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Discontinuation of Unity support for BlackBerry 10

Discussion in 'BlackBerry' started by Aurore, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

    Unity Technologies

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    Hey guys, still trying to find time to jam in a fix or two into a 5.1 patch. p2 and p3 don't have any fixes unfortunately. I finally nailed down a security issue for Samsung, need to fix a font issue for them and then I should have some spare cycles.
     
  2. Jonny-Roy

    Jonny-Roy

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    Thanks Alex, do you know if the Dilation issue for lightmapping will be fixed in 5.1? Without that, the lightmapping is unusable!
     
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  3. Jonny-Roy

    Jonny-Roy

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    Also Alex, could one of the other BlackBerry 10 devs not look into these, they are quite serious issues that have lacked love for some time, Graham Dunnett seamed to suggest it there was a whole dev team for BlackBerrry in the thread started in January suggesting that Unity had abandoned BlackBerry support, and there has been no bug fixes since then.

    By the way for everyone else download stats on one of my games in one month...

    iOS: 7,500
    Android: 9,500
    Windows Store: 12,000
    BlackBerry 10: 27,500

    Yeah, shame we lost BlackBerry builds...real shame.
     
  4. MrEsquire

    MrEsquire

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    Yes I kind of looked at the whole Blackberry threads, looks like there is only about 3-5 BlackBerry specific bugs on the forum reported, not sure about QA reports. Therefore I assume Alex need to speak to QA and get a break down.
     
  5. mr_zog

    mr_zog

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    It is indeed very disappointing, as on May 12th we contacted support since we were starting a new game and asked what the status/future of the BB engine will be and got the following response:

    At this stage, we have no plans to drop Blackberry at all, but I cannot guarantee what will happen in 2 years time...​

    You can't tell me, that dropping BB hasn't already been planned then.
    Combined with all the issues we have with 5.x (lightmapping, performance), I must say it's just a total disaster.
    We are forced to stick with 4.6 ... but that's -- like another user already stated -- a different story.

    To keep this post productive, a question towards Unity:
    What requirements have to be met, such that you pickup BB again?
    e.g. How many community votes or how much money?
     
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  6. Jo-Ryall

    Jo-Ryall

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi! As discussed, it’s unfortunate we can no longer support BlackBerry 10. The decision to stop supporting this platform was mainly due to the lack of interest from Unity devs and also BlackBerry's decision to use Amazon App store for consumer apps. BlackBerry posted the following useful links about publishing your Android app on Amazon and making it available for non-Amazon devices i.e. BlackBerry devices. For more info, please check out the following sites: http://us.blackberry.com/apps/amazon-appstore.html and https://developer.blackberry.com/android/ "Publishing your app on BlackBerry devices via the Amazon Appstore is easy. If you’re an existing Amazon Appstore developer, you've previously chosen to distribute your app or game on "Non-Amazon Devices" and your app is compatible with BlackBerry devices, you don’t have to do anything - your app is already available on BlackBerry devices. You can always manage your app's device availability on the Developer Portal after you log in. You can select your app's availability on Fire, BlackBerry and Non-Amazon devices. If you’re an existing BlackBerry developer but new to the Amazon Appstore. Learn how to easily migrate your BlackBerry App to the Amazon Appstore via their blog: https://developer.amazon.com/public...te-Your-BlackBerry-App-to-the-Amazon-Appstore
     
  7. MrEsquire

    MrEsquire

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    Oh wow, clearly u didnt bother reading the whole thread and just did a noob approach, send out some generic links...poor reply.....people want the bugs solved - not instrutions on how to publish on amazon
     
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  8. Jonny-Roy

    Jonny-Roy

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    Yeah, we've all known this for ages, but we all choose to publish properly as it gives very high return in comparison, your decision to drop BlackBerry means we all have to drop BlackBerry, and the lack of interest from Unity Devs is because you left BlackBerry riddled with bugs for over a year now making it almost useless. You only put one developer on solving these issues who is also dedicated to multiple other platforms and prioritises those over BlackBerry.
     
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  9. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    Hey there, I finally found time for BlackBerry stuff again! I looked into the lighting issues. They don't look like they're BlackBerry related (as in platform specific changes are required to fix) but I'll poke the appropriate people to find out what the status is on those.
     
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  10. Elkis

    Elkis

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    Hey Alex! Do you think it is possible to fix the gray screen issue too? So at least I could start using Unity 5? :D
     
  11. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    Hi Elkis! I'm currently attempting to figure out the passport crash. I will look at the grey screen problem next!
     
  12. Elkis

    Elkis

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    Awesome! Many thanks!
     
  13. UberschallSamsara

    UberschallSamsara

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    Well said. The Amazon "alternative" is what's known as Weak Sauce. And platform vendors still seem to not get it when it comes to transparency with devs. Letting something whoopsy-daisy accidentally-on-purpose die from passive aggressive neglect is a great way to burn developer trust.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
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  14. mr_zog

    mr_zog

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    There goes all hope btw: http://feedback.unity3d.com/suggestions/keep-blackberry-10-support-for-unity-5-dot-x >> "Declined"

    Regarding "and also BlackBerry's decision to use Amazon App store for consumer apps." I have to state, that this is just to be seen as an additional appstore, such that BB can say "Hey, we also have XXX.XXX apps for our platform, come, develop apps for us!"

    Have you ever tried one of these apps yourself?
    You can't compare them with "native" apps ... and the original store imo still delivers much more downloads.

    A bit OT but: Microsoft will soon allow android apps to be run on WindowsPhones. Will you drop that as well?
    Let me guess ... "At this stage, we have no plans to drop WindowsPhone at all ..."
     
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  15. lloydsummers

    lloydsummers

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    Edit: This was an unfair statement, after posting several people from Unity have replied to this thread and worked to bring a stable build.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
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  16. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

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    Strange... We've been talking internally about your proposal 3, but guess you no longer are interested in that. :-( PM me if you want.
     
  17. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    Couple fixes coming with 5.1.2p2:
    -Grey screen between the splash screen and the start of the game has been fixed and will no longer appear.
    -Crash issue where deploying development builds to STL-001 devices crashes on start has been fixed.
     
  18. lloydsummers

    lloydsummers

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    Hi Graham,

    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate the effort Alex has been trying to put in, and that someone from Unity has actually opened this thread. I've been trying to distance myself this conversation because it has only generated negativity from me towards Unity (until recently I've had been a fairly positive experience over the last few years) and I am trying hard to limit how involved I am.

    Edit: It looks like Alex has replied and fixed the bugs I need to use BlackBerry in U5

    Assuming the build is stable (no critical crashes and no issue preventing the game/app from being passed by the BlackBerry testing team) then I have a 5.x version I can actually use going forward while looking for a long-term strategy. In that event I personally feel like I have no right to complain as I have been provided what I paid for (albeit with no future features or support).

    Regarding donations - I sincerely appreciate the discussion. If Unity chooses to make a donation, I will match it from the sales of my first console game (provided it earns enough) but please note the donation isn't necessary to appease me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
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  19. Elkis

    Elkis

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    Awesome! I don't want to abuse but is there any chance to optimize the load times? Since Unity 5, builds take longer to load at the splash screen and between scenes, or perhaps is it just me? Any tips to improve this?
     
  20. MrEsquire

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    Excellent news, do we know what caused these issues?
     
  21. Wajdik

    Wajdik

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    I hope this issue will be fixed as well before the end of support of BlackBerry.
     
  22. MrEsquire

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    Is this BlackBerry specific? because does not sound so to me?
    You need to push QA team if not specific to BlackBerry
     
  23. Jonny-Roy

    Jonny-Roy

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    It's not BlackBerry specific, but does make lightmapping pointless in Unity 5, so.... it does affect BlackBerry, QA are already being pushed on this one, but no one is commenting on an ETA, my guess as it's not mentioned for 5.2 is it will be in 5.3... and we'll be photoshopping any lightmaps until then!
     
  24. MrEsquire

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    Okay - if the BlackBerry specific fixes are in 5.1.2p2, this is good news (usually 2-5) patches before 5.1.3 final build.
    So if they can fix this light-mapping issue in the next coming 2 weeks or so, you probably have all the BlackBerry fixes and light-mapping fixes in 5.1.3 final..From the reports in the BlackBerry forum there maybe 1/2 outstanding issues then I think Alex fixed everything reported on forum, unless there specific QA issues.
     
  25. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Lightmap dilation and other things often require fixes in other parts of Unity, or have even been fixed but cannot be integrated yet. There's a lot of reasons, and none of them are developer laziness... sorry to hear it affects BB as well but as mentioned before, it's a general bug in 5's editor.
     
  26. Jonny-Roy

    Jonny-Roy

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    My fear isn't staff laziness, as a regular bug reporter, I see generally very good work from the Unity team, it more well...I'd just like to see BlackBerry left usable, most of the features are, Lightmapping isn't, and while the batching in 5.1 is not on par with 5.2, the BlackBerry devices are generally better than the other mobiles and are less affected, for me the Passport crash and the Lightmapping bug make it unusable so if they don't get fixed, this'll be all for nothing and it may as well been dropped with no fixes. (although maybe some people are doing 2D games with no Lightmapping, in those cases they may of well stuck with 4 and had the fixes put into that instead!)

    The BlackBerry thing is very frustrating, I guess for me...as Unity is an amazing product with an amazing team and I feel I've just lost a big chunk of what made it great for me...it's now a 9.5 out of 10 product! As a big advocate, this situation has made things hard, I used the PSM, when that dropped it was annoying, but at least it was out of Unitys hands, but now I feel like, is there any point looking into Tizen, Samsung TV, any of the smaller platforms, they could all be dropped at a moments notice, even though we've been re-assured the platform is safe...
     
  27. Jonny-Roy

    Jonny-Roy

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    The Passport crash is still outstanding...
     
  28. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    It's a known issue. Problem is with Unity (and this happens a lot) is that one part of Unity is dependant on another. This is in a way being fixed with the ongoing refactor - so having a more modular engine also allows much faster fixing in the future, or at least isolation among other benefits. Moving to 5 was a big explosion for developers on both sides of the fence :)
     
  29. Jonny-Roy

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    To be honest the issue is really one of communication, the issue was reported 4 months ago, the team said they was aware and that it was being fixed, the next communication we're likely to hear is when it's fixed, after 4 months a simple update saying we're still looking at it once a month would not be hard...anyway, I got a response in the other thread, I'll leave it be and keep this to BB specific.
     
  30. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    Yep I'm still working on this. The other two issues were just quicker to fix so I figured I'd get them out first.

    The grey screen was because Unity runtime was still attempting to display the animated splash screen even though animated splash screen's aren't supported by BlackBerry. As you all know the OS displays a static image and therefore is difficult to animate. ;-)

    The crash on the STL-001 device was because of some opengl debug markers that were being included with developer builds.
     
  31. lloydsummers

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    That's the way I understand it as well, they should have no issues abandoning Tizen and Samsung TV as soon as whatever contract they have will let them get out of it. What I've learnt from this experience is that it is very dangerous to rely on Unity for mobile outside of Android or iOS.

    Not that one customer matters very much but I hope they appreciate you - you efforts and communication are the reason I will probably end up sticking with Unity. That said I obviously won't be recommending Unity anytime soon, but it means a lot that you are doing what you can to stabilize the platform before they close support.

    What's interesting about this is I bought the pro license specifically to let me kill the Unity logo but it looks like it tried to add the animated Unity splash screen I see on Windows - which it should have never tried to add anyway for a pro user.
     
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  32. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    The following fixes will be in 5.1.2p3:
    - Fixed the crash that would occur with some projects on the Passport on consecutive runs.
    - SystemInfo.deviceModel now returns a useful model string instead of a hexadecimal number.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  33. UberschallSamsara

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    And this is really key, isn't it? The whole entire point of "cross platform" is that some entity (Unity in this case) with a lot of experience in cross platform goes off and solves cross platform issues so that individual developers in their own silos don't have to wastefully reinvent the wheel, sometimes very badly. This is especially relevant for platforms with smaller install bases (Windows Phone, Tizen, Samsung TV), where it would be way too costly for an indy dev to reinvent wheels. What does it even mean these days to be "cross platform" - does it mean "all the things" only for marketing purposes, but in reality only mean The Duopoly? I'd guess (but it's probably a good guess) that the reason some devs take a shot at "cross platform" tools is so they can go off and address under-served markets (like BlackBerry) where users are starved for good apps and games. Yes clearly BlackBerry has terrible market share numbers ... but the relatively small number of BlackBerry users tend to spend money on apps and games because of their demographic. I hear over and over again that devs make better money on BB10 than Android in spite of the massive difference in market share ... because Google Play is saturated, Android users are spoiled and expect everything for free, and an indy dev actually has a chance of getting noticed in BlackBerry World.

    So .... when is it ok for a company to call themselves "cross platform" to "all the things" ... and when should they ditch that marketing term and just say "Duopoly Dev Tools"?
     
  34. MrEsquire

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    Excellent work Alex (clap) does this complete your list of BlackBerry issues?
     
  35. Wajdik

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    There is another BlackBerry bug, it should be easy to fix: SystemInfo.systemMemorySize is retuning 1024 MB for BlackBerry devices instead of 2048 MB.
     
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  36. Jonny-Roy

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    Excellent, thank you Alex, I may just write a script to fix the lightmapping issue.

    Probably an unknown, but for cross platform purposes do you know scenes / projects will continue to be back portable throughout 5, I'm keen to be able to use IL2CPP for Android, which I'm testing in 5.2 Beta and is working great, but obviously if BB10 is removed from the release Build I'd like to be able to still move back to 5.1 for BB10 (Although BB10 is still in the Beta?)
     
  37. lloydsummers

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    Just a quick side-tip for people reading here... Don't use best-fit for fonts on your GUI items for BlackBerry, it causes a GUI panel to take about 500ms+ for 5 text boxes until the font size caches.

    On Windows phone, I find it is also slowing down by up-to 2,000ms. Just specify font sizes where you can for these two platforms at least.

    I'd say you summarized it well for me. Is Tizen even available on anything? I wonder if they will keep support for more than a few months.

    Too much info, I was hired about a year ago by a new medical company to build a Unity3D team to develop a 3D patient chart inside a web-app. The work itself has been a blast and we are finally to our first release :). I won't go into detail in this thread, but due to the issues we've had with Unity we are pursuing alternatives post release. I like transparency, so it's my hope to get some time to do some actual articles soon on the experience after this release is out.

    I'm still working through my first Unity3D PS4 and WiiU games, so I can't speak yet to consoles. My point being I guess that absolutely the experience changes significantly once you leave the two platforms. Maybe this leaves a nice gap for a leaner company that can afford to be more customer-focused?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
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  38. Wajdik

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    When new BlackBerry devices will out, SystemInfo.deviceModel will return their name or their hexadecimal product number?
     
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  39. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    Starting in 5.1.2p3 SystemInfo.deviceModel will no longer return the hexadecimal product number and instead strings such as "Passport".
     
  40. Wajdik

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    When new BlackBerry devices will out, SystemInfo.deviceModel will return their name or their hexadecimal product number?
     
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  41. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    I would assume so. We are fetching the device name from the BlackBerry 10 OS so it would be up to them to provide us with the correct device name. My best guess is new devices wouldn't provide hexidecimal product numbers.
     
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  42. Wajdik

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    Thank you Alex, and there is another little bug I hope you will fix it, it shouldn't be hard to fix: SystemInfo.systemMemorySize is retuning a wrong amount of RAM for BlackBerry devices, it returning 1024 MB instead of 2048 MB.
     
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  43. Wajdik

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    I found another bug:
    - Create new Unity Project
    - Set the Cloud Project Id in PlayerSettings
    - Build and Run for BlackBerry 10
    - If the BlackBerry device isn't connected to Internet the app couldn't run! (it will be blocked at the splash screen)
    (Tested with BlackBerry Q10)
    Please fix this bug before the end of support of BlackBerry 10.
     
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  44. MrEsquire

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    I tried 5.2f2 beta and seems the BlackBerry module has been removed - when you click on output build BlackBerry, not available.

    Maybe we can still try pushing abit more, 5.1.3 final out, maybe in patch release further things can get fixed.
    We still got some time until disconnection of 5.1x builds..
     
  45. MrEsquire

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    Are these issues present in 4.6x builds, do you know?
     
  46. Wajdik

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    Hi AlexThibodeau,
    There is any news about the bugs #724234 and #721582 and #716990 ?
     
  47. AlexThibodeau

    AlexThibodeau

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    They may be present there as well. I haven't tested 4.6 for those issues specifically.
    I spent some time looking into the setting of the cloud id issue. It looks like when there is no connection the phone attempts to chat with some server and then proceeds to wait for 300 seconds for a reply. This would explain the hang that you are seeing shortly after the splash screen. I will spend some more time this week to see if I can figure out a solution for this.
     
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  48. Wajdik

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    Thank you Alex for working on these bugs, please resolve them before the end of BlackBerry support (especially the cloud id bug and the OnApplicationFocus bug, as they are a blocking bugs for my games)
     
  49. Wajdik

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  50. zezba9000

    zezba9000

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    Aww this sucks... One reason I wish Unity was open like Unreal... let the community maintain support if you can't pay for its development anymore.