At Unite Berlin 2018, Unity announced much improved prefab support in Unity. The release is available in a special preview download version that is available here. This new approach to prefabs gives you a lower level of granularity in how you split your scene up. Perhaps most impressive to the new functionality to enable prefabs to be made up of other prefabs that in turn are made up of other prefabs.
Details of the preview prefab workflow from https://unity3d.com/prefabs:
The new Prefab workflows, which are now available as previews, allow you to split up scenes and Prefabs on a granular level. This gives you greater flexibility, increases your productivity and enables you to work confidently without worrying about making time-consuming errors.
The improvements are based on surveys with more than 150 enterprise customers, numerous interviews, several usability tests and two game jams. The long-term goal has been not only to implement support for nesting, but to rethink the core Prefab workflows so different team members can simultaneously edit Prefabs confidently and efficiently.
Previously, users were forced to choose between creating large monolithic Prefabs, like buildings, or more granular ones, like pieces of furniture, but they couldn't do both.
Now with support for nested Prefabs, a large building can be made up of many smaller room Prefabs, which in turn can be made up of multiple pieces of furniture Prefabs, and so on.
This makes it easier for teams of all sizes to:
- Split up Prefabs into multiple entities for greater efficiency
- Reuse any content, from small to large
- Work on different parts of content simultaneously
Flexible properties increase efficiency
As a default, a Prefab Variant inherits the objects and properties of the Prefab it is a variant of, but at the same time, you have the possibility to override those properties. This is similar to the concept of inheritance in object-oriented programming.
For example, if you had multiple door Prefabs, you could choose to make some of them a different color, while allowing the rest to inherit the existing Prefab color property. Any change made to the original door Prefab will affect the variants of it as well, except those properties which have been overridden.
Avoid time-consuming mistakes
A cornerstone of the new workflows, Prefab Mode enables you to edit in isolation. While this means that you will have to approach Prefab editing in a slightly different way, you can feel secure that any errors made will not have negative consequences.
You can learn more about the new prefab system in the prefab documentation. There is also a sample project available for download here.