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Official Unity 2023.3 coming April 2024 with updates for graphics and performance

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by LeonhardP, Aug 21, 2023.

  1. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

    Unity Technologies

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    We’re adding a third Tech Stream to our Unity 2023 Editor and Runtime lifecycle to include production-ready additions for graphics, performance, and productivity.

    Unity 2023.3 Tech Stream will be released in April 2024, meaning that the Unity 2023 LTS will ship later, towards the end of that year.

    Read our blog post for more information and let us know if you have any questions.
     
  2. DevDunk

    DevDunk

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    Good update post.
    The post mentions native renderpass and it being important for optimizing performance.
    If I recall correctly multiview/single pass XR (at least on mobile) does not support native renderpass. Is this a feature that will be added with the release?
     
  3. Kreshi

    Kreshi

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    Thx for the update.
    The release milestone image has a typo - you wrote two times 2023.2 even though it should have been 2023.3 the second time ;).

     
    Mj-Kkaya and CodeSmile like this.
  4. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

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    Thank you for flagging, we'll get it fixed.
     
    Kreshi likes this.
  5. UnityMrAndyPuppy

    UnityMrAndyPuppy

    Unity Technologies

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  6. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

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    Somehow the title is misleading. Like, I naturally expect 2023.3 (LTS) to be released in April 2024. So I wasn‘t sure what I was reading here and what the change really is until I read this: „the Unity 2023 LTS will ship later, toward the end of that year“.

    So perhaps the title should read that 2023 LTS will be delayed, which understandably sounds negative. But hey, it may actually get more reads. ;)
    Or just add „2023.3 tech stream“ to the title since a .3 minor version has become synonymous to „LTS“ since 2020.3.
     
  7. Qleenie

    Qleenie

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    Besides the always welcome updates, maybe focus beforehand on some bug fixing? My list alone of reported and accepted and not fixed issues is growing longer every week, all based on 2022 / 2023 features, and I am not yet done with reporting everything I encountered so far. Some of the newly introduced features in 2022 and 2023 are just broken and not production ready.
     
    Meltdown, Xaron, Marc-Saubion and 8 others like this.
  8. JesOb

    JesOb

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    Please add Split Graphics Jobs for Metal iOS and Vulkan Android too :)
    If you need shift release on one additional month for it :)
     
  9. optimise

    optimise

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    Hi. What will happen to release schedule for Unity 2024.1 and later after this announcement?
     
  10. jason_yak

    jason_yak

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    The blog mentions that by making 2023.3 a tech stream it gets it into our hands sooner, that is only the case if a dev is willing to gamble with using a tech stream and the issues that have historically gone along with that. The entire point of having a verified and stable LTS as previously explained by Unity is wait to use it if you don’t want to be exposed to shifting features, api’s and unexpected bugs. So for us this new change to the release schedule is simply adding another 7-8 months we now have to wait to get access to the next major engine upgrade.

    It’s as though the LTS has lost significance now, this is such a long time to wait and will make us consider using a tech stream, back to how things used to be years ago before the LTS was introduced with a higher potential to encounter major issues.

    Also, with this change the naming convention has now even more confusing. We’ll be getting 2023 LTS at the end of 2024, just before it turns 2025.

    I can appreciate that you need more time to do stabilisation testing before stamping the engine as LTS, but I would rather have less features and a tighter annual cycle to each new LTS, not 18 months.
     
    stonstad, Sluggy, impheris and 2 others like this.
  11. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    The yearly schedule, the multiple releases and the tech / LTS tracks don't work, it's time to rethink them.
     
    cuttinged, lightbug14, rmb303 and 2 others like this.
  12. jason_yak

    jason_yak

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    It would make a lot more sense if you cut the amount of tech streams to one per year instead of adding more over many years.

    For example, 2024.1 beta could start 2023 Q3. 2024 Q1 it hits tech stream status. 2024 Q3 stabilisation testing starts as development teams change gear to start on 2025.1 beta. Q4 2024.2 hits LTS. This cycle is much simpler to understand, you'd have a single tech stream and a tighter annual LTS cycle.

    A lot of devs will be forced to make a choice to use a tech stream in order to gain the latest platform support, cause the engine cycle to LTS is far too long in a fast moving industry.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2024
  13. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    The current cycle was already sorta 1.5 years since early LTS is unusable and needs 6 months to stabilize, now we're adding another 6 months at the very least for what ends up now being 2 year cycles.

    I didn't expect the big Visual Scripting rewrite to happen in 2023 cycle but now that's extended. And if it doesn't land in 2024 cycle, it'll be the one after the next. So that'll be what, the year 2027 or 2028? People were meming about 2026 but at this point it'll take even longer. It's somewhat concerning.

    And I concur that 2023LTS at the start of the year 2025 makes little sense. Assuming further delays, Unity will be perpetually 2 years out of date semantically.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2023
    rmb303, Sluggy and Kirsche like this.
  14. sarbiewski

    sarbiewski

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    As if people don't know what the purpose of this tech stream launch is.
    By the way, I was glad to read the title of the blog post. I was all the more disappointed to learn that it means nothing good.
    But please leave the article unchanged. This is also reflected in your work on the Unity editor.

    Even if you read the article correctly, you get less than what you would actually expect according to the roadmap. Much much less!
     
  15. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

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    Maybe Unity should consider changing how the date system works for releases? If we were starting a new project in 2025, we'd be choosing to use the version named '2023 LTS' which feels odd and confusing to explain to people who aren't as Unity savvy on the team.

    Appreciate the some-what honesty that 2023 needs more time in the oven though (Even when veiled as an upgrade)! More of that, please!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2023
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  16. Wolfos

    Wolfos

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    I second the idea of a different versioning system. The year-based versioning only makes sense with regular releases, and to my knowledge it's never been regular.

    I'd also like to point out the issue with less frequent LTS releases - namely asset store support. I started a project on Unity 2023 because there were several improvements that would help my game, and I didn't want a massively outdated featureset when I eventually ship.
    But because assets only support LTS releases, and shaders typically break with each version, this means I will now have to wait until likely 2025 to be able to integrate any shaders from the asset store.
    Not a disaster but... that's a long time.
     
    Njordy likes this.
  17. Wolfos

    Wolfos

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    And a question: The blog post mentions a new version of DLSS but what about FSR? The version 1.0 Unity currently supports is sorely in need of an update.
     
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  18. runner78

    runner78

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    Nothing changes for Teck stream users as it looks like the 2024.1 will just become 2023.3. For LTS users, however, it means that they have to wait six months longer for the LTS. but have more features.
    However, it also means that the features planned for 2024.2 are now coming to an LTS half a year later than before.

    I think the main reason is that starting next year they plan to release LTS and Techstream 202X.1 at Unite in the fall.
     
  19. FirstMnM

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    I'm guessing you're not talking about 1.XX updates for FSR - although I believe Unity might be lagging on that a tad (1.1 is a version increment, but I'm not sure Unity was on the latest 1.0X before that though). FSR1 is still useful on hardware that can't handle the overhead of temporal upscalers.

    There are some resources available for integrating FSR2 on Unity on GPU open, but it's not as easy in editor like FSR1 was with some check boxes. It does seem like a lost opportunity (as might lack of a XESS option).

    There IS a store solution for FSR2 from Alterego Games which is pretty awesome (they're also working on DLSS2 for rendering pipelines not covered by what is built-in), but I agree it would have been nice if these options were just handled by Unity. Alterego also has a pretty accessible support for their solution and it works across a huge list of hardware/tech. I do hope that, whenever it is released, that we see FSR3 be something Unity tackles & updates though.
     
    Wolfos likes this.
  20. Marketing/PR at Unity forgot how time works... So you release 2023 LTS at the end of 2024 instead of Q1 of 2024 and you put some stuff in it from the 2024 tech stream but you release them at the same time you would release 2024.2 tech release. Brilliant. Same amount of stuff delivered partly later but labelled as earlier. And people at Unity said "okay" to this... ROFL. I'm sorry, but this is genuinely hilarious.
     
    Marc-Saubion and orb like this.
  21. sarbiewski

    sarbiewski

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    The sad thing is that the blog post is believed by many users. Those who know that Unity isn't being completely honest don't even have the opportunity (as before) to write something directly under the blog post.
    Unity shouldn't be surprised why some people write that they give the shareholders more priority than the developers.
     
  22. sarbiewski

    sarbiewski

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    Yes, many people are asking about FSR2. Although it is desired and would suit Unity better because of its higher platform independence, Unity is more likely to choose DLSS3.
    It might get even better. They will only partially implement DLSS 3. Who cares about details? if you can write later that you also support DLSS3.
     
  23. mark_rendle

    mark_rendle

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    I'm not doing gamedev right now so I have no dog in this fight, but this is farcical. You need to draw a line under the current version numbering system and start fresh. Either rename 2023.3 to 2024.1 and 2023.LTS to 2024.LTS or switch to normal numbered versions, maybe even numbers for LTS and odd numbers for Tech Streams.
     
    Qbit86 likes this.
  24. Wolfos

    Wolfos

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    I'd prefer to have both. The current FSR fallback for devices that don't support DLSS is jarring. FSR 1 is very poor quality.

    Just semantic versioning would be best. It's how a lot of software works.
     
    Qbit86 likes this.
  25. jason_yak

    jason_yak

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    I'm all for a more logical versioning convention, but even if the version year lined up with the actual year or going back to the original arbitrary number format, it's all fairly insignificant really. The main issue is the LTS cycle blowing out much longer.
     
  26. strich

    strich

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    @LeonhardP nice blog post, but are there any more details about things like "Improved graphic performance"? We're pretty consistently hitting a wall with CPU performance in URP despite our best efforts. We might consider moving to the tech stream if there are significant improvements there. How/when/where can we see your profiling to show said improvements?
    Thanks!
     
    stonstad likes this.
  27. AljoshaD

    AljoshaD

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    Hi Strich, with RenderGraph, the focus is on automatically optimizing GPU performance for Tile Based / Mobile GPUs when you extend URP with custom RenderFeatures. We are also working on a number of main thread CPU optimizations but it's not clear yet what use cases will benefit and to what extend.
     
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  28. optimise

    optimise

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    Hi AljoshaD. Can u also check case IN-52428 to make sure Entities Graphics is working nicely with this latest URP with solid 60 fps at least at snadragon 855 android phone at Unity 2023.3? Currently 2022.3 is perform poorly and I hope this performance issue will be fully addressed at Unity 2023.3
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2023
  29. UnityMrAndyPuppy

    UnityMrAndyPuppy

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    Good feedback. A few comments:
    1. In terms of "getting things into your hands sooner" - we are actually talking about a few features that were originally scheduled for the 2024 cycle but we've brought forward into 2023. That means they will be in 2023.3, yes, but more importantly, it means they'll be in 2023 LTS.

    Even though that LTS is being pushed out a bit, it still means you'll have a production ready version of those features sooner than if you had to wait until the 2024 cycle.

    And for those 2023 features that you might have been looking forward to in the LTS - the 23.3 tech stream will be fully supported and production ready.

    2. We understand the frustration around the extension and also about naming. I have been looking at naming internally for a long time now (too long), and we are always evaluating how and when we could change naming schemes to make it simpler. Nothing to share but your comments here are valuable as I can merge them into the current evaluation/proposals.

    Thanks!
     
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  30. UnityMrAndyPuppy

    UnityMrAndyPuppy

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    Hi all,

    I replied directly to a comment but realized after there were a few of you asking about this.

    Product naming.
    Turns out it's a hot topic, so I wanted to outline where we're at.

    First - I agree with you. Naming is not ideal at this moment. We've been assessing internally on naming for a while now and are looking at what we can do without having significant impact on existing creators and our internal dev teams.

    The logic of the current naming scheme:
    • we wanted to recognize when the bulk of the actual dev work is done.
    • let's use 2022 as an example. We start doing the first alphas in 2021. The first beta was released late 2021. Then in 2022, we released 2022.1 tech, 2022.2 beta, and 2022.2 tech. We lock feature development after the last tech stream, so from that point until the LTS is released - 2022.3 - we only focus on stability and performance, with no breaking changes allowed and no new features added.
    • So, while 2022 LTS was released later in 2023 than we'd like, it still recognizes that the bulk of the work, and the new features, changes, modifications, were all done in 2022.
    • This is an important distinction. For example, if we called it Unity 2023 when we released it earlier this year, some creators might ask why it didn't support the new apple devices right out of the box. Clearly marking that any new development work was "complete" in 2022, helps define what platform support we have locked in.
    • Those names are really just "product" names (or marketing titles if you want to make me sad). From a development perspective, our naming is actually stuff like 2022.2.7f1. LTS is always year.3.0f1. For example, the latest 2021 LTS version is 2021.3.29f1. You can even find branches if you're in certain programs like I had with DOTS - 2020.2.2f1-dots.4. The letter indicates what kind of release it is, with "f" being "final". A beta will look like 2023.2.0b5 (the current public beta) and alphas look like 2023.2.0a22 (the current public alpha).
    • So while we could change the "product names" just by saying "do it", if we want them to match the actual product versions, we would need those to change also. Which would take more effort and dev time to ensure trunk and branches and features are built appropriately, including looking at product-ver flags that may assume the major version number is a four digit year.
    • None of that is impossible, but we do want to be considerate of that change and how it might impact both internally and externally.

    We have done quantitative and qualitative analysis on the product name. Anecdotally, we saw results from a poll that indicated roughly half of the respondents were good with the current naming scheme, and half wanted a change.

    But when asked what kind of change, the responses varied more than you might expect. Yes, naming the LTS after the year the LTS actually lands was the top of the list, but others asked as some of you have to use a standard version number, some said drop the version number/year number completely, some said use code names for each LTS "Unity LTS JOBLOW", and other suggestions.

    We also interviewed a number of studios, big and small, and got their insight too.

    So - where are we? At this point in time, we are using the year naming scheme and following the logic of "call it after the year it was developed". We ARE assessing the naming scheme, and in particular because we've added the third tech stream to this cycle, that evaluation is currently going on to determine a path forward.

    For now - it's 2023.3 and LTS (2023.4).
     
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  31. optimise

    optimise

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    I have no comment for version naming and current naming scheme looks ok for me. Anyway I just want to know when 2024.1 alpha will start after announcing 2023.3?
     
  32. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    With the added time, will more things also get into Unity 2024.x cycle?
     
  33. jason_yak

    jason_yak

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    Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify something, you mentioned that the 23.3 tech stream will be production ready, but the perception I think many have (myself included) is that it's safer to wait for the LTS. The tech stream might be considered production ready, but obviously there's still room for major changes and the issues that can arise from that.

    I understand the engine is so vast now with countless features all being developed alongside each other, and that there's no way you could say with any certainty that the 23.3 tech stream will be as solid as it would have been if it were the LTS, but that's all we're after, we need certainty that when we upgrade that we're not going to be backed into a corner with an engine that ends up having major issues and prevents us getting our games to market while we wait for bug fixes.

    So I'm still just feeling extremely uncertain about using a tech stream, but if there are any reassurances you can spreak to regarding a tech stream being used for production that would be great to know. It seems that would be a contradiction to the LTS version, but could it just be that our perception of the LTS and lack of certainty on using a tech steam for production is misplaced? or are there any assumptions we can make about a .3 tech release being more stable than a .1 or .2? or perhaps even waiting for a new tech stream being out for a couple of months to iron our initial bugs.

    The short version is how do we identify stability if it's not an LTS version? thanks!
     
    greg-harding likes this.
  34. greg-harding

    greg-harding

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    We're in the same place as @jason_yak - we moved to using LTS versions a few years ago and have been avoiding tech releases for stuff in production, or alphas/betas for anything at all really. They've just been too unstable to rely on and the relative stability of LTS versions has been much easier to deal with.

    The issues do really hit when something like URP is in lock-step with a Unity version and the older versions of URP don't seem to have issues addressed/fixed or receive much attention at all. This is hitting us quite badly in the current 2021 LTS at the moment, and the 2022 LTS is even more broken. So, we're even between a rock and a hard place with LTS versions, let alone thinking about using a tech stream version.

    Hopefully the 2022/2023 tech and LTS development cycle goes well given the long time before a 2023 LTS lands.
     
  35. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    The problem is those terms mean nothing any more. Going by all your editor and feature releases in the past, say, 5-10 years, “production ready” just means beta and “fully supported” means “after you make a minimal repro, produce a video and jump through numerous hoops the QA will put you through, there is a small chance a blocking bug might get fixed in the next 6 months”.
     
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  36. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

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    NRP support for XR was added indeed and will be part of 23.3.
     
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  37. DevDunk

    DevDunk

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    Awesome!
    Looking forward to testing it on standalone vr
     
  38. sarbiewski

    sarbiewski

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    It would also help if you could, for example, introduce colors for the individual years in the Unity Hub. I only see numbers and sometimes I have to look 3 times so I don't get the wrong version. Before you even had to make sure that it wasn't a 2019 version because there were 3 tech streams. Now the nonsense starts again. Now you have to take a closer look and know exactly from which year the new system was introduced. Of course people will complain again and in a few years you want to change it again?
    After an accident has happened, one should not keep trying to improve the situation so that this accident does not happen. After the accident, the parameters are different.
    Unity, you guys are really not good at UX.
     
  39. optimise

    optimise

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    Actually the actual problem behind it is not about year naming scheme but the editor stability and breaking changes. Currently according to case IN-44206 even at latest 2022.3.8f1 LTS at the time of writing, it still has serious player runtime building issue that make the build process really pain that u can't 100% guarantee u can successfully get a game build after pressing build button. Then for breaking changes what I know is at URP there's always has breaking changes that official silently change it without documentation to clearly mention those breaking changes and the resolution to fix those breaking changes. I guess that's why asset store developer tired of keep spending time to figure out the fix themselves and delay update to LTS version.

    So the expectation is to bring editor stability improvement, reduce breaking changes and clear documentation to breaking changes to next level. For each tech stream, it needs to reach quality bar higher than current LTS that should not happen issue like case IN-44206 that can fail player runtime building which unacceptable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2023
  40. Ferazel

    Ferazel

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    Visual Studio 2022 is really 17.X so I don’t think the year matters too much. Contrary to the marketing BS blogpost, I’d guess this extra tech stream is more about them falling behind combined with needing a full year to stabilize the .NET CLR scripting change. Which is my last chance for Unity so I hope they do it right. Tech streams are glorified betas regardless how Unity labels them. So whatever the latest LTS is is all that really matter to a lot of devs.
     
  41. ? I don't think they mention this anywhere, may I ask you where you got the info that .NET Core change will be part of the 2023 release?
     
  42. Wolfos

    Wolfos

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    The tech stream is really not that bad. Updating your project is work but there's too much stigma surrounding it. Yes, it's work but it can absolutely be worth it. Tech stream versions can be perfectly stable, you can ship games with them, or you can update them to an LTS version if you think that would improve your project.

    For me, the 2023 tech stack has countless meaningful improvements that make my project better, and starting on the tech stack makes updating to the eventual LTS much easier (if that's something I even need to do, because 2023.1 is perfectly fine).
     
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  43. Ferazel

    Ferazel

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    My guess is 2024 based on the progress/posts in the .NET scripting forum. This added tech release also delays the .1 release of 2024 and gives them more time for that testing.

    If they work for you and your dev practices, go for it. I think they can be helpful to target a feature 1+ year from release and the pain of upgrading is low (small project/team). However, trying to release a game with a 10+ users relying on it to be stable for a production release is a mistake. Unity also seems to agree that they shouldn’t be used for production work.
     
  44. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    Maybe if you target one or two platforms that are very well covered by your testing such as Desktop Steam. For multiplatform releases it's a death sentence. Unity never address showstopping bugs in a timely manner so it's up to us to avoid them, therefore LTS is the safest bet.
     
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  45. impheris

    impheris

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    Lol, then just call it 2024 LTS, i do not see the point, but...

    ...I see the problem and btw thank you for the info but, calling a tech version "production ready" is something we all know is bs (sorry) and the indie/less experienced devs like me (+80% of your users) are not going to use something that is not LTS for their games, it just does not have any sense at all... IDK, maybe call it "Unity 12" or "Unity 13" and use the LTS, tech, alpha or whatever internally but being in 2025 and opening unity 2023 to create a game with cool features and great graphics is not just weird but it doesn't say anything good (apart from what is already said)
     
    Shizola likes this.
  46. XEDORA

    XEDORA

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    2024 version should be skipped then. If Unity doesn't do it now, Unity will need to do it later.
     
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  47. LeonhardP

    LeonhardP

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    23.4 LTS will be based on the feature set that is locked in towards the end of the 23.3 alpha. From this point of feature-freeze onward, through the rest of the life-cycle of 2023 LTS, the general rule is that no breaking changes or major new features are allowed to be added anymore. Then, before 23.3.0f1 Tech will be released, it has to go through several months of stabilization during the beta phase and pass quality criteria, such as the absence of known issues that would qualify as shipstoppers.The main difference between 23.3 Tech and 23.4 LTS is that an additional period will have passed during which remaining unknown issues can be uncovered and more bugfixes can land. 2023.3 Tech is going to be production ready in the sense that it will be feature complete, have gone through stabilization during the beta, and be fully supported until the end of the 2023 LTS life-cycle.

    If there are features and changes in 23.3 that provide added value to you, we would recommend you give it a try once it has passed from beta to final release, and see if it works for you. If there are no features or changes that you want access to, waiting until the LTS has been released is the recommended approach.
     
    Wolfos likes this.
  48. BTStone

    BTStone

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    Thanks for the blog post, but oh boy is this confusing again :(

    Just for the record, do I get this right?
    So some years ago you changed the cycle from being .4 the LTS version to .3 being the LTS version
    Now we are going back to that again? Is that right?

    If so: what was the reasoning for the change in the first place again and what has changed for it to make sense to go back to this numbering?
     
  49. DevDunk

    DevDunk

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2020
    Posts:
    5,127
    I think it was changed to 3 to have more time to polish each release before making something non beta, which still was not enough time this release
     
  50. BTStone

    BTStone

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Posts:
    1,424
    Just to get MY naming right:

    initial versioning: .1 until .3 was Tech Stream, .4 was LTS

    current versioning: .1 until .2 is Tech Stream, .3 is LTS

    new versioning: .1 until .3 will be Tech Stream, .4 will be LTS

    @DevDunk Yeah, I remember that, that's why I would like to know from someone from Unity what has changed so they decided to go back to that cycle or do I misunderstand this new versioning and it is indeed different from the initial one?
     
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