.

    When I have worked with the coders their biggest issues has been that not all things are accessible through script (for instance shuriken modules is almost completely inaccessible), classes not being fully documented.
    It is impossible to fix bugs yourself when you find them and know what causes them. Assume you want to go to a new platform, you need to wait for Unity and there is no way of doing this yourself. If you are lucky, one of the Unity devs pick up your bug report and fixes it. I think that having updates for parts of the engine would be great, so you don't need to wait for huge updates to be able to update.

    Pricing for consoles is very high - and there is no real understanding what things cost for consoles. You could save devs tonnes of time (and your sales people) if there was a price that was reasonable and easy to understand =D

    I love that you can change variables in play mode on the fly, but would also like to save values. This helps being more creative and explore new things with your game concepts.

    Sometimes the recompile in play mode works, or it crashes the editor. It has been shaky for years. Seems to be mostly broken rather than working. Haven't been able to reproduce properly, but crashes seem to happen more often/always when project is big and nearing completion.

    I would love to see some more openness from the devs (roadmap) and trying to understand what is coming up next for Unity.
    I really like how Unreal completely went "open source". This give you great freedom in understanding what is going on under the hood, but also, you are able to fix bugs that could be show stoppers. This also gives you the possibility of porting to new platforms if you want.

    The license model is tricky for teams.
     
  27. Breyer

    Breyer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Posts:
    412

    WOW! i cant wait for 5.0 now ;) good idea and this partially fill my request for more (editor) API. I'm only worry about half implemented possibility (e.g. cannot create some Mecanim features via script but other yes)..... if it wouldnt be pushed to 5.x cycle then i think these changes can completely replace legacy animation and probably Unity 6.0 delete them......
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  28. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Posts:
    3,821
    I'm a one-man grass-roots developer who spends about two hours a day on my project(s). I haven't made much money on my projects, actually (about 16 Euros through Wooglie, about $8 USD through other portals.)

    My suggestions:
    1) I don't think that you have to go with a royalty-based Pro scheme, in addition to everything else. Why nof offer a la carte purchase of features? I for one would love to buy the capability to perform post-processing effects like Depth of Field, as that's something I can use, immediately. Additionally, it allows me to buy new features as they become relevant to my needs, which profits me (I can make better stuff) and profits you (you get paid for your hard work sooner.)

    2) While the Asset Store steps in to cover some gaps in Unity's capabilities - gaps that it would not be appropriate for a general-purpose game engine to cover in most cases, such as RPG kits, specific assets, etc. - there are some great packages that I don't understand why they aren't standardized parts of Unity. Among them, ProBuilder, one of the node-based shader solutions, some would say NGUI (though I would disagree) are noted to be particularly prolific and of general use. I think having some official resources dedicated to reliably maintaining these generally-useful official assets would be a good inroads to making the Asset Store not such a scary place. It's the wild west out there! Every time I find myself relying on the Asset Store, I try to do so as little as possible.

    3) Forums upgrade. I would put an asterisk by this, because communication is one of the things that sadly Unity Tech dosen't seem to do well, and even our community discourse is regularly disrupted by spammers (like our friend, the Arabic Washing Machine Spammer). We can't control the circumstances under which you reach out to us with updates or questions - nor should we, that's totally a part of your business needs - but the venue of communication has needed work. Word is that is in progress, but it honestly can't come soon enough.

    4) 'Don't let your questions fester.' A coworker of mine gave me that piece of advice today on something completely unrelated to Unity, but I think this is good for Unity too. Asking us questions like this is something that could really help you to avoid some issues, or insights on to what you can improve (for instance the Asset Store. Boy oh boy the Asset Store.) Reach out to us more. Sure, there's plenty of dicks who will do nothing but gripe at you incessantly because Call of Duty: 12-year-old Warfare wasn't made in Unity, but those really are the loud minority; I don't think most of us who use the tool and do stuff mind talking over our problems, concerns, and affirmations for the engine.

    5) Above and beyond the community forums, something that would help me as a hobbyist game developer is soe form of talent development. While this is a hobby for me, it's a hobby I want to make some money off of (that way, I can buy more advanced features from you!) I'm not really aware of any resources to develop talent, though. I realize it's a huge order - a good degree of talent is usually inherent to a person - but talent is also something that comes through practice, training, critique, and challenge. Your 'Learn' section teaches people how to use the engine, which is well and good, but it doesn't teach you ways to compete with your fellow developers, or provided a unified body of knowledge for how to get out of the starting gates. Perhaps this is a possible expansion of the Learn section. This is just something that, as a relative beginner I would like to see. It would also help me to spend more time on my projects - 8 hours a day! - if I were able to make some sort of actual income from game development.

    5 Addendum) Gigi's thread is probably the most-referred to piece of advice on this whole community for new game developers. I think that post alone is a great starting place for a 'how to succeed at game development' section.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  29. tswalk

    tswalk

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Posts:
    1,109
    Negative? not at all. Knowing their history, and seeing past the thin vale of "faster is better"... its' the wrong direction and misuse of paying customers. So to me, it just speaks volumes on their core value (yes, a moral stand).
     
  30. faKy

    faKy

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Posts:
    1
    I'm a free mobile developer. Most of the time i can work on my own game project.
    For now i'm working with libGDX, an open source Framework for crossplatform mobile games.
    I thought that i should accelerate my speed in designing the game. Thats why i thought Unity would be great cause of its visual aspect against libGDX.

    Unfortunately you pushed a basic feature into the Pro Licence. Framebuffers/Render Textures are commonly used since ever.
    This is not an add on. Its Basic! I was about to join the Pro Club, until i realized that i have to pay the fee for each platform.
    Pay for each Platform on a crossplatform Engine is kind of a joke.

    You should offer special WYSIWYG tools like a shader creator or the Animation Manager to the Pro ones. They need to save time throughout your tools. Until i'm not earning money with it, i have enough time. But when it starts to get professional, than i need special analytic tools, and better workflows.

    For now as an independent developer there is no reason anymore in using unity. Maybe thats what you want. I got back to libGDX
     
  31. prophet

    prophet

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Posts:
    211
    I am a hobbyist developer and work in the QA/Testing industry for software with the goals to eventually quit being lazy and finish a game in a timely fashion in efforts to sell.

    I personally am not a fan of subscription. I want to own the software so I can keep using software if I hit a rough patch and can't afford the subscription. I don't like tying up money every month. People like me, if Free is removed, will leave. It's a great hobby tool and I love it, but I don't make a living with it and could not justify 20 to 30 a month. I would go and find a tool I could pay for once or get for free.

    I personally like the current setup, but think some pricing changes would be good for pro or maybe people having more options for the features they pay for. I hate the fact that you have to buy Pro and then by mobile Pro. There are plenty of people with no interest on desktop release and should be able to pay less to soley release to mobile with Pro.
     
  32. TheDMan

    TheDMan

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Posts:
    205
    I was part of a medium sized studio that used Unity, and that was bought out some time back. I consider myself to have two jobs right now, one that pays the bills and the other that does not. My day job is as a programmer, and I do use Unity for certain projects. My other "job" is developing my projects whenever I have extra time, whether it be on the weekends, evenings, holidays.


    First I want to say its absolutely great you guys reached out like this. It brings back the old feel of UT, and that is wonderful. Absolutely keep us informed of what you guys are working on. I remember how great it was seeing the UT staff talk about the cool personal things and ideas they worked on Fridays. And please, keep informing us, even of things you consider were a mistake. I'd rather hear you guys say "S***, that was an awful idea, wtf where we thinking" then to have your mouthpiece/fanboys come and try to detract the mistake and make it go away. I can respect a mistake, we all make them. What I cant respect is silence and attempts to spin something in favor just because.

    What I want to see happen with Unity is to go back to your roots of offering very user friendly and no hassle workflows. So just keep doing that. It's what drew me to Unity the first time. Back then you had to jump through hoops in other engines just to import a model, but with Unity it was easy-peasy! The workflows and procedures were just logical and made sense.


    Now I want to state what I think is a huuuge misconception that seems to pervade the community and UT as well. That is the perception that those who have released games/projects are somehow going to be successful and make enough to purchase Pro. This I think holds back an honest look on the reality of how things actually are. There are plenty on here who have shipped projects that made little to nothing at all. Its the nature of the beast. I think its best it be viewed as a skewed curve where the majority will make little to nothing, and only a small percentage at the top will make enough ... say $2000 or more. It has nothing to do with good project vs bad projects, its just purely hit or miss with many factors that can lay out of the developers control. So when you say "nearly all who completed projects think its cheap" is completely out to park and not realistic, and I think what you mean is "all medium to large studios, and those who had hits, think its cheap".



    The pricing, I say is disconnected from its users. No one ever mentions it but student pricing is way too much and I know students must feel really hesitant shelling out that much. They are usually the most cash strapped of all users. Personally I think the $1500 price tag isnt totally outrageous, but there needs to be options to make it reachable to many. Very few will just have $1500 to spend for it in one lump sum. I know many will scream "what about credit, loans, etc". Well if they are like me, I dont have a credit card. Never have, and never will. I dont want it and I there is never a reason I will get one, period. So you need options. A subscription is good, but not at its current price (at least not for a license that you'll never "own"). What you have to take into account is getting the everyday joe schmoe who is not a developer but wants to tinker around into paying the subscription non-stop. Forget focusing on successful developers for a pricing model. Developers will always be there, the joe schmoe may not. If you can hook him into it, then you'll know for sure you'll hook the serious developers in. So focus on what the average everyday person can afford. Like I have said before, I'm not going to pay monthly on Unity what I pay less for on certain monthly living expenses such as: gas, heating, or electricity. Owing a license is important. Because people like to own what they pay for, if they dont own it then they will simply see it as a complete ripoff. So Unity should be very mindful of pricing and trends because it doesnt take much for a user base to get angry and completely shift away and simply pirate the software. I've seen it happen, and I've seen it ruin businesses almost overnight.


    Whether Unity is open source or closed source I really dont care. I really dont want to spend time digging through source code when I could spend it elsewhere on the project. But it has drawbacks of having to wait for bug fixes that may impact on progress. So with open source I see there can be big benefits of open sources such as having users contribute their energy and time to fix bugs or create additions, thus simply the sheer manpower is a huge plus.


    The stuck in development thing, I dont know, I think thats a personal issue for most. But something that could help is integrating a lot of the great tools found in the Asset Store into Unity directly. I know its a complex thing to do, but maybe it doesnt have to be directly integrated. Maybe it can simply come with Tool X and Tool B, and cut the tool developers in on a percentage if they keep on developing the tool and keeping it up to date. That way you dont have to manage it directly.
     
  33. 3agle

    3agle

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Posts:
    508
    At the end of the day, your opinion is your own.
    I can't help but feel a bit of bias there though, the current development of UE4 in relation to it's open source nature has been nothing but a success, nothing indicates that is due to change.

    But each to their own.
     
  34. bibbinator

    bibbinator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Posts:
    507
    Sorry was away for dinner :)

    Thanks everybody for all the posts!

    @Tiles

    Yeah, we need to do something about the voting. We're discussing the best way to make user feedback actionable in such a system.

    @attilam

    The new GUI is coming in the 4.x series. Turns out GUI is hard and it's simply taking a lot of time for us to get something we can all be happy with. Even then, it's a start and will evolve over time. But it's been in beta for a while and it's a real feature :)

    My name is Brett Bibby, probably easiest to see my public LinkedIn profile.

    @greggman

    We want to get better at this as Andeeeee mentioned.

    @jemast

    We have some starter kits that have been planned for a while now but haven't been included yet while we redesign/fix our "home" screen. The starter kits are production quality examples of how to implement common game genres. They show best-practices and are lightweight with minimal art to jumpstart your own creations. We hope to ship at least a couple of these with a new home screen coming to Unity 5 series.

    @ShadowK

    We would love to have a look at your project and do some benchmarking to better see where you're bumping up against limits in Unity. We're always on the lookout for big projects that push Unity so we can understand real world use-cases better. If it's something you can do, please contact me on PM so we can take a look. As for your general list, some of the things like mono, physics upgrades and 64 bit editor are coming in Unity 5. Noted on your other points.

    @Changchun

    Yes, Unity is huge in China. Unity was used more than 1.6 million times in the past 30 days in China. It's staggering. Noted on the payment issues. It's something our China team is always working to make better.

    @0tacun

    It's a good point. Often having a profiler can help find problems that especially new users face. Noted on your thoughts. Thanks.

    @AmazingRuss

    Do you have any suggestions for tools that run well on both Mac and Windows, and hopefully Linux too? A popular one is Sublime Text, what do you think of that? What do you think of using one tool for editing and another for debugging?

    @Mikie

    I'm sorry you regret your purchase. And I'm glad you seem happy with your choice of UE4. Our industry needs all the great games it can make, and glad you're not giving up on development. Good luck!
     
  35. bryantdrewjones

    bryantdrewjones

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Posts:
    147
    Thank you for starting this thread :)

    I'm a part time independent developer, and I've shipped a handful of games using Unity in the past. The best thing I can say about Unity is that I am almost always productive when using it.

    On Pricing
    I think it's pretty ridiculous how inexpensive a Unity Pro license is. It's such a good deal. I get that the price point may be steep for other indies, but it truly does pay for itself (the time savings alone when working with multiple platforms more than covers the cost of the license).

    I would be so so upset if I was forced into a subscription or royalty model. It's great if those options are available, but please don't take away the one-time royalty free license purchase option :(

    On Consoles
    The console platforms are extremely important to my business. But, as someone already mentioned, the Unity editor fragmentation is a huge annoyance.

    On Features
    I only make 2D games, and I'm only interested in making 2D games going forward. The new 2D tools have been lovely to work with, overall. But a recurring theme I sense is that Unity doesn't eat its own dog food.

    If the team at Unity developed games using its own engine (full productions -- not little game jam prototypes), we wouldn't have the feature gaps that currently exist. I'm referring to things like multi-resolution support (this problem will become amplified when the new GUI system ships without a multi-resolution workflow), a modern input manager, scene streaming, and collaboration tools (e.g., how is it that we're still in a position where only one team member can edit a scene at a time without running into terrible conflicts?). I know those things are all on the roadmap, but the priorities within Unity sometimes don't make sense.

    On Open Source
    I personally wouldn't benefit from Unity opening up the source code. I just don't have the time to be diving into that codebase adding features and fixing bugs. Fortunately, I've never been a position where I've suffered from a show-stopping Unity bug. I suspect I would desperately want access to the source code if I had to wait for Unity to fix a bug before I could ship :)

    Thanks again for having this conversation with us :)
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  36. seitor

    seitor

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Posts:
    36
    One man band here.

    I develop 2d games only, no plans for 3d games whatever. Most top-selling mobile games are 2d games, you see where I am going? It is hard to swallow the price when I do not use 3d related features( for example physical based rendering). Same reason I switch from photoshop to clip studio paint , I want to pay for features for 2d game development only .To me Unity/Photoshop is bloated, too many features I do not care or use.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  37. UndeadButterKnife

    UndeadButterKnife

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Posts:
    115
    Is this the first confirmation of a Mono upgrade? Or is it something else entirely?
     
  38. Willster

    Willster

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Posts:
    95
    Hi Erik, thanks for posting. For me, the number one issue is managing your third party risk. Without source access, I am reliant on UT to fix a bug. UT may in turn have to rely on one of their third party vendors to fix a bug in their middleware, who in turn may have to rely one of their third party vendors, etcetera. With the source code, I know I can get round something, not because I want to, but because I may have to. I am not looking to be a game engine developer, I just want the assurance that if the worst comes to the worst, my project isn't mortally wounded.


    There is the other advantage that you can check to see exactly what something is doing. This may be useful if the documentation is lacking / unclear, or you may have a need, e.g. for compliance to make sure that certain things work in a certain way.
     
  39. prophet

    prophet

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Posts:
    211
    It depends on what your making. If your old software still works for what you need you can keep using it. Like Windows XP. It may be old and unsupported, but people still have their use for it and everyone else shouldn't be deciding what is best for someone. I could easily see someone taking the current Unity and using it for a few years past support cause everything the person makes doesn't require the latest and greatest.
     
  40. bibbinator

    bibbinator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Posts:
    507
    @bryantdrewjones

    Yes, the multi-resolution issue is a common one and it's firmly on the radar now. Maybe Rune or Tim on the GUI team can post and say something about this in more detail.

    We have changes coming that will alleviate the collaboration problems, and it involves more than one piece, so it may take a a little time to get it all addressed. I know that's not very clear on the timing, but I don't have all the info I need to give one right this second.

    @seitor

    Noted. There's a growing divide it seems; most games are 2D, but 3D games remain stable in terms of growth and it could swing back the other way. It's nice that Unity can do both 2D/3D so you can mix and match, but it sometimes to any developer in one camp it feels like you're paying for a lot of features in the other camp you don't need.
     
  41. Arges

    Arges

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Posts:
    359
    I've been a Unity Pro customer since 2.1. I've done contracting in Unity, developed and released our own games, and I'm currently working on interactive installations. I also maintain several open source projects for Unity, such as UnitySteer.

    Start focusing on stability and completeness instead of chasing new features. That's my single worst pain point with Unity, and the main thing placing me on the "not upgrading to 5 at this point" camp. To mention a few:

    * The state in which the navigation component was released was proof-of-concept at best, and the fact that there's a whole cottage industry built around replacing it should tell you something.
    * The debugger is unstable and it's easy to find yourself in situations where it randomly doesn't work (doesn't stop on breakpoints or locks up). Sure, there's UnityVS for those working on Windows, but if you're going to abdicate key tool support to a third party, it then shouldn't be considered a feature.
    * There's the old "Unity doesn't reimport the materials after version upgrade", where you end up with scenes entirely hot pink even when no files changed. Sometimes that's fixed by forcing a reimport of the specific folder, but then sometimes it isn't and you have got to re-assign everything by hand.
    * The processor cost of moving transforms is too damned high, hasn't improved in any significant way and an improvement doesn't seem to be on the cards. This limits the number of active agents I can have, which might not be an issue for someone making a mobile game but is for other projects.

    Maybe you haven't seen these. Maybe your support people doesn't pass on the randomly appearing bugs up to development because, with them being random, there's no clear-cut repro case. But Unity should figure out a workflow or approach that allows you to continually dogfood the tool so that you can start running into these issues internally instead of us having to bemoan why an old, known issue is still around or a feature is incomplete or badly documented while you make announcements about still more new stuff that will likely be left in a similar state.

    Yes, new releases bring in the money, so you probably see internally that you need those shiny new features to bring the cash in. But you're pursuing that approach at the expense of your old customers who just want navmesh agents to not bump into each other like drunks, to not have to work around more persistent bugs or to be able to find out what an undocumented return value means without having to reach out to someone directly.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  42. Deleted User

    Deleted User

    Guest

    I agree, three base factors. Stability, plenty of tools and no limitations.. Epic can't cover everything, they need people to succeed to make it worth their while and Unity / Epic can't cover every basis but they need to cover typical use from most sectors which IMO Epic has done. So if you need to do something abstract or you can't rely on Epic to fix the tools before your release date. You need source access..

    Hence why a lot of larger games developers don't bother with third party engines at all, you can't have a closed system unless you are willing to invest in the amount of staff to cover many avenues. Especially when you only charge $20 a month..

    Plus people seem to forget UE4 is a beta product.
     
  43. J_P_

    J_P_

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Posts:
    1,027
    I think it'd be valuable to be able to distinguish between feedback from free users and Pro users. While I think both are important to the health of Unity, they have different needs and different population sizes, so being able to tell what both groups are saying would let Unity better respond.
     
  44. Lostlogic

    Lostlogic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Posts:
    693
    Some things (yes some rants too lol):

    Preface
    I've been a user of Unity for several years now and am a subscriber of Pro.

    1. Answers to support questions: I subscribe to Pro + iOS but it takes a long time for questions to be answered and they seem to go nowhere. Norton continues to mess with my project yet there is no fix for it. I just have to disable AV when I work in Unity. I don't have to do that with any other tool I own. PITA.

    2. Subscription fees for platforms: I'm the sole developer of my project which has been going on for 2 years now. I recognize it will take a long time but having to pay $150 a month for platforms I know I won't be publishing for any time soon is a bit painful. I'd like to be able to develop and then pay once I publish.

    3. Size of packages: I'd be so happy to have a real patching system that would download patches over the net aka most modern games. Having to post a new 300 mb file every time I change a font color is painful (yes I'm exaggerating but you get the point.)

    4. Built in API access: The ability to accept PayPal payments, iOS payments, utilize IOS APIs, utilize Facebook APIs, utilize Android APIs, all natively would be a very welcome item. For these we would need server-side code as well to validate payments, etc (.NET, C#, PHP, examples for all.)

    5. Roll indie tech into the platform: The asset store is great but I am over 20 packages used now and people stop supporting them. It would be nice to see some of the indie tech rolled into the base package so I wouldn't have to worry about it.

    6. Asset store support: Who knows if an asset is going to work with the latest 4.x.x.x.x version, or if it works on Android or if it works on IOS. The only way to know is to ask (and hope for an answer) or buy it and roll the dice. Put some rigor around assets. Find out before hand if they work on mobile or with the latest version and flag them as such. Setup an official support forum for each one so there is a single place we can go to for support.

    7. I don't really care about open source.

    8. Why does my editor constantly de-license? I realize you are fighting pirates, but by hacking off a guy who spends $ with you every month? How about some trust here. Stop de-licensing me when my laptop is turned off for a month (and I'm working on my desktop.) Pirates are going to steal your software no matter what you do. It would be great if you would let me run the editor on more than two machines and not constantly de-activate machines that have been off for a month. I personally run 4 PCs, and yes, all just for me. Would be nice to actually run Unity on them all.

    9. Version control built in: Forcing an add-on for version control is not cool. It's under the guise of team support but I'm a team of one. I just want the ability to version everything like I do my server software (that uses Visual Studio.)

    10. Asset organization: I have tens of thousands of assets in my project but can't really tell which ones are being used. It would be nice to see only those that are actively linked in the scenes in my project. Would be great for optimization.

    11. Native support for resolutions: It is a massive pain to design games for multiple platforms. You would think that the extra $75 I spend a month for iOS would include some kind of nice tools for managing resolution independence.

    I think that's it for now.. I have to run to a meeting. :)
     
  45. Nanity

    Nanity

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Posts:
    148
    Who am I?

    A hobbyist programmer and student. Forced to do some artwork and modelling from time to time, if I cannot stand cubes anymore. I started working with Unity because it was free and stayed because it's awsome. I learned all the basics and little more advanced stuff of C# while working on my own 3D first person mutiplayer action game.

    Money

    Have neither made a single cent out of Unity nor have I spent one on the asset store. If I'd do serious game developement, I will polish my current framework and throw it on the asset store together with a GPL license for uncommercial use.

    I doubt I will ever release a complete game, mainly because it will be feature complete and yet have no actual playable content. Maybe some artists and designers will pick it up and make their own glorious thing. For the case I'm still on the ship then, UnityPro is a must. But so far, no missing pro feature blocked my developement (maybe the profiler slightly).

    Pro Version

    Pro is super cheap as professional. If you do a full time job and don't make enough money for your core tool, you make it wrong. I don't care for the addons because I hate smartphones, so I also hate mobile gaming.

    You don't "need" Pro for your first publish. If you get 1500 bucks by then, invest in Pro and release an update. Or get a sponsor, publisher, etc.

    On the other hand it definitly sucks you can't develop with the pro features and therefor get no chance to learn them. You should be able to do a pro build in the free version, no matter if watermarks everywhere, crashing after a set amount of time or making an annoying peep every 5 sec. Basicly the 1 month pro trial needs to be a permanent part of the free version.

    Consoles

    No interest in consoles. Once Nintendo goes on the PC, I'll throw my money at them :D

    Edit: I care for SteamOS as Linux user, if this counts.

    2D

    3D is harder than 2D???? One more dimension and everyone looses their minds :D
    Seriously, most 2D games have to cosider the depth anyway. Just my opinion as a maths lover.

    Communication

    You said you were even more present in earlier days. From where I come (*insertWorstCompanyOfAmerica2013*) the developer forum presence is magnitudes worse than here and now. Some poor community guys are struggling with the whole bunch of angry players of multiple games.

    We all definitly love roadmaps, blogs of upcoming features, QA reports and unstable beta versions. Depends on you how much feedback you can take ;) Speaking for myself, I always try to be fair and listen to excuses!

    "New GUI to be released in 3.X" or "New GUI to be released this spring" sounds a bit lame compared to "IMGUI was developed and nearly finished during 3.X, but it was crap, so we started with DNFGUI which brings so much more awesome stuff that it takes until the final 4.X release". Give less specific dates but a current status instead, even if it's bad news ;)

    Some update about the Mono licensing state would be very nice, too. Otherwise we have to asume that the bad Xamarine guys are keeping you silent.

    Source Code

    Open Source != Distributed Developement

    My suggestion would be to release the source code as snapshots together with the releases. If one needs an urgent fix, he can apply his patch and compile it all himself. Furthermore if your software has a reproducable build, we can be sure not to be gifted with a NSA backdoor.

    Not sure how your licensing module works and how you track pirated versions. So these wouldn't be optimal to be included in the source code?

    Another advantage would be that we could update Mono ourselves, this "solves" the licensing issue.

    Biggest issue as game dev

    Too little time... that's why it's a hobby.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  46. Gizmocracy

    Gizmocracy

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Posts:
    10
    I'm a 25-year industry veteran, now running a one-coder indie shop that has been publishing Unity apps for a couple of years now, mostly on mobile. I do all my development on OSX. You want to know how you can serve me better?

    FIX MONODEVELOP

    Seriously, if MonoDevelop crashed any more often, I'd have to install a Russian dashboard camera on it. When Mavericks came out, MonoDevelop lost the ability to scroll; issue 567130, 38 votes, no action. A variety of actions--including esoteric stuff like "opening a file"--will throw MonoDevelop into a state where the Cmd-A keyboard shortcut no longer selects all but instead performs a random action such as minimizing the app; issue 575602, 18 votes, no action. Hitting a breakpoint when debugging with MonoDevelop will often lock up Unity; issue 573949, 215 votes (making it your #2 priority for a fix, supposedly), no fix. When you save a file in MonoDevelop, any #regions you had collapsed suddenly unfold; issue 576429, 48 votes, no action.

    You know what percentage of your user base is on OSX. You should force at least that percentage of your internal developer staff to use OSX and MonoDevelop exclusively for their daily work. None of the many, many Mavericks bugs would have caught you by surprise if you guys were eating your own dogfood.
     
  47. Bradamante

    Bradamante

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Posts:
    300
    Good.

    I am against a royalty scheme since it is already hard to swallow that you as a developer have to deduct 30% to the platform owner. It's also hard to manage multiple deductions on your revenue. I am fine with a subscription, but I agree with people saying that Unity's current 70/month is too high, before and after Epic's recent announcements.

    Pricing and marketing is hard. Obviously you want to keep pricing structure simple. A two or three tier structure at most. I disagree with people saying that Unity should start selling the product "module-wise" on a "pay what you need" basis. It's a pain to manage and upgrade. These pricing models have failed in the past. Add to that the "power of free" aspect.

    It is my firm believe that the feature disparity between Pro and Free should be as small as possible. A feature comparison like this feels wrong to me every time I see it. It is unworthy of a "always a step ahead" company like Unity!
    In a perfect world, there were only two tiers: A Unity Free that has everything the Pro version has + a Unity logo at startup ... and Unity would make it's money on services (post-app ads, referals, publishing service etc.). In a perfect world I could use Unity Pro for free as long as I am not making any money, and pay Unity a amount of money (not a royalty) the moment I publish.

    I would even argue that the only difference between Free and Pro should be a across-the-board discount for Pro users on the Asset Store! But I understand that's just not feasible.

    I'd offer the current Pro package for 20 or 30/month. The current fixed price for platform deployment modules is outdated in my opinion. I'd think a 100++/month subscription that includes Pro + all deployment modules might be viable. I would kill all fixed price offerings and offer only subscriptions or Free versions.

    I would keep the free version. An extended Pro trial or free Pro versions in the XBOne or PS4 programs can not make up for that. While I love the feature set of the Free version, I am often frustrated to see assets in the Asset Store that are "Pro Only". From a asset creator standpoint that is a missed opportunity every time.

    id Software releases the last engine generation as open source once the new generation comes out. I wonder if Unity could offer Unity 3 Pro when Unity 4 is current and Unity 4 Pro for free once Unity 5 comes out?

    Multiple, most of which Unity can't help me with.

    One problem is that I as a programmer can't do games on my own that require art or that are "art driven". In theory you should be able to cooperate with an artist over the internet. In reality, they have to test their art in your game locally. And with a person you hardly ever meet (if at all) that level of trust just isn't there.

    In comes the Unity Asset Store. But behold, of course an asset provider can never adress your specific needs. You need that attack animation of the Dark Knight asset you just purchased a but lower and faster? Good luck contacting the asset publisher and getting her or him to work with you.

    I wonder if this idea is viable at all: Unity provides a pool of artists for freelance work that you pay on a on demand basis or based on a flatrate? A bit like the Mixamo faltrate offerings - but more comprehensive?

    Yes. As a PC-centric person however I don't even have the slightest clue how console development works. It is enough of a burden to deal with Unity, Kickstart or Steam, obviously I don't want to deal with a console manufacturer. Initiatives like the Unity publishing program might help here.

    However, this is an aspect that I will face once the time comes, i.e. when my game reaches a certain state of maturity. But: Unity should tell me how to design my game to be "platform agnostic", i.e. which aspects of early project design I have to keep in mind (controller input, GUIs, monetization etc).

    This is pointing to a general problem: Unity is not only an editor or an engine, but a intermediary, a hub. That is why there should be tutorials on the Unity website a la "How to I get from A to B to C?". How do I use Unity to get on Steam or on a console? How does translate to my coding?

    I absolutely don't want devs wasting their time on the forums. There should be community staff relaying info from the forums to the devs (in a visible way, i.e. write a forum post a la "I have submitted this to the authorities"). They should also give tech people a heads-up about a forum thread they should reply in. At the same time community people have to be up to snuff with Unity's development so they can give meaningful answers, as well as having the guts to sometimes just reply "this issue is in flux - no comment".

    A more open culture of communication is very much needed, yes. Why is there no comment on bugs like this? Why did I never receive an e-mail from support on this? Why is there no official response either on the forums or via a blog on long-standing issues like nested prefabs? No response on this (even if it's just a "working on it")? No word on integrating popular assets (see here)?

    Technical blogs are helpful, yes.

    There are many possible reasons for Epic to make Unreal open source. On of them is marketing. Making Unreal open, Epic is demonstrating confidence in it's own code base. Every coder and their mother can now see how functional and clean Epic's code is.

    I wonder if it is feasible to do the same for Unity. I assume that thanks to Unity's legacy code, multi-platform support, Mono base and de/serialization mechanisms Unity's code is far uglier. I also assume that - just like Epic or id - console-related parts can't be open-sourced. Notice how Tim Sweeney said in some interview they are in talks with console manufacturers to change that. I want Unity to be part of that effort.

    For me personally an open source Unity would be no change. I can't read the language anyway. Others however might. So open sourcing Unity - or parts, at least - might help fixing bugs. I'd prefer a functional closed-source software to a lacking open-source one.

    I want Unity to allow me to focus on making the game instead of marketing or deploying it. That should Unity's priority in my opinion. That should the mantra on all employee's desks.

    For me, developing is hard enough. I don't want to worry about monetization, platform support, deployment, marketing, Kickstarter, Steam, Youtubers and what have you. Sure I will always have to worry about that to some degree ... but do what you can.

    It seems to me that both CryEngine and Unreal benefit from their developers also being game developers. Doesn't mean that Unity should develop games in-house, too. But I think something has to be done to address the short-comings of this lack.

    I think that lacking Editor features, big (lack of visual scripting) and small (inflexible Inspector Component hierarchy), in parts stem from this lack. I am aware that Unity's working with external partners using their software and that those people get access to new versions early (see the Mechanism or DX11 demos). However, Apple had the same problem with Final Cut Pro: working with certain users on a case-by-case basis can not replace general openness and permanent feedback. In Final Cut Pro, well-known bugs and workflow quirks remained for years.

    A feature voting system could help here.

    Yes, I have used Unity for architectural real-time visualisation. Unity's great for that, but it proved to me that the terrain engine needs updates and that the lack of visual features in Unity Free is somewhat stupid.

    Can't wait to combine this with a VR headset.

    One man team + some artists I work with. Worked in a major international company full-time, then switched to part-time to develop my Unity game.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  48. bibbinator

    bibbinator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Posts:
    507
    @Arges

    Thanks for your comments. I have used UnitySteer in a shipped iOS game, good stuff!

    We would love a bug submission on the "Unity doesn't reimport the materials after version upgrade" if you have a repo. Any we wouldn't mind looking at a project you have using UnitySteer presumably where you think the transform cost is too high so we can take a look.

    Thanks!
     
  49. Breyer

    Breyer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Posts:
    412
    @pierrepaul

    u elaborated on new mecanim features and that's fine... and someone can elaborated on navmesh improvments? i know only about new obstacle mesh....
     
  50. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Posts:
    956
    As for my comments about multithreading, I have to update my meshes and mesh colliders for each 'chunk' in my voxel engine in the main thread. This is my main issue.

    I imagine that with Unity 5 I'll be able to do the collider part in another thread. That really will solve most of my issues if that's going to be possible.

    Other than that, I really haven't had other complaints with my use of Unity. Everything else has worked quite well and I'm loving it, so thanks for making such a great engine :).
     
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