Unity 2018.4LTS and SineSpace

Today, Unity released a new Long Term Support release and that’s pretty good news. This post explains Unity 2018.4LTS and SineSpace, and why it will matter for a long time to a number of content creators.

A Bit Of Background

Understanding how Unity version numbers work can be confusing for new users. Believe it or not, things used to be much more confusing. In April 2018, Unity streamlined things into two main release channels – TECH and LTS (or long term support). Click here to check out the announcement on the Unity blog.

In a nutshell, Unity uses a year dot major release dot minor release naming convention. They do three major releases a year in the TECH stream with a focus on adding features and improvements. Then after the first TECH release in the next year they put out an LTS (long term support) release for the previous year. The LTS release is a culmination of that year’s releases, and the focus is on stablity for long term support.

Ride The Wave Or Play It Safe

Some creators prefer to ‘ride the wave’ so to speak. They work with the latest releases to get access to new features and improvements as soon as possible. These users should follow the TECH stream (though you may want to check out this post regarding bleeding edges). Others prefer a more stable environment, and are looking for calmer waters. Content creators looking for maximum stability should stick with the LTS stream. As Unity explains it:

The LTS stream is for users who wish to continue to develop and ship their games/content and stay on a stable version for an extended period.

The LTS version will not have any new features, API changes or improvements. It will address crashes, regressions, and issues that affect the wider community, such as Enterprise Support customer issues, console SDK/XDK, or any major changes that would prevent a large section of users from shipping their game. Each LTS stream will be supported for a period of two years.

Unity QA

What they’ve done is taken Unity 2018.3.14f1 (released at the end of April), added a handful of additional patches and fixes (click here to read the release notes), and released that today as 2018.4.0f1. They will continue to support that with updates every couple weeks. However the focus is on patches and fixes that make 2018.4 even more stable and reliable.

How To Install Unity 2018.4LTS

The absolute best way to install and remove Unity versions is with the Unity Hub. I am a big fan of this tool – check out this post for more information on installing and using it.

Once you’ve installed and launched the Unity Hub, use the Installs tab. Click on the Add button at the upper right and choose that new version. The program will do all the dirty work of downloading, unpacking, and organizing everything, and then you should see something that looks like the image below.

Unity 2018.4LTS and SineSpace
Unity 2018.4.0 has been installed

Never Forget This Step

People always forget or skip this step because they’re in a hurry, but trust me this is important. You need to back up your Project. When you open it in a newer Unity version the project is updated, and there is no way to downgrade. If you run into serious problems and need to go back to a previous version, you will either need to restore your backup or manually rebuild your project. Most of the times things go smoothly, but when they don’t you will wish there was some easy way to get things back to how they were. Your backup is your safety net.

Updating Your SineSpace Project

This part is easy. Follow the instrutions below or check out my installation video. On the Unity Hub’s Projects tab, you’ll see your list of projects along with the Unity version that it’s set to work with. Click on the disclosure triangle next to the Unity version, it’s circled in the image below.

Unity 2018.4LTS

When you click on the triangle, you’ll see a menu showing all the Unity versions installed on your machine (your list will probably be different than what’s pictured on mine below). Since you already installed 2018.4 in the step above, that version should be on your list.

Unity Version Picker

Select it, then open your project normally. You should see a popup like the one below, asking you to confirm that you want to upgrade your project. If you made a backup, then it is safe to proceed. Just click the Confirm button and wait as Unity updates your project.

Unity Project Upgrade

Reinstall the SineSpace Editor Pack

Once it finishes updating the project, you’ll be in your Unity Editor and ready for the second step. To get Unity 2018.4LTS and SineSpace working together, you will need to delete the SpacePack folder and then re-install the SineSpace Editor Pack. SineSpace 2018.3 and 2018.4 both use the Editor Pack for 2018.3 – so you can simply re-install the one you are currently using.

It might be worth taking a couple moments to check the SineSpace Discord and see if you’re using the latest version. Head on over to the #alphas or #betas channel and just download what you need (see the image below).

SineSpace Alphas & Betas
You can grab just the Editor Pack you need for your Unity installation
from the #alphas and #betas channel on the
SineSpace Discord

After you’ve downloaded or located your Editor Pack file to install, you need to delete the SpacePack folder from your project. To do that, simply go to your Project panel and locate the SpacePack folder. Select it, right click, and choose Delete.

Deleting the SpacePack folder
Select the SpacePack folder in your Project panel,
right click on it, then choose Delete

One Final Note Before Installing

See this post on preserving your Project Settings – it will make your life much easier. Now you can install the Editor Pack using the Assets menu and choose Import Package -> Custom Package. Now just pick the file you just downloaded from Discord and install (don’t forget the step to preserve your project settings).

Installing a custom package
Use the Assets menu to import a custom package, and choose the Editor Pack

Mac Users Take Note – when I upgraded my project earlier, I discovered that I needed to re-install the Native Mac Uploader. It’s super simple – just click on the SineSpace menu and choose Tools -> Install -> Native Mac Uploader. It will take a few moments but everything is automatic and you will be all set to go.

Install Native Mac Uploader

That’s It!

You’ve made it to the end. You should now have Unity 2018.4LTS and SineSpace all ready to go. If you read my post about bleeding edges you should know that there are likely going to be some issues at first (click here to check out known issues on the SineSpace wiki), but in the weeks and months ahead they’ll be resolved and you should be able to enjoy an extremely stable ride with 2018.4LTS.

If you have questions or comments, then please post in the comments below! If you want personal help or private training, please see this post. Good luck with your projects!

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