As more features in different stages of development move into packages, choosing the right tools for your project can be challenging. Updates to the Package Manager in Unity 2020.1 and to how we list packages in the Package Manager will help make it easier for you to consider the impact of using preview packages in your project and achieve a more predictable development experience.
Using preview packages has its risks. For example, API or functionality changes could disrupt the continuous usage of the new tool in a production environment. On the other hand, we know many users enjoy being on the cutting edge of Unity, and trying prerelease technology can help teams prepare the tooling necessary for future projects and anticipate opportunities. Feedback from early adopters also helps us to make better tools for everyone, so we’re working to provide more clarity so users can make more informed decisions for their project.
This is the first step in a series of measures that we are working on to help make it easier for you to explore the latest Unity tools and features. Our goal is to make it clearer which packages can be considered safe to adopt for full production and to give an idea of when a package will be verified. At the same time, we want users to be able to access experimental packages for early testing and feedback.
In a company-wide effort, we reevaluated our package list to identify preview packages that are either more experimental than production-ready, or else not under active development. In Unity 2020.1 and later versions, preview packages in those categories will not be listed in the Package Manager. However, if you’ve already installed these preview packages, they won’t be removed from your projects – you can continue to use them, and they will still be able to receive the available updates.
Our intention is to include preview packages in the Package Manager when the development team believes that the package will be verified within that version’s release cycle. For example, if a preview package is visible in the Package Manager in Unity 2020.1, we plan for it to be verified by the time we reach the Unity 2020 LTS release. Naturally, things can change, but this is the initial guidepost we have used to filter which packages are visible.
Packages that are in the early stages of development or considered experimental will remain available in the production registry. You can still add them by editing your project manifest. See this forum post for the full list of packages in this category.
We’re still working on ways to make packages clearer for users, so your feedback is welcome. If you’re interested in contributing feedback about preview packages, sign up for the Beta tester newsletter. We’ll be sending updates on new packages available for testing, even if they’re not discoverable, and sharing details on how to use them and provide feedback to our development teams