Feedback request: Understanding import & export package workflows

Got thoughts on import & exporting custom (.unitypackage) packages? We're all ears!

We would love to get your feedback on using import/export custom packages (.unitypackage, not UPM). We are looking to understand the impact (significance), use scenarios of the import/export functionalities on your current work setup.

If you have any opinion, feedback, comments and want to help us improve these workflows, please help complete the survey linked below (Open until May 15th 2024):

Feedback Request Survey: Understanding import and export package workflows

Looking forward to all the responses.

Cathy from the Package Manager.

2 Likes

This is a weird survey.

It seems to want to gage how much of an outrage there would be if unitypackage functionality was removed from Unity, seemingly without a replacement?

And then if most people don't really use it, would it really be okay to remove it? This is not the way to make useful software. If only the features that almost everyone uses all of the time remain in the engine, it will become the most limiting and boring piece of software ever.

And for the record, I bet most people don't use HDRP, or DOTS, or addressables.

Also, what percentage of the Unity user base use Muse? chop chop

7 Likes

Not the intention at all, and I believe the wording of the questions were updated to reflect that. It is a double edged sword. Either we ask questions we think we know the answers to in order to verify, and risk users saying "how could you not know?", or we operate on assumptions and get users saying "why would you just assume and not ask?"

6 Likes

[quote=“Mike-Geig”, post:3, topic: 945858]
Either we ask questions we think we know the answers to in order to verify, and risk users saying “how could you not know?”, or we operate on assumptions and get users saying “why would you just assume and not ask?”
[/quote]
That is understandable, I just don’t think the confused and weirdly worded surveys you’ve been producing in the last 5 years or so are a good method of “asking”.

[quote=“AcidArrow”, post:4, topic: 945858]
That is understandable, I just don’t think the confused and weirdly worded surveys you’ve been producing in the last 5 years or so are a good method of “asking”.
[/quote]
Ya, point taken and I’ve shared the feedback

4 Likes

1) This would be a fair point if much of what was asked was something internally unknowable to a degree that would resolve key decisions. In this case however, it can be (or at least could have been at some point) found out from dogfooding and looking at how your own asset store works and how the assets can even have sub-packages inside them. You (can) already know what would happen if the features got removed. This seems like enough information to abandon any ideas about trimming the codebase or cost-cutting - at least before an actual working replacement has been created and validated first.

2) There still has been no explanation regarding what you intend to do with the data collected. The survey itself only indicates the possibility of removal or breakage. Not a single question on how it could be made better, or if any replacements have been considered, for example.
Added to which, there was this tweet: https://twitter.com/catusmatus/status/1785338946186088449
[quote]
The intent is not necessarily to remove this functionality...
[/quote]
"not necessarily" meaning, it is actually one of the options being seriously considered? What are the other options, if any?

3) The wording of some of the questions is just truly bizarre. People have already mentioned the issue with asking "how often" for critical features but what actionable information is asking "Do you export with or without dependencies more in the Export window?" supposed to give you in the likely case that both answers will have at least one person choosing it? Do you only have the money to maintain one of the options and want to remove the other if too few people use it? This is such an incredibly tiny and static part of the whole editor (including asset dependencies in particular is something also needed for making builds) that I can't imagine removing a feature like this saving any money.

2 Likes

I think there is no need to improve them. They work fine. Unity has much more serious problems. For example, a bug that causes the lighting to flicker if the cooling is turned on (it hasn’t been fixed since 2018). There is a problem with the animator shaking at large distances due to large numbers (not fixed since 2015). There are practically no solutions out of the box. Pay attention to UE (they have a metahuman). Why can't Unity make a character editor out of the box? Given that you have Ziva. There is also no vegetation. The tree system is just terrible. Compare it with TreeIt. There are no systems for creating hair (this is a real problem). There is no solution for creating animals. Why were the Heretic and Enemy packages released, which cannot be used in commercial projects? Pay attention to what developers really need, don’t remake what already works.

3 Likes

Removing package import/export would be a huge mistake that could kill the entire Asset Store.

It's crazy that it's even being considered. The whole ecosystem revolves around being able to easily package up and distribute Unity stuff as .unitypackage files.

Getting rid of it is an overreaction that would upset pretty much every Unity developer and creator out there.

8 Likes


HDRP usage is between 15-20% across all experience levels according to a recent survey by Unity (publishers have access to it, recalled from memory).

There are also reddit surveys that show HDRP use is >10% and half of BIRP with URP being the go-to RP by far - I would suspect answers are mostly from amateuer/indie devs, so the results are likely skewed to the lower end (HDRP is mostly used by experts):
https://www.reddit.com/r/Unity3D/comments/1bo95l4/which_rendering_pipeline_are_you_using/
https://www.reddit.com/r/Unity3D/comments/1765ia9/which_renderer_pipeline_are_you_currently_using/

DOTS (which isn't just ECS) and addressables are heavily used simply based on the activity on the related subforums and given how both solve pressing issues for certain projects with no other alternatives, and how they can be used piecemeal for a single optimization task.

Sorry, I just had to correct this statement. ;)

2 Likes

Got it! We're glad you took the time to share your thoughts. We realize we didn't ask the question quite right, and we're learning from that for next time.

Our goal with this survey is to hear from you about any ways you use our features that we might not know about yet and the breadth of it. We want to involve you in our decision-making process before making any big changes. When we mentioned "not necessarily," we meant we're open to different options depending on your feedback.

We're committed to understanding the diverse ways our features are being used so we can make informed decisions that benefit everyone. Instead of just hoping things won't break, we're actively seeking out your input to improve our change management process. Offering alternatives and considering your workflows are top priorities for us, and that's why we're reaching out with this survey. Thanks for being part of the conversation!

3 Likes

they said "most". you just proved their statement

1 Like

right, but all of your following statements indicate that everyone understood exactly what you're getting at. "no no! you understood us perfectly, but we didn't WANT you to understand us perfectly, so let us obfuscate our intentions a little more in a way that's less likely to annoy you today but will be just as unpopular"

[quote]
When we mentioned "not necessarily," we meant we're open to different options depending on your feedback.
[/quote]

it sounds like the options you're ready for are

  • "does anyone even really use this feature that's been in unity for at least the past 14 years? we have our bloated package manager that doesn't let you modify assets in project, surely this is better and makes our working solution obsolete? hopefully the users agree!"

and

  • "yeah let's still do that anyway but be prepared for people to be mad about it"

it's interesting that unity likes to deflect "but it's not the dev team that makes these terrible decisions, our hands are tied by our executives!" and then go ahead and make asinine suggestions like this, which have clearly come bottom up from the dev team. why would an exec care about .unitypackages? seems like devs don't want to maintain a core feature

[quote]
We're committed to understanding the diverse ways our blah blah blah blah seeking out your blah blah blah blah thanks for being part of the conversation!
[/quote]

please don't condescend a forum of professional programmers with marketing fluff, we aren't shareholders

3 Likes

I use unity packages a lot, mostly to ship multiple (optional) integrations in 1 unity asset.

The biggest thing for me is that there is no way to add package manager dependancies when making a unity package from right clicking. This is possible for the asset store uploader and when using git packages, but is not included with manual package generation.

Next to that the dependancies tend to break. With bigger projects it can include assets which are not used (anymore) in the selected asset you want to export.

3 Likes


Wait this is explicitly not about UPM which is where you import from the asset store.
And therefore it's also nonsense to think they gauge removing this functionality, since the mechanic is indeed the same.


That's true however. A dream would be if there were a visualisation or at least a log that explains why something was seen as a dependency because it sometimes does not seem like making sense. It does feel like there's some bug there, but it's hard to pinpoint.
When I know I'll need to export something later, I usually structure the segment of the software so that I do not need to let Unity select the dependencies.

1 Like

why .unitypackage import/export is critical:
- its simple, fast, few clicks to export or import *1
- its offline, local, free and unlimited (like it should be, its your own files and your projects!) *2
- its easiest way to copy assets/prefabs/scenes with dependencies from one project to another project(s)
- There are no better alternatives offered (in case it would get removed)

*1: although the UI would definitely need more work to make it better (like having search, showing what files were already imported and where - instead of that useless "all files are already imported..", but you dont know where they went and what files)

*2: unlike new unity digital asset manager or any kind of hub asset importer plans

and about the survey:
Good:
- At least they asked, instead of removing & then reverting back after chaos..

Bad:
- Survey doesn't say reason/motivation, so most likely it is to force users into DigitalAssetManager on the cloud/hub
instead of allowing unitypackages..
Then again,
if the reason to consider this feature removal is "editor will be 50x faster", then i would be ready to accept this trade ; )
But nothing is mentioned.. so can only guess.

Here is also list of reactions from twitter (in short: nobody likes this, another PR disaster etc.)
https://twitter.com/unitycoder_com/status/1785303959655137631

3 Likes

Let me share something that happens at any big company. This isn't Unity specific, it happens everywhere. As a company grows, you will eventually get someone somewhere who says, "Hey, I have an idea, I bet we could save X by not doing Y". Sometimes they are right, but often the response is, "We can't do that because our users really value Y."

Now, sometimes that is the end of it. Other times, there is the obvious response, "How do you know? Did you ask them?".

So, while it may seem like asking such obvious questions in a survey is nonsensical, these things are ammunition that allows people like Cathy to do her job keeping our product going in the right direction. It is important to point out that we aren't using data to justify removing something, we are using data so it can not be questioned in the first place.

Honestly, I will say "thank you" to all the people reacting here and on social media. It may feel like an "OMG! Everything is burning!" scenario, but truly, you're providing to us exactly what we need (though I really wish it hadn't happened quite like this...). Now, if anyone ever asks about these workflows, we can point at the survey, this thread, and social media and respond, "See? This is how we know!"

I hope this response helps. To my knowledge there is no devious master plan (though I did really like mgear's idea of forcing a digital asset manager, I've noted it in my "evil ideas journal" :)). As always, if you have questions or are worried about things that seem to make no sense, feel free to email me: mike at unity.com.

16 Likes

Not necessarily UPM specific. What I mean is that all the asset packages are using the .unitypackage format, which could force all the developers to repackage their things into a different format to supports both the old and the new import/export flow.

  1. I use import/export in my daily workflow to quicky export from one project to another.
  2. As an asset store dev, I use it to support SRPs and probably 99% of the publishers do the same
  3. I use it for support. My users can easly export prefabs, scene, etc.. and share them without worrying about loosing the references.

What's missing is a way to export from Packages, since the files are not under the Assets folder, the export will just throw an error. Being able to export from Packages would allow more publishers to move to Packages and support SRPs with the usual workflow of keepeing different pipeline assets in .unitypackages.

2 Likes

Do you mean importing/exporting files under the "packages" section of the Project view?

Right. But I since the files are not under the Assets folder, they will need to be unpacked in local packages.

1 Like