Fate of Xenko under new license plans?


#1

So, with the recent announcement that Silicone Studio will be dropping the Pro and Pro Plus versions of Xenko, and may, or may not, switch to the free personal version being an open source community project, what kind of a future can we expect for the Xenko game engine?

Okay, admittedly I may not have worded that quite correctly, but my point is questioning whether or not there is a future for small, independent developers (like myself) to continue investing their time and effort in working with (and learning how to use) Xenko. As someone just learning to use Blender and program in C#, I was very interested in Xenko as an alternative to using Unity, but now I’m not so sure.

I may have to take another look at UE4, except that it is not friendly to a C# programmer, and is not always all that friendly when importing Blender projects into it, though otherwise I think it is a good choice, assuming I’m willing to learn C++ (which I am). Still, I may not need be worried at all that Xenko will be disappearing, but it did have a lot of things that still needed to be developed for it. Becoming an open source community project (if that is what Silicone Studio does), could end up being a real boon for Xenko, actually making it more worthwhile to get involved in then was previously the case.

I’d like to see everyone’s opinion on this. It may be too soon to be passing judgement on Xenko, but I have certainly felt a waning lack of support for the game engine on Silicone Studio’s part for the past several months. I feel this was always a vastly underrated engine. That caused me concerns initially when I first tried it out, but I liked how clean everything was, and that pushed me forward. I really wanted this game engine to be developed and supported further. Maybe it could be as an open source community project? I don’t know, so I’m curious what everyone else feels about this.

The thing is, I have work I need to do now, so I may have to peddle back on my current time and effort invested in Xenko because I don’t want to go deeper into using it, only to have further development of the engine just die - leaving me high and dry. Sure, I could continue working with Xenko and publish a project using the engine as it stands now, I think, but would that be the wise decision to make? I’m still just, barely, learning how to use the engine as is. Switching engines right now would not hurt me all that much, but sticking with Xenko could hurt me a lot.


#2

I’m in the same boat as you. Reached out to them multiple times and am still waiting for answers. I’ve started a new project a few months ago with Xenko and am wondering if I should continue with it or switch to something else (Mono Game perhaps?). If they released it as an open source community project that would alleviate my concerns.


#3

I think everyone is in the same boat. A lot of people were concerned the engine was completely dead due to lack of any communication until the license announcement. At the time of the announcement they were still undecided on the future direction of the project. The next version is at least a couple of weeks away. Hopefully we have news of the project’s future then.


#4

This was my question, and I believe that soon we’ll see the second wind of this wonderful engine, I think it’s not long to wait.


#5

I’d fully support them moving to an open source community project. In fact, i think that might be the lifeblood this project needs.

I’ve been using Xenko for about a month after using Unity for about 2 years. The engine is solid, well designed with great code standards, and encourages good design. It’s the perfect engine for a developer.

The editor, documentation and tooling need a LOT of work, and it’s unclear whether Silicon Studio are invested enough to give it the time it needs.

Xenko could be a serious competitor to Unity but just isn’t there at the moment. However, none of the work required is out of scope for the community - the core engine is already there.

I’m interested to see how things move forward.


#6

The engine is really great, I fully agree!


#7

I’m liking the engine so far too. I’m just concerned now that it won’t be able to carry me across the finish line. Which is kind of silly of me to think, since some games are being completed and published with this engine already, so why should what is happening now worry me? My hope was, that as I have been (slowly) learning it (more good documentation and real tutorials would help with this), that the engine would also continue to grow, develop and be better supported. So that all that effort on my part would be worthwhile in terms of then having an engine I’ve learned use, that has “grown with me” (so to speak), and vice-versa, and that I could then use to more quickly develop my next (more ambitious) project. If Xenko is going to fall by the wayside and not continue to develop, I may be better off switching to an engine now that will continue to be supported and grow with changes in technology.

Now Xenko’s future is apparently blowing in the wind, and god knows where it will land. Maybe it will land in the junk heap? (Like so many other promising engines before it that are now barely remembered.) Or maybe Xenko will go the open source community route? Even that last possibility might not end up working out so well. Not every open source community project ends up succeeding. Sure, Blender (though it took a few years) has been very successful, but not every project of that magnitude fairs so well.

If the choice is to either let Xenko fall by the wayside or go the open source community project route, I sincerely hope Silicone Studio makes the later choice. I rather hope they just continue to support and move forward with it themselves, even if continued development is slowed. If it is just not cost effective for them to do that though, then…

Please, Silicone Studio, give the open source community project route a shot. I’ve been liking this engine quite a bit. It suits my needs particular well so far, and seems like it could continue to do so well into the future. Don’t just drop it like a hot potato. That would seem rather senseless. Engines like this take time to develop and catch on with people. Signs that Silicone Studio still cares about the engine and desires the best for it would be a big loyalty boost for those of us that have been using it so far, and those who have been interested in it, but have yet to take the plunge in checking it out for themselves. Honestly, games take time to design, develop and publish, and this engine has hardly been around long enough for that natural process to occur.

Silicone Studio, give the engine the time and commitment it deserves, or nearly everyone onboard with it now will just jump ship, and all those who were looking into going through the effort of climbing onboard will quickly start swimming away. That would seem a pointless waste. Why even start developing the engine in the first place if there was not going to be full, patient and loving commitment behind it?


#8

Yes, totally agree. I also think that what this engine needs is more people using it. Users will come when the license terms and an active development gives them confidence in using the engine.

In that sense the Unreal Engine license model is a very good example. As a user you don’t have to worry about anything when you start working with the engine. It’s free for educational and artistic purposes. And even as a commercial developer you only have to pay if your project has financial success. The development phase involves no risk. And if more people use it, the chance that a successful project gets developed increases a lot. Classic win-win situation!

Let’s hope for some good news…