If you follow anything to do with games, you will know that Unity made some questionable choices giving us a push to look at other tech.
Firstly a disclaimer. This article and the contents is coming purely with my Beehive Games hat on, not my day to day job. At time of writing, professionally we will keep using the engine and will have to factor in the new costs as part of project planning.
Let me explain what Beehive is now. As I have said before, back when I created it, I did it because I was on a rubbish, not creative project, but that project paid the bills and I am a grown up with a mortgage and running your own business can be super stressful, epsecially if you have people that depend on you. In reality Beehive is a hobbyist developer that has shipped on cool platforms like the Switch.
Although it would be nice if we had what I would call an “extraordinary event” and one of our games did gang busters, in reality everyone who is involved with Beehive does it for fun and allows them to express their creativity.
The little revenue we make goes straight back into the company so we have a pot of cash to make cool things.
This is going to sound dumb but for us $200k is still not what I would call an extraordinary event. It would probably mean I never have to put my own money in again to pay the basic bills, but in reality it’s not really one where I could quit my full time job and do indie full time (there are other reasons why I don’t do that as well but it is certainly a factor).
The problem I have with the situation is not neccessarily the cost. If they had turned round and said a revenue share is going to be put in place, yeah there would be backlash and it may end up more expensive than the new prciing, but at least it is clear and also people would get it. The installs metric is not a good one to use and can be abused. Their algorithm is going to make mistakes and I am sceptical they have the resource to talk to every single affected developer if they get hit by the bad apples. It is not really clear at all how this will all work depsite forum posts and the FAQs page.
And as we have said on twitter, this has lead us to change tack. There were a couple of project in the background so let me go through them.
Our narrative game. Unfortunately this will have to stay in Unity. It is very much almost complete. What may happen now though is it is unlikely to hit some stores or platforms as originally planned. We may now just put it out for free as a web game. Nothing is set on stone yet but we are looking at the options.
This is the JRPG project. If you know me this is something I have always wanted to build. This was also going to be Unitym but to be honest the way it was built, it was already using Lua for some scripting and anyone who was not me did not have to be in the engine. Now, this is going to be a custom engine built from the ground up.
A Space Haters Sort Of Sequel
There is a game I had been noodling with in the background getting to grips with the jobs system as it was a bullet heaven game. This will now be an Unreal game rather than Unity potetially using their version of jobs.
This is a remake of my really old Devtober game, again I probably will put it up for free on itch. This was already an Unreal project.
Although Beehive is a very much hobbyist outfit, you read the above and see how much it impacts. These are in reality hobby projects right. Indies who need to pay people and bills, ship actual need to make profit and revenue games and all the rest of it are probably going to get hit hard.
It is not a great situation for anyone to be in.
This article is written by Lindsay Cox, Founder of Beehive Games and Unity user since Unity 3 in 2010