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Unity Starter Kits, what do you want?!

Discussion in 'Editor & General Support' started by willgoldstone, May 18, 2017 at 6:46 PM.

  1. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi everyone,

    Long time no speak? you don't write, you don't call.

    But seriously, let's talk starter kits. Something we should have done a while ago but we're starting to build now as an ongoing project.

    Wait, Will - What are starter kits?

    A starter kit is something we'll provide to you from the new Unity hub (our larger scale launcher coming later this year). It's a project that contains a professional standard code, minimalistic art-style sample game that you can learn from, pick apart, deploy - it's up to you.

    What is a starter kit not?

    A starter kit is not a tutorial - we will be documenting each one in written form, dissecting why we approached things the way we did - but we won't make a step by step 'build this thing' style tutorial. A starter kit is also not something you should immediately deploy to android play store having changed the font and ..who am I kidding someone is gonna do that. Anyway!

    We have so many ideas for this we want to narrow down to the top five you would like to see us make samples of first - and we'd also like to know if we're missing anything here too. This list and the results of the survey are NOT final - we'll still make the final call but we want to do it based on YOUR feedback, not OUR assumptions. Check out the survey below, looking forward to seeing the results and thanks as always for being awesome.

    TLDR; here's the survey -

    https://goo.gl/forms/GgNwWdGXX7yuo2463

    UPDATE: You'll note an absence of XR content in the list - this is deliberate as we're planning to provide more of such content in different forms, updating and expanding the VR Samples initiative we launched a while back.

    Will

    ps. sure the TLDR should be at the top, but you made it this far didn't you?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 8:25 AM
  2. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Form permissions!
     
  3. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

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    Fixed. Dumb defaults to internal only. Sorry!
     
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  4. Supergeek

    Supergeek

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    This is a great idea. Submitted my selections.

    I would definitely spend money for kits like this if they were coded with industry best practices, or at least scalable and robust practices. So you'd need experienced industry professionals to code or at the very least review them -- not the same code as we could find in any online tutorial, even the official ones.
     
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  5. behram

    behram

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    Fantastic initiative.
    Some love for XR too.

    I was hoping you would do a video breakdown for at least some of the code.
    Take for example all the goodness stuffed into the VR samples package.There's tons of stuff to learn and repurpose.
    Videos of some of those techniques would accelerate learning immensely for people new to Unity / programming concepts.

    cheers,
    b
     
  6. methos5k

    methos5k

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    Starter kits sound great for the community. I chose 5 that sounded good, but I'm sure whichever 5 (to begin with) are chosen, it'll be good & it can always be added to.
     
  7. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

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    @behram - this is
    Yep this is definitely the inspiration for more starter kits - taking the ethos of VR Samples - some readymade content and documenting it in detail. We aren't ruling out some video content relating to these, but chances are most of it will be written. We will be talking about them in another video form however, but we're not ready to reveal that just yet.
     
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  8. MrEsquire

    MrEsquire

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    Mobile Game with all Unity InApp support examples
    and Unity Adverts integration example.
    Something bit more clever also, real world scenario not just droped in..
     
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  9. behram

    behram

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    Superb.
    Could you also make a starter kit for Audio ?

    Thank you,
    b
     
  10. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

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    We actually have a sample project coming on this front coming in a few weeks - we're shipping it to stores too so we've been delayed by legal stuff but the game plus it's source is on it's way - keep an eye on our blog and social channels for 'Trash Dash' endless runner sample game. Proceeds are going to Game Changer charity too!
     
  11. Baste

    Baste

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    I wrote this in the feedback form, but you should really consider including a Hearthstone-like card game in the first samples. I think that's the kind of game I most often see people asking about how to make on the forums these days.

    I also hope you'll be taking input from the community on the code/assets/whatever in the starting kits. There might be practices in the community you're not aware of internally. Since you're already providing the kits for free with all of the assets (I assume?), you should properly open-source them! Put them on Github, include a style guide, and take pull requests.

    I'd really love for you to make an RTS starting kit. The built-in path-finding is quite atrocious, maybe having somebody internal actually try to make something with it would speed up your efforts with improving it :p



    I hope that you are aware that unless Steam gets their act together, your Starter Kits will be the new UnitZ: something scammers download, add a logo to, and ship to steam make money off trading cards. Steam's working on it, but you never know if the "fix" will actually fix the issue.
     
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  12. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Think it's been a while since anyone thought Unity was any good for FPS games. Usually the default is going to be UE4. Maybe knock that on it's head or something :p

    You should mp network whatever you go with though.
     
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  13. John_Vella

    John_Vella

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    I have replied, but wanted to share my thoughts... An FPS starter kit would be useful, as it could be used to show the latest additions to Unity, and how they can be used. Personally, I would love to see a top down 2d soccer game starter kit like Kick Off 2 / Sensible Soccer , as that would be a really useful learning tool, as well as allowing me to entertain myself while fixing all of the bugs in my code! ;-).
     
  14. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    Disclaimer: The opinions represented below are mine alone, and not intended to indicate a statement on the game industry / market outside of my limited experience and understanding.

    I love this idea, and I wanted to share the options I picked and why.

    1. 3D RPG (Simple Zelda like)
    FPS are pretty straight-forward. You move your mouse to look around, you press some keys to move, you click to shoot everything you see.

    A third-person RPG affords you so much more complexity and types of interactions, and it'd be great to see UT's take on handling things like dialog systems, context menus, inventory management, enemy AI vs NPC, day/night cycles, etc. I get that we're talking a watered down version of OoT here and not Witcher 3, but as a place to start, I think that's fantastic.

    2. Turn Based Strategy (Warbits, Endless Space, Advance Wars, Civ)
    Being more of a console gamer, I still find myself booting up Civ Rev now and then. Turn Based Strategy appeals to me in every possible sense, and whether it's a top-down square grid, 2.5D hex grid, or fully 3D dynamic point-based map, I could learn tons.

    3. Local Multiplayer Kart Racer (Mario Kart)
    Same screen multiplayer is my new favorite thing again since getting my Switch. And it'd be good to see how Unity handles using their own vehicle physics (I dare you to use the wheel collider, I just dare you!)

    4. Space / Earth Flight Sim (Flight Simulator, X-Wing)
    This is one of those things I've always wanted to make but haven't had a clue where to start so I haven't bothered touching. People mention floating origins and I just tuck into a ball and cry.

    5. Procedural / dynamic game
    Might even be a good fit to merge with the flight sim. I think every game can benefit from a bit of dynamism, and any lessons on handling that nicely are welcome.

    Not listed, and not suggested, but wanted badly!
    Grand Strategy. Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis, Stellaris (basically, any Paradox game). Big sims with lots of moving parts. Graphically simple, but processor intense. Random events! Reactive personality-based AI! Show us how to organize and optimize all that crap!

    @willgoldstone Didn't see it mentioned... Do you guys have a rough timeline for when you want to release these?
     
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  15. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

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    We also have a larger Multiplayer shooter in the work that's separate to this Starter Kits project, aiming to make a large scale sample and also put networking through it's paces, so yep, that's been in the works a little while now under a new team formed just to work on that. Can't say too much more on that yet :)
     
  16. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

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    Thanks for your comments, it remains to be seen how we'll handle open sourcing this kind of material, it may be that we offer the 'stable' version through the hub and then have source elsewhere to grab - we will see.

    Regarding your comment about steam see my comment about Android play store in the original post that addresses exactly this ;)
     
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  17. Mr_Edward

    Mr_Edward

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    Is this server authorative, and is there an eta?
     
  18. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

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    I can't share any more details at the moment i'm afraid, sorry.
     
  19. mgear

    mgear

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    voting for 'don't add any fancy graphics', because then:
    - projects will be much smaller (& fast to import.. still have nightmares about ethan character normal map conversion progress bar, if changed platform..)
    - faster to release these
    - people cannot sell the "game" as is to steam and mobile stores (its only game mechanics, 'white boxed' level designs, so at least have to add own graphics..)
     
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  20. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I would suggest just importing to a new project and then copying over what you need to your project. You can also untick the relevant textures that make importing long. No need to do anything then...
     
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  21. willgoldstone

    willgoldstone

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    see 'What are starter kits' for mention of the intended art style. But yep, I agree with you.
     
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  22. moonjump

    moonjump

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    Thank you for asking the community ahead of time.

    As well as being a starter for a genre, hopefully each one will highlight which features it is useful for seeing an implementation of. e.g. Unity Ads, mobile achievements, particles, save systems.

    Something that may or may not be suitable for Unity Starter Kits: A project that focuses on mobile build size, highlighting good practice.
     
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  23. Rodolfo-Rubens

    Rodolfo-Rubens

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    Ah, amazing, we were discussing this here, I think this is pretty much it! Were you guys watching us? :p

    Btw, I voted to have an open world example in the next survey, doesn't need to have any type of gameplay in it, just how to stream stuff.
     
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  24. wccrawford

    wccrawford

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    Seems like a great idea. I've voted for things that I would want to make, but also across a range of things like 2D/3D, perspectives, and kinds of interaction.
     
  25. Rodolfo-Rubens

    Rodolfo-Rubens

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    You said it best brother! But we would still need animator controllers and they would need to be controlled through script, pretty simple animations would do it.
     
  26. Socrates

    Socrates

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    What, no Flappy Bird or Minecraft clones on the list?

    Sorry, I could not resist the snark. :oops: Please do not add these to the list.
     
  27. nikix22

    nikix22

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    Mechwarrior 2 style game example would be great to have as a starter kit. Something with very simple design like in original game.
    Also something with Tie Fighter ship style game could be done, that would be funtastic! These games are still better today then a lot of new modern games.
     
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  28. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    I like the idea of more robust kits. Infinite runners, flappy bird, angry birds, clicker games, stuff like that is so prolific there's no real value to bad had in making them. Kits that demo how multiplayer can work, interesting concepts with scriptable objects like @superpig had in his Unite talk last year, stuff like that. More advanced stuff I guess, that lets users get more into the meat instead of going to the Unity site and seeing more cheesy mobile templates. Stuff that shows how regular coding concepts and architectures can be used with Unity, new workflow ideas, etc.

    Thats just my 2 cents.
     
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  29. TimHeijden

    TimHeijden

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    This sounds very cool. Personally I'd prefer if Unity wouldn't make another sample specifically for things such as Unity Ads and/or Achievements. These are topics that are well explored in general, and while the implementation may have some minor quirks in it, you can focus on fixing those instead of dedicating these resources to explain it.

    My problem with Unity tutorials has always been that it doesn't seem to go in depth. Making a small example like "Tanks!" or the survival horror demo is fun, but it hardly gets into any issues that are actually hard to solve deeper into the development process. In fact, I feel like Unity has a bad rep partially because of the lack of proper in-depth samples, to a point where you could think Unity doesn't realize problems with their engine because "they don't make games".

    I feel like the starter kits could be a way to solve this. Like @hippocoder said, you might want to take on FPS and/or Networking to show Unity can compete with UE4. (or can it? who knows! :) )


    ps.
    Please also refrain from focusing on topics that should be reworked / made much simpler in the "near" future such as Input Systems or AssetBundles. (both of which I think is already in progress ^^)
     
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  30. Alverik

    Alverik

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    True, you'll hear people say AAA/next gen games don't use Unity, but if it's like that, it's due to its own bad rep. It doesn't mean that it's not possible, it just means that due to their rep lots don't even try... so how are we going to know? I know Unity is capable of a lot, problem is you need dedicated shader/fx programmers to achieve great visuals, because what Unity lacks is a good shader editor. I mean, how easy it is to build a cool looking, brilliant explosion in unreal by just using the shader editor to create a good shader to do the fx (plus there's tons of "recipes" out there). But I digress, lol. Hopefully the Starter kits will show more of what Unity can do, at least in the gameplay side.

    And, by the way, I didn't tick First person shooter in the survey, lol. Because, well, there's bound to be one no matter what we pick, :p. I do think it would be cool to have an open world like example too (yes, we can dream).
     
  31. TimHeijden

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    If Open World means that Unity will accelerate development of a new terrain system, I'm all for it ;)
     
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  32. Adam-Bailey

    Adam-Bailey

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    I would love a good sample project that shows the proper intended way of setting up a Unity scene with lightprobes, reflection probes, bake settings, etc. The Labs demo was fantastic for this, but it doesn't seem to build on current Unity versions (and is delisted from the store). This type of example is great to give to artists to pull apart and see exactly what best practices are.
     
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  33. MrDude

    MrDude

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    Oh thank you!!!! The one thing I still struggle with after all these years of using Unity is setting up damned lighting!!! From what I saw on Unreal you drag in the sun and your stuff looks amazing.... in U5 I spend days on lighting and afterwards still ask myself "Why does this still look so crap?"
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017 at 7:55 AM
  34. AwesomeX

    AwesomeX

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    This sounds really cool! Looking forward to the "New Launcher" as well, whatever that is.

    Here's Unity's chance to 1-up Unreal with their starter kits!
    Just kidding. ;)
     
  35. Rodolfo-Rubens

    Rodolfo-Rubens

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    Then you are in the wrong thread..
     
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  36. agiro

    agiro

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    I have seen a neat tool on asset store, namely "SVG import". Could you integrate something like that as a standard asset?
    Or, if that was way too big a task to develop (given you are building Unity 2017.x atm), a tool that would convert alpha punchout sprite textures to silhouette plane geometry, would be a great help for optimising the games. As far as i know though, this latter stuff you already have, but for collisions only - I have seen a utility that forms a collider around the transparency of my sprites (so the opaque parts are the colliders).
     
  37. Alverik

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    You know, there's a ton of tutorials out there that show how to do lighting (text and/or video tutorials), way too many really... As far as I can tell, the point of the starter kits is about gameplay, not basic Unity usage... Though, I'm sure we will see how they did the lighting in every one of those examples, since, well, it'll need to be done anyways (I doubt they'll publish scenes without lighting...).
     
  38. moonjump

    moonjump

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    Quite a few games don't need lighting, especially 2D. I've done 2D and 3D games without lighting. Hopefully one of the things we will see as multiple starter kits emerge is that there is a lot of variety to the way you can do things with Unity.
     
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