This week, Unity released version 2019.1. It is packed full of all kinds of features that sound really great as you read their blog post. They’re not wrong, those are some pretty cool features and with each update the Unity engine gets better and better. If you are working on content for SineSpace, however, you should absolutely not update to Unity 2019.1 yet. I’ll explain why you should hold off in a moment. The part of the announcement you may want to jump on is news of the new Unity Hub. In this post I’ll explain why, where to get it, and what it does.
It’s New. It’s Shiny. Why Shouldn’t You Upgrade?
On the surface it seems like a no brainer. New and improved, and no additional cost. Why shouldn’t you upgrade? I’ll tell you why – it’s a trap!
These days, Unity uses a year dot major release dot minor release naming convention. Compatibility with the SineSpace Editor Pack is tied to Unity’s major releases. As of this writing, Editor Pack 14 is compatible with versions 2017.2 through 2018.3. That means the SineSpace Editor Pack isn’t currently compatible with Unity 2019.1 – you can’t take advantage of those new features.
Important Update: see this post regarding the newly released Unity 2018.4LTS and SineSpace.
Once you upgrade a Unity project to a new version, it can not be downgraded. The only options are to restore from a backup or to manually rebuild it (a very tedious and annoying process).
If you’re curious and want to look ahead at the new version, you can – just be careful (check out this post about bleeding edges). Instead of upgrading your main project, create a new one to use for tinkering and testing. That way you have a safe space to play and learn that’s separate from your work. As always, make backups.
Beware The Update Checker
With the release of Unity 2019.1, Unity has rolled out an update checker. It lets you know what version you’re running, and offers to help you update to the newest version. It’s still a trap – to avoid falling for it and installing something you can not yet use with SineSpace, untick the Check for Updates box at the bottom right, and then click the Skip new version button just above it.
Tell Me More About This New Unity Hub
The Hub is something you can use today, and it will probably make your life easier. It replaces the old Unity Launcher, which was a sort of awkward intermediate step. The Launcher let you log into your Unity account and then told it which project you wanted to open (or create). Then it launched the Unity Editor with the project you wanted.
Last year, Unity started testing and rolling out the Hub as an alternative to the Launcher. It did the same basic things, but added the ability to install and remove Unity versions easily. I started testing it early, and found that it was easy to use and a timesaver. I highly recommend it.
Sleek New Look
With the launch of 2019.1, Unity also launched the Unity Hub 2.0 beta. It’s looks like a nice improvement over the initial release. You can get your hands on that by going to this page. Once you’ve installed it and launched the Hub, you’ll see the clean new interface.
It opens to show the Projects tab (as seen above). You can use the Add button to manually add a project that you don’t see on the list, or use the New button to create a new one. If you have multiple Unity versions installed, click the disclosure triangle to choose which version you want to use for your new project.
When the ‘Create A New Project With Unity’ popup window appears, you choose the template (for SineSpace, choose 3D and not 3D with Extras). Next, give your project a name and choose a location. Clicking create does just that, setting up all the folders and getting it ready for you to start using. For more info, check out my earlier Getting Started post, you can skip through to the section on Installing the SineSpace Editor Pack.
Unity Installations Made Easy
On the Installs tab, you can either click the Locate button to tell the Hub where your current Unity installation is, or you can click the Add button to tell the Hub to install Unity for you. If you go that route, it manages all the files and folders, and as an added bonus you can use it to uninstall that version once you’ve moved on and no longer want it taking up space on your computer.
You can use the settings gear in the top right (see the image above) to specify where you want it to put all the Unity Editors you have it install – this is really handy if you want to put Unity on an external drive.
But Wait, There’s More!
For makers who are new to Unity, the Learn tab may come in really handy. On SineSpace in-world chat as well as on the SineSpace Discord server, I see a lot of newcomers who seem to struggle with basic usage of Unity. I get it, the natural tendency for most people is to just jump in and go. Then things become complicated quickly, and soon you’re frustrated and asking a bunch of newbie questions. Fortunately Unity is an established game engine and there are a lot of different tutorials out there to help learn the basics.
The new Unity Hub makes the process even easier, by putting a series of tutorials, projects, resources, and links together on the Learn tab. Very easy to find, and worth the time to check out. Actually, as I’m writing this page I realize I could probably learn a few things going through these new tutorials myself. 🙂
Well, that’s it for this tutorial, anyway. You now have the Unity 2.0 Hub beta and know how it can make your life easier. Check the SineSpace Youtube channel for tutorials on a wide range of content, and watch this space for additional tutorials in the future!
If you have questions or comments, please post in the comments below! If you want personal help or private training, please see this post. Good luck with your projects!