I recently returned from Austin, Texas from Unite 2017 one of several conferences Unity holds annually to discuss upcoming features about the Unity3D game engine.
I usually write long posts about my experience at these conferences, but this year was a bit, not a letdown per se, but I just didn’t feel I got as much out of it as I have in previous years. I didn’t leave feeling inspired and invigorated.
First, there weren’t a ton of sessions like in previous years, in fact, the first day of the conference, only the expo hall was open. It was a nice expo, but also felt lacking in ways. Last year Unite was held in a difference convention center, so it’s possible that the larger expo floor made it feel smaller, but regardless, having no sessions the first day just felt odd and had myself and others question “What’s the point?”
Overall, none of my sessions blew me away nor did the keynote. Most of them were great overviews. There was a talk about different network architectures from Exit Games that I liked as well as one that went over the character building techniques of the Rick & Morty VR game. There was also a decent discussion and demonstration about future AR features coming to Unity3D in the coming years.
I think that would be my next biggest complaint. A LOT of AR and VR, almost too much. I understand they are exciting technologies, but I wish, like last year, there were a few more talks about design itself or just more variety in general. I always feel that no matter how good your engine or tools are, if your games aren’t designed well, it won’t matter. Maybe there were, and I just missed them.
Overall, I think it was worth the price of admission but am definitely on the fence if I’ll go next year or go to a different conference such as GDC instead.