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Discussion OMG Unity is going to die! Waaaah ...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CodeSmile, Jul 18, 2022.

?

Really?

  1. Yes.

    25 vote(s)
    38.5%
  2. No.

    40 vote(s)
    61.5%
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  1. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    That's kind of the impression you get reading recent threads. I wanted to contribute a counter-weight argument, otherwise I couldn't stark my workday, I neeeeeed to get this out of my head first. o_O

    The following list is features I deem impressive feats that Unity happened to sneak under the rug over the past five years, otherwise I can't explain the negative views some participants of said threads are holding.

    I'm just going to pull this list out of my head, not looking it up, as a testament to how self-understood these things have (quickly) become. Most of them are continously evolving too. Some of them may be older than I think, so let me know if I made a mistake.

    Features Unity added or improved (or acquired and integrated) in the past 5 years since Unity 2017 (bold = I use it frequently):
    • Unity Hub
    • Unity Learn (great onboarding stuff even for deep tech topics like DOTS!)
    • Scriptable Render Pipeline (incl. URP, HDRP)
    • Scriptable Asset Pipeline
    • Package Manager (+ custom packages, git support)
    • LTS releases (incl. support guarantee)
    • New Input System
    • Burst Compiler
    • Job System (+ Collections, Math)
    • Recorder
    • Device Simulator
    • Unit Test Framework
    • Assembly Definitions
    • Timeline
    • Visual Scripting
    • Shader Graph
    • VFX Graph
    • Cloud Builds
    • Web Streaming Service
    • 2D workflow improvements
    • General Editor UI improvements - open Unity 2019 or earlier and it instantly feels "old and outdated"
    • Enter Play Mode options (small but important for incremental devs like me)
    • C# and .NET updates (to date: C#9 and .NET Standard 2.1)
    • Editor coroutines
    • FBX Exporter
    • ProBuilder
    • Polybrush
    • Profiler improvements
    • Tutorial authoring
    • And most importantly: The Dark Theme(TM) :cool:
    Did I miss anything important?

    PS: I couldn't care less for mobile atm. PC master race! :D
    Let's have a good old-fashioned flame war! :mad::confused:o_O:eek::oops:
     
  2. spiney199

    spiney199

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    Addressables perhaps?
     
    DungDajHjep and CodeSmile like this.
  3. Luemus

    Luemus

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    You forgot the new logo
     
  4. RobertOne

    RobertOne

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    I honestly dont even use 10% of these features youve listed. but, "open Unity 2019 or earlier and it instantly feels "old and outdated"" - unity 2019 was at least fast and responsive compared to the ... hold on.... realoading script assemblies...
     
  5. Rastapastor

    Rastapastor

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    Are all of those out of preview? :)
     
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  6. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    Yeah, I think so with the exception of VFX Graph. I tried to make a point only listing production-ready features.
     
  7. Rastapastor

    Rastapastor

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    Btw noone is saying Unity is dead :), it wont for the long time, but the grinding gears were moved and only depends on Unity management if they throw more bones to the engine devs :)
     
  8. karl_jones

    karl_jones

    Unity Technologies

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  9. PaulMaget

    PaulMaget

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    Wait, vfx graph IS out of preview
     
  10. PaulMaget

    PaulMaget

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    moo1210 and karl_jones like this.
  11. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Unity Connect
     
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  12. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    It's a nice long list, but how many of these have been a complete S*** show or are already abandoned?

    Visual Scripting is practically unusable in actual production, and the last update for ProBuilder was in 2020, it seems.

    There have been 2D improvements, but feature requests like soft shadows and even basic things like shadow falloff distance have been requested for years with no progress towards that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
    DungDajHjep likes this.
  13. ExtraCat

    ExtraCat

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    Unity will stay alive at very least as long as it's the best engine for mobile devices. For how long? No one knows. UE is too heavy for it, at least for the time being. And other engines lack too many features, again at least for the time being.

    Naturally, should they slow down the development, other engines will catch up quicker.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
    DungDajHjep likes this.
  14. karl_jones

    karl_jones

    Unity Technologies

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    Lurking-Ninja, Rewaken, Ryiah and 5 others like this.
  15. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

    A Moon Shaped Bool Unity Legend

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  16. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    I have no hopes for ever getting proper RTL support considering how long it's been an issue.
     
    MadeFromPolygons likes this.
  17. karl_jones

    karl_jones

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    It's still on our roadmap. We are working on the features we need to support it at the moment, things like ligatures etc.
     
    MadeFromPolygons and Andy-Touch like this.
  18. RecursiveFrog

    RecursiveFrog

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    I think anyone who remembers Flash around the days of the Steve Jobs 'Thoughts on Flash' post is having...

    flashbacks.

    While the two products, as well as the companies are not in quite the same situations as each other, the writing was on the wall for Flash the moment that post hit the internet and when you consider what was happening with Flash at the time:

    • An unsable, buggy authoring tool
    • A perception of being a platform for scummy malware
    • A performance hog that would grind your system to a halt
    • An unfocused development effort that caused as many problems as it solved
    • A switch from AS2 to AS3 that was so dramatic that they shed their less technical "dev-signers"/"Design-velopers"
    • Long ignoring old cruft in favor of chasing new solutions, but lacking the attention span to complete them
    • A serious (but at the time completely untested) competitor from HTML5/WebGL

    Given the similarities here, while I wouldn't say Unity is gonna disappear tomorrow, I'd say that if history repeats (or even rhymes) that Unity Engine may have maybe another 8 to 12 years before it shares Flash's fate.
     
  19. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    There is a major difference here. Flash wasn't able to run as a standalone program. It required browser functionality that was itself doomed thanks to being inherently flawed. Adobe would have kept going with their tech if they had a choice but the browsers decided to finally patch that flaw by removing it.

    In the case of Unity the major OSes would have to disable your ability to run applications that aren't approved and then specifically disapprove of Unity and any applications written in Unity. That's just not going to happen.
     
  20. RecursiveFrog

    RecursiveFrog

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    Not true, Flash could publish standalone SWFs that could function as desktop apps. It also was able to create Android apps.

    There was also, if one desired, ways to package swfs up into more conventional .exe files using 3rd party tools
     
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  21. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Almost no one did either of these.
     
  22. RecursiveFrog

    RecursiveFrog

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    Which is different from saying it wasn't able to do these things. And these things were indeed done.

    The fact that few people did them was a reflection mostly on how poorly Flash was viewed in the days leading up to that posting. The entire reason it ended up in such a position, at its root, was down to a technical situation that bears more than a few similarities to where Unity finds itself
     
  23. warthos3399

    warthos3399

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    Flash is a thing of the past, why bring it up?. Are you living in the past? or now?. Stop wasting your time (and ours) debating it...
     
  24. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Flash had serious flaws, and browser companies decided the internet was better off without Flash. Generally speaking, Unity is not in a similar situation to Flash. There was a Unity Web Player NPAPI plugin that was depreciated years ago, similar to Flash and Java support in browsers. But that was not the end of Unity. There are plenty of ways to build Unity projects, with stand-alone builds being the most popular option.
     
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  25. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    No, I think you've gathered most of the features that have been great but ended up being major disappointments.
     
    40detectives likes this.
  26. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Flash could be compiled into *.exe, and it was done very often. It could also be distributed as an *.swf file which would run as long as player was installed.

    Browser was not required.

    That's not really true, although it may depend on your region. It was common to exchange or download *.swf archives. To the point where flash wasn't even associated with the web in some areas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2022
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  27. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

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    There were some industrial aplications for flash as a standalone, but to say its prevail wasn't dependent on the support by major browsers is not correct.
     
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  28. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Like I said, region matters.

    It was a decent media/animation container, and a huge amount of content was released for flash as platform. We actually don't exactly have an alternative for this, because the player had a small footprint, was vector-based, and you could (and frequently would) launch it without dealing with browser nonsense. The closest alternative is svg but it frequently can't be viewed without a browser, cannot really contain scripts and I've never seen one with embedded audio.

    The idea about using flash for some sort of web platform was likely nonsensical since the beginning.
     
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  29. RecursiveFrog

    RecursiveFrog

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    Again, the browser plugin was not the only way in which Flash could create content. It could create executables and apps as well, just like Unity can do.

    Why it no longer exists is because Adobe found itself looking at a profit model that no longer involved improving or maintaining the file format, nor the editor in light of the tech debt the entire platform had accrued combined with the motion away from it set in place by the Jobs letter and growing sentiment against it both inside the tech industry and from public perception as well.

    Unity is really not so different. The runtime is less dire than Flash, but many of the same weaknesses and risks are building, and are waiting for the right moment to tilt the platform from viable to pariah. Again, that's likely a decade away, but ignoring it as a possibility would not be wise.
     
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  30. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I suppose then it feels like it's taking quite a while, if chasing was a thing. So that feels like it would be nice to have some priorities shifted in favour of developers and development (in general).
     
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  31. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    While this is true, Flash's real downfall came about because of its use as a web plugin. You can say how it had options to export to a self-contained file and all that, but ultimately that did not matter. No matter how many people may have made use of that, Flash's majority presence was in its online plugin.

    But I think what gets overlooked is how while Apple didn't support it on iPhones/iPods, the massive shift in the mobile app space was what really caused its downfall. Suddenly people had access to a library of content specifically designed for mobile that started to edge out the amount of people who were using Flash on the internet for games. To say this was a massive change would be an understatement. Games being played on Facebook saw steady decreases in userbase and some former big players on there are now app only.

    When you combine that with plugins in general being seen as a security liability in the browser space and getting removed as web plugins became less and less of a thing, Flash had a pretty hard drop in its primary use cases.

    And now you may be asking yourself "what does this have to do with Unity?" and the answer to that is "pretty much nothing because the situation both companies is entirely different."
     
  32. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    Flash died because it was associated with crap, ads, long loading times, terrible UX on Flash-only websites, crashes and tons of security issues and for the longest time required installing it manually which many corporate users weren‘t allowed to do, fragmenting the web experience - decent websites had to develop costly Flash AND a Flashless fallback. Then came HTML5 and iOS which made Flash technologically superfluous.

    There‘s really abolutely nothing that Flash and Unity have in common. Corporate-wise Adobe had way better cash-cows than Flash, which might explain its lackluster development.
     
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  33. RecursiveFrog

    RecursiveFrog

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    crap : Mobile shovelware
    ads : Ironsource and F2P ad games
    long load times : plenty of games have exactly this both on first load pulling down gigs of assets, and on launch on low end phones
    terrible UX : This wasn't really a problem with Flash, so much as UX designers, much the same as Unity
    tons of security issues : Perception of unity as a malware vector due to IronSource merger
    installing it manually : Not currently comparable
    fragmenting the web experience : Also not comparable, but in the day Flash *unified* not fragmented the web experience. Browser hell like developers today cannot imagine existed and was precisely why a plugin could gain traction.

    I know you think you're making a point that the two have nothing in common but it's the opposite. Everything you're talking about is perception, and the same perceptions that existed then for Flash are taking shape now and depending on how Unity evolves could give people a similarly negative impression
     
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  34. RecursiveFrog

    RecursiveFrog

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    That is for sure the case. I'm trying to remember the prime factor that caused Facebook gaming to fall off a cliff. Am I imagining things or was this Facebook themselves killing its own gaming platform?

    I do agree with your assessment above and that the two companies have different surrounding environmental factors. Those external factors are why I'm not saying that Unity is on the brink of collapse, since the environment isn't there for it. However the negative sentiment that accrued around Flash over the years and especially after Adobe purchased it, combined with its long standing technical debt that they never could bring themselves to fix while chasing down a technical feature set that never truly panned out for them and then leaving them to die on the vine feels a bit like it rhymes with some of the things that people complain about on these forums seemingly on the daily.
     
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  35. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    You mean aside from no longer being as popular with young adults?
     
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  36. arkano22

    arkano22

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    My opinion on the whole thing:

    Regardless of recent management behavior, right now Unity is a perfectly fine game engine and the right tool for a lot of projects. Does have its quirks, does have issues, but then again this can be said of *any* engine. It's just that the issues you'll hit are different depending on which engine you choose.

    As long as Unity does its job (it might eventually not), I'd use it. I hear a lot of things like:

    "in the light of recent events, I will:"
    A) - "not be using Unity in upcoming projects"
    B) - "move my current project to another engine"

    If you're willing to spend time and money learning another engine and adapting your entire pipeline (to the point where output quality doesn't suffer as a result), or spend even more time and money to move an entire existing project to a different engine, chances are you're either a hobbyist (who has got nothing to lose, and a very small project) or a very large studio that won't switch engines purely out of spite, but for better reasons.

    If you're a hobbyist, good for you: learning other engines will broaden your knowledge, and knowledge is what you should invest into.

    If you're a very large studio and have the resources to switch, I really hope you're not doing this purely out of spite because that would be a dumb move. Otherwise, it's up to you.

    If you're not in either category (you have something to lose, and not much time or money), then chances are you want to switch to another engine out of fear or spite. Switching because the merger thing sounds scary or someone said something that hurt your feelings is a really, really dumb move imho, as it will cost you time and money. The merger may not have any negative impact on the engine (might even have a positive one?) and words cannot have any impact on it. Unless Unity becomes completely unusable or completely disappears in a short timespan (which I think is highly unlikely), you'd have lost resources for no good reason.

    It would be sad (but kinda hilarious I have to admit) to witness a self-fulfilling prophecy type of situation: people fleeing Unity because "it's dying"! and Unity dying as a result. This is within the realm of possibility, I believe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2022
  37. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    Unity != Flash

    I go to a website, this site runs Flash ads that consume resources whether I want it or not.
    Shovelware is still an app in a store someone has to actively find and install.

    It's not comparable because the user's context is different. If I browse the web, I usually want to use the web searching for information, not downloading Flash content. If I want to play a game, I'm used to waiting for it to download, in the meantime I do something else.

    An actual security issue (potentially giving root access) is a completely different threat level than a perceived (!) malware.

    Fragmenting in the sense of "users with Flash installed" vs "users without Flash installed". There were tons of websites that stopped functioning if you did not have Flash installed, or the wrong version.
     
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  38. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    @arkano22 Well said!

    Which is why I am opposing these ... ideological, opinionated, subjective discussions based on perceived disappointments. In particular because I know how things like this can trickle down into the company itself.

    It's the tool I've been using for over 10 years now. Whatever minor issues and imperfections the software currently has, I can live with. I am looking forward to DOTS and have done so for the past way too many years - but for me there is no urgency here, nor disappointment that it is taking its time. I grew up in a time when game developers used to say "When it's done!". And those were some of the best games. :)
     
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  39. arkano22

    arkano22

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    DOTS in imho one of the best pieces of engineering I've seen in any engine. What's already there is *very* useable. I've shipped stuff that uses Burst and Jobs extensively (not Entities yet), and it's been a pleasure to work with it tbh.
     
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  40. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    Do we say "Godwin's Law but for Adobe Flash", or does the inevitable reduction to Flash have its own name?
     
  41. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I loved it, it was the final thing that impressed me at Unity. Lots missing after 1.0 but will get there one day for sure!

    It's been good though, really good. I think DOTS one day will power all of Unity's games, even their ads if possible. It is already used in mobile VR MMO applications, a big feat!

    But yeah you will need to be a company to make good use of it, or a sized studio, for the foreseeable future. Really loved the journey.
     
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  42. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Also this thread is Bollocks (tm).

    Unity is not dying, therefore it is locked.
     
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