After mostly a week of anxiety, for thousands and thousands of developers, Unity changed the rules again, and first glance, it’s better for the immediate problems it would cause for active and in-development games. They removed the retroactive aspect of the “pay-per-game-install”, so only for someone on Unity 2023 LTS+ (launching next year) will that apply, current projects will not be affected. Small relief, as long as we can keep using existing versions with current Terms of Service. This will be impossible on mobile and consoles in a short time frame due to SDKs, but for PC should be fine.

So that’s good huh? Well not quite imo, because the rest pretty much maintains, more or less with some changes, Unity Plus still gone (although expected), but it’s a revenue/pay-per-install deal, on top of the yearly license fees. I feel they fear they tainted their image so much they aren’t even forcing the Unity splash screen anymore, probably because players will now fear every Unity game will come with install tracking software.

I think the subscription plan, especially for mobile/consoles is needed, it’s a company and needs to make money to maintain the software, fair. However for me it’s a lot of the break of trust they did, and trying for the SECOND time (that I recall) to change the Terms of Service retroactively and only after industry-wide outrage did they backtracked slightly. So for now the new-new rules only apply to a smaller %, which I guess they expect will calm down most of the community. In a couple years they’ll pull some other stunt and we’ll recall “oh right, they did this before”.

Furthermore, they had deleted the transparency repo with the Terms of Service from GitHub, which raised many eyebrows, when enquired to why they deleted the answer was “low views so it was deleted”. The repo is back up meanwhile, I mean, what the heck?

Moving forward

So as I mentioned in last post I have been working on a prototype for what I hope I can turn into a new game, in Unity. I decided that I’ll continue working on the prototype in Unity (actually taking a break from work right now to write this), it would be slightly silly to change now. And when I feel most of the features are done, I’ll try to move to my own tech, yes again.

I’ve been doing some research and tests and I’ll be dismantling Quest of Dungeons engine, which was all OOP, to adding ECS, using Flecs, this is a major thing I’m taking with me from my time using Unity, I like that it helps solving a lot of issues sometimes, even if full ECS is not the solution for me. But having that will be nice, I can see the benefit now. Another thing might also be trying to mimick Prefabs and/or ScriptableObjects, that would be nice, but that’s just in the back of my head at the moment. I already started the process of integrating Flecs, so slowly and gradually, and hopefully, when it’s time to switch engine it will be a suitable alternative. If not well, better not update to 2023LTS I guess.

At least this is the plan right now, who knows, maybe I’ll reach a point where it feels too frustrating to rewrite it all in a different engine and language (c# to cpp), or ran out of budget to do so, plans do change. But at the moment at least it moves forward like this.

List of mostly open-source game engines and frameworks

Using suggestions I compiled a list of game engines and frameworks, mostly open-source and free, but there are a few with licenses, regardless, for anyone looking to test alternatives, there’s a bunch of stuff.

My personal suggestion for anyone who wants to try the “make my own engine” approach, for 2D stuff (don’t get too deep the rabbit hole on 3D), will be to use SDL to bootstrap window creation, input etc. I’ve used that in a bunch of stuff in the past and can vouch for it.