I got knee deep into the development of my main project with unity 2017 and was hesitating to upgrade for a long time. Big release such as 2018 are often rushed in for GDC or equivalent major buzz generating events. Recently, I felt the couple of patch releases were stable enough for me to give it a try.
It was a really painful day of watching progress bar evolving for hours after fixing many compilations problems, but it was definitely worth it and here’s why.
- C# .Net 4.x is no longer experimental and fully supported. The last time I tried it, I had to revert for incompatibilities issues with the rest of the code in my project. But I was, I must say, quite excited by the new features. Now, well… it just works and I am only excited about upgrading my code with new cool sugar.
- You can get a lot of things out the way with the new version Package Manager. This one creates a lot of re-importing issues that take forever, but it really makes your project folder cleaner and more future proof for managing updates.
- The progressive lightmaper is soooo good! Lets face it, Enlighten was a mistake. It was filed with bugs, was slow and gave ugly results. The new lightmaper is fast, iterative and looks stunning. You can easily produce movie-like renders that runs in real time like a charm.
The new incremental compiler based on Roslyn is just incredible. You must switch to c# 4.0 to use it and it makes compile time feels like a fresh breeze.[update] Sadly, even tough this one is promising, I had to revert. It does not handle well heavy refactoring and folder changes. At this date, it crashes a lot more and lead to more time waste than the previous compiler.
- Probuilder is now maintained by unity which is great news for stability. It’s a bit of a sad purchase for me earlier this year, but meh, win some loose some.
- The new scriptable render pipeline sounds great even though I did not dive into yet, because the out of the box stuff works really well.
- Same for the new shader graph tool. It seems really nice, but I enjoy the default PBR a lot more than spending time in it.
So in conclusion, 2018 was a massive release, biggest one I saw so far in terms of big features. It’s a pain to upgrade, but once it’s done, everything just works way better than before. So in a nutshell, you should upgrade now!