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6 things we heard from creators during GDC 2023

March 31, 2023 in Games | 8 min. read
6 things we heard from creators during GDC 2023 | Hero image
6 things we heard from creators during GDC 2023 | Hero image

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Heavy rain couldn’t dampen the excitement of GDC 2023. We kicked things off with our Developer Summit’s eight packed-house sessions. The event gave us the chance to hear about the challenges Unity creators face and share what we’ve been working on to help overcome them.

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A sizzle reel of some of the incredible, inspiring Made with Unity games highlighted as part of this year’s GDC Showcase.

As we shared going into GDC, this year is all about you. After spending the week connecting with the community, we’re so inspired to keep Editor improvements coming, and we can’t wait to release the 2022 LTS. In the meantime, we hope you find this roundup of topics and resources from the event’s ground floor helpful. 

IGF Awards 2023: Congratulations are in order for this year’s winners. Six out of the eight awards went to Made with Unity games, including the grand prize to Betrayal at Club Low.

1. HDRP Hair

A lot of people were asking about hair in the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) at GDC.

To perfect hair in your next project, we recommend starting with the 2022.2 Hair Material samples that were released in June. These were designed to show you how to use HDRP’s hair shader with different kinds of hair. The package also includes sample scenes and Shader Graph shaders, and it allows you to simulate the hair around the inside of the shader.

Coming in 2023.1, we’re working on a hair and fur rasterizer for high-fidelity light and anti-aliasing. These resources from the demo team and Enemies project should prove helpful until then:

2. Multiplayer management

Last week, alongside many great questions, one especially interesting ask on managing multiplayer projects came to us from a high school teacher. Specifically, how to deploy a completed multiplayer project to WebGL. To support cross-platform gaming for multiplayer titles on any device, we’ve introduced full support of WebGL for Relay as part of our multiplayer solutions. You can now peer-host browser clients on any device with any other platform, such as consoles and mobile. This means that you can create more flexible and accessible multiplayer games that can reach a wider audience.

For those not using Relay, there is a Netcode for GameObjects workaround if using the latest version of Unity (2022.2): Request the version 2X experimental from the Package Manager, then follow these steps.

Capture from in-booth session during GDC 2023
Capture from in-booth session during GDC 2023

3. Accessibility features

The GDC audience was also interested to hear about upcoming accessibility features in Unity. The UX and product design teams are in the early stages of implementing features into the Editor for more accessible game design and development. As we continue to develop in this area, we recommend bookmarking the following resources:

4. Build time

Another topic raised was CI/CD build times and the difference between local and cloud builds. Unity DevOps’s new Unity Build Automation is designed to help improve build times by offloading builds from your local machine to the cloud. This helps teams save time by a) allowing users to continue working on other tasks locally while the build completes in the cloud, and b) empowering users to leverage more powerful compute resources in the cloud than what’s available locally.

Regardless of which version you’re using, if you’re experiencing slow build times the team recommends diagnosing where your time is going. For example, use chrome://tracing to assess build performance and discover what might be eating up the most time.

5. Version hopping

It’s stressful when teams think they might be stuck in the “wrong version.” Our engineering team continues to work toward solutions that will help when creators are considering a version hop. 

If you’re worried it might be too high risk for your team to switch versions, we recommend using these tools to help as you assess options:

Still need help? Reach out to your customer representative and request a Unity Release Notes comparison report.

6. Community support

Last but not least, a handful of developers had questions around where to reach us when seeking project support. Your feedback is our number one priority, and honest dialogue with our users is crucial.

Dev Blitz Days are one of the newest ways to share feedback with us and receive responses in real-time. Past topics include UI, rendering, and multiplayer, with the latest covering performance profiling just yesterday. For an in-depth guide on our feedback channels, check out “How to reach us” in this blog.

The team is also taking steps to preserve Discord support, starting with the #DOTS-forum, which is now organized by threaded topics to better archive past discussions.

What does it mean when a bug report is marked “won’t fix”? This typically means that the original bug report is tied to a greater architectural change in our pipeline. So, it’s not necessarily that what was reported is no longer an issue, just that it cannot be fixed as a bug.
Unity’s Obinna Oparah being interviewed for an upcoming project that will spotlight creator insights and experiences
Unity’s Obinna Oparah being interviewed for an upcoming project that will spotlight creator insights and experiences

It was so wonderful to connect with the community live and in person. Thank you to everyone who took the time to speak with us directly and share feedback – please, keep it coming. If you are working on a Made with Unity game or other project and are interested in being featured at future events or on our website, tell us about your project today.

March 31, 2023 in Games | 8 min. read

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