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Official What is next for us at Unity with Scriptable Render Pipelines

Discussion in 'General Graphics' started by mirrormask, Jul 2, 2020.

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  1. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    I'm pretty sure the only performance benefits you will see in URP are related to the new batcher in URP, (which could be ported to BIRP) but if you manually batch your meshes in BIRP, it will be the same or faster.
    But the thing is that, even if this performance benefit was real accross in all URP projects, it would never compensate for the lack of retrocompatibility with nearly 10 years of shaders and the lack of surface shaders.
     
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  2. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    URP's a lot faster for all things Vulkan. There are some particular must-haves for Quest 2+ devs too. It took a long time but there is now no doubt in my mind if you want to use Vulkan. Some improvements include being able to mess with tile data, MSAA perf and so on.

    Granted there's a lot to do, but for me I'll take those over shader flexibility because these have a bigger perf impact. I can't ignore +70% potential gains and local tile access. This is faster than what built-in can do, and as they never will port to it, I am left with no choice.
     
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  3. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    Well, of course if they don't update BIRP and they don't implement anything else than what's already there, you will not have new features like local tile access or updated Vulkan support, but that doesn't mean URP is better, it only means they are letting BIRP rot!
    In my case, I don't target the Quest anymore, so I don't have to deal with that, but I understand the need for ANY benefits on that platform, since it so under-powered for the framerate they expect us to stick to.
     
  4. rz_0lento

    rz_0lento

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    They did add shader graph targets for Built-in RP on Unity 2021.2.
     
  5. AcidArrow

    AcidArrow

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    Early Vulkan BIRP support was much faster than the current version. I remember when they first released Vulkan support (during Unity 5.x?) Vulkan was easily faster than GLES on a Galaxy S6.

    In the following years Vulkan became slower than GLES 3.0.

    I am glad URP works well with Vulkan though. Too bad that handwriting shaders for it is too complicated right now (and I don't care for surface shaders either), it more or less guarantees I will never use it.

    (and Burst might be ready, but isn't it more or less a glorified LLVM backend? It's easy to have things ready when the hard part of the job is already done by 3rd parties)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  6. NotaNaN

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    You realize that same logic could be used with virtually anything, right?
    For instance:
    "That doesn't mean URP is better than LWRP, they just let the LWRP rot!"
    "That doesn't mean the iPhone 6 is better than the iPhone 3, they just let the iPhone 3 rot!"


    At the end of the day, though, we all agree that URP has been a massive disappointment.
    I think that is the takeaway of this whole thread, sadly. :(
     
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  7. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    My point is they should update BIRP and forget about URP.
    I know they will not, because that would mean admitting they screwed it up badly, but that would be the sensible thing to do.
     
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  8. NotaNaN

    NotaNaN

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    But why?
    URP has essentially (after taking WAAAAYYYY too long) reached the same features of BiRP in addition to having an updated code base. Asking the Unity Team to start working on the BiRP again would only slow down things even more as they scramble to update half a decade's worth of outdated code with modern techniques.

    Honestly, at that point it would be better if they just made a New Render Pipeline (we'll call it NRP) — which I'm not even that against at this point, because WHY NOT? :rolleyes:

    And for the record — if it were two years ago, I would have agreed with you.
     
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  9. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    Because working with SRPs is a pain in the butt, don't have Surface Shaders and have broken all retro-compatibility with everything, that's why.
    Seriously, telling me any SRP is great is like telling me that AssetBundles are great and convenient.
     
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  10. Mauri

    Mauri

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    The whole premise of the new SRPs was to be extensible because the BIRP isn't. It's a black box. Essentially, you want to go back to stone age and torture yourself with a decade old, outdated graphics pipeline (which won't get updated because it would be a waste of time and resources). You're free to do that - it's still there and will be for the foreseeable future.

    The URP may have its flaws, but it's future-proof. Something you can't say about the old pipeline.
    .
     
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  11. NotaNaN

    NotaNaN

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    That depends partially on your use cases and opinions. But I understand not liking new things.

    It seems we might get an equivalent sometime in the next two years. (citation needed)

    Hey, Asset Bundles led to Addressables — and if you ignore some of the more serious bugs, Addressables is actually pretty fantastic.
    Maybe URP will also be a stepping stone for something better, too?
     
  12. LaireonGames

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    The bottom line is all of this mess is too slow. Tech evolves very quickly and gaming tech is no exception.

    Yet whilst this is true, Unity is moving far too slowly to match that pace. As a result our options are still a terrible choice between an outdated but stable pipeline vs ones that are not finished yet, and little to no asset store compatibility (for damn good reason)


    So yes, eventually URP etc could be great. But when the hell is that going to be? Meanwhile, Unreal is kicking ass....
     
  13. AcidArrow

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    Yeah, but they 100% failed on that. HDRP and URP are much harder to extend than BIRP ever was. You can't really extend them, either you completely fork it and then you own the whole thing, or you keep using Unity's stuff which are much more limiting than BIRP.

    And okay, I can understand the limitations for HDRP as a high end thing that probably does really complicated things beyond my understanding, but URP should be much more easily hackable than it is.
     
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  14. EagleG

    EagleG

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    Is unreal doing anything for low ends and mobiles???
     
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  15. LaireonGames

    LaireonGames

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    Is Unity doing anything meaningful for Indie PC/Console Games???
     
  16. EagleG

    EagleG

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    Isn't HDRP already doing it??
     
  17. EagleG

    EagleG

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    Isn't shader graph enough atleast for mobile platforms .... (but if u were already using the surface shaders in BIRP and want to upgrade to URP u cannot do that I think...... Surface shaders are planned on their product board for URP)
     
  18. AcidArrow

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    You need more control over what happens in vert and in frag for mobile and shader graph doesn't provide that.
     
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  19. atomicjoe

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    LOL ok, you go and extend URP. I hope you enjoy supporting your own fork for the years to come and not updating Unity anymore, because it will break.
    BIRP may be a black box, but I can do anything I want with it, it works and is retro-compatible with nearly 10 years of open source and asset store shaders.
    This is something I encounter every time someone criticizes anything new:
    - But... IT'S NEW! (hence intrinsically better!)
    - It will improve in the future™ (citation needed)
    - If you don't like it it's because you fear change

    You see, I LOVE new things. I LOVE new technology and new ways of doing old stuff. I actually go out of my way to search for new technology daily.
    But the thing is that the new shiny thing must be, at the very least, MUCH BETTER than the old one to justify the change, because there is a cost associated to changing anything that has been established.
    And if that new shiny thing is completely incompatible with everything that was already there, boy that will better be AMAZING to justify the switch!

    The new render pipelines have failed to show any redeeming qualities for all the burden they bring to the table and all the things they break in the process.
    It's a matter of cost vs benefit, and currently they are a massive disappointment that only worsens the Unity experience.

    I'm someone that enjoys actually making things with technology, not just playing with new technology for the sake of it.
    I'm not here to toy with future promises but to make a finished product NOW, and for that, SRPs are NOT helping. More like throwing rocks at me.
     
  20. Peter77

    Peter77

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    I'm not up-to-date with the render pipeline status anymore. What of the following goals, copied from the first post in this thread, have been solved already?
    1. Stopping breakage between versions
    2. Allow URP and HDRP pipelines to live in the same project
    3. Well-documented public shader API
    4. Improvements to asset cross compatibility
    5. Shared asset and API interface for both render pipelines
    6. Cross-Pipeline Shader Authoring
    7. Shader Abstraction and Materials
     
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  21. LaireonGames

    LaireonGames

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    Short answer, no not for indies. I suggest reading this thread and others like it to understand the why
     
  22. AcidArrow

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    I believe if the bar is them being "solved", I think none of those goals have been achieved.

    I will let someone else chime in with whatever progress has been made, if any.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  23. PutridEx

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    yeah it did, most by far.
    Unreal games that are popular/successful with 5 developers or less: Next to zero, maybe 1 or 2.\
    And not a single one with the success of any of the big indie unity games (Valheim, rust, rimworld, etc)

    Unity 5 or less? Valheim, Rimworld, Rust(when it started) The forest(started), Risk of rain 2, Dyson sphere program, medieval times, Lens island, Skul, Tainted Grail, She Will punish them, getting over it with bennett foddy, Creeper world 4, and so many more.

    HDRP already has 2 games in the list above. Even though its fairly new.
    It's much more indie friendly than unreal imo.
    People only see nice games made with unreal by huge studios, big budgets, lots of developers, but if you actually look for indie games, it's barren.

    Although I do agree what they're doing with UE5 is pretty amazing.
    Lumen/Nanite/Virtual shadow maps are quite something. Nanite already works pretty well.
    Lumen/Virtual shadow maps getting constant perf improvements and quality improvements, will probably be much better than EA in 5.0.
    Also virtual shadowmaps look seriously amazing. It looks so good, it's crazy.

    URP has been pretty disappointing, but for better or worse we're here, can't really go back.
    Hopefully 2022 gets SSR/TAA, and maybe, just maybe, volumetric fog.
    But i'm a big fan of HDRP, 2021 was a nice improvement in many areas, including perf.
    Although it's still not there perf wise, can't scale like unreal, so hopefully 2022 helps with that.
    And maybe, at some point, a good realtime GI solution :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  24. NotaNaN

    NotaNaN

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    Oh I completely agree with you. Keep in mind that I wasn't commenting on how notoriously slow the development of URP was, I was only commenting on its current feature interoperability with BiRP (those two things are different problems but I have big gripes with both of them).



    Hey, I'm not some URP white knight.
    I HATE how Unity has wasted half a decade reinventing the wheel as much as you. And, just like you, I find Unity's current render pipeline state to be insulting, too.

    Nevertheless, I just want people to understand that BiRP isn't some magical bullet. We can't just go back to BiRP and start updating it again and *bang* all of our problems will be solved. It doesn't work like that. We are already at the bottom of this rabbit hole. The only two options we have is to either keep digging or start a new hole.

    Is that bloody frustrating?
    Of course.
    But Unity made this mess and all we can hope is that they learned from it.
     
  25. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    Yeah, sorry, I'm a little bitter about all this non-sense.

    I wouldn't be that salty if I didn't love Unity that much in the first place.
    Lesson learned, I guess.
     
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  26. LaireonGames

    LaireonGames

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    2 games in no way makes up for what HDRP should have been. As soon as HDRP was labelled as 'production ready' then any game after that point (and after a sensible grace period to change) on PC and console should have been made with HDRP because it would have been mad not to.

    This is so laughably far from the truth that it shows just how blatant a lie 'production ready' was. So badly so that whenever something is made with HDRP Unity shouts about it from the rooftops because it seems to be this rare unicorn of an achievement.

    Anyway my initial statement was intended to be as unhelpful as the question I was replying to. To be more specific I mean that Unity hasn't made good progress on the PC/Console side of things for indies since this SRP mess. I've not tried HDRP in a while but from what I've heard others complain about it seems best utilised with a graphics expert on your team, which doesn't scream indie to me.

    Unreal might not be as indie friendly, but they are at least modern and even trying bleeding edge tech. Unity is FAR away from that point since its still playing catchup to Unreals last generation of graphics.
     
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  27. Neto_Kokku

    Neto_Kokku

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    The biggest hurdle with "indies aiming for 'advanced' graphics should use HDRP" is that HDRP doesn't officially supports Nintendo Switch, where indie games usually sell the most (it even doesn't run all that well on the PS4 and Xbox One due to its large main thread CPU overhead).

    You *can* make HDRP run on Switch, but that entails having a programmer with significant computer graphics knowledge in your team to identify and correct all compatibility issues.

    I personally know of an indie game that would run just fine on the Switch if it was using built-in, but became too expensive to port because the devs made the mistake of choosing HDRP over URP because of some missing basic features, and because they wanted to use shader graph.
     
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  28. PutridEx

    PutridEx

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    Does it have 96 in it's name :D
    nvm, I thought it shipped on switch :)

    Also I don't think indies sell the most on switch at all, indies sell the most on PC. Although I know of a few indie games that sold well on switch, many don't and it usually only comes after/because of the success of steam.
     
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  29. rz_0lento

    rz_0lento

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    Nothing official but can tell following from own experience and what I've seen around:
    You mainly see breakage if you use 3rd party addons or deal with SRP related scripting API yourself. I haven't personally seen single project break myself just from upgrading Unity because SG's or other Unity provided SRP configurations would have somehow gotten broken on the upgrade (I mean now, alpha & beta bugs aside).
    URP and HDRP can co-exist in same project to some extent now. But this is still definitely WIP still. There's been a ton of progress on this one.
    lol
    A lot of things have moved to RP Core from URP and HDRP packages and both SRPs have had a ton of work to unify the options and component UI's to work with consistent look so you don't get totally different experience between the two like in past. This is still WIP and you see a lot of work being still done on this.
    Shader Graph has allowed you to add multiple targets since version 10, meaning you can author shader graphs that can work on both URP and HDRP without having to duplicate the SG for each SRP.
    This is WIP atm, there's a lot of activity on this on Unity's graphics github repo but nothing for us users to play with yet. More about this here https://forum.unity.com/threads/focusing-on-shaders.1171444/
     
  30. Neto_Kokku

    Neto_Kokku

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    YMMV, but it's often the 2nd best selling platform after steam, usually pretty close depending on the genre and release timing. Indie games sales numbers tend to be much lower on PlayStation and Xbox.

    As someone who works porting other people's games from PC to consoles, I've heard the phrase "the Switch version has priority" quite a few times.

    Being unable to port for Switch can lock you out from at least 30% more sales, conservatively speaking.
     
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  31. Mariusz-Born7

    Mariusz-Born7

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    I wish Unity was Unreal without blueprints. Beautiful graphics (one render pipeline) without spaghetti (S***ty visual coding). Just clean C# or C++ based engine with one configurable renderer.
     
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  32. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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    My very first impression with URP be like... naaah, I'll just stick with the built-in...
    At least until it can run as smooth as the built in pipeline regardless of the platform. Having a beautiful top notch graphics with bloom, and vignetting and fancy bells and whistles wont have a meaning if it runs like a slideshow on some devices.

    Just make it run smoothly and let us decide which bells and whistles we want to throw in, not the other way around.

    Currently I have to tinker around blindly trying to make my URP based prototype run with playable frame rate which ends up looking just like the built in pipeline, but slower
     
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  33. Rastapastor

    Rastapastor

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    Its hard to start project in Unity :)



    1.5 year passed and I have feeling that we did not move sagnificantly forward. I see ppl throw "5-6" years numbers around...its a lot of time, will make me almost 40 :)
     
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  34. valarus

    valarus

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    I think for the future of SRP, engineers should be discussing about
    1. fast adaptability to new technologies and features and possibility to change API for it
    2. robustness,
    3. performance
    4. size of SRP API and SRP library so that it doesn't keep getting bigger and bigger with every release.
     
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  35. rz_0lento

    rz_0lento

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    I feel like many of these points conflict with each other. You can't adapt to new technology without adding new things to the API (it will inevitably up the size). You also can't remove old things immediately from the API as they are still in use too.
     
  36. AcidArrow

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    Yes, but it feels all these points aren't near the threshold where they would start competing with each other.

    1. Adaptability: There's little adaptability to new technologies. URP just got point light shadows and box projected cubemaps, that's not new tech. And even stuff like raytracing in HDRP, Unreal is always beating them to the punch by 6 months or so. None of these are remotely close to the bleeding edge of features, and if they were highly adaptable, they would be, right?
    2. Robustness: the only thing that makes the SRPs somewhat more versatile is the SRP batcher, which allows for more dynamic scenes. Everything else is just weirdly more limiting in the SRPs. URP can't scale high enough, HDRP can't scale low enough.
    3. Performance: seems to be roughly on par with built-in at best, with corner cases going either way.

    Like I get this is one of these, "good, fast, cheap, pick two" kind of situations, but it feels like we so far have picked none.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
  37. rz_0lento

    rz_0lento

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    This was a joke right? There's no Nanite but Unity has been doing bleeding edge tech now more than ever, especially on HDRP. It's just not very constructive crit to dismiss them for not doing the very thing they've been doing.
     
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  38. AcidArrow

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    Point me to a few.

    I went here: https://docs.unity3d.com/Packages/c...high-definition@13.0/manual/whats-new-12.html

    And I saw volumetric clouds, Lens flares, DLSS, mip bias? Which of those is bleeding edge?

    Or did you mean "bleeding edge" for Unity. Then yeah, sure.
     
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  39. rz_0lento

    rz_0lento

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    I guess there's no real way to stop haters for hating. Just ranting about things while dismissing real work isn't going to get you anywhere. I don't wonder Unity employees don't come discuss in threads like these as people will just bash them or their work regardless.
     
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  40. AcidArrow

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    Somehow I feel like, at least this time, I'm not the one ranting.
     
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  41. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    We're not haters in this thread, we're users legitimately concerned about the SRP debacle and the future of Unity.
    Unity employees do what they are told to do by management, they haven't a lot to discuss with users as long as things work without bugs. (And I'm pretty sure the employees opinion don't align that well with management's opinions either)

    They have a job to do and I'm 100% sure they do it the best they can with the means and directives they are given, but that doesn't mean that we, as final users, have to be thankful for new features that should have been there since the beginning.

    We are bashing Unity tech on this, not the poor guys doing the actual work, but the ones in charge that decided to go the way they are going. Which is, at the very least, disappointing.

    Unity technologies has made a lot of money with its engine and has used it to grow as a corporation and buy other companies instead of reinvesting that money on the engine itself.
    I'm not feeling guilty for criticizing their poor judgement on all of this and they don't need you as a cheerleader either: if they wanted, they could fix it.

    They have the means, but not the will.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2021
  42. valarus

    valarus

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    Also, I would say something what many wouldn't agree with but I think it is time discussing the removal of Built-in pipeline from 2023.
    Unity 2022.3 LTS would be required for developers who will update their game but for the new projects, SRP should be made as Unity standard. I believe that would make easier for artists when creating assets, choosing the pipeline and for asset store developers.
    I believe main drawback for SRP that isn't recognized as Unity standard.
     
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  43. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

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    Brilliant idea! Let's remove the only render pipeline that actually works from Unity!
     
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  44. AcidArrow

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    Sure, but does that mean they will not have a "proper" way to write shaders for at least 1-2 years?
    Yes, but this is a thing that should happen organically: Most will move to the new stuff because of their obvious and natural benefits, not because they arbitrarily decided to make the old pipeline unavailable. If this hasn't or isn't happening, it means the new RPs are not appealing enough.
     
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  45. Jingle-Fett

    Jingle-Fett

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    The main drawback for SRP is the fact that it is split into multiple pipelines, something that no other engine on the market does. It's not an industry standard practice.

    There's good reasons why nobody does that -- it adds confusion for new users, it limits the user since some features in one might not be in the other, it fractures the asset store and community, creates more work for the user, increases R&D time, splits Unity's dev time + resources, dev bug fixes for one might not be compatible with the other, assets have to be converted when switching, etc.
    In Unreal if you want raytracing, you hit a checkbox and restart the editor.

    Remember back when Unityscript and Boo were phased out in favor of C#? The idea behind that was to unify the community/codebase, make sharing code easier, etc. But with SRP Unity is doing the opposite...
     
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  46. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Nah the main appeal was to allow people to be able to program their own pipeline instead of the black box that was built in.

    BUT

    They overdid and overpromised by making two incompatible but would be mandatory pipeline to flex on other engine. The real problem (and complained) started when they announced they would be replacing built in with URP, ie hdrp and lwrp where no longer narrow use optional curiosity for those who need it, but mandatory use of the engine. URP was especially NOT ready and threaten to jeopardized the whole ecosystem, an many things where announced for depreciation with no new implementation, narrowing what would be possible (no pass, no hand made shader, no light programming) and backpedaling added to teh mess because they had redo the architecture the whole thing to clean the mess.
    To be frank I support that, we can still use older version, it's not like built in is maintained and the incompatibilities. They need less plate to spin and have a full mouth of their own medicine. I still used older version.
     
  47. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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    I think, performance should be the first (if not the only) thing in the list at the moment. If it's base performance is doing great then you can throw in new technologies and features and stuffs.

    I agree with this. Even if UT want/have to split it, it should/can be done under the screen, while providing some advanced users way to override/change it.

    Unfortunately, if we are targeting mobile platform, google/apple regularly updates their policy/sdk which usually means that we need to update Unity version. The last requirement from google about updating IAP to version 3 ended up me updating from unity 2019.2 to 2020.3. And apple regularly enforces users to upgrade their xcode version if they want to publish to their store
     
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  48. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I needed to know that, thanks for let me know, frak them!
     
  49. Neto_Kokku

    Neto_Kokku

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    BTW, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo also regularly update their SDKs and eventually stop accepting games built with old SDKs and the only actively supported LTS/TECH Unity versions get support for the latest SDKs.

    The difference from mobile is that on consoles you aren't required to update SDK to release game patches because, unlike mobile phones, consoles are fully compatible with games built with older SDK versions, all the way to the first version. But you are required to use a newer SDK for new games (they can make exceptions, but you have to plead your case).

    Unless you have the Unity C++ source, it's not possible to build with a different console/mobile SDK than the ones Unity supports out of the box.
     
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  50. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Only mobile was relevant for me anyway. At least for that project I'm thinking of.
     
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