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Welcome to Bolt 2 beta (coming soon)

Discussion in 'Experimental Scripting Previews' started by LaurentGibert, Apr 23, 2020.

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  1. TheElumenati

    TheElumenati

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    I was on technical support with LIQUID and they said I should request beta 2 from this forum. Thank you. Dr. CS
     
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  2. TomateSalat

    TomateSalat

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    In case if it is a closed beta: I also would like to have access. But I hope it will be an open beta - or at least an open beta for those who own bolt 1.
     
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  3. NathanielAH

    NathanielAH

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    Definitely interested in participating in the Beta as well; been waiting around for this since early Alphas.
     
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  4. NiirB

    NiirB

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    Thank you, that is good to hear. I think that report has to be mine I just was not sure if it's okay to use the unity report feature since it didn't allow me to pick out that I'm reporting an issue about a Unity owned asset :)
     
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  5. cursedtoast

    cursedtoast

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    So I'm a C# programmer, but very interested in trying Bolt for more complicated AI (it might be easier for my ADHD brain to see visually what's going on for some things).

    With the acquisition, it makes me nervous that four or five months down the road, Bolt will suddenly be free. Is there any indication that will be the case or can I safely spend money knowing it won't be wasted a few short months down the line?

    Edit: Sorry, realized I posted this in a different thread, too many threads open.
     
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  6. warpfx

    warpfx

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    Feb 10, 2020
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    Hi! I bought Bolt yesterday, but can't connect my invoice ID with Ludiq's account page to download Bolt 2.x. It just says "Invalid invoice id". Is there anyone that could help me with that? I sent contact e-mail yesterday via Ludiq's contact e-mail, but they didn't respond. On Ludiq's Discord nobody is able to help me, they said make a post on this thread. I just wanted to start testing Bolt 2.x. Thank you in advance!
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  7. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    Ludiq handed over development entirely to Unity. They are not developing Bolt anymore. So any kind of access or support now can only be gained via official Unity channels. You must wait for the closed beta like the rest of us here. And there's no other way to access Bolt 2 unless you already had access before the acquisition.
     
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  8. warpfx

    warpfx

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    Yeah, that makes sense. I already asked Unity to provide me a link to download Bolt 2.x and will be prepared for their rejection. Hope beta will be released soon.

    Thank you for your help!
     
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  9. LaurentGibert

    LaurentGibert

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi @dre788, we haven't made a final choice regarding the supported versions. What would be very natural for us is to transition our support fully on Bolt 2 when ready. So depending on the timing, it would be efficient to stick with Bolt 1 on previous versions of Unity and then move to Bolt 2 for future versions of Unity.

    What do you think?
     
  10. LaurentGibert

    LaurentGibert

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi @cursedtoast, there is no plan to change the pricing at this point for Bolt 1. We are focusing on providing continuous support, while landing Bolt 2 as soon as possible from a technical point of view.

    We will make our best to disclose any pricing update as soon as possible when something is decided.
     
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  11. LaurentGibert

    LaurentGibert

    Unity Technologies

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    Thanks for your interest @warpfx, we need still a little bit of time to figure out the distribution details of Bolt 2 alpha/beta from our end. It shouldn't be long now.
     
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  12. steve_zeng

    steve_zeng

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    Hello, it has been two weeks. When will the new version be released?
     
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  13. Code-T

    Code-T

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    Looking forward to the alpha/beta of Bolt 2!
    @LaurentGibert Take your time and give us a new shiny tool when it's usable :)
     
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  14. Coroknight

    Coroknight

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    I too would like beta access when available. Thanks!
     
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  15. DavidFoxfire

    DavidFoxfire

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    I'd be very interested in something like Bolt, or some other Visual Scripting Utility, especially if it will be a built-in feature to Unity. It'll be of a real help for me designing my first Bullet Hell game here. Let me know if I can get into the Bolt Beta.
     
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  16. LaurentGibert

    LaurentGibert

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi @steve_zeng, sorry for the delay, our first focus was in the hand off and transfer of knowledge, while this is not fully complete, we're working now at figuring out the details for distributing alpha versions.
     
  17. TomateSalat

    TomateSalat

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    Since when is "a couple of weeks" equal to "two weeks"? No delay - no need for excuses ;-). Like Code-T said: take your time.
     
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  18. AllTurner

    AllTurner

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    I am watching this Bolt 2 thread daily and I think everybody is eagerly waiting for updates. I personally started with Bolt 1 at first, but since Bolt 2 was started, I just can't go back to Bolt 1.
    I was never impatient about new AAA game releases or a fancy new tech toy for the PC, but boy I am impatient about Bolt 2. :)
    Can't wait to continue developing with Bolt 2!
    Big thanks to Unity and the devs for the great decision to fast-track this! Future awaits :D
     
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  19. LaurentGibert

    LaurentGibert

    Unity Technologies

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    Thanks all for your patience and support!!

    @AllTurner, can I ask more specifically why you "can't go back to Bolt 1"? What are the central elements of the difference for you, and how does it impact your projects?
     
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  20. JacobPatterson

    JacobPatterson

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    Hi,
    Bolt user here, I would love to participate in the Beta testing too. Please let me know if/when participation is possible. Thanks.
     
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  21. AllTurner

    AllTurner

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    1. One of the things is that it is closer to C# and it's so much easier to implement C# scripts that I read online, for example.
    2. layout and the way you can snap and organize the graph.
    3. The explorer is great for me to easily manage the graphs and the relation between them. Also dragging and dropping the variable and the events into the graph is quite awesome.

    In Bolt 1 there are concepts I still don't grasp to this day, but in Bolt 2 they seem pretty straightforward. For some reason I did not understand how it (Bolt 1) handles events. In Bolt 2 events were easy to understand and apply.
    In my projects I use Fungus, for dialogue management and narrative purposes. With Bolt 1 i did not manage to implement so that I can communicate between them, but with Bolt 2 I can use the code from Fungus (inside Bolt) very easily to trigger dialogues.

    In the end it feels like Bolt 2 gives you access to all that Unity has to offer in scripting. while Bolt 1 maybe it could, but it looks like you have to dig through a forest to do some pretty straight forward operations that you can do with only a few lines of code in script. So less to worry about why it's not working and more into building the game itself

    Hope this gives some clarity.

    Do note that I am an artist and I've got only 2 years of hobby programming under my belt, but Bolt 2 makes life easier for me and makes it easier to learn. :)
     
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  22. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis

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    Ill insert my 2 cents as well. I will gladly prototype with Bolt 1 in a pinch. I love sketching out logic, visually, while live in play mode. It really helps my workflow and productivity. Where it all falls apart is scalability.

    • Practically everything is string based, so you have to be very careful about spelling and name changes, unlike Bolt 2 which is strongly typed, thanks to GUIDs on the backend.
    • Actual strings don't support return carriages. Annoying for dialog.
    • Nothing really owns custom events. If you want to know what events are broadcast from a graph, you have to dig through it to find what string based event is being triggered and why. Also, since everything is soft, you need to do the same to find the valid event parameters.
    • Variables must be created in the editor, individually, for every graph you add to a GameObject. You can make boiler plate in your graphs to check if variables exist, and if not create them, which saves you from errors, but that's only play mode. You still have to remember to manually add things to the editor you want to tweak, which means remembering which things you can and should tweak.
    • There's only one container for scene and app scoped variables, which can get lengthy and unorganized quickly.
    • Debugging and search tools are non existent. It can be vary hard to track down an error or find something among your graphs.
    The above issues, which aren't present in Bolt 2, quickly add up as your project grows in Bolt 1.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  23. chn10151

    chn10151

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    I would like to participate in the beta version as well, thank you.
     
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  24. NiirB

    NiirB

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    Little bit off topic but inside of Ludiq settings in Unity when you have Bolt 1 you can turn on snap to grid. No where near the organization level of Bolt 2 but hey it's close :D
     
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  25. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    I will chip in as well.

    I think there are two key aspects of Bolt 2 that leaves Bolt 1 and similar visual scripting assets in the dust.

    Structure:

    Bolt 1 is very loose, very free form, and it's both a blessing and a curse. Because there's no explicit structure, when I work with Bolt 1 I think on the scale of whole graphs which can grow huge in a blink of an eye and often mixes responsibility over several aspects of the game systems/mechanics. Especially because variables and custom events often are not tied to graphs, they're completely separate from them. And custom events are not tied to anything really, they're basically strings somewhere in your graphs.

    Bolt 2, meanwhile, requires you to sort everything into classes and functions like C# and groups graphs together with variables and events. It introduces a structure that naturally leads to better designed systems - in place of mega-graphs tied together with long lists of scene and app variables you now have a class or multiple classes with neatly ordered functions, variables and events where each class is responsible for a single thing. Makes implementing KISS and SOLID principles much easier than Bolt 1.

    And then there're the purely technical aspects of Bolt 2 that make it superior:

    1. Bolt 2's generated C# can be up to 20 times faster than Bolt 1 reflection. Native performance is why people are excited for Bolt 2 the most. It also significantly reduces load times on mobile and webgl. You get the best of both worlds.
    2. Strongly typed and strongly referenced variables and events - you can actually see the types of your variables in the graph and can rename the variables at any time. In Bolt 1 you can't do any kind of refactoring of this type unless you hunt down every instance of the variable in every graph and change the magic string manually.
    3. Features that Bolt 1 doesn't support - generics, delegates, enums, etc. Some of these are direly needed to work with some 3rd party assets like Easy Save or Rucksack. It also gives users more options in their own code. Bolt 2 enums are especially a highlight for me because unlike C# enums they can be renamed and reordered without breaking existing graphs.
    4. Better debugging - clicking the error in console actually centers you on the faulty node. In Bolt 1 at best you get to the object that's causing the error, but often clicking the error does nothing and you have to hunt down the object/graph manually.
    5. Hopefully, better editor performance - Bolt 1 turns into slideshow when any sizeable state machine or long variable lists are selected in Play mode on an i7 6700k, 16GB RAM, RTX 2060 machine. And the editor outside play mode also gets laggy. I believe this is related to how Unity redraws all windows or all inspectors every frame, even if no change is made anywhere. Devs of multiple VS assets have cited that as the reason and they can't really do anything about it.
    6. As NeedsLoomis already mentioned, Bolt 1 doesn't scale well past minor projects. Organization of graphs and variables and events becomes pure hell. Especially because it's all magic string matching. There’s no way to organize variables. Custom events are magic strings burried somewhere in your graphs. Practically no refactoring features. Bolt 2 fixes almost all of that with strongly typed, strongly referenced variables and events, and with the class structure and the new Explorer window. The only additional thing it needs is something for variable organisation like an option to add headers inside variable lists.
    7. Since Bolt 2 compiles to native C# in builds, there's no need for AOT pre-build. I've lost dozens of hours to troubleshooting Bolt 1 AOT issues. I'm still having a lot of trouble making it work with Cloud Build.
    8. Improved workflow - creating macros is painful in Bolt 1 - you have to painstakingly define each input and output manually. In Bolt 2 you drop values and connections on input/ouput nodes and they're created automatically. Or just create a macro, or function automatically from selection. Fuzzy finder is improved in just about every way from search speed to results visualization. A lot of small improvements like this come together to form significant development speed gains.

    Because of the poor editor performance and lack of organisation features of Bolt 1 variable lists and because of the superior structure of Bolt 2, I’ve now adapted a hybrid method of development - all my variables are grouped in C# classes which I expose to Bolt 1 graphs. This way I improve editor performance while also having some structure benefits of Bolt 2, like strongly typed variables and variable organisation. It’s already highlighted issues of some of my Bolt 1 graphs that were doing too many things at the same time. I couldn’t see that while working purely in Bolt 1 environment.

    In short, Bolt 2 is a huge step forward in just about every way. And it makes the asset actually usable in production (once it'll become stable) which I can't say about Bolt 1. It lacks too many quality of life features and editor performance dies real quick once a project grows few months into active development.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  26. steve_zeng

    steve_zeng

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    I bought bolt for version 2.0!I am more concerned about when to release the new version. I have been waiting for the new version since A10, but I am in a hurry. Could you please tell me the release time?
     
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  27. Zebbi

    Zebbi

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    Off to a good start.
     
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  28. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis

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    Its not full solution to having a more featured inspector, but you might enjoy this little trick!

    Make an empty serialized C# class, add a variable with the new type to your Bolt classes and give them simple periods as names (which bolt won't show), and then turn off overrides to hide the checkbox. Voilà, a spacer you can use to help organize your components :)



     
  29. TomateSalat

    TomateSalat

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    This is really a pain and a reason why I avoid those concepts as much as possible. I don't get it why Bolt isn't supporting UnityEvents! The first thing I did after purchasing bolt was implementing my own EventSystem. In first it was depending on ScriptableObjects and now I've an implementation which is supporting UnityEvents. (I don't like the relection parts but at least I proofed: it is possible! And I haven't noticed any impact of it in my games. Also AOT is possible). [If you want I can share the code here]

    Variables I also only use when "I have to" (because I don't want to introduce another data-component). But I hate it. I don't know why I can define a Type for it but the editor doesn't make use of that information! You also have to be really careful in which order you define your types. Sometimes bolt just looses the type-information.

    Another pain point is that variables make your script makro unstable. Imagine you share a makro but forget to mention all the required types. I would prefer that the variables shown in the unity-inspector syncs with all variables used by the script. I don't like this and so I consider makros using variables as non-reusable.
     
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  30. startleworks

    startleworks

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    Hi, i'm interested in the Bolt 2 beta as well.
     
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  31. dmsnyder4

    dmsnyder4

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    I am an educator who has been using Playmaker for several years now and was really hoping to switch over to Bolt 2 in the Fall. Please add me to your Bolt 2 betas list. Thanks.
     
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  32. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis

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  33. TomateSalat

    TomateSalat

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    I'm not talking about Unity Lifecycle Events. I'm talking about:
    UnityEvent
    UnityEvent<T>
    UnityEvent<T0, T1>...

    Here you can see an example how my implementation looks like:


    Shortly explained the video: In OnEnable I will kill the User after one second (as you can see above) and then a UnityEvent<User> is fired from which I take the name.
    If you also have a look at the inspector then you can see the User-Behavior there.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  34. LukasKiefer

    LukasKiefer

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    Also interested in beta participation....
     
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  35. LaurentGibert

    LaurentGibert

    Unity Technologies

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    Not time yet, sorry. Let us finish the knowledge transfer, and then move on to release regular alpha/beta versions as we finish the work on Bolt 2. things will get more precise as we progress during the next few months.
     
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  36. NiirB

    NiirB

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    This is understandable, however there seems to be a large influx of people in the bolt discord that are buying bolt and hoping to get Bolt 2 alpha. It would probably be fair if they could somehow get version 2.10a
     
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  37. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    a10 is highly unstable, especially if you don't manually apply the type inference fix that was shared on Discord a couple months back. There's not a lot of value in sharing it now, I think. New users will get a lot more out of the next release that'll have many key fixes for previous alpha issues.
     
  38. NiirB

    NiirB

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    I was recently using Bolt on my laptop again with no mouse which made me remember a feature request I posted on Ludiq forums shortly before the acquisition. If possible I'd like to see horizontal scrolling be implemented. Right now navigating Bolt graphs with a touch pad is a bit of a chore and that would make it a lot easier as you wouldn't have to zoom in/out to move left/right on the graph.

    I realise this isn't top priority right now but it seems like the new Bolt devs have eyes on this thread so might as well :D
     
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  39. StefanFG

    StefanFG

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    Hello,


    i am wondering if you would be able to give us Linux users and developers with released products using bolt a update on this as i have had to role back to older version of my game because the newest update as bugs and i am not able to fix them with out spending hours looking for one unity to fix one bug.

    This is fixed in bolt 2 but that is not stable enough for release in a game for us along with suggested by you guys and the developers.

    Stefan
     
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  40. RoninGilla

    RoninGilla

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    Hand Raised for Bolt 2 Beta!
     
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  41. LIVENDA_LABS

    LIVENDA_LABS

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    Why are you still charging for Bolt 1, at least have the audacity to make it free inlight of all the thousands of complaints on the General Forum regarding the new UE4 vs Unity news. Can we join the beta?
     
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  42. RealityDotStop

    RealityDotStop

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    Honestly, it's probably because they haven't had time to go over it, and Bolt 1 has been feature frozen for two years while Bolt 2 was developed.

    To get an influx of users off the back of offering it free *now*, on an old, slightly outdated version of a product that is actively being replaced and may not be worth development resources would be troublesome.

    IF they are going to offer it free, it would make more sense to do that with the release of Bolt 2, once we've had a chance to battle test it, bang on it, expanding it, so it comes out of the door with a bang and can actually compete with other engines. And that would uphold the promises to the existing customers. Remember, they also have people yelling at them that making Bolt 1 free is a backstab for all the paying customers. As much as we would all like it to be simple, they aren't going to be able to make everyone happy. I think *IF* they do it, doing it on the release of Bolt 2 "1.0" would make the most sense (<< my opinion only).

    In the meantime, you should come pop in at the discord, Laurent. I know it isn't a place for official news, but we still enjoy hanging out, helping each other, and picking each other's brains for tips.
     
  43. toomasio

    toomasio

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    I bought the probuilder collection and it went free. I didn't care at all. I also bought Bolt. Bolt 2 should be free and be part of the package manager. I think it would be a really dumb move for Unity to put a pay wall up on visual scripting when it has been a key feature missing since the birth of blueprints.
     
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  44. RealityDotStop

    RealityDotStop

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    Oh I don't care either, but they have to consider more than my opinion.

    Although if they decided otherwise, it'd be convenient. ;)

    I think that's what I said though, isn't it? They have reasons for not wanting to take Bolt 1 free, but once Bolt 2 is 1.0, most of those reasons vanish, and making it free can be leveraged into an advantage and they have effective competition.

    But you need that documentation, tutorials, bug fixes, and a working product before you throw the gauntlet down with Blueprints. Give 'em time to decide how they want to use this new toy they've found in their lap. Surely they've been having these discussions internally, and regardless of what they decide hopefully they'll pull back the curtain just a little bit on why they come to the decision they do.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  45. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    I'm wondering about what there's actually to consider besides keeping it paid for revenue reasons. But surely long-term benefits outstrip the short term revenue. Hundreds of Bolt based assets will bring in more than one paid Bolt asset (look at Blueprints and Unreal Marketplace). If Bolt remains paid, it will limit adaption both user wise and on the asset store while not offering a proper blueprints alternative. Free>$70 for a new user shopping for engines. And it'll bring in a new PR disaster about official micro-transaction packages.
     
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  46. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    You just answered it for yourself.
    Free asset's user base > paid asset's user base. More user more support problems and expense.

    It is easy for us to demand everything for free, but at the same time it worth mentioning that Unity actually offers support for everything they do. And that is quite expensive both financially and on the spent time front.

    I basically agree with @RealityDotStop here, if they make something free, it would/should be the v2. Obviously it is not my place to decide, but it looks the most likely and logical decision.
     
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  47. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    Bolt 1 is irrelevant, I have it, I'm not asking for free handouts here. I'm talking about Bolt 2.

    These are direct quotes from the acquisition FAQ:

    The last one strongly implies it'll remain paid or they're keeping the option open until the final decision. Product manager here on the forums has stated that Bolt 2 pricing is not final. So it’s clear there’s a strong possibility Bolt 2 will remain paid which is why I’m voicing my displeasure. This is not the time to stay silent on key issues.

    Also, promising a time limited, free Bolt 2 upgrade is not how you reduce support resources needed for Bolt 1. If anything, it achieves the opposite.

    EDIT: I just realized Reality Stop's message looked a lot more neutral on the topic when I responded. It has been edited since then. Or my reading comprehension is poor.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  48. RealityDotStop

    RealityDotStop

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    I edited my second post immediately after posting. It was clear my original post was misinterpreted by some users, so I felt adding in a rephrasing might make what I was trying to say in the original clearer. He was actually talking about my first post (judging by the like). So here's the rundown:


    tldr;

    It makes no sense to make Bolt 1 free:
    • Old, outdated, slower, large support load, actively being replaced by a vastly superior product. Opening the door for support only to almost immediately replace it would be a poor decision.
    *IF* they are going to make Bolt 2 free, it makes the most sense (from my chair here, which doesn't know the deep inner war conferences of the Unity devs) to make Bolt 2 free when Bolt 2 is released as 1.0, or at least a lot closer to it than we are right now.
    • Receive large influx of users once documentation is in place, core bugs are worked out, tutorials can be written.
    • Honors promises made to owners during the acquisition
    • Already have dedicated community testing team for the existing phase of development (the broken bits).
    If they threw open the door today, it'd be a PR disaster. Bolt 2 just isn't ready yet, and everyone would laugh at their attempt to match Blueprints and move on. I don't know if they will go free or not with it, but I think they have very good reasons not to make it free right now, which means we have to wait to see what their decision will be rather than assume how things are today is how they will always be.
     
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  49. PanthenEye

    PanthenEye

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    I do hope that's the actual situation. All we can do is wait and see.
     
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  50. danibacon

    danibacon

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    Hello @LaurentGibert

    Im an educator (at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Game Design program, Visual Communications Department). We were just about to purchase ~20 educational BOLT licenses for a summer course starting soon, there used to be an educational price point of 25$ / seat. Ludiqs website purchase options doesnt seem to work anymore, is there anyway we can still do it via the asset store ?

    Thanks in advance, really excited about this move, where previously was really concerned at the DOTS direction Unity is taking and how its going to affect our ability to use it with students.

    Dani
     
    LaurentGibert and Jwolf like this.
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