Why Unity?

General discussion about realMyst.

Why Unity?

Postby Twitch » Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:34 pm

I'm curious why Cyan chose to use the Unity engine for this remake, instead of the Plasma engine they used for Uru and Myst V. Plasma's a great engine; it's pretty, it performs well, and Cyan already knows how to use it... Meanwhile, Unity is an engine designed for maximum cross-platform compatibility over anything else. I doubt they're going to run RMM in a browser, or on a phone, but right now that's the only advantage Unity has over anything else. It's uglier, slower, and buggier than if they had just done it in Plasma (or even something like Unreal.)

Has any light been shed on the subject?
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby JWPlatt » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:05 pm

Note that Cyan moved to Unreal for Obduction.

Plasma, now CWE in open source, would be a giant development distraction for a company trying to maintain a tight focus on its core competency - great games - to produce a game as rapidly as possible at the most efficient cost while maintaining the highest quality for which Cyan is famous. Headspin, the original developer of Plasma, was acquired by Cyan originally for use in realMyst and Uru Live. Plasma is not undergoing any real development now except in open source by fans. So it really makes more sense to use a versatile engine under active development and support by a company for which it is their own core competency.
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby Twitch » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:05 pm

Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Still, I really hope Cyan NEVER goes back to Unity- as far as I know, every Unity game is plagued by the same problems. It's just a horrible, horrible engine...
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby JWPlatt » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:44 am

Heh, I've used Unity fairly extensively for some of my work. I wouldn't exactly put two "horribles" in a row. It's fun to use, fun to script, and is lots better than some other choices we've used or looked at. It's under very active development, improved regularly, and there's lots of community resources. So I'm curious about your primary point of view - developer, gamer, or acquaintance of one of those?
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby Twitch » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:58 pm

Full time gamer, part time developer, part time dataminer. It's a bad sign when it's harder to get the game to perform well than it is to extract assets :?
Still, I've never developed in Unity, but if it really is as painless to develop for as you say it is then that would explain why they used it for RMM
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby WeldFord » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:18 pm

They used Unity to make the realMyst port to iPad (and this was, at the time, the best choice, maybe the only).

To make the masterpiece edition they used the same base, so that why they keeped it I guess.
And maybe it seems it's a bad choice now, but they didn't had so much choice : Unity is free and they had already some experience with it, they could't afford to pay for another one.
And Plasma -a 10 years old game engine - was not even an option, I guess.
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby JWPlatt » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:06 am

Basic Unity3D is free. The Pro version is $1500 per seat. Add another $1500 for an iOS license and so forth:
https://store.unity3d.com/products/pricing

But that is nearly free in comparison to the stratospheric (or astronomical) cost of Unreal at the time. Epic has changed their pricing model for Unreal since to be more competitive and not equal to the National Gross Product of small nations.
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby belford » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:23 am

There was a period of several years in which Unity was *the* best choice for a 3D engine, if you were a small studio. (And one of the top contenders for 2D, as well.) A generation of game designers was growing up who started with Unity and expected to stay there for a while.

I figure (although I haven't seen a direct acknowledgement) that Unreal's license change, opening up indie and low-budget licensing models, was sparked by the fear that Unity was becoming a universal assumption across the game industry.

As to whether Unity was uglier, slower, and buggier than Plasma -- I'm afraid I have great respect for Plasma's bug-displaying abilities. :(
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Re: Why Unity?

Postby Jamie Marchant » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:36 am

I don't see Cyan useing Plasma, it's really 'too' old at this point and can't do any morden game stuff.(i.e fancy lighting effects)
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