5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

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5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by Railboy » Sat May 31, 2014 8:19 pm

Unity's new GUI system has been threatening to drop for so long that I'd all but written it off as vaporware. But lo and behold, it's coming out in the next update, and it looks glorious.

This system would address a lot of the problems I've had with my NGUI-based system. But despite all those problems, I'm 90% sure it wouldn't be worth it to upgrade at this point. Weird, isn't it? I've been running into this a lot lately - I use a lot of middle ware, and in most cases I'm at least 2-3 versions behind because I don't want to break any systems this late in the game. The last thing I upgraded was the character controller and it was *barely* worth it - I lost a week to re-implementing all my custom code.

One upgrade I'm dreading / looking forward to is Unity 5.0, which might squeak by before FRONTIERS is released. That will have an all new lighting engine, that would fix FRONTIERS' flat-looking interiors. The exteriors in FRONTIERS look fine without global illumination but the dynamically built structures can't use light maps. That leaves me with a handful of dynamic shadows, resulting in a very flat look. In theory real-time global illumination would fix that with little extra work. But of course I won't *just* be getting an upgraded lighting engine - every other damn feature in the engine will be upgraded alongside it, breaking god knows how many things...
Language is to the mind more than light is to the eye.
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by RyanASpan » Sat May 31, 2014 8:40 pm

Better to release first and consider upgrading later!
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by SignpostMarv » Sat May 31, 2014 9:00 pm

agreed, less headaches after release than before? :D
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by Gazz » Sat May 31, 2014 9:11 pm

If [insert new version] adds a feature you absolutely must have... and you can still afford to fix an unknowable number of previously working systems... sure.
But if it ain't broke, don't fix it. =)
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by Starfia » Sat May 31, 2014 9:17 pm

My first instinct would be to leave that stuff for the sequel unless it's obviously fantastic and simple.
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by Thundercles » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:46 pm

Might be a good expansion to implement a year or so after launch. I'm sure there will be enough going on until then.
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by yarnevk » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:54 pm

The devil you know vs. the devil you don't.

Its Unity so new features and new releases will have bugs and learning curves that are not apparent in the shiny video, and there will be something new coming yet again when you are working on the new bugs, because Unity only makes money by coming out with new releases. GUI and lighting does not impact gameplay, but they do have you off chasing bugs in new toys while the rest of us have no new toy.

When you was doing VFX and the client wanted the render would you tell them Maya has a new version coming this summer that will make it more shiny, or did you grit your teeth and got the job done?

I agree with others tie it to an expansion to rewrite the middlewares. It is unlikely I would replay a game just because it is shinier, I would play it for new content.
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by postnjam » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:42 pm

Just do what other game developers do - do the upgrade later and call it "super" Frontiers

You are Capcom, yes?
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by matthewfarmery » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:30 am

yeah I would hold off, you can always upgrade later if needed, but it might just add more work and delay the game even more. system looks interesting mind, so might be useful to get it at some point. (and hope it doesn't break too much stuff, but it probably might!)
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by HittingSingularity » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:00 am

I agree with the consensus of releasing the game first then upgrading the engine. Preferably not as a 'paid' expansion.
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by Gazz » Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:57 am

HittingSingularity wrote:I agree with the consensus of releasing the game first then upgrading the engine. Preferably not as a 'paid' expansion.

I don't think that is a consensus of any kind. It simply makes no economic sense to re-write possibly large parts of the game just for fun.
Even if it were sold as an expansion, who would buy it? Why would you pay money for getting the exact same thing only with a different engine version number?
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by anemation » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:04 am

Gazz wrote:
HittingSingularity wrote:I agree with the consensus of releasing the game first then upgrading the engine. Preferably not as a 'paid' expansion.

I don't think that is a consensus of any kind. It simply makes no economic sense to re-write possibly large parts of the game just for fun.
Even if it were sold as an expansion, who would buy it? Why would you pay money for getting the exact same thing only with a different engine version number?

#Metro Series
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Re: 5/31/2014 - To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

PostPosted by yarnevk » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:23 pm

Gazz wrote:Even if it were sold as an expansion, who would buy it? Why would you pay money for getting the exact same thing only with a different engine version number?

It has to have content in the expansion to sell, shiny gfx just tilts the odds someone will buy the new content, because even if the new story sucks you don't notice because the game is shinier!

Baldurs Gate EE comes to mind....it really is just Baldurs Gate HD but they call it EE because they packed all the expansions in with the HD upgrade, so even if you had the original you may not have all the expansions so you justify the HD upgrade that way. The main reason to buy it is the HD, the excuse is BGII has new party members. So you could do something similar and add 64b, DX11, and Unity5 supports after everyone played the main story, but add some replay twist with expansion to the story to justify the upgrade. The thinnest of plot will get me to replay it because I really just bought it for the shiny, I just don't want to admit that!

Of course Bethesda is the master at the rebuy. Skyrim Legendary? Was all the DLC and HD texture packs, with one new feature of maxed reskilling. I bought it even though I already bought Skyrim. Elder Scrolls Anthology packs all the old DOS games with the DOS emulator that supports widescreen HD interpolations. I bought it even though I already got Daggerfall for free, and already had bought Morrowind. And Morrowind done in HD is the only reason I subscribed to ESO, aside from the bots and pets in dungeons getting in the way it really is a MSO rather than MMO, I just pretend those leet grinders running past me are NPCs...
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