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Why not leave the old prefab system alone and build the new system as standalone?

Discussion in 'Prefabs' started by Creepgin, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Creepgin

    Creepgin

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    Obviously the new prefab system is having a lot of problems and people are concerned right now. Two big general issues:

    1) Backward compatibility. I wasn't able to convert any existing project to the new prefab system in the 2017.2 special build (and still the same case with the 2018.3 beta build). A lot of it were due to editor-crashing bugs. New projects work wonderfully ofc.

    2) Workflow Overhead. New workflow adds a bit of cognitive overhead on editing simple prefabs. The old prefab system was simple and predictable, albeit more restricted.

    Both of these problems can be mitigated if the new improved prefab system does not replace the old system, but exists as something standalone.

    Because Prefabs are such integral part of the engine, I feel that the old system should be preserved as a whole. Otherwise I'm afraid, a lot of people will stay on 2018.2 for quite sometime.

    I know it's probably too late for Unity to do anything drastic now... but still want to vent this one out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  2. CDF

    CDF

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    I don't know how many times it has to be said. The new prefab system is a change to the core of Unity, it's not a C# library you can download through package manager or a git repo.

    Even if Unity decided to write and maintain two separate ways of creating prefabs, how to communicate that through the Editor? With all the different icons, colors and inspector changes required it would be a bloated mess.

    I think a more constructive approach to feedback regarding the new prefab system is to suggest improvements, rather than "I don't like it, please revert". This is a beta after all, things are bound to be buggy, especially with upgrading old projects. But that's the point, find the bug and report it. Then we all get a stable editor at the end.
     
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  3. Deeeds

    Deeeds

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    I don't know how many times it has to be said, all the major grievances against the Improved Prefabs were aired during the 2018.2 beta of them, and they were all said to be either impossible to be fixed, by design or inextricably linked to this supposed core modification.

    ergo, the only options left, for those reliant on the 10+ year old way of using Prefabs, are:

    stay with 2018.2

    hope Unity splits off Improved Prefabs to a package, somehow.

    because option 3, them getting Improved Prefabs to be a true improvement on existing prefabs, isn't going to happen.
     
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  4. Jeff-Berry

    Jeff-Berry

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    Not long ago I had to go through my project and revamp a years worth of custom Shaders, it was painful, but we put our heads down and after a week of hard work we had a new shader system migrated from shader forge to Amplify shader.
    At the time i was incredibly frustrated, doing work i thought was unnecessary. Looking back it was a godsend, the new, better shader editor has greatly expanded our ability to modify and upgrade shaders and we have no worries of the system suddenly becoming obsolete.

    Prefab variants and nested prefabs are the future, I actually shifted dev of my personal project in a huge way in anticipation of them and can't wait to go from having 6 core fish prefabs in my game to 5,000 now that we can confidently make prefab variants and update all content across the board very easily.

    You may find prefab migration is easier than you thought, maybe you can make a scene, add all your current prefabs to it, break the connections, make them bare bones game objects, open 2018.3 and simply convert them to prefabs? I can't imagine this process would be that gating to your project...

    The fact that any prefabs migrate at all to the new one shows a lot of extra work on Unity's part, I'm kinda kicking myself for not upgrading earlier but was playing it safe. This is kinda how gamedev is, you run into new features and you have to manage upgrading the project, we've known for a long time there would be hiccups, all things considered I'm really impressed by how well Unity has managed the transition to new and improved prefabs.

    Gamedevs are spoiled and have gone soft these days :p. Horrific catastrophic failure is par for the course, if gamedev was hard everyone would do it...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  5. TokyoWarfareProject

    TokyoWarfareProject

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    So you where able to migrate your prefabs smoothly?
     
  6. Jeff-Berry

    Jeff-Berry

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    Initial testing shows yes, but if I had not we would be able to reset our project very easily as we anticipated more issues and kept our current content very low.
     
  7. TokyoWarfareProject

    TokyoWarfareProject

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    TBH
    The we fear change does no apply. I see this attitude enforced with the prefabs change to a point that makes me nervous.

    1) new prefab system breaks projects. Ive updated a 5 years of work project from 4.7 with less broken feel. Its still a beta, fine. Still it renders the beta unusable for serious testing.

    2) new system makes common operations way bulkier.

    I've 0 complaints for the rest of additions same as pretty much it happened with other iterations latelly.

    If you think people is ranting on this prefab system by chance and not other additions you can move on with it and pretend as if nothing happened

    edit: forgot how much I dislike the new icons in hyerarchy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
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  8. Jeff-Berry

    Jeff-Berry

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    It was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek. The new system can be improved, its footprint feels a little big right now, but give it time, feedback begets improvements, and tertiary elements will change, the core of the system works now and that's what matters.
     
  9. Creepgin

    Creepgin

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    Variants and nested prefabs are amazing. Unity did a great job. No arguing about that.

    I'll be a happy man if 3 months from now, I can convert my old projects painlessly to 2018.3 and be not too annoyed by not being able to edit prefabs in project panel.

    I've sent in my fair share of bug reports and took a risk posting in a beta.1 forum. The 2 issues in the OP are legitimate concerns. Hope Unity can take them into consideration.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
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  10. TokyoWarfareProject

    TokyoWarfareProject

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    One issue with new system is that it was stated that BY DESIGN it won´t allow multiple prefab editing at a time, aswells as surfing with arrow keys trough prefabs and checking properties won´t be possible for same reason, this features are gone pretty much forever, anyways, I just whant/need the current breaking issues be fixed, sure that helps change my modd to an extent, and NOT by 2018.3+ BUT 2018.2, current project upgrade status is broken so badly that this should be at the very top of the priorities, releasing .2 without a fix for this would be like enough to abandon beta evaluation after all we're prodiding free (somewhat skilled) labour, I would expect som kindness in return.
     
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  11. Carpe-Denius

    Carpe-Denius

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    You have mentioned the update in another thread, what doesn't work for you?
    I have a rather big project folder and it crashed after a day, but unity continued where it stopped once I restarted it.
     
  12. TokyoWarfareProject

    TokyoWarfareProject

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    Me and many others are having issues with prefabs after updating in the form that

    1) when they're dragged into scene they lose all references and the scripts do reset
    2) when instanced in runtime same as above happens

    Causing the whole gameplay to break. :D

    And trying to hack the thing a big you can see how broken it is like some may autofix, some may even reset even in project view etc...
     
  13. laurentlavigne

    laurentlavigne

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    These were discussed in the preview and someone mentioned an editor script could restore inspector on prefab root. Which means UT can implement that. so what happened since then? ( a.k.a source)
     
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  14. MaximilianPs

    MaximilianPs

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    2018.3 stable version and I stil hate this prefab system as hell... so much that I've downgraded Unity to 2018.2. :mad:
     
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  15. MatthieuPr

    MatthieuPr

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    Sad to hear, cause I can tell you that you are missing out on some amazing features.. the only pain I found with the new prefab system was rewriting all the prefab tooling we have and when I ran into some issues for 1 particular script that was breaking every intention of prefab (old and new) I came on forum and started to ask questions and took about 1 week of talking with Unity DEVs here and got it working and the result is somewhere in a thread here for all to use ;)
     
  16. MaximilianPs

    MaximilianPs

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    what if you need to edit the prefab on the scene?
    Often happen stat you need to edit the prefab directly on the current sene, and create a cascading (prefab inside a prefab) and keep all inside the scene 'cause you need reference and stuff... and just you can't!
     
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  17. SteenLund

    SteenLund

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    Why can't you do this? The `Apply workflow`, as we call it, is still available.
     
  18. MaximilianPs

    MaximilianPs

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    'cause it ask you to edit the prefab from the damned prefab editor?
    which can be useful, but not always, and when it's not, it irritating as hell!

    I'm talking about this..


    imagine to have edit a fence prefab which you are nested. You have to scale just the fence to make it fix beetween 2 other object (not the entire prefab just the fence). You have to go inside the prefab editor.
    So the only solution to see what is going on is to have 2 windows, one with the prefab editor and one with the scene.

    Yes, it's a particular case, but it happens so often to me, that I decide to stick with 2018.2
     
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  19. SteenLund

    SteenLund

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    Oh, you mean you want to edit a nested prefab in relationship to the nestor prefab.

    I that case you can edit the prefab in the scene, eg scale the fence. The right click on the scale property and "Apply as override"

    See attached image.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Rich_A

    Rich_A

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    As far as I see it there are two fundamental issues:

    You cannot edit common components across multiple prefabs

    You cannot immediately edit a component of a prefab without clicking 'open prefab'

    Unity NEEDS TO FIX THIS

    (and to an extent the problem that you cannot edit a prefab in the context of a scene, though this seems to be an education issue)

    Not just saying 'we will maybe add it to our backlog'. We need concrete information that we can plan around.

    So far we have received no confimation on what is being worked on, and over what timeline. Even worse, since 2018.3 basically morphs into 2018.4 LTS, we could be left with this system for a long time.

    I hate to be blunt, but if Unity doesn't fix these workflow issues by 2019.1, I am switching to Unreal Engine for any future projects.

    Workflow-breaking changes like this should be introduced in the 20xx.1 versions of releases, not in 20xx.3
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  21. TokyoWarfareProject

    TokyoWarfareProject

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    They believe this is an improved workflow. They even have a video telling you its better. So this is gonna stay for long and it will feel like a big pile in your but for years if not forever.
     
  22. MatthieuPr

    MatthieuPr

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    if you would read the forum you would see that there has been mentions on fixing the inspector issue, there is even a script added somewhere which is a basic editor script that shows the inspector again for top GameObject of a prefab and I think there was also support for multi edit. There has been few mentions as well that this would be checked investigated to see when it can be added to the new prefab system automatically.

    This is incorrect, the apply is still present. It is not as visible as before, I can agree on that but you can still make modifications to prefabs from the main scene, although you should avoid that.

    The main reason for these changes are well explained, the new system is a complete overhaul and during that overhaul design decision were made by Unity Dev. As every good design decision currently being taken around the world there are pros and cons for every design, it is up to the team to know all pros and cons and make educated considered decision on the matter. I am certain that an other design would have had similar limitations and people would still be screaming about it on the forum.

    Prefabs are now a lot more robust and 75%+ of earlier workflow can be thrown out cause this is a whole new way of working with prefabs. The simple fact that making a prefab, nesting it and chasing the prefab you just nested will automatically get updated in the other prefab is a game changer. No longer need to write complex scripts that hold the nested prefab, destroy the prefab on awake and recreate it right after to be certain it is latest version...

    Variances are great addition too, make a fence, want to offer 5 different colour of that fence, just make a variance and solved. You can quickly generate a lot of content with small amount of work. As they are variance, changing the model in original would change it in all variances as well without losing the modified colors.

    This in my opinion is the biggest mistake that was made with the new prefab system. I totally agree that this kind of Workflow breaking changes should never make it into a **.3 version but always in a **.1, cause not everybody can recreate their entire UI and UI-tools across minor updates... And this causes for sure multiple teams to be locked in the 2018.2 version and unable to upgrade to 2018.LTS and enjoy bug fixes and stability improvements due to the new prefab system...

    Sadly it is too late to fix this and I do hope that the devs learn from this :)
     
  23. MatthieuPr

    MatthieuPr

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    found the post by accident so quoting original author for credit ;)

     
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  24. MaximilianPs

    MaximilianPs

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    Prefabs needs some serious tutorials cause at the moment it's so far from to be intuitive.
    How do I edit a prefab in scene?
    How do I edit a prefab and remove subobjects from it without destroy all the rest in scene?
    And combining the modded one tougher without changing all other prefabs?

    Immagine to have 3 house prefabs and start assembling an entire city.
    You can clone edit and combining 'em to create different styles and aspect... with the New prefab system it's a mess.
    That's why I'll stay with 2018.2
     
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  25. TokyoWarfareProject

    TokyoWarfareProject

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    new prefab workflow is super restrictive, it will force you to go to prefab edit mode to modify structure. Its killing me in everyday work. Also fbx, now you can simply drag meshes form within, you've to like unpack the fbx..... new system is all about you adapting to their workflow.... so improved....
     
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