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Unity The Future of Unity Feedback

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Buhlaine, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Buhlaine

    Buhlaine

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    On February 28th the Feedback website will shut down and be redirected to the Unity forums. This will be the primary source of community feedback until we’re able to get a new, more scalable, and dedicated feedback solution in place (more details on that in the coming months). The forums are a great place for discussion, ideation, and inspiration between community members and Unity team members.

    Feedback submitted by you, the community, is a primary driver in the success of the Unity platform. Over the years, you have volunteered your time to ensure that Unity becomes the best it can be and for that we thank you.

    The Feedback website was our initial foray into an organized method of feedback collection. At the time, we were a smaller company with less visibility into the wants and needs of the community. The Feedback website served its initial purpose well, but was not created with scalability in mind.

    Community feedback is highly prioritized and we will always continue to value it. It comes to us from the forums, social media, customer support, in-person events...everywhere - and that is what makes the Unity community so great.

    Thank you,
    The Unity Community Team
     
  2. moonjump

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    Feedback always seemed as if it would be better suited to the forums. It is nice to see it coming here, and I hope it stays.
     
  3. Murgilod

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    I know they're two different things, but...

    Can you do this for Answers too? It's been so poorly maintained for so long that it'd probably be best to archive it and direct everyone to the forums instead.
     
  4. JohnnyFactor

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    When doing Google searches, Answers has an easy way to tell what the solution is because it's at the top of the page and is marked green. Finding solutions on the forums involves trawling through pages of irrelevant posts to find that one post that might be the solution. In the last year of LOTS of Googling (because I'm a new user), Answers has provided me the solution 9 out of 10 times. The forums have failed pretty hard at this.
     
  5. DED-Games

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    I have a different experience. It's not that I haven't found solutions in Answers, but I have found plenty more in the forums, and, above all, usually more in-depth responses, from many more people, and from Unity devs in some cases.
     
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  6. DED-Games

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    The problem would be that you'd lose the votes system, and I suspect it could end up being a bit of an unorganized mess, difficult for Unity to handle. I personally think it's a good idea to move it to its own space.
     
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  7. Baste

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    About time! I've always felt that interacting with Unity devs through the forums has been a lot more productive than interacting with the feedback site.
     
  8. Murgilod

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    If the votes system meant anything, we'd have a voxel based terrain system and we'd have had it in 2012.
     
  9. Baste

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    @Buhlaine, will you take a round of taking feedback on, uh, the feedback? You apparently understand that it's not a good solution anymore, but we'd love to talk with you about how you're doing feedback.
     
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  10. Peter77

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    I have created a few feedback items that are important to me. Should I create forum threads for these feedback items now, or is the feedback content automatically migrated to forum threads?

    If I should create new forum threads for those feedback items, is there a dedicated feedback forum?
     
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  11. DED-Games

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    That doesn't mean they are useless. Votes are not binding, they are hints. How important they are can only be answered by Unity, of course.
     
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  12. Murgilod

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    If how important they are can only be answered by Unity then, by that very condition, they're kinda useless, aren't they?
     
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  13. Buhlaine

    Buhlaine

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    Thanks for asking, we’re open to feedback on how you feel the forums can best be suited for feedback. You can leave those suggestions here and I can promise you it will get in front of the right eyes.

    In the future, when we have our dedicated and scalable solution, we’ll let everyone in the community know and you’ll of course be welcome to provide feedback then as well!

    At the moment we’re working to extract all of the existing content on the Feedback website and keep it internally, so your feedback items are not vanishing.

    We find that a lot of extremely valuable feedback is funneled through all different channels in the forum, whether it be a specific subforum for beta feedback, or content in our general discussion areas. We’re currently suggesting that any threads created for the purpose of direct feedback be tagged with the “feedback” tag so our team can find it easily.
     
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  14. hippocoder

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    Good work @Buhlaine glad to see the already healthy forum go further like this, best put all the ideas on the same place. However I think it might be a nice idea to remind unity staff that it's 100% super okay if they disable private messages because it's with a heavy heart I heard from one staff member that they got abuse from some sour individuals in the past via PMs, and had to stop posting.

    So if it will encourage staff to post more, I feel they should be reminded that it's really 100% okay to turn that off in their options if they choose to, and everyone would understand.

    When discussions are public, they're much safer obviously.
     
  15. DED-Games

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    Not at all, why would they be? If Unity is in the position to work on 5 features, and one of them has 100 votes more than the others, they know there's more people interested in that one, so they can give it preference. That's the actual utility of votes, not making Unity do things that they don't want or aren't ready to.

    Now, of course, if Unity said "we don't give a S*** about votes", then yeah, they would be useless. But until shown the opposite, I have to assume they are using them.
     
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  16. DED-Games

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    Pffff, that's sad... I would definitely implement a complete and immediate block of PMs to devs and moderators, if they end up not wanting to post anymore it's a big loss.
     
  17. Murgilod

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    Except they categorically were not doing this at all. Feedback has had loads of things, some of them very obvious quality of life improvements, that have absolutely languished despite having thousands of votes. The votes are meaningless.
     
  18. hippocoder

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    With engine development, you don't actually need votes. Unity already knows what everyone wants. People have told Unity for over a decade.

    So the move to just talking about what unity can do right now and is working on right now is actually logical. Voting for a new feature makes no sense because what is needed is fairly deterministic.
     
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  19. moonjump

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    That is the reason why I think the forums are the best place. Everyone is here, so more people will see them, and then provide feedback.
     
  20. DED-Games

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    Well, I have seen them say in several occasions that votes are useful for them, are they lying? Maybe they are, I don't know, but I think you are using your subjective perception, based on anectotal data, to imply something that may or may not be true.
     
  21. DED-Games

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    "Unity already knows what everyone wants" is not based on anything objective, is it? They can say "I think people want feature A", but how can they be completely sure? Based on different people seeing every forum post and somehow using their combined subjective interpretation of what people are saying? Maybe votes are not perfect, but at least they can give an objective measurement of what people want.
     
  22. Murgilod

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    Or I'm using my long-time experience with Unity and its various community features. Some of them aren't even big issues, like polymorphic type serialization. Some of them are more complex, like a way to keep infinite loops from crashing the editor (though even an asset exists to help with this). Some of the things marked complete, like the improved terrain features but even those barely exist because the 2019 terrain improvements are kind of a joke. Other things have been under review since before I started using Unity, like the ability to resize the text in the editor, a basic accessibility feature.

    I have an honest to god hard time thinking that the Feedback sections votes mean anything at all.
     
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  23. DED-Games

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    I think it would be nice if somebody from Unity could clarify whether the feedback votes are actually useless, specially if they are putting a similar feature in place in the near future.
     
  24. hippocoder

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    https://feedback.unity3d.com/suggestions/goat hope this survives.
     
  25. DED-Games

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  26. hippocoder

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    It means feedback was just ultimately a crapshoot with poor dialogue, subject to ridiculous demands with healthy support for said ridiculous demands, and had zero back and forth dialogue which IMHO is essential when trying to work with ideas.
     
  27. DED-Games

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    As you can understand, to me it says nothing to see a single joke entry, added by yourself, and with Unity members going along. If you can honestly say there's hard data indicating the signal-to-noise ratio of Feedback is bad, I'll take your word for it, but then more questions come to mind (questions that Unity should also have to ask to themselves):

    - Is there a reason for the issue? A problem with the backend system, Unity neglecting the section, other? Does it have anything to do with the core idea of Feedback?

    - Is there evidence that having the feedback in the forum would improve the issue? After all, the members on both places are basically the same. If yes, again, what are the reasons that would explain that?

    - Back-and-forth dialogue is definitely important, but there's a section of comments for each feedback entry. Is people not using it? Why?

    Surely it would be a good idea to improve some parts of Feedback, like the comments section, being able to edit your entries, etc., but I still don't see how using the forums instead would improve the signal-to-noise ratio, and it seems to me that several nice features would be lost or worsen, like providing Unity with objective data about the desirability of features (if they actually don't use that then *shrug* and *sad*), search filters better tailored to feddback, etc.
     
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  28. hippocoder

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    Well it's more of a case that unity developers are saying the forums give them really good data. It's proven right there. While feedback gave them nothing at all except a vague notion people like goats, linux support and features that are already built in or easily done with a few lines of code.

    On forums, particularly over the last year, there's been an insane amount of feedback, 1:1 with unity devs. Try it yourself for proof: https://forum.unity.com/categories/betas-experimental-features.86/

    Where there wasn't any proof that feedback did anything useful, after several years. The voting points system was laughably bad, because you couldn't put your support behind one thing and not another in any numerically-meaningful way.

    Sure, everyone can fix or not fix or make 1000 bot accounts but ultimately it's probably just better to run deep analytics through the forum, and get a bigger idea of what people are really asking for, and that's without rigged votes. Just don't change the forum into something like lithium with terrible usability for developers.

    We are missing something though, and I'm sure @Buhlaine will be giving more details how newer feedback takes place closer to the time, so I'm going to be patient.
     
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  29. Baste

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    The central things are:
    - Votes are a good idea. Limiting votes is also a good idea. Both of those things means that people prioritize important things. Having just 10 votes ever is a horrible idea, because that means that people won't engage anymore when the 10 votes are spent. Having to remove votes in order to re-vote was poor fix, and I suspect that it probably didn't happen much.
    I think getting more votes over time is a better course of action, if a voting system is implemented. Also consider only giving votes to accounts that are somewhat old? That'd both reduce spam, and increase the chance that the people who vote has used Unity at least a couple of times.

    - There needs to be a direct integration into the forums. If a dedicated feedback system should exist, it should be a subforum with special features. The forum has a bunch of things - like notifications for replies, proper quotes, etc. - that's convenient for suggestions. It was also a bit of a disaster to have to log in again to get to suggestions*.

    - You need to handle issues that's got a large amount of people interested, but you can't do. Feedback's most voted is littered with issues that's got thousands of votes, that hung out there for years, with no Unity response. This has a bunch of bad effects, but the primary bad effect will be that people who are heavily engaged in those issues will lose faith in the feedback system.

    - In the end, I think it's better to not have a feedback system (and stick with just dedicated threads and other, more manual feedback mechanisms), than to have a feedback system that doesn't work or works poorly, because a bad feedback system just breeds resentment.

    *By the way, why do we have to log in again everywhere? I'm logged in on the forums. I'm not logged in on Answers. If I log in on Answers, I'm not logged in on Feedback. If I log in on Feedback, I'm not logged in on the issue tracker. If I log in there, I'm still not logged in on the front page (https://unity3d.com/). I don't have any specific cookie blocking going on.
     
  30. hippocoder

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    I don't think votes even make sense. In a democracy, they don't make sense. They're flawed, broken and you'll get people with very little intelligence or knowledge voting for things that seriously don't make sense.

    In the real world, it's the best we have.

    In our development world we can have a benign dictatorship that cares about us. this is better because we've got AAA developers at Unity making decisions about what we want for making games. These guys have had years in the trenches with real AAA titles we've all played.

    Having unity still have votes means all that think-tank brainpower at unity is dumb and not used properly. Why would any engine in 2019 have votes for core capability? If voting was meaningful, DOTS and SRP would flat out not exist

    Masses will all vote for the thing that is inefficient but easy as possible, and that's why the world had problems today. Problems software development really doesn't need or want.

    But votes IMHO do have a place - just for supporting materials like standard assets, quality of life enhancements and so on. For this kind of vote even forum polls suffice.
     
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  31. Baste

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    I don't know, man, Unity does sometimes create products that nobody needs, and that nobody would've asked for.

    If there had been somewhere we could vote on "what products would we spend money on or buy pro over", I'm pretty sure "a custom source control system" wouldn't be very popular - yet Unity must have spent a ton of money and man-hours on Collaborate. If there was a vote on "how could we improve the community", nobody would've gone for "replace the successful jobs forum with an ugly, mismanaged LinkedIn clone", yet we have Connect.

    But I totally see what you're saying about core engine features. Core features like DOTS are kind of hard to imagine. In addition, figuring out what can be done and what's not viable depends largely on knowledge that Unity has that most of the user-base doesn't.
    I don't think that means that these things shouldn't be put to a vote, just that the voting needs to be done differently.

    A big problem with the current Feedback page's votes is that it's just flat votes to spend on everything. So a simple feature that'd take a day gets votes from the same pool as things that would take years. Categorization of issues would be great. A list of things that Unity allows us to pick between would be really good, as that'd allow both focusing the user-base on a few issues, and give real side-by-side choices.

    I think a good process for getting feedback on core capabilities would look something like this:

    1) Unity have schedule space ready for a team to work on a new, large feature in the near vicinity.
    Example: The scene visibility tools is about to be done in a month or so, so Unity's project managers needs to figure out what that team should do next.

    2) Unity checks internally and with key partners what features they think would be a good idea to work on, that matches the workforce available.
    Example: A bunch of people internally at Unity want to overhaul Additive Scene Loading. Some others wants to work on the "Save changes in play mode" feature. A key partner that Unity is talking to is asking for upgrades to the Navmesh system.

    3) Unity puts out a call for response for what they should work on next in some field - Essentially "we need to decide what the next big project for some team should be". A list of features Unity thinks is good ideas is included. The community are asked to say what they think about those features, and if there's something else within that field that they're interested in.
    Example: Unity makes a blog post announcing that they want feedback on what to work on, and lists the Additive loading, Play mode saves, and Navmesh improvements.

    4) The discussion gets to live for a while. Popular community suggestions are added, suggestions that the community don't really care for are dropped.
    Example: It becomes clear that a lot of users really wants some new built-in components for the UI system. Nobody really talks about the play mode saves. So the UI system changes are added to the votes, and the play mode saves are dropped.

    5) A vote is held to see which of the suggestions are popular. A call to action is spread over all of the channels for people to come vote for them. Unity uses the vote to inform themselves on what features the user base thinks would create value for them.
    Example: Most people vote for the additive scene loading feature. Unity takes that into account.

    I think a process like this would help Unity make informed decisions, and improve confidence with the user base, without sacrificing the ability to make smart decisions about what direction to move Unity in.
    Of course, it would be really critical to make sure throughout the process that this isn't a promise to do anything else than strongly consider the community opinion.



    Note that the examples here make wild assumptions about what teams could work on what features - I realize that it's probably not the same people who would work on navmesh and play mode changes and UI. I just had to come up with something.
     
  32. DED-Games

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    I'm rather skeptic that analytics on the forum would give accurate results. In my opinion, votes are, let's say, the least flawed approach. I think @Baste 's ideas regarding votes are quite interesting to improve them. But as I said earlier, I don't see votes implying an obligation to work on a particular task, but as hints that give Unity more information to decide on what to spend more resources from the pool of possibilities that align with their vision. That wouldn't hinder work on interesting new core features.

    And they will have great feature ideas, no doubt, but I don't think that alone is better than the combined wisdom of their knowledge plus the knowledge of <high_number> Unity developers out there; plus their real-world needs, because Unity may make a few demos and games, but not enough to cover all real-world scenarios. And also, when you are working all day making something, sometimes its flaws end up being invisible to you.

    Yes, please, some feedback from Unity would be great, even if only to acknowledge they have read the suggestion.
     
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  33. katoun

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  34. hippocoder

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    Until we have clear guidelines I suggest feedback be limited to:
    • Do post feedback in experimental forums in relation to features only available in those builds (read the notes for a specific feature/build/forum there)
    • Don't post feedback in experimental if it's not related to an experimental build or alpha/beta feature set.
    Posting in General discussion is a last resort if you can't find a home for it. It's better though, to find what unity is talking about already in one of the experimental topics, and add to that. It's right in front of the developer then and very related.

    Prefix new posts with [Feedback]

    Brand-new feature requests are actually quite rare if you look at the depth and scope of the experimental forum.

    Finally, there's the meta forum for chatting about forum itself.
     
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  35. katoun

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    My request I think is not related to any experimental features, that is why I posted it in general as I do not know where else it best fits.

    https://forum.unity.com/threads/sug...ull-time-citizen-asset-in-the-runtime.635656/
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  36. hippocoder

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    https://forum.unity.com/threads/feedback-launcher-alignment.634159/
    I have renamed and prefixed this existing topic in general discussion. Ideally this topic would be in a launcher thread in experimental. I didn't move it so people can see those possibilities and where best to reach Unity staff.

    I'm just adding structure and value while keeping things open (none of these are hard rules btw) - just continuing dialogue with everyone until the community managers at Unity figure all this out which is kinda ongoing.

    For now, finding the most similar discussion and adding your own value to that, is a common thing we all already do so just enhancing that might help.

    Please feel free to post where you want though as it's actual feedback and not just random chitchat.
     
  37. Baste

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    General is not somewhere you want to go for posting suggestions. It's mostly stupidity and rage, with a liberal sprinkling of the one-eyed leading the blind on legal issues.
     
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  38. hippocoder

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    Yes that's true! which is why I was a bit leery of it!
     
  39. Player7

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    I've always considered the Unity feedback portal to be a black hole, and I don't think it's possible to kill off a black hole, maybe ignore it.

    It's interesting that you're going to be salvaging feedback that I would have considered vanished from the moment it was sent into the black hole... it boggles the mind :D

    yeah but but but
     
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  40. katoun

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    Can it be moved to the Scripting forum? I tried to do it myself but I think I can not.
     
  41. hippocoder

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    Of course.

    But nothing :p Try to find the right home for things and your post will be seen by the right eyes :)
     
  42. Buhlaine

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    We have some amazing spaces where our teams are working actively with our community for feedback. Our Alpha, Beta, and Preview areas are a great example of such.

    If you're feedback isn't for one of these topics, please find the most appropriate community discussion area for your feedback. We've got plently of eyes the different areas in the forums and it makes the most sense to post them in their applicable space, not just the general discussion area.

    - Looking to give us feedback on animation workflows? Pop into the animation subforum and let us know your thoughts!
    - Maybe you're working on a VR project and think we could be doing something differently. Head over to the VR space and share your feedback with us!

    To reiterate what @hippocoder said, please use the "Feedback" prefix on your threads that are such! It will help us help you!
     
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  43. Prodigga

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    I'd all but given up posting on these forums outside of the beta/alpha/experimental boards due to lack of responses.
    Too often there are threads full of people scrambling for an answer or some sort of explanation for months on end with not a single developer response. But I am willing to give it another shot, it looks like the Unity team really want's to step up their game and that sounds great to me.

    Also, not entirely 'feedback' related but in a similar vein: The 'bug reports/fixes' feel too disconnected from the community, too. All communications happen behind closed doors, and the public don't really get to see or discuss ongoing bugs and share their experiences and issues on specific issues. Then, once a bug gets promoted to the issue tracker, communication becomes almost entirely a one way street where the Unity dev's would post their final answer and never come back to answer or explain their response any further. Some issues get closed as 'duplicate' or 'by design' with no explanation what so ever.
     
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  44. Ryiah

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    Posts and likes will be the new votes system and the best part is you won't be confined to just ten points.
     
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  45. Ziflin

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    Posts != Votes unless someone actually reads through all the posts (which tend to ramble) and count the number of people actually saying yes to something.

    Maybe a Poll on a post is a better way to do it. I think most people wouldn't bother replying once they see a substantial number of posts already ("Oh surely Unity will implement this as there are 20 pages of replies")... But they may take the time to vote Yes on a poll at the top of the post. Though I still think people should comment on what the actually need or how they intend to use it so the devs can make a feature as flexible as possible.

    I definitely agree that the Feedback system seemed like a black hole 99% of the time. We've been putting off using Unity for a while because of things like (https://feedback.unity3d.com/suggestions/serialization-of-polymorphic-dat) and multiplayer because of things like (https://feedback.unity3d.com/suggestions/editor-run-multiple-instances-o) that are both nearly a decade old. Not having developers offer responses to issues like these is frustrating.

    So if forums are used, I hope devs can keep a sticky top-post to continue to update progress towards a feature. Scanning through 10s of pages of forum posts to find a Unity dev reply is a giant waste of time.

    Also, I hope that Unity can find a better/quicker way to update their documentation from questions posted on the forums. (Forum posts are like 95% noise and "answers" are probably 30-50% incorrect/non-optimal, so hopefully they don't turn into the place for documentation.)
     
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  46. Player7

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    Exactly, all the Unity sub forums for different areas of the editor etc all seem to swamped with barely any developer response and recognition of issues.. I've probably had more of my feature suggestions passed onto the proper team/devs through ranting about feature requests at QA support after a bug.. who pass on those requests even though I've often brought them countless times in various threads scattered on this forum. And its no joke when I call the feedback black hole, but I'm not sure the forum in general works either at least not the sub categories outside of beta/alpha releases. Maybe feedback tagged posts will help, but so often feature suggestions are made in replies to various topics that wouldn't be tagged a such.

    So I guess crash Unity and fill out a bug report with a feature request :D they usually tell you if they have passed on such feature requests.
     
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  47. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
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    Posts:
    25,562
    I hope everyone realises that feedback votes were ultimately not the decider for a given feature, right? So instead of being dishonest, Unity is being honest and saying "come and talk to us".

    Best way to to do a request is put [Feedback] in topic title as first thing. This allows unity to track it via forum tools and read everything you say.

    It's better. It's real.
     
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  48. DED-Games

    DED-Games

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Posts:
    143
    One thousand times @Ziflin response:
    Plus with likes it's difficult for us to gauge the acceptance of an idea with respect to others, do searches, etc.
     
  49. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    14,518
    Creating a query that scans through the posts in a thread looking for keywords and noting where they appear would reduce most of the noise, but like @hippocoder said they weren't the actual deciding factor for a feedback entry. Their purpose was likely to determine which entries were worth investigating.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
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  50. DED-Games

    DED-Games

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Posts:
    143
    Nope nope nope nope, please, don't use machine scanning, AI, or anything like that, use an actual human for the next few decades.
     
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