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With UNET, Unity aims to make online multiplayer easier for devs
With UNET, Unity aims to make online multiplayer easier for devs
May 12, 2014 | By Alex Wawro




The folks at Unity published a blog post today outlining their plans to revamp Unity's multiplayer support as part of an internal project codenamed UNET -- Unity Networking.

The UNET development team -- which includes members who previously worked on MMORPGs like Ultima Online, World of Warcraft and Need for Speed Online -- plans to roll out new multiplayer tools, technology and services to Unity developers in three phases, the first of which will make its debut during the update cycle of the upcoming Unity 5 toolset.

More technical details are available on the Unity blog, but in brief: adding online multiplayer to your game typically requires extra time, money and specialized networking knowledge, so the first phase of the UNET project involves adding multiple networking APIs, a matchmaking service and a relay server system to Unity to make the process of creating multiplayer games easier.

That's an important move on Unity's part, given that many prominent indie developers expressed frustration with the challenges of implementing online multiplayer in a recent Gamasutra feature.


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Comments


Innes McNiel
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Apparently phase 1 will be part of the 5.x cycle, but I remember being told that exact same thing about the new GUI (a dramatically less intensive undertaking) and the 3.x cycle. Also, we have no idea if this will cost money, like the upcoming web deployment system will.

Paul Turbett
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Yep, the never ending wait for the often promised GUI is getting very frustrating.

Innes McNiel
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There's the GUI; or how we got Mecanim with half its features missing; or Shuriken, which is dramatically less versatile than the legacy particle system; or the lack of critical terrain updates. Unity just kinda... adds bullet points to its sales page more than anything.

Robert Sherling
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I made an account specifically to comment on this.

When you read the article that the author linked it said that the new service will feature web servers and all kinds if cloud-hosted sweetness.

I struggle to see how that could be free.

What I'm concerned about is having to buy another license to use this aspect of the service, so in addition to the pro license, webGL license, android license, iphone license, and the team-server license, I need a license to develop online multiplayer games and suddenly this is starting to look really expensive.

What happens if I don't buy the license? Do I use the outdated code?

Do I get no multiplayer at all?

While I'd certainly hope that last scenario isn't the case, I'm just not sure. And how will this affect my existing multiplayer games?

In short; very, very cautious about this new one until I see how it's deployed.

Craig Stevenson
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Last I heard (from a Unity Evangelist presentation about a month ago) the new GUI is coming in 4.6. No release date though as far as I know.

Marcos N
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Only at the end of the article, they denote that central features of the new networking apporach will rely on the "Unity Cloud". This does not seems to be an step in the right direction.

"Democratizing game development", is not necessarily the same than "Creating a captive market".

Alexey Abramychev
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I would say "Unity Cloud" is just service. You can use them if you want, but it is not necessary :)

Michael Thornberg
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@Marcos:
I really despise that they (Unity) use the term "Democratizing game development". That suggests we actually have some say on development etc.. we don't. Sweet words, but it really means Apple v2.0, and I am not just talking about this article. I mean the whole deal. As much as I do like Unity, it is lacking in many areas for many different reasons. And the fact that it is a walled garden annoys me (to put it mildly).

Brett Bibby
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Hi,
Since this conversation is important, but not really related to the UNET, we would very much appreciate any feedback and comments in a thread over at Unity forums here:

http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/245901-Official-How-Can-We-Serve
-You-Better

Thanks!
Brett

Judy Tyrer
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I am concerned how this is going to affect companies like Much Different, whose Unity networking solution we use. Of course, with uLink, you can pick your own server hosts and aren't limited to someone else's cloud.

Christian Lonnholm
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We at MuchDifferent got a head start of about 70-80 man years of development into our network tools compared to UNET. I am sure that UNET will be a great choice for many developers but it will take time before it will reach the maturity often required by large scale projects. However, I welcome innovation and competition into networking since I find too few willing to stretch the technology beyond already traveled roads. I believe Unity have that ability and I am looking forward to see what we can learn from them in the future.


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