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Whats happening with Unity development?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sibz9000, Jun 30, 2020 at 5:43 AM.

  1. Sibz9000


    Feb 24, 2018
    Hi All,

    I've been working with unity for about 3 years. I am a personal user and currently been experimenting and learning hoping to take a dive into making a real game in the future. I knew this would take time, lots of time, so I decided to invest into learning the cutting edge. I have worked with the Entities, NetCode, Physics and UI Elements packages however as I learnt how to use them I reached a point where my demands for those packages was beyond the level they are developed to.

    So I've had a break and come back and to my disappointment there is very little progress. Things slated to be out of preview early this year have been put off for another year. I just can't use these packages and have to wait.

    My questions are really to Unity, but I don't expect an answer, so I ask here for a community perspective so I can make an informed decision as to what I do from here.

    Whats happening with the development of Unity Engine and these once cutting edge packages?
    Has development stalled?
    Can I expect the pace to pick up or is it only going to get slower?

    There's been a severe lack of communication from unity and new API documentation is appalling. Bugs reported for latest alpha release use to get responses in a day or so, now I get a message months later asking me if the latest version resolves the issue, by which point the project I was working on no longer builds with the latest release.

    I know C++ so I could switch to Unreal, but I have become really proficient in C# through my learning Unity Engine, so if I have to switch I see it as a massive waste of time invested and would mean another massive investment to be made to learn how to use Unreal Engine.

    Thanks for your input!
  2. xshadowmintx


    Nov 4, 2016
    I'm not sure that things have actually slowed down significantly, but I think it's fair to say there's been some um... overwhelmingly negative responses to the way preview packages have been handled.

    The outcomes of that appear to be:

    - the ability to install preview packages is being gated by hiding the options away in the project settings in 2020
    - the 'develop in the open' model that was tentatively embraced is being rolled back to a closed doors approach

    Long story short; don't expect anything any time soon, the timelines do seem to have been pushed back somewhat. ... but... probably don't expect to hear anything official any time soon either.

    I expect we're heading back to a more closed doors approach where you don't hear anything until it's released; I expect, as you've noted, the 'develop closely with the community' collaboration you had before is largely wrapping up and going to go away.
  3. Stardog


    Jun 28, 2010
    Well, people are using preview/cutting edge packages and expecting them to work, for some reason.

    I don't see how Unreal will help. It doesn't have any of those things you listed.

    All Unity games in existence were made without DOTS, UI Elements, etc. I'm sure you can manage without them.
  4. GameDevCouple


    Oct 5, 2013
    Unity is fine if you use the old stable stuff. Ignore preview and unreleased packages, ignore new features that are not battle tested or documented, and avoid UNET.

    I would also say avoid SRPs too if you dont want headaches, regardless of what is being said publically, they are still going through significant churn.

    As @Stardog said, all unity games that have been successful are made without all the fancy bells and whistles that are currently in development, so you dont really need them!
    Joe-Censored likes this.
  5. Ryiah


    Oct 11, 2012
    Three years at an hour or two per day is sufficient in my opinion to learn both the old stable approaches as well as the new cutting edge ones. One problem with the cutting edge is that they undergo massive changes to its API over the course of its development making it not worthwhile to learn until it's nearly done. Meanwhile the old stable APIs have barely changed.
    Joe-Censored likes this.
  6. Sibz9000


    Feb 24, 2018
    Thank you for the responses so far.
    I did start off learning the none DOTS framework. It seems my expectations for these preview packages was perhaps a bit over optimistic, and perhaps Unity was over optimistic in the time-frame it could be delivered.
    After messing around with those preview packages, using the standard approach is so much easier. I may continue my development without entities and associated packages for now and perhaps use bursted code when needed. I am keen to continue using URP because ShaderGraph is excellent, so hopefully not too many headaches there.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020 at 1:15 PM
  7. darkgaze


    Apr 3, 2017
    Oh! If you are a programmer, don't switch to Unreal or you will regret it. Very much. I came from Unreal, and I live happily here.
    The waste of time will be when you have to wait for 30minutes to compile your project, that if you want to create a simple shader in code you will have to write a loooot of code, and people will not understand when you say that Blueprints are a very bad way of programming efficient stuff.
    Nobody will listen. And people will keep saying Unreal is great and the graphics are amazing, but all Unreal games look the same. Because to use Unity you need to know graphics, know a lot. Its obvious. The same way as if you want to create great things using Houdini. You need to know your stuff. Nobody is going to do it for you without a price :-D
    OCASM, aer0ace, Lurking-Ninja and 3 others like this.
  8. MothDoctor


    May 21, 2020
    Actually it takes me 17 minutes to rebuild the entire engine. Usually, under a minute to compile change in the commonly used header. Few seconds to recompile change in .cpp with engine/game running with Live Coding.

    Compilation times on different machines would vary, but 30 minutes for compilation projects would require some ancient machine and heavy code changes like refactoring half of the project's code. While your post makes it sound it standard "30 minutes", every time on average PC ;)

    It's quite rare to write shaders in code since there's the material editor, this what's mostly used for shader creation.
    And Blueprints are like every other programming language - it's perfectly fine if used by a competent person ;)

    UE4 games don't look the same, this statement is so false... I don't know even where to begin to say "mhm, nope? let's check a few games"...

    Your opinion seems to be heavily biased. Please, don't spread misinformation :)
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020 at 6:27 PM
  9. ShilohGames


    Mar 24, 2014
  10. Sibz9000


    Feb 24, 2018
    Haha, that may as well say don't switch to C++ ... It's been a long lasting and popular language but is fundamentally flawed to enable production of buggy code with ease.

    Anyway switching something I want to avoid, in fact I'd rather switch to godot and use Rust with that if I was to switch. But really I find C# and the Unity platform a breeze to work with. With a standard project it's easy to get something up and running without much ground work.
  11. ippdev


    Feb 7, 2010
    This may be silly to some but the deal breaker for me was not having the z axis be the forward axis. That would be two decades of using Cinema 4D down the tubes. Unreal was set up to be a 3D Studio Max import pipeline. I have grabbed some free assets from the Asset Store..characters.. and went to edit them for usability and was like..crap..adjusting simple animations and accommodating the rotations was a small nightmare of WTF to where just creating my own was a time saver.
    Korindian and Ryiah like this.
  12. Quingu


    Jan 30, 2013
    People should understand that developing RELIABLE software takes HUGE amount of time. Especially that last "polishing" phase may take many YEARS. I order to have a good experience with Unity use only those APIs/features which have been tested/used by dozens of professional quality, shipped games. Avoid everything else. Basically DON'T be an "early adopter" because it will cost you a lot of pain and problems. Instead be VERY conservative with your choice of tools. Use old and reliable solutions and avoid most novelties.
    DauntlessVerbosity likes this.
  13. stuksgens


    Feb 21, 2017
    We are really going through big changes in unity

    From what I see, unity wanted to change everything at once which ended up giving several problems along the way. That is why the next 2020 versions are being focused only on correction and performance improvement.

    Of course last year (or 2018) they showed everything they had in mind, but unfortunately they underestimated the time needed to make it happen. and I don't blame them, the new pipelines, DOTS, shader graph, VFX, 2D tilemap, and a lot of really interesting stuff. as for example the packages, we can finally create mobile games with 5mb to 10mb at least, which is fantastic.

    So I wouldn't say it was a regression, but a change of focus, I look forward to the corrections, and the news. But they are not as close as most people expect.

    For example:
    Native Bolt 2 (Blueprint cries lol)
    Global illumination in real time (Only arrives in 2021:()

    What the community doesn't like is unity's delay in releasing packages in preview. but ... I use a lot in previews and I almost never had any problems with them ... I'm not afraid of getting stuck in something that is buggy (Often it is just exporting the project to the next version that the problem is simply solved, because I don’t know, but it’s like thato_O) And I’ve never had any problems with SRPs either. I know some of their features are not yet ready, but they are usable, so why not try?:rolleyes:

    unity is changing, that doesn’t mean you can’t create games with the old tools, but it’s also an opportunity to try something new. It would have been worse if the unity had been left behind without innovating at all.

    Sorry about my English:p
    MothDoctor likes this.
  14. Joe-Censored


    Mar 26, 2013
    Unity is notorious for missing expected or implied dates for big feature upgrades. It is best to only experiment with preview or still in development features to see what you might be able to do in the future, but for serious projects stick to what's currently stable. Don't make your project depend on Unity hitting a release date for some new feature development.