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…


#9

FYI, from gitter chat:


#11

Nevermind… Will wait for the “2 weeks before we can announce etc” thing.


#12

FYI, from gitter chat:

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#13

I have been wondering the samething. When I saw the features I thought this looked awesome, but without updates and what not people start to disappear, so what good is a “Community Edition” if the community left already because it seemed like this was not going anywhere.

Also, what’s wrong with Unity? : P I have been using it since December and especially with the 2018.1 and newer updates coming soon, it is great. C# 7.3 support is currently there, but its still being worked on. I had an issue with it, but most said it was working fine for them with the new incremental compiler.


#14

I answered a recent post here questioning where are the tutorials for this engine. That is probably the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve responded to such a post, which is apparently an understandable question for some prospective Xenko users to have - including myself. Unfortunately, I could not answer that poster’s question in any positive way, and I mostly said that not only are there no real tutorials for it at this time, but the way things are currently going there may never be. That was sad to have to say. There are a couple of potential rays of hope shining through the dark clouds right now, but not many, and they are not very bright rays.

I am interested in the upcoming update release. I will check it out, and be curious about any future news on Xenko’s development, or lack thereof, but I’ve had to stop trying to learn how to use Xenko for now. In my mind, it is already back on the shelf. I may dust it off some day in the future, if a few new chapters have been written for it, but otherwise I probably won’t take a second look back at it.

I’m kind of surprised there weren’t some decent tutorials for this engine put out by the developer earlier when Xenko was officially released, or even shortly thereafter. A lot of people don’t want to dive into trying to learn how to use a game engine without tutorials to help them along. So, in a lot of ways, I feel like this failure on Silicone Studio’s part helped doom the engine to mediocre interest on the part of potential early adopters of the engine - thus likely dooming its future.

Maybe the developers thought early adopters would end up doing all of the necessary legwork when it comes to putting out tutorials? If they did, I think that was very foolhardy on their part. Sure, any game engine that’s been out awhile and has a dedicated following will have many user developed tutorials for it. A new game engine can’t be pinning its hopes for survival on that quickly happening though, so it should be providing some of that material on their own at the outset of release.

Why didn’t they? Maybe they had already decided the engine wasn’t worth too much further effort, so why bother? I don’t know. I just feel they could have managed this engine much better than they have, and it frustrates me that they did not - other than the development work done on the engine itself, which seems pretty solid in my limited experience with it so far.


#15

If I remember right, this engine was called “Paradox”, Silicon Studio bought them and re-branded ‘Xenko’.
It’s an interesting piece of software, if they don’t let it die as long as they don’t try to compete against Unity/Unreal/CryEngine it’s possible to find a niche market for it.

I don’t think they’d buy an engine just to watch it die on a corner.


#16

You would think so, and I hope you are right. But, they may have not bought it for much, and may have not had to invest much further in it before releasing it, hoping it would take off a bit more than it has. There also may have been changes in management we are not aware of, with changes in priorities based on what is and isn’t making money, etc. We really don’t know.

All I know is that some things that I think would have made sense did not happen at all, things that do make sense have been taking a long time (to long?) to happen, and now the whole shebang’s future is up in the air. All of which is rather unnerving and does not sit well with me.

Everything could actually end up perfectly fine, or even better than had previously been the case. We just don’t know right now. I keep hoping for some good news of some sort, but I’m not seeing it yet - other than the update. That update is significant, but I also feel like Silicone Studio was mostly done with working on it anyway, so they may as well put it out, but it isn’t necessarily a strong sign of their future commitment to Xenko.

When they come out with the update, I am hopeful they will come out with some sort of statement that will help clarify the situation for all of us. If they don’t, that will just seem to me one more sign that Xenko’s future is still very much up in the air in Silicone Studio’s mind, and so where would that leave the rest of us?


#17

The engine was started inside Silicon Studio, not bought from somewhere else. It even had the codename “Hotei” to follow our other products (named after some Japanese deities) but we then moved to more “international” names (Paradox then Xenko).


#18

Ah, okay, I had thought maybe that was the case, but I wasn’t too sure. Thank you for the clarification. That makes a pretty big difference, I think, in that one would think Silicone Studio would be more likely to stand behind a product they have created themselves. Or one would think so anyway. But, of course, now we are not so certain of that at this stage.

We are all eager to find out what is going on with further development of Xenko, but also very concerned about its future - which I don’t think can be helped much right now. That will remain the case while Silicone Studio keeps failing to communicate very well with the Xenko user community like it is now. This has been a concern. It really just hurts Xenko’s future as some current users stop using it and potential users decide to wait and see what happens while everything appears to be in limbo.

The fact that current Xenko users have voiced these concerns to Silicone Studio, and yet we are still not hearing much of anything in return, that just makes us all worry even more. Surely Silicone Studio can see that, yet we still hear little back from them. Maybe I am being a little too harsh on Silicone Studio? Perhaps this upcoming update will help mollify everyone’s concerns? I don’t think so though. We need to be hearing more back from Silicone Studio. I hope they make a clarifying announcement soon.


#19

Well…we are apparently fast approaching the release of Xenko’s much anticipated latest update, and it appears likely that an announcement regarding where Xenko is headed will be made by Silicone Studio at about the same time - or at least shortly thereafter.

For those interested, there is a great deal of discussion about this, GS bugs, working with shaders, and a great many other things Xenko related at the Silicone Studio/xenko community on Glitter. It was there that I noticed an announcement git.xenko.com is now back up. There is also a XenkoToolkit available on GitHub that may be of interest to some. (The XenkoToolKit is a .NET Standard library for use with the Xenko Game Engine. It’s goal being to add extra extensions and utilities to make using Xenko a bit easier.)

The developers of Xenko themselves are apparently still quite gung ho about the engine, and really hate how a great many Xenko users have been alienated by what has been going on over the last several months. The developers want to keep moving Xenko forward, but this feeling is apparently not in full alignment with Silicone Studio’s vision and strategy as a business.

An announcement on that future by Silicone Studio is still in the works, with no real details to go on for now. There are plenty of rumors, but most of that is just guesswork on the part of (understandably) frustrated Xenko end users. I count myself among those frustrated users, but I’m still hopeful that an announcement from Silicone Studio on Xenko’s planned future will help provide some much needed clarity for all of us.


#20

Well this was a disappointing read!

I have been using Unity for 10 years now and was on the fence between switching to Unreal (and having to learn C++) or to Xenko (which is not complete yet).

90% of my being told me “Use Xenko”… and now it sounds like doing so might be a bad idea. Well that sucks :frowning:


#21

The release of Xenko’s latest update has again been pushed back by at least another week or so. There is still no further announcement from Silicone Studio regarding further details on their changes to Xenko’s licensing plans. So, in the meantime, I’ve been looking at using other game engines for my current project that is still in its infancy.

Among the alternatives, I’ve been checking into possibly using the Godot game engine, since its version 3.0 (with much better 3D render support) has been out several months now, and the important 3.1 update should be out shortly. It is open source (MIT license) with an active, thriving and growing community. It is pretty well documented, and its community has done a pretty good job of putting out a variety of useful tutorials.

You can use C# with it now as of version 3.0, as well as several other programing languages, though work on being able to do that has not really been fully completed. I would probably just use their own GDScript, which is a high level, dynamically typed programing language that people seem to enjoy using a lot. It is apparently rather like Python, but much more oriented to being used for game programing. Being a relative newbie, I would be okay with that, but people well versed in using C# might not be.

While admittedly off subject, but not entirely, does anyone here have any opinions regarding using Godot as an alternative to Xenko at this time?