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Official Unity Answers shutdown - canceled

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by LeonhardP, Jun 9, 2022.

  1. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    Nah. These forums have some insanely good information, for example anything by Ben Golus.

    So while answers is a treasure trove, it's still ultimately down to a handful of people that actually made it valuable. And that took a very long time, as well as being inaccessible. So I support it being visibly archived as read only.
     
    Olmi, RaoulWB and AnomalusUndrdog like this.
  2. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    For the most part newbies are only frowned upon when they show very low effort on their part, but I'm looking at some of the beginner questions on UA and not seeing that there. Instead I'm seeing people who put effort in their questions including showing what they have already tried.

    Here is an example of the above from someone that joined less than a month ago.

    https://answers.unity.com/questions/1906315/how-to-fire-limited-bullet.html

    Meanwhile here is the average beginner on the forums.

    https://forum.unity.com/threads/theres-a-problem-with-my-code.1293588/
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
    NotaNaN, Olmi, Ony and 2 others like this.
  3. JessHarvey

    JessHarvey

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    This is an absolutely inane decision, but par for course with Unity Technologies' developer relations I guess. The assistance that Unity Answers has provided me is substantial. Without it, my productivity will undoubtedly take a hit.

    It is deeply unfortunate that as developers with the engine, time and time again we are forced to work around the bizarre and flailing directions of Unity's product managers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
  4. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Meanwhile there are a ton of people that receive no assistance.

    https://answers.unity.com/questions/unanswered.html

    Agreed. That said between the fact that the best way to use the site is to look at old answers and the fact that it has a ton of unanswered ones shows that it failed in its goal of becoming a place where people go for answers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
  5. FinsworksInteractive

    FinsworksInteractive

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    Unbelievable, why on earth would you hide the answers? I cannot even begin to understand the rationality behind the decision.
     
    Ony likes this.
  6. JessHarvey

    JessHarvey

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  7. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I've added a comment to my post on that subject.
     
  8. DetroitBrian

    DetroitBrian

    Can't spell "Community" without "Unity"! Unity Technologies

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    Thank you everyone for your feedback. Your comments and posts have shown just how engaged and passionate this community is. We want you to know that we hear you and are listening to your feedback. We will take a step back and find a better plan forward.
     
  9. Novack

    Novack

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    So glad to read you're considering a different path! Shutting down UA would be a crime really.

    Helps also to note how far the company has become apart from its user base, to the point of not perceiving the lose it would represent for Unity developers of such a traditional resource. Outdated and all sometimes UA is still, to this day, pretty effective as repository of snipets (maybe more so than the official docs).

    It contains thousands of hours of constructive and altruistic developer exhange and interaction of the type that builds community! Not something you would expect to be powered off like that.
     
  10. PartyBoat

    PartyBoat

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    Thank goodness. Nuking this massive repository of community support would be a travesty. Please at minimum make it read only.
     
    Ony and KingfisherWyvernStudio like this.
  11. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Welp, looking forward to another 2 years of radio silence.

    And then, after the current Unity employees involved in this have moved on to something better than Unity, we will get the exact same announcement from different people.
     
    skullthug, Ony and akuno like this.
  12. Bunny83

    Bunny83

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    Well if you look at the numbers, it's about 30% of all questions that are "unanswered". However unanswered does not mean they got no help. Alot of them may have comments which ask to clarify or even give advice or an answer in a comment. But I've seen alot such question where the person who asked the question never ever come back after they asked the question (last seen timestamp). I would say probably 70% of those "unanswered" questions are ultra low quality that do not really count as a question that can be answered and would be closed anyways.

    Most people would say that StackOverflow works because it has an active community (even tough it has other issues). Though just right now SO has 6 million unanswered questions and 22 million questions total. That's also 30%. You can't really expect that everyone gets his question answered. You know there are certain limits. Have you ever talked to a flat earther? Try answering his "questions" and not going insane... :)
     
  13. Briner

    Briner

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    Glad to hear this will be reconsidered, but this is just another example of how Unity has lost its path, for the last 3 years at least, seems like Unity is taking 1 step forward and 4 backward with its decisions all because they are not on the same page with their user base, the once greatest game developer community now is bleeding and massively moving to other engines, and the rest which remains trusting on better times just get more reasons to be pissed off by nonsense decisions like this coming from nowhere and every time more frequently, all this while the main rival Unreal is doing the total opposite and building a great community and a yaw-opening engine leaving Unity developers without reason to not switch to their engine...

    I really love Unity and I wish the ones taking the decisions get more in touch with the community or at least move away and leave new heads coming up with new ideas and listen to the community to put Unity on the right path again, otherwise, Unity is doomed.
     
  14. comomomo

    comomomo

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    Unity Answers has been huge for my growth as a developer. If I were starting game development again and didn't have it as a resource I would likely have picked a different engine. Especially with the current state of documentation for Unity's new features.

    I also don't think engagement on the site is a really useful metric since a large portion of the people who land on it probably come from Google and have their questions answered before they log in. It's a testiment to the wealth of information on the site - especially for esoteric topics. The site has become so ingrained in my muscle memory I'll often accidentally Google search Unity when searching for questions in unrelated fields. Discord is not a useful substitute because it can't be indexed by popular search engines like Google.

    I'm glad you're stepping back on this to reconsider. I see it like a crowdsourced FAQ for the engine. It would be very challenging to rebuild. I hope you also consider continuing to allow users to contribute.
     
    askenny, Ony and Marc-Saubion like this.
  15. yewnyx

    yewnyx

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    The fast pivot to reconsidering is much appreciated - thank you.
     
  16. ATpartytime

    ATpartytime

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    Please don't delete the Unity Answers content. I still use it regularly
     
    Ony, akuno, hippocoder and 1 other person like this.
  17. DinostabOMG

    DinostabOMG

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    Just adding my voice, as a 9 year user and dev who actually frequently partners with Unity. Please, please, please make the archive available.
     
    Ony and KingfisherWyvernStudio like this.
  18. Caeser_21

    Caeser_21

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    I literally only found this thread through Answers o_O... Personally it feels like Answers is so much more superior compared to the Forum.

    Although Answers is kind of broken, It is still the best place to get info about unity related issues.

    99% of the time, the answers to my question is on Answers, not on the Forum

    This decision would be much better if Answers was still accessible for reading only and not torn off the face of this planet

    If Answers gets deleted completely, there would be a massive flow of forum questions asking the same questions that was discussed a long time ago, which isn't a good thing
     
    NotaNaN, Marc-Saubion, Ony and 5 others like this.
  19. Win3xploder

    Win3xploder

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    from reddit user:

    I'm all for consolidating competing standards, but the forums just don't adequately replace Answers right now, and they won't until:

    [LIST]
    [*]Accepted answers can be highlighted and pinned. So many times I've had to comb through several pages for an adequate answer.
    [*]Questions are easier to browse. There might be a question that I know how to answer, but I'll never see it because I didn't click on "Platforms > WebGL > Building and Optimization" or something.
    [*]Top existing Answers content is migrated. There's still gold on Answers, even if much of it is outdated, and it continues to top Google results for a reason.
    [/LIST]
    Again, I understand why this is necessary and how it is beneficial. However, if Unity has any interest in maintaining their lead as the easiest game engine to self-teach, they ought not to prematurely retire one of the bastions of online Unity support.
     
    akuno and andrew-lukasik like this.
  20. PBKitty

    PBKitty

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    I actually think that whoever is working on the docs and the forums should check to see how Answers has such good search engine optimization compared to either of them.
     
  21. Clavus

    Clavus

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    I'm left wondering who's taking these kind of decisions at Unity.

    Game dev relies a lot on the archived knowledge that the 'old' internet generated, and Unity Answers is vastly more efficient for condensing that knowledge than a lot of forum posts. If anything, you guys should be looking into ways to improve Unity Answers:
    - Promote it better for people seeking support for simple questions
    - Have specialists actively seek out posts that get a lot of traffic, and attach public notes to them if answers are outdated or if they still need an answer in the first place

    If you really want to ditch Unity answers, you should at least archive the knowledge without ever breaking the search engine links and add question / answer style post functionality to the forums (where the OP of a thread can mark a post as the answer and bring it to the top).
     
    Clonkex, Novack, akuno and 3 others like this.
  22. garryjnewman

    garryjnewman

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    Here's some free tips for Unity
    • Close Unity Answers
    • Acquire a knowledgebase company for $50m
    • $100 a month subscription plans to access answers
    • Tokens to ask questions
    • Tokens to answer questions
    • Premium boosted questions
    • $500 for a Unity staff member to ask for a repro project
    • $20 per user to see old answers site
    • Make knowledgebase only accessible in editor
    • Make a new UI system for new knowledgebase
    • Use new UI system in 25% of editor then abandon
    • Give CEO $200m leaving bonus for getting stock price from -45% to -40%
     
  23. Spazius

    Spazius

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    A short grace period for this kind of stuff would be 6-12 months, not 11 days.

    Devs may pop in a few times a year to seek answers which are at least a couple of years old and while that does look terrible for "activity" and "engagement" that doens't mean it isn't solving real problems for them. That kind of user wouldn't have known the site was going offline before it happened.

    At minimum there needs to be a migration of the old knowledge into some medium, but that also creates new problems to solve as google results will still lead people to the old pages.
     
  24. SpAM_CAN

    SpAM_CAN

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    I'm glad you're backtracking on this, because it's a terrible idea just to outright nuke the site with no archive plan. Answers has been in decline, but much like the old Wiki it is full of snippets that are still useful.

    I'm still annoyed about the Wiki getting nuked.

    Just make it read-only.
     
    Moonjump, toprakrumelli and akuno like this.
  25. Vederant

    Vederant

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    I'm just going to repeat what many here have mentioned. Whenever I'm implementing something I haven't done a 1000 times over, my research always comes back to someone providing, at the very least, a great starting point on Unity answers. I legitimately feel that my ability to work in the engine would be greatly diminished if it all was to just disappear.
     
    toprakrumelli and akuno like this.
  26. johnlumsdendeveloper

    johnlumsdendeveloper

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    Could you at least name and shame the one person who thought this was a good idea, who also just so happened to be in charge of this decision. Thanks
     
  27. Duende

    Duende

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    I discovered Unity in 2012 and since 2014 I have been working with this engine uninterruptedly. Without Unity Answer (and this forum), I would not have been able to do half of the things I have achieved in all these years, even today I need to look for help, and I always find it in Untiy Answer and this forum.

    The person who has taken the decision to remove Unity Answer is not aware of how IMPORTANT this platform is for us, the developers. The biggest advantage Unity has over other engines, like Unreal or Godot, is the community. Googling any problem you have with the engine is quickly found.

    You are shooting yourselves in the foot with this decision. In my opinion you should leave Unity Answer open and, in case you have to close it because there really isn't much participation anymore (which I doubt), leave it public and indexed so that we can continue to access all that knowledge. Otherwise the damage you are going to do to the Unity engine is incalculable.
     
  28. toprakrumelli

    toprakrumelli

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    At least it should stay in read-only mode. Why you are shutting it down completely? Does server prices cost millions of dollars?
     
  29. razzraziel

    razzraziel

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    Yea Answers was becoming less and less popular. I hope the forum won't have that end because of Discord etc.
     
    hippocoder likes this.
  30. jashan

    jashan

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    Unity!? Unity!? What has become of you? Does anybody else in here feel the way I do?

    Well, obviously yes (even though I don’t think anyone will get that reference so I felt the need to point out that it is one). But yeah, as someone who has published a book on Unity that praised the awesome community around the engine (and that includes Unity Answers), I’ll join the choir that sings to you:

    You have lost your way.

    And I’d love if you’d find it again. Can you maybe ask David if he could become CEO again? Because the beginning of the downfall of Unity coincides with a specific change in leadership and there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as you’re willing to correct them. The stock market would also love it, maybe at least the potential of $$$ could be a convincing argument?

    I just thought of looking at the Unity blog which used to be a an edutaining read … but … then I remembered how much time I have wasted with reading those PR-fluff posts. And that’s just one example. Not only your customers but also the awesome people (still) working at Unity Technologies really deserve better.
     
  31. JGameMaker92

    JGameMaker92

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    So you guys are going to destroy the pathway to knowledge we’ve been building all these years? You’d better find a way to archive it at least. The thought process is more invaluable than the content itself
     
  32. phalo

    phalo

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    Having people ask the same questions over and over on forums creates more "engagement" which will look good on some PM's KPIs.
     
    goncalo-vasconcelos likes this.
  33. Kamyker

    Kamyker

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    The most frustrating situation while learning Unreal was finding google results that in the end pointed to forum post about removed Wiki. Don't do the same mistake with Unity Answers. Simply make them read only or move to forums and make sure old links aren't broken.
    What about amount of views?

    About Discord - it's a terrible and messy place to look for answers that can't be googled.

    Btw do you what's better than Unity forums? Github issues and discussions. They have all the features of Unity Answers like upvoting, marking as answer and more. Not to mention being able to link to lines of code giving much more meaningful context and pull requests making community contributions possible.

     
  34. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    This isn't the first time we've had to battle Unity community management over what community is. I've had to battle them a few times on it. Every time I mentioned it was a bad move (forum change, auto capitals change, ruining code, the entire collaboration social media subsite abomination etc etc)

    What makes me nervous is how fast these decisions happen with seemingly no processes. Makes me nervous that lasting damage to the community can happen.

    Let the developers that use this stuff tell you why they're paying for Unity.
    It's not paying you to make their jobs harder by erasing answers, of all things.
     
  35. Grinning-Pickle

    Grinning-Pickle

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    I bet you could hire one single developer to answer questions for 8 hours a day, give it an "Official Unity Answer" badge and the usefulness and engagement would shoot through the roof if people know they're being heard. Turn that weakness into a strength. It's not that hard.
     
  36. akuno

    akuno

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    How out of touch one must be to think that would be a good idea.

    This is what worries me about whoever is in charge of Unity the last few years.
     
  37. Emery-Monzerol

    Emery-Monzerol

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    First off, I 100% echo the general reaction here, that losing access to this treasure trove of information would be absolutely catastrophic for all Unity devs. It must not happen.

    But I also want to add something I haven't seen mentioned yet in this thread. While retaining at least some form of "top list" of the best answers (most commonly visited, most upvoted or whatever other metric) would lessen the blow, I think that would mostly be helpful for newcomers. As someone who's been using Unity for about 10 years, I (obviously) still end up finding issues that are more obscure, and I still more often than not manage to find some amount of extremely valuable information through UA, sometimes even with unanswered questions. Just finding that one other person who's had the same weird obscure problem describing their issue in their own way, and maybe with some information I hadn't found yet, is so, so, SO valuable in those situations. It can sometimes mean the difference between a few hours of investigation and a few weeks.

    I cannot overstate how much of a horrible mistake that would be on Unity's part. Please, please, please don't do it.
     
    Novack likes this.
  38. juzimmer

    juzimmer

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    Truthfully who cares. There are plenty of places that have way better information. Like unity docs, unity discord, unity's tutorial videos, Google, YouTube, udemy, stack overflow games, tons of other game dev discord channels. Yall are just complaining to complain at this point. Stop the entitlement and move on. You don't need this forum. It will become outdated.
     
  39. daville

    daville

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    I'ts good that they now decided to "step back" on this nonsense.
    It's is very bad that they took a nonsensical decision and had to "step back" to beging with.
     
  40. Shizola

    Shizola

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    You have no idea what you're talking about.
     
  41. Shizola

    Shizola

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    Another monumentally stupid decision by Unity executives. "one of our biggest advantages over other engines is our community resources, so let's just go ahead and delete it for no reason". No consultation and awful communication. It almost seems like corporate sabotage lol.

    And although it's been walked back, half the people who heard this announcement won't know that. Too late, another mark against Unity's reputation that was completely avoidedable.
     
  42. Aladine

    Aladine

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    It is utterly stupid to not at least archive the website and make it read-only, hell even go ahead and clean all the unanswered/duplicated questions, but to just shoot yourself in the foot and delete YEARS of exchanged knowledge that people still rely on till today ? I have been using unity professionally since 2013, and I often end up in Unity Asnwers looking for something. just don't do that and fire whoever is coming up with these terrible ideas every year, he/she is an Unreal spy.
     
  43. FlightOfOne

    FlightOfOne

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    THIS!

    I almost never use Answers to ask questions, but more often than not, I still find lots of answer to question.

    Hiding this would be like burning down an old library.
     
    Clonkex likes this.
  44. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    It's nice that this has been walked back but I think it speaks volumes that the initial plan was a sunset period of less than two weeks announced like this. I want to know who thought anything about that plan was okay because, once again, it is a clear display of how UT is extremely disconnected from the wants and needs of its users as a company. This isn't new behaviour and that's a major problem. I shouldn't have to have multiple posts on these forums from multiple different angles about multiple different ways UT fails in this regard.
     
  45. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Happened with Enlighten too. Unity suddenly just ... flails out like some kind of nervous tic whenever things are going well.

    In future.. just calm the titties, Unity. Not everything is a 2 week thing.
     
    Clonkex, -chris, kenshin and 2 others like this.
  46. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I know you're joking but acquiring a company that specializes in managing and interacting with communities is not a bad idea because it's clear that Unity has a very limited understanding of how the community came to be as great as it is and how to keep it that way.

    Speaking of which it wasn't that long ago that they did the very same thing to these forums. I wish I had kept a screenshot of Lithium to show how bad it was and how negatively the community reacted. It's not often that you see a community discuss creating their own third party forums.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
    Marc-Saubion likes this.
  47. tiMo1oos

    tiMo1oos

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    Its just disappointment that all of the history of unity is just going to be vanished, its same like deleting YouTube, too much history to be deleted
     
  48. joshcamas

    joshcamas

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    This is such a common occurrence we should just put it on our calendars - Unity makes stupid decision, everyone gets mad, Unity reverts decision. (Optional: Unity just waits a bit then does it anyways)

    None of this would happen if Unity leadership wasn't so disconnected from the community.
     
    mgear and Marc-Saubion like this.
  49. garryjnewman

    garryjnewman

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    You know, idea rolled back or not, that's not the real lesson here.

    The thing is that someone at Unity thought this was a good idea. Someone that had enough authority to make it happen. Then when they made it happen they either didn't listen to staff, or the staff are just as oblivious, or they didn't even ask the staff.

    So given that it's obvious that this person, or people, are oblivious about how the great majority of people use their products.. is it fair to wonder what other bad decisions they're making without anyone noticing?
     
  50. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It's pretty common like the lithium thing... it was just staff trying to boost that CV and they didn't really have experience in that. Worst thing ever is that Unity still does not understand that this community cannot be run like a game company community. Those skills are not transferable due to dev audiences requiring strong communication with the company's developers to use the product and the fact they're doing this for business, to make money.

    So people working with Unity's community had better be having some technical background as well, not just be some kind of game-website hand waver.

    They didn't even PM the mods this time.
     
    NotaNaN, Clonkex, akuno and 7 others like this.