ORK Framework is 4 years old!

On January 15, 2014, after about a half year long beta phase, ORK Framework 2.0.0 was officially released. You can check out the official release notes here. In case you’re interested, ORK 1 was first released on November 7, 2010, making it over 7 years old!

In the past 4 years, there have been 70 releases with a lot of new features, changes and fixes:

  • 1515 new features
  • 217 changes
  • 455 fixes

The total list of release notes is 137 pages long.

So, ORK 2 is 4, it’s time to talk about 3 – ORK 3!

Don’t worry

ORK 2 is still supported and will receive updates and fixes for the time being. ORK 3 isn’t yet in active development and won’t be released for at least another 6-8 months. And even after ORK 3 is out, there’ll still be needed fixes (and updates to newer Unity versions) for ORK 2 to let you finish your projects.

If your project is already in a progressed state (e.g. after proof of concept phase), you’ll best stick with ORK 2, even if ORK 3 would only be weeks or months away.

The plan so far …

ORK 3 will not be complete revamp of ORK 2, it’ll be more like an iteration, where most systems and settings will stay the same. I’ll revise each system as I go when implementing the updates and try to also get your input on needed changes or additions.

Some systems will be dropped (e.g. ability trees, being pretty much obsolete due to the more advanced research trees), others will receive compatibility breaking updates (e.g. battle systems, which will be set up like items instead of the 4 fixed systems, i.e. you can add different turn based battle systems with unique settings).

However, there are 2 major changes in ORK 3:

Extending Makinom

ORK 3 will require Makinom, using features like input keys, GUI boxes or HUDs that currently are maintained in both ORK 2 and Makinom. This is probably a natural development, as Makinom’s features are more modern and extensible, and built with exactly such a scenario in mind.

This also includes using Makinom’s schematics instead of ORK’s event system – which is the same system workflow-wise, but much more powerful and versatile than ORK’s older event system.

Due to Makinom being available for free, I hope this is not a problem for anyone.

Unique IDs

ORK 2’s data is index-based, which an lead to some problems when sharing a project with other developers (e.g. using GIT or Unity Collaborate). In ORK 3, each data will have a unique ID, making it easier to share your projects, and reduces the need to update all assets, prefabs and scenes upon certain changes (e.g. removing or moving data).

I’ll also experiment with having data (e.g. each item) in separate Unity assets to reduce memory use and load times when first initializing ORK in a running game. This would also make it easier to import/export data.

Upgrading from ORK 2

You’ll be able to upgrade your ORK 2 projects to ORK 3 – I’ll try to catch and update as many settings as possible, but you’ll certainly need to do some manual updates as well. In case you do want to bring over your existing ORK 2 project to ORK 3, it’ll be possible without having to input all data from scratch again.

This will not be a free update, however there’ll be a one year grace period from the initial release of ORK 3 in the Unity Asset Store for everyone who purchased ORK 2 within one year backward. While I’d love to provide free updates forever, it’s simply not financially feasible for me – I hope everyone can understand that.

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

These past 4 years (or better, 7 years) have been amazing, and all of you have been amazing! I couldn’t have kept working on ORK without all of your support and input, and the amazing community we’ve built together.

So, thank you – and I’m looking forward to keep working with you! Oh, and don’t forget to drop by the community forum in case you want to talk about ORK 3.