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22. June 2016

 

Adam is a technology demo, created using Unity 5.4 and first show at the Unite Europe conference a few months back.  It was created to showcase features in Unity such as real-time area lights and high fidelity physics created using CaronteFX.  The demo ran at 1440p on a GeForce GTX980.  While the demo itself isn’t yet available (coming soon), a video of it is, embedded below.



You can learn more about Adam here.

GameDev News


16. June 2016

 

A few weeks back Unity announced new pricing that didn’t exactly make their community dance with joy.  Part of the announcement was the addition of the “Plus” tier, which was basically the free tier with some cloud functionality thrown in.  The general reaction to this new tier was a resounding meh.  Well, it seems Unity have listened, as the features of that tier have just been altered.  In this blog post entitled Evolution of our pricing and products, they announced two major and incredibly useful changes to the Plus tier of Unity pricing:

So with this goal in mind we are going to make these changes to what we announced previously:

  • We’re making the Unity splash screen in Unity Plus optional, like it is in Unity Pro.
  • We’re raising the revenue cap in Unity Plus from $100k to $200k so that more of you are able to take advantage of it.

In order to be able to do this, we removed the option to subscribe to Unity Plus without a one-year commitment. We also restricted Pay to Own to only apply to Unity Pro and not Unity Plus (see Pay to Own details further down). We let these things go from Unity Plus in order to be able to introduce the new advantages.

 

So basically you can now make twice as much money and most importantly, you no longer have to show the Made With Unity splashscreen, a huge caveat for manner developers.  There is of course a downside, the Plus plan is not eligible for the Pay To Own plan and you have to commit to at least a year of subscription.

 

When Plus was announced I said it would be a great deal more popular if it removed the splashscreen.  I guess I will find out if I was right or not.  Either way, the Plus tier certainly sucks a great deal less now!

 

Another change for users of the free “Personal tier”, is now the splash screen is going to be more customizable.

The new splash screen will read “Made with Unity” in all editions of Unity – no more mention of “Personal Edition”. You will also be able to customize it with your own (blurred) background image and your own company logo in addition to the Unity logo. This feature is coming, but give us a bit of time to perfect the technical aspects of it before we release it. The customizable splash screen will be available in all versions of Unity, but can be completely turned off in Unity Plus and Unity Pro. We’ll have a blog post with further details later.

 

Finally for the people that outright purchased Unity in the past, and the hardest hit by the pricing changes, they have announced some changes there too:

  1. For up to five seats, you may subscribe to Unity Pro at the special price of $75 per month for a limited transition period, after which the price will revert to the normal subscription price of $125 per month:
    • If Unity 5 Pro is your first version of Unity, your transition period is one year.
    • If you owned Unity 4 Pro, your transition period is two years.
  2. If you make less than $200k per year, you may choose Unity Plus and pay $35 per month with an annual commitment.

We will start sending out these transition offers by email after the new products have launched in our store.

 

They also appended their policy on support for Pay to Own subscribers to include 3 additional patches past the end of the support period:

. At such point, you will stop receiving access to Pro tier services, new features and upgrades. You will receive the next 3 patchs.

 

All told some pretty good news all around.

GameDev News


16. June 2016

 

Unity have just released another patch, this one version 5.3.5p4.  This one is composed primarily of fixes with a new diagnostic commandline option added for debugging memory and improved WebSocket support being the two solitary improvement, then of course several fixes are included.

From the release notes:

Improvements
  • Runtime-Other: Added diagnostic option to cmdline arguments -debugallocator [1/2] which helps to identify memory access issues in the engine on Windows and OSX x64 platforms.
  • WebSocket: Improved memory allocation and socket writing procedure (fixed not expected connection closing)
Fixes
  • (796242) - Android: Abandon/Request audio focus on pause/resume.
  • (789398) - Android: Audio - Fixed audio latency in GearVR regression.
  • (746248) - Android: Buildpipe - Don't check for passwords if exporting project.
  • (746248) - Android: Buildpipe - Don't merge manifests if exporting project.
  • (781657) - Android: Buildpipe - Remove mdb files from release build.
  • (790236) - Android: Editor - Fixed an issue where it was impossible to push to devices running Android N Preview.
  • (802824) - Android: Fixed the issue of game freezing when changing resolution with Screen.SetResolution.
  • (786289) - Android: Fixed high memory usage of RenderTexture.GetTemporary.
  • (751102) - Android: Fixed a crash related to the main context not being an Activity.
  • (793738) - Android: Fixed an issue where Indonesian and Hebrew weren't properly recognized by SystemInfo.
  • (none) - Android: Fixed deployment to devices with unknown OpenGL ES target.
  • (782985) - Android: JNI - Throw correct exception when method not found by reflection.
  • (696580) - Android: Tegra 2: Application no longer crashes if UnitySendMessage is called during initialization.
  • (795931) - ETC1: Fixed ETC1 variant getting stripped out from android build.
  • (793780) - Fixed an issue where Cache Server failed to validate prefab created from script.
  • (none) - Graphics: Fixed potential memory leak with timesliced realtime reflection probes.
  • (797495) - IL2CPP: Implemented Process.GetCurrentProcess on some platforms and provide a useful error message where it was not possible to implement.
  • (800301) - IL2CPP: Prevented a possible deadlock on PS4.
  • (802618) - IL2CPP: Support IPv6 addresses for LocalEndPoint and RemoteEndPoint properties of the .NET Socket class.
  • (792932) - iOS: Enabled incremental build for il2cpp by default for old projects.
  • (803206) - iOS: Fixed crash when calling WWW.Dispose.
  • (790853) - iOS: Removed unneeded il2cpp files that increase build size.
  • (794783) - Model Importer: Fixed a crash when importing .obj and .fbx files with malformed or duplicate vertex data.
  • (763536) - Mono: Added MD4, SHA384 and SHA512 signature verification to X.509 certificates.
  • (793415) - Mono: Handle marshaling properly of a class with a fixed size array field and a base class with multiple fields.
  • (none) - Multiplayer: Cleaned up the connection containing StateUpdate channel can cause crash.
  • (761566) - Multiplayer: Fixed: Calling NetworkDiscovery.StopBroadcast() and NetworkServer.Reset() crashes editor.
  • (794054) - Multiplayer: NetworkTransport.SetBroadcastCredentials crashes unity.
  • (788808) - Multiplayer: ReliableFragmented channel can drop data.
  • (760104) - Multiplayer: WebSockets: Fixed crash on NetworkClient.SendByChannel call.
  • (774657, 768041, 794455) - OpenGL: Fixed various shader translation (for GLCore/GLES3) issues. Atomic operations on RWByteAddressBuffers, vertex-to-fragment inputs not being float4/half4 sized, geometry shaders where first input is not a SV_POSITION, tessellation shaders that were making some drivers not happy.
  • (707886) - OSX: Fixed icons in batch mode builds.
  • (787233, 793518) - OSX: Fixed infrequent crashes in Screen Selector.
  • (696234) - OSX: Fixed SSL protocol support on 32-bit OSX standalone.
  • (776115) - tvOS: Fixed support for default font of Unity (Arial).
  • (800964) - UnityWebRequest: Hard EXC_BAD_ACCESS crash from AsyncOperation.
  • (none) - UnityWebRequest: Make headers case insensitive, in order to better match RFC 2616 semantics.
  • (791362) - WebSockets: Make Incoming buffer configurable: ConnectionConfig.WebSocketReceiveBufferMaxSize param.

You can download the patch here.

GameDev News


6. June 2016

 

As you may recall, last week Unity announced some pretty major price changes.  The response has not exactly been great, especially among those that purchased their PRO license outright.  Yesterday, Unity co-founder and CTO Joachim Ante released this blog post explaining the move to a subscription model:

Why Subscription?

When we started Unity, we would ship Unity every once in a while on just 2 platforms. Initially just Aras and I, gradually adding a couple engineers every few months. We’d decide on a couple major features and focus working on that for a year and a bit, go through beta and then ship it.

Today Unity lets you target 28 platforms. No one targets all platforms at the same time, but the ability to choose to easily switch your game to any platform gives Unity developers incredible advantages.

Each platform is supported by a team of dedicated engineers. We have teams focused on different areas of the engine, working on improving each major area all the time.

We ship a patch release every week. Supported by the awesome Sustained Engineering team.

We ship point releases with major new features and improvements multiple times per year.

All of this is necessary because the platforms we support rapidly change. In today’s world, we can’t leave customers behind for a year because we are in the process of releasing a major version. We think it would be very bad for Unity developers if we held features for a full number release, rather than launch these features along the way, when they are ready.

With this in mind, we want to be clear. There will be no major Unity 6 release.

In the dev team we wanted to stop doing major releases for a long time. With the major releases model we had done up until Unity 5, it has always forced us to bundle up a bunch of features and release them in one big splash. Usually it results in that good & complete features would be artificially held back for a long time while other features are still maturing, and eventually releasing some of these features before they are ready. All in the name of creating one big splashy release that customers feel is worth upgrading to. It’s what we did because we had to in a model where we worked toward an unnatural new major release every few years. This is not some evil marketing team pushing for it, it is the inherent nature of that business model. It was always a painful process for us and you and it really serves no one.

With our switch to subscription we can make Unity incrementally better, every week. When a feature is complete, we will ship it. If it is not ready we will wait for the next point release.

Our switch to subscription is absolutely necessary in order for us to provide a robust and stable platform.

Pay to own!

Along with the new subscription model, we are introducing “pay to own”. After having paid for 24 months of subscription, you can stop paying and keep on using the version you have at that point. Of course, you would also stop getting new features, services or fixes; choice is yours.

If you are upgrading from a previously bought perpetual license of Unity and you are switching to subscription after March 2017,  then you get “pay to own” right away with your subscription license.

Pay to own applies to everyone; there’s no special “license option” you have to get. Simple!

Thanks for listening, I hope this gives some much needed background on our switch to subscription.

 

In some ways this move makes sense.  Both Unreal and Unity have moved to a more rapid release schedule, making make 1.0 releases somewhat of a thing of the past.  The problem for Unity is, they are selling software still using a version by version model, Unreal obviously don’t have this issue as their revenue is royalty based.  A quick look through the comments in response to this post show that the community isn’t exactly mollified at this point!  At first glance the Pay To Own license sounds like a good deal, but all that is really saying is, after 2 years of paying licensing fees you get a perpetual license for that version (and not further updates without a subscription).  Considering you could previously buy Unity outright for $1,500, “owning” it after 24 payments of $125 ($3,000) is only a deal if you are using all three versions, otherwise it’s a doubling of the price.

 

A point that might be somewhat confusing is There will be no major Unity 6 release. This is some truly horrible wording and is incredibly misleading.  Yes there will be a Unity 6, it just has absolutely no impact on licensing.  All subscriptions from Unity are now time limited, not release oriented.

GameDev News


31. May 2016

 

The news of the day out of Unity’s Unite Developer Conference is no doubt the Unity price changes.  However there were a few other announcements during this rather lackluster keynote.  Some talk about Unity Ads, AR/VR and various web services but perhaps the gem of the announcement is the Unity Connect beta.  From the Unity blog:

Lastly, we introduced Unity Connect, a new talent marketplace bringing together Unity artists, developers and creators with opportunities at studios and Connectcompanies of all sizes. Users can establish a professional presence, message others, and discover jobs and projects. Studios in need can quickly and easily find developers with the just the right skillset. Unity Connect is currently in closed beta, but you can pre-register for the next beta phase here: http://response.unity3d.com/ConnectBeta

 

This is an interesting move.  Essentially Unity Connect is going to serve as a middle man for job seekers and employers looking for Unity work(ers).  Coupled with their recently launched Unity Certification Program it’s quite clear Unity wants to build an ecosystem around their software.  Frankly it makes a great deal of sense and is a great opportunity for Unity to increase customer lock in, while at the same time providing a service to both developers and creators.  The service is in closed beta now, but it will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

GameDev News


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