New UnityAnswers Community Site

November 16, 2009 in Community

Unity keeps growing in every respect; not least our user community. The Unity Forums get more and more users and we welcome them all!

Some of our users have expressed concern that the higher volume of posts will make the forums less valuable. Specifically, they are concerned about the growing stream of new users who are thirsty for basic Unity knowledge and ask basic questions that have maybe been asked and answered many times before.

We understand the concern, and we want to support a more efficient way of asking questions and getting answers. This is why we have launched UnityAnswers.

UnityAnswers


UnityAnswers is our new community site for asking questions and getting answers about Unity. To quote the UnityAnswers FAQ:

UnityAnswers is a place for asking questions and finding answers – all about Unity! UnityAnswers co-exist with the Unity Forums, but they have different functions:

  • UnityAnswers is a place for questions that can be answered! Avoid asking questions here that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion.
  • Unity Forums is a place for discussions, opinions, showing off your work, getting feedback, and general community chatter.


Why is UnityAnswers better than the forums for getting answers to questions?

Because we’ve seen it work on Stack Overflow.

It allows for people to vote on answers, making the best ones float to the top. You can vote up good questions and helpful answers so they float to the top, while off-topic questions and less helpful answers are listed lower. No more golden tips buried on page 5 of a thread! The person who asks a question can also mark a specific answer as the accepted answer.

It’s easier to find existing questions and answers. The search function is actually good. A great feature is that when you want to post a new question, you will be shown a list of possibly related existing questions as soon as you start typing your question title. Maybe the question has already been asked before and you can just go see that one. If an existing question is the same as you were having, be sure to vote it up! If it has an answer that is also helpful to you, vote that answer up as well.

People who are more trusted by the community get more power! Besides making the best questions and answers float up, the voting system also grants reputation points to you whenever other people vote up your questions or answers. Reputation you can interpret as “how much does the community trust you”. The more reputation points you get, the more things you are allowed to do. (See the FAQ for details.) At the high end of this reputation spectrum there is little difference between users with high reputation and moderators. That is very much intentional. We don’t run UnityAnswers. The community does.

What does this mean for the Unity Forums?

The Unity Forums will co-exist with UnityAnswers. The forums are great for discussions and chat, so we’ll keep them all. Some of the forums will be completely unaffected, such as Announcements, Collaboration, Gossip, and Showcase.

However, for some of the forums, we hope that the use pattern will change. The forums Unity Support, Scripting, UnityGUI, Multiplayer Networking, iPhone Development, ShaderLab, and External Tools are primarily about questions and answers, so we hope that a large chunk of the volume in those will move to UnityAnswers instead.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Use UnityAnswers! If you have questions, ask them there instead of on the forums. If you don’t have questions, you can still help the community by browsing UnityAnswers regularly and see if there are any questions you can answer (which will also earn you reputation).

Direct others to UnityAnswers! If you see a question in the forum and you know the answer, rather than answering the question directly in the forum, try to answer it at UnityAnswers and link to there.

  • If a similar question already exists at UnityAnswers, just link to that. (The search works nicely!) If it’s already answered, great! You don’t have to. If not, you can post your answer there.
  • Otherwise you can just create the question there – you can even copy the question from the forum directly. After that, you can answer the question yourself, which is perfectly ok.

We know this is a bit more work short-term, but think of the long-term benefits! Your answer will be much easier to find at UnityAnswers than in the forums. It won’t be buried and never found again after a few months.

UnityAnswers is still very new and we’re in the process of getting properly used to it, but we already like it quite a bit and we hope you will too! To login, you can use any OpenID provider, or use your forum account. On the login page, just click on the Unity logo.

Comments (6)

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  1. Ashkan

    November 18, 2009 at 9:37 am / 

    thank you Aras
    we can have a great community for resources with sections for tutorials and assets and scripts and they can be tagged with different game genres.
    for example if i want to make a racing game i will go there and search for them and then i can see all premade stuff for racing games.
    i want to know where on forums these things can be discussed

  2. Aras Pranckevičius

    November 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm / 

    @Ashkan: why unify wiki is not a good place to put resources on? About summer of code: some of the projects are in final stages of publishing, some are still being improved on. We haven’t forgot about them.

  3. Ashkan

    November 17, 2009 at 11:45 am / 

    i agree about RSS! nice idea
    and how do you think about having a public resource section for user-made scripts and assets and packages. wiki is the current place that users put scripts and stuff like that but it’s not a good place for putting resources

    P.S unity guys! what happened to summer of code projects???

  4. Elvis Alistar

    November 17, 2009 at 8:43 am / 

    It will be nice to have a RSS feed for the Unanswered questions section in UnityAnswers. Do you think that’s possible?

  5. Aaron

    November 17, 2009 at 6:35 am / 

    Been using it already and I think it’s a great benefit to the community. Nicely done.

  6. Jashan Chittesh

    November 16, 2009 at 6:49 pm / 

    I really like UnityAnswers and I think it’s a great solution for the “problem at hand”; Kudos for the great posting and detailed explanation of how to use UnityAnswers (in particular, I really like the idea of “moving questions” from the forums to UnityAnswers and cross-linking).

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