Hi, is there any support in v12 for building to mobile devices? The documentation implies that you have to use Spatial 10.4?
Previous versions of SpatialOS had experimental support for iOS but in SpatialOS 12 this was pulled in favour of focusing efforts on the Unreal Engine integration.
Given that Improbable raised half a billion dollars in venture capital was it not possible to work on both…?
Hello @philg - thank you for the post,
Mobile development isn’t our focus right now but we will be returning to it in the future. When that happens you will hear about it on the forums.
We are definitely interested in the subject as showcased by our Quest demo. However, we have a finite amount of engineering resources that we can allocate to different features and switching away from mobile for a while has resulted in us being able to make quick progress on the Unreal integration.
I hope this gives you a little bit more insight!
In a way that Quest demo makes your position seem worse.
Most of the magic of Spatial occurs server-side, where the mobile/non-mobile division obviously is not relevant. And that demo (and v10 support) proves that the client-side isn’t a million miles away from being Unity-mobile compatible.
I don’t really buy the argument that ‘engineering resources are finite’ when you have just raised $500m.
How many people would you have to hire to keep it mobile supported given that you achieved the Quest demo? I struggle to believe that, say, five full-time engineers on $100k/yr couldn’t do it - which would be 0.1% of your available funds…
I can only conclude the real explanation is that Improbable has decided there simply isn’t the demand to build open-world games for mobile right now and so are allocating funds elsewhere, which I find really quite disappointing.
Also, I wonder if part of your reluctance to support mobile is your uncertainty over a pricing model?
I discovered Slither.io last week (yes I don’t keep up with the cool kids, shoot me! ) and it would be so easy to clone with Spatial - I could easily have a decent working product within a week.
So maybe Improbable is reluctant to open up mobile for fear of hundreds flooding in making throwaway online games, unclear how much to charge…?
I think it may come down to just as he said resouces. Even with half a billion (no telling how much is set to development of just spatialos vs other projects they have going on. And its sort of easy to always say just hire more people. But the reality is way more complex and harder then that. Finding the RIGHT people is really a test at times and then there is the spin up time 3-6 months for the person to learn how everything works and so on before they can operate at there peak production values.
Also I imagine alot of it comes down to just how well spatialos fits a said environment. SpatialOS allows for soo much more then just allowing a bunch of things on the screen at once ala slither.io where its environment is already one of the best picked for it and it already scales greatly because of that. SpatialOS wouldn’t really bring a whole lot of help to it unless you planned on adding like AI or something to it, something that really leverages what SpatialOS brings to the table (large scale distributed computing of an environment).
‘Resources’ is always a misdirection - it’s always priorities. I might claim I don’t have time to go for a run every morning, but really I just allocate my time to ‘higher priority’ stuff, (like watching tv late into the night :D)
Finding the right people is hard, that’s why I pitched it at $100k per person (when in fact wages for this kind of position are probably lower).
Spin-up time is an issue but v11 was released in July, so that’s at least 3-4 months they’ve dropped support for. If it was a priority they could have begun the hiring process back then.
And, yes, Spatial is overkill for something like Slither, but that’s precisely my point: Spatial makes coding multiplayer authoritative games so easy maybe they’re worried about a deluge of people creating cheap mobile shovelware, when they haven’t yet come to a clear decision on how much to charge…?
Contrast with Photon, say, who have a clear (and seemingly punitive) pricing policy yet offer much less in the way of being able to craft bespoke and authoritative server logic…
Phil, I don’t think that speculating about this topic in this way is very constructive. Whichever the reasons are, at current it is not a priority and Improbable’s public stance is clear: they do so to focus resources on an area where there is more of a demand.
Trying to infer a different reason is not going to make a difference and is even disrespectful as you are publicly questioning their motives.
Not sure what you mean by ‘publicly questioning their motives’. Their motives are obvious: They want to make a great product - and they have. I’m questioning their decisions, not their motives.
How can they ‘focus resources on areas with more demand’ if people like me don’t post threads like this? Isn’t a passionate userbase a great thing for a company? And isn’t it ok if sometimes companies change course based on what their userbase is passionate about?
The alternative is me just quietly leaving and heading to a rival product, which is what I will do. Obviously I will keep an eye on forum announcements though.
“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”