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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGeneralUnity run time fee
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Alex N.
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« on: September 14, 2023, 01:55:02 AM »

I suppose a lot of you here got seriously screwed by Unity's dumbest decision ever to charge per installation.
I'm curious what are your plans moving forward?
Luckily we're in the prototyping phase, even if we have some of the code done. But for sure I won't accept this crap, so we might have to migrate to another engine ASAP, which is another headache to deal with...
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2023, 10:12:20 AM »

Yeah, Godot or Unreal are good options, if you haven't sunk a lot of work into your project, yet. And being the stubborn old fart I am, may I suggest writing your own tech?
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Alex N.
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2023, 11:42:09 AM »

"may I suggest writing your own tech"
I think that's a good step for when people already have at least one "successful" game out. It's a smaller chance to have invested all of that time for nothing.
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Lance of Longinus
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2023, 06:29:05 AM »

It doesn't surprise me. They've merged with a malware company last year
and they generally seem to be moving in a direction where they only care about short-term profits.

https://www.pcgamer.com/unity-is-merging-with-a-company-who-made-a-malware-installer/
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J-Snake
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2023, 04:24:09 PM »

If you want longevity and plan to create games for many decades to come, and if it is within your ability, it is wise to roll your own tech on the side. The reason is that you can never rely on big corporations, as they are never your friend in a capitalistic system. So you want to keep dependencies as low as feasable. For that, you should also employ an engine agnostic programming style. When Unreal is no more viable next, you can port the code to another engine without much hassle, including your own. This is especially true if the game is rather code heavy above anything else, having many custom systems in place. But the custom tools can still remain tied to Unity, as using those is not what you are going to be charged for (or could you? Tongue)).

One major advantage of game-engines is cross-platform compatibility, of course. But that should be covered by upcoming SDL3 (except for consoles, I gues). It effectively upgrades SDL2 by a cross-platform vertex/fragment-shader. That's plenty of power for sophisticated visuals.

Personally, I have a bit of investment in Unity, to see how the games are assembled according to the "industry standard", and to evaluate if it is a good fit for a bigger project. I preferred Unity over Unreal because of the purity of its architecture; you start with a clean slate. And I would like to stay with Unity for now, but I can switch engines and check Unreal next, always knowing I can fallback to my own tech as the majority of systems are custom code anyway.

Having that said, I understand if you are an artist, or if you want to include cutting-edge features only that one engine X offers, then that's the risk you have to carefully evaluate.
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J-Snake
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2023, 05:49:09 AM »

And being the stubborn old fart I am, may I suggest writing your own tech?
I guess this isn't considered an "old fart"-opinion anymore, as people now learn the hard way about the dangers of engine-dependency.

If I would be heavily invested (and dependend) in Unity, I would still continue using it and wait with premature decisions. In the worst case, chances are Microsoft will buy them.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2023, 11:18:26 PM »

I legit don't mean to be a troll, but for a game that sells 200,000 copies at lets say, $10 a pop, the game would net 2 mill, of witch Steam would take $600,000 and Unity would take a max of $0.20 cents a copy which comes to $40,000 but for some reason Unity is the spawn of Satan and Steam is the Heavenly Host?

Also the price gouging only seems to affect devs that are bringing in literally millions of dollars, and yet we are fighting the power about this?
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2023, 05:06:15 AM »

the way games are sold and distributed now it's gonna come down to a whole lot less than $10 per average install is the thing (one of the things)
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J-Snake
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2023, 01:26:02 PM »

The increased cost itself isn't the main problem here (and the "low revenue per install edge cases" could be ironed out). The problem is that it is based on install count, not purchase. Each time someone installs the game on new hardware, it's a new install you pay for. And it is impossible to accurately predict this number in general, Unity could just make numbers up since it is a black box to everyone else. That makes the cost unpredictable even when the revenue variable is known.

Unity is selling their engine to a business, and a business has to have clear information about the cost of a licence. The obvious fact is that this profound necessity is not respected, which renders Unity an unreliable business partner. That is why so many are leaving this ship. I personally think that as long as competitors like Unreal are around, Unity's licence has to stay attractive. But it is still important to raise the voice and actions against predatory practices, otherwise they will find acceptance and become mainstream.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2023, 04:19:47 PM »

I agree about business being the goal here, but if that is the case, why would you launch a game on a platform like steam that is deliberately opaque about how their visibility algorithms work? It doesn't make business sense to put your launch in the hands of a company that keeps your user data and doesn't tell you clear methods you can use to get your game seen. Unity is bad, but steam is worse imo.
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2023, 05:51:29 AM »

Steam's visibility algo is intransparent so it can't be gamed too easily. If it was transparent, we'd see nothing but asset flips and other trash games on the "new and noteworthy" page
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2023, 09:33:33 AM »

I guess, It seems like with a human touch it would be pretty easy to see which games are asset flips right? Even if 1000 games launch a day, you'd need like 5 people to sift through them?
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2023, 09:54:52 AM »

Also, it seems like you could get community members who are trustworthy to give a sort of "Spam" vs "Good" ranking of each game with little notes on why they didn't or did approve you. And then you could get thousands of moderators who would be essentially the "knights of new" who sift through the muck and decide.
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2023, 12:23:54 PM »

For all we know the steam algo already involves a bunch of manual labour lol
But if they were open about that people would rightfully be suspicious of human error, nepotism and plain bad arbitrary decisions, and demand a way to appeal
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J-Snake
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2023, 12:43:52 PM »

I agree about business being the goal here, but if that is the case, why would you launch a game on a platform like steam that is deliberately opaque about how their visibility algorithms work?
Because there is no competitive platform that does the marketing for you, not for free.
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2023, 11:13:33 PM »

Also, it seems like you could get community members who are trustworthy to give a sort of "Spam" vs "Good" ranking of each game with little notes on why they didn't or did approve you. And then you could get thousands of moderators who would be essentially the "knights of new" who sift through the muck and decide.

Yeah the Steam review system is pretty cool.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2023, 11:30:54 PM »

As a comp sci guy, a system is weak if it needs to be propped up with secrecy. For example in encryption an algorithm is to be known publicly, and only then is the encryption said to be legit. Its the actual encryption key that must be kept secret, not the process by which encryption is done.

Because there is no competitive platform that does the marketing for you, not for free.

When I do an announcement on my game page there are about 100 people who see it, and 1 or 2 people who click on the announcement. I'm glad steam is marketing for you, but they are doing nothing but burying me. But I guess since it is perceived that steam is marketing people no one speaks up. If I mention anywhere that steam gave me less visibility than I feel I deserve, then they will punish me! Better keep quiet.

With this unity deal, because we are a unified voice we are able to fight against a 40k fee, but the 600k fee is too much to fight for us?

For all we know the steam algo already involves a bunch of manual labour lol
But if they were open about that people would rightfully be suspicious of human error, nepotism and plain bad arbitrary decisions, and demand a way to appeal

We should be sus of human error, but because its an "alogrithm" we aren't supposed to be sus of errors, nepotism and bad arbitrary decisions? And if the algorithm decides that our game is only worth a few hundred dollars, its great that there is no way to appeal?

Yeah the Steam review system is pretty cool.

I get that reviews factor into the game, but also, reviews from people who were given the game don't count. And the reviewers you get in the critical first hour are decided by machines, not based on how good their reviews are, nor are the reviewers given any compensation for writing real reviews. Instead loud trolls get the most attention, and gate keep games that don't do the same thing they expect.

Imagine if the criminal justice system were run by algorithms:


If the police robot revealed why it chooses to kill citizens, then people would be able to avoid getting shot by behaving properly, and we don't want that. Also you think the government can afford humans to police people? If we speak up on this issue they may retaliate, shhhhhhhhhhh.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2023, 11:39:55 PM »

A truly fair and robust system that is transparent and clear is to the benefit of all.
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Alex N.
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2023, 02:55:34 AM »

It's a shitfest.
I had a felling that this entire thing might be a super aggressive highballing tactic (which it seems to be after all) in order to sell or land the new offer that they just made. They don't care, or realize how much bad they did and how hard it's for them to regain any sort of trust at this point.
John Riccitiello is clearly approaching us as dumb kids that can't see through the bullshit, and I hope to god it won't stick. But I doubt they'll lose a significant nr of customers because people are way too invested in their projects... idk. It's such a dumb scenario and it saddens me that it might not bite them in the ass in the long run because ppl will still make them money.
I'm not the programmer in my team, I deal with art so unfortunately I don't know exactly how hard is to move to a new engine, but if it's possible I will push for permanently moving away from unity.
Also I hope Riccitiello will never find work again as a ceo or any leading position. People like him deserve no empathy.

Maybe Monogame will be a viable option for us, but we still need to see what it implies working with them.
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J-Snake
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2023, 05:23:17 AM »

I'm glad steam is marketing for you, but they are doing nothing but burying me.
I think my point was not made clear. Steam, like any other platform, does not do the marketing for you. (I also agree that it would be better to have a healthy amount of human oversight instead of aiming to automate everything. But that is a different point.)

I'm not the programmer in my team, I deal with art so unfortunately I don't know exactly how hard is to move to a new engine, but if it's possible I will push for permanently moving away from unity.
If you want a fully integrated engine, but something as simple or even simpler than Unity, then I would recommend to give Godot a shot and see if you are satisfied with its features and performance. It might be a great alternative if those requirements are met.

But realistically speaking, Unity's licence will remain attractive as long as competitors are around, so they have to adapt to the backlash, and that just happened btw:
https://blog.unity.com/news/open-letter-on-runtime-fee

Would be interesting to know how publishers are evaluating the whole Unity situation for the future though.


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