- I’m Leaving Unity
- I am fed up with the way they treat developers like they’re not real people
- I think it was a stupid decision to do what they did, and yes, I AM saying I could do better than their CEO.
- I think Godot’s my next port of call on this happy-go-lucky game development journey
In 2011, I discovered the Unity Game Engine. I was just getting into my then-job as a technical surveying assistant, and I wanted something creative to do in my free time that wasn’t writing. Game design and development seemed right up my alley. I can’t forget that Saturday; I sat down to figure out exactly what this engine was and picked up C# for the first time. It was a magical time, to be sure. Twelve years later, Unity has become unrecognizable to me as a developer. And the worst part about it is that I had a feeling this would happen.
What Happened to Break That Trust?
Several YouTube creators are covering the debacle, and at this point, trying to put it into my own words would simply be re-explaining what they did already. Suffice it to say that devs trusted Unity not to do something that would affect them negatively and thought they had a fallback position based on previous terms of service released in the past. Not only did the studio get rid of the aforementioned terms of service that would allow developers to avoid their price-gouging, but they then ensured that developers could not avoid it, setting levels for the triggering of those payment levels that would likely bankrupt many indie studios and leave indies with a successful game dreading when unity sent their bill. It outright killed whatever trust established developers had in the game engine.
The Game Engine Game
If you’re a hobbyist developer who doesn’t want to sell anything (just yet, anyway), you’ll probably find yourself looking for an easy-to-use game engine to develop your game. For a long time, I’d advise people that my choice of engine was based on what some professionals used in the industry. Unity was a gold standard, and many of us hobbyist devs considered it a helpful tool with the power if we wanted something more robust to run our game ideas.
On the other side of the coin were the game engines we didn’t choose. Unreal Engine (now owned by Epic) is another powerful game engine people can use to develop their games. While I do understand C++, I wouldn’t say I like coding in it. It’s a personal preference that made me think UE wasn’t for me. For those not doing projects requiring super-powerful graphics handling (like most of us hobbyists), there’s Godot. This engine has improved a lot from when I checked it out initially. Now, it even offers C# support, which is a definite recommendation, seeing how I already understand the language and its use in scripting.
Aside from these, people can choose any number of other game engines that will give them the power and resources they need to get stuff done. Construct 3 is an excellent option for developers, and for those who like the pay-for-play model, there’s App Game Kit and Game Maker (both available on Steam). For those who want more fun and less work, there’s the RPGMaker series and RPG Developer Bakin, also available on Steam. While potentially pricey from the get-go, options like these ensure you don’t have to worry about some sleazy company deciding it wants part of your studio’s income.
What Happens Now?
As I said at the top of this post, I’m moving to Godot. I had planned to do some tutorials in Unity for some basic stuff and see how well that was received. But at this rate, I’ll relearn Godot, start using it, get a grasp of its C# usage, and start dropping tutorials on here. I also have to port across something like two years of work on a game I had pending to release. Porting to Godot isn’t that difficult, but it is time-consuming, I suspect. But that isn’t terrible. At the very least, in Godot, I can be sure that no one will ask me to pay for something I made using their tools.
If you’re a game programmer, a developer, a designer, or just someone who likes reading about tech, feel free to follow my posts. They won’t all be as dark and dire as this one is. In fact, I might get a lot happier when I start using Unity less; who knows? In any case, until next time, if you feel like firing up Unity, try Godot instead. It’s actually quite fun.