New way of CODING in Unity! ECS Tutorial

New way of CODING in Unity! ECS Tutorial


lately unity has been making some huge improvements in terms of performance and writing optimized multi-threaded code and at the center of these changes is the new entity component system but before we get into what ECS is we need to know why it’s useful also this video is sponsored by unity so using ECS has a lot of benefits it allows us to write extremely performing code we can code in a way that is easier to read it makes it easier to reuse code and with ECS we can take advantage of the new burst compiler for high performance c-sharp plus it’s integrated nicely with the c-sharp job system so using easy s not only allows us to write extremely performing code but it’s also a much better way to structure our data now that sounds great but what is easy s easy s is basically a new way of writing code in unity with easy as we are moving from traditional object-oriented programming to something called data oriented design so far when using unity pretty much everything has been based around game objects and mono behaviors say for example we wanted to create a player we would make a game object and name it player and on this object we would place monobehaviour components to give the player functionality these components would take care of stuff like rendering physics and movement with ECS we are taking a different approach by splitting our game into three parts entities components and systems entities are used to group together components they’re much like traditional game objects but way lighter components are just containers for data unlike traditional amount of behaviors these components don’t have any logic in them instead we use systems systems define component based behavior what this means is that a system is responsible for operating on all entities with a specific set of components these are the only objects that actually contain any logic so now if we wanted to create a player we would make an entity and on this entity we would place components however the only job of these components is to store data about a player so currently it wouldn’t do anything to change this we create systems we could for example create a render system to render all in with the render component and a physics system to apply physics to all entities with the physics component of course the ECS package already has several of these basic systems ready to use so that is the general explanation let’s see how we can apply this in praxis first we need to install EC s ec s is currently available as a preview package to get it we first need to install you in the 2018 point 1 or later we can then create a new project once it’s up and running we can go to edit project settings player open up the other settings tab and under configuration will change the scripting runtime version to.net for X this will require a quick restart after that we can open our project folder navigate to packages and open the manifest.json file here we need to add a few lines I’ll make sure to include a link to a text file in the description that you can copy from we can then save the file and unity should start loading in the ECS package when it’s done we can go to window and open up the package manager and we should now see the entities package installed here now say we want to rotate an object over time first let’s create a cube and let’s create a new script on this cube called rotator if we open up the script we can see that as expected this automatically creates a rotated class that derives from monobehaviour with the old system we could then use an update method to change the rotation of the transform component and maybe create a variable to control the speed by running this code all objects with this script attached will rotate according to our speed variable and if we take a second to analyze the code we can actually see that the monobehaviour contains both the data which in this case is our speed variable and the behavior where we update the rotation now this might look fine on the surface but it’s actually not a very performant way of doing things and it also makes it a bit hard to distinguish what is going on to avoid this with ECS we separate the data from the behavior and there are currently two ways to do this the first is using pure ECS this system is completely separate from the old way of coding with pure yes we stopped using game objects and mana behaviors all together the second way is using hybrid ecs to make it easier to transition from the old system to ecs unity has created a way to combine the two now this won’t unlock the full performance benefits of pure ECS but it’s great way to start converting your scripts to easy s and learning this new way of thinking the cool thing is that by using hybrid ecs we can continue using mana behaviors for storing data so currently we have some scripts sitting on different objects each script has some data and some behavior now with hybrid ECS we still keep a script on each object that has the data we need but we use a system to handle the behavior in other words we can use a class called the component system to update the rotation of all our objects now if this all sounds a bit overwhelming that’s totally fine but let’s try to take it from the top like before we first create a class deriving from monobehaviour but this time we only put our variable here then for our behavior we create a new class and derive it from component system we can name this class anything we want here we’ll just name it rotator system also whenever we’re working with ECS we need to include the unity entities namespace so now we’ve separated our behavior and data into two different classes but our behavior class is currently empty the next step is to tell our component system what components it should operate on here we’re filtering all of our objects to look for those with a certain set of components in our case that is our rotator because we need the speed variable as well as the transform component so that we can change its rotation to do this we create a struct let’s name it components and in here we create two public variables one for the rotator and one for the transform and now we’re ready to make the object rotate for that we’ll need an update method note that when using update inside of a component system we use the override and protected keywords and the name of the function must be on update instead of just update just like the regular update function on update will run on the component system every frame now we need to search for all the objects that we want to rotate to do this we use the get entities function and at this point you might be thinking I thought entities and game objects with two different things and they are but unity has made a handy component that can be used to convert a game object into an entity if we go to the editor and open up the entity debugger window we can see that the entity manager currently has no entities however if we then add a game object entity component to our cube it immediately shows up in our update method we can then use get entities to search for all entities with a matching set of components in our case we want to search for entities that have both a rotator and transform component we’ve already defined this with a struct and so we can simply feed that in we can then iterate over all the entities using a for each loop we’ll call each entity efore short and now inside our loop we can update the rotation to access the transform of each entity we use edit transform and to access the rotator we use a rotator and that should actually work just fine if we run the game our objects rotate accordingly and we can easily adjust the rotation speed just like before and that’s already an optimization that we can make because our Delta time variable is the same for all the objects we can move this out of our for each loop and keep it in a local variable to get better performance if you run the game once more everything is still working and if we go to the entity debugger we can actually see our rotators system and even cooler we can see the components it operates on as well as the entities in it awesome so that is how you can get started using ECS in unity again what we’re using here is hybrid ECS if you want to learn more about pure ACS and the performance benefits that come with it I’ll make sure to include a link for that in the description on that thanks for watching and I will see you in the next video thanks to all the awesome patreon supporters who donated in May and a special thanks to Michael Neely twins infants giver token ed Murphy Oh infinity PPR cheetah 3d Alex and the player Sybok mummy dark Eames Kirk Fresnel Murphy Daniel Sullivan thanks a long Superman great John Burkhart Lila set tennis sullivan jayson the Tito car Jackson for Brizzy Alex akatsuki Bruins cat Matthew Knight cool sweater ski James P Gregory Pierce James Rogers Naoki Misaki Robert pond now a tweet Tim of Hoda Park Jimin Adrienne has Nina and Erasmus you guys Rock

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  1. Technical question but should the RotatorSystem class be moved out to a separate file? Or is it essential that the RotatorSystem class be in the same file (rotator.cs) as the Rotator class? Or does it not matter? thx!

  2. This is seriously uninformative advertising and detracts from your videos. A horrible vague way to explain ECS. It's also an unfinished, horribly documented mess. They could have applied the beneficial portions of the tech to existing scripts instead of completely redesigning the programming methodology to be only applicable within Unity. It's just a way to compartmentalize their user base and make components easier to sell to non-programmers.

  3. The funny thing is game engines mostly have used ECS or some derivative for years, even decades (including an engine I worked on 15 years ago).. But Unity picked some weird obscure alternative that we cumbersome and slow… Only now are they fixing the issue.

  4. You can make a new video (non-sponsored) for Pure ECS. I'm trying to find a good explanation, step-by-step, but nobody seems to have it.

  5. Thanks for the video! I was having trouble wrapping my head around ECS, but this is a great summary that's helped a bunch.

  6. so one system will apply for all entities has specific components?
    so all game objects will have same action if they have same components?
    it's so strangle , because normaly difference game object has difference behaviour, even they are same type object :/
    i'm feeling so confuse @@

  7. Great video, thank you!

    But I still do not understand one thing: can I fully use Hybrid ECS right now?
    I mean that pure ECS in Unity does not have many important systems at this moment (animation, physics, etc.). Can I use standard Physics Component or Animation Component (MonoBehaviour) in Hybrid ECS or I need to wait when work on a regular ECS wiil be completed?

  8. I feel that this video missed the real selling point – HOW MUCH performance is gained over the traditional monoBehaviours method? is it 100% more efficient? 1000% more efficient? Show us the frame compute time for 100, or 1000 agents with and without ECS

  9. AFAIU! ECS == GCbD (garbage collection by developer :)) – not sure if this would keep programming beginners onboard. The greatest thing i was thinking about unity was that it's not another thing/paradigm to learn … so i think unity would be good at leaving the old method in place – but awesome to see on which level these guys are operating. Great Intro! Thanks alot 🙂

  10. Is ECS a bit similar to MVC? Seems like Entities = View, Components = Model, Systems = Controller. Maybe that's a much simplified way of looking at it, but it feels like there are some similarities.

  11. – Easier to reuse code: How? You don't have access to polymorphism.

    – Easier to code: Turn 3 lines of code into 20 to do the same. Wow.

  12. This sounds very suspiciously like entity management systems I've seen with libgdx. In fact I was just porting one from Ash to C# for use in another application (a text based stock simulation).

  13. So before we manage everybody alone, like good ol meritocracy, and now a central component demanda the behavior of everybody much like comunism?
    This is the marxism of computation paradigm

  14. so this is a systemic design aproach to the game development itself? Great, I always thought MonoBehaviours where too abstract, and I always felt lost without knowing where I should do what, with Systems it is way simpler

  15. This reminds me of JavaScript having it's vanilla approach then ES5, now ES6. Will this be the new standard? Is the performance benefit worth it? I'm going to implement it on my next project. Would do it on my current project but I'm in too deep.

  16. I'm new to coding so correct me if I'm wrong. Does this mean we can have a massive amount of unit in the game? Like 1k soldiers in the scenes since it's no longer a 1k of monobehavior running logic but a single System handling all the logic. And designers can still teak variables on the component like the old way.

  17. For people who have little programming knowledge outside of unity, this might look clunky, wrong and overcomplicated. But believe me, this is a good approach to handle things. OOP (which unity is mainly build around) is still a viable approach to coding things, especially since it is very readable for us humans. But the whole component and inheritance system has major flaws. Firstly, getting components and use them in your code will force you to always get the complete component, which in the end means loading aaaall of the data and functions from the class the component as an object is defined in, into your code. Even when cached, you will drag down your performance with a load of unused code. Secondly, the whole inheritance system OOP is built around can have major flaws, especially in inexperienced hands. Though some people claim that inheriting is by default evil (just look up composition over inheritance for more info), I believe its more bad implementation of this design technique. If you are careful with your objects and go for small and simple objects and a clear and well-planned inheritance structure, OOP can work just fine. Especially since unity is designed around it… Anyways, I like ECS. I think its a great step towards highly optimized games and gives us developers a tool more to design our architecture. I hope unity will keep on optimizing the usability and I am really looking forward towards the first bigger tutorials and projects introducing ECS 😀

  18. I have a game that I can make enemy catching fire. Currently, if over 200 enemy were on fire the same time, the FPS would drop to below 15. I wonder if ECS could deal with this. (Lots of sequential logic happens during this fire effect, not just damage health)

  19. I have a long ass AI script for characters in my game, with an insanely heavy Update function. Currently when the number of characters reaches arround 100 the framerate gets to arround 20fps, and I have a decent computer. Would splitting the data and the logic, like shown here, of my AI characters give me a good performance boost, or would there still be so much going on at once that it wouldn't really be worth converting my script?

  20. Thank you very much for the tutorial <3 ! Do you know if I can use a 3d text prefab as entity ? It seems ECS doesn't handle text mesh renderers yet. Thx

  21. I compared frame rate on both the rotator monobehavior and the hybrid ecs style. I don't see a frame rate difference with a 4000 rotating cubes. Both hover on 27 frames a sec. Hope its something obvious I'm missing but a little disappointing.

  22. ECS should just be a TOOL and mustn’t replace the old scripting method. That’s what makes Unity popular, it’s easy and beginner-friendly for small devs. You could make a game with very few lines of codes. ECS, although efficient, complicates things so much. I have been doing game development since 2014 with Unity, migrating from JS to C#. I like Unity now, the scripting, the UI, everything. I really hope ECS isn’t the “future” of scripting in Unity or many users will probably switch to UE.

  23. ECS Documentation: https://bit.ly/2J9YvLe ● More on Pure ECS: https://bit.ly/2H9ResT

    the links seem broken. Also, can you add new videos to work with ECS?
    I learn mainly from your videos and would like to learn this as well.

  24. At 7:38 you show a foreach loop that is running in an OnUpdate(). Wouldn't this be unnecessary and quite heavy? We could have used a start function to get all entities and then stored them in a List?? Why didn't we take an approach like this?

  25. Amazing video as most of your videos are, very informative and straight forward.

    Could you go further on this topic?
    I believe the links are broken because they finally updated the system, right? @Brackeys

  26. Could Someone answer me the question : "Is it necessary to use ECS in some small or mobile game because its relatent new to me and I depends on making some small 2D or 3D games"

  27. So basically they're moving to MVC – model, view, controller. I guess it will move the dev environment closer to standard for developers.

  28. 8:01 how is this better performance??
    You're just using a static variable inside a for, isn't that just reading the value of a pointer? Why would using a local variable be better performance?

  29. ● ECS Documentation: https://bit.ly/2J9YvLe

    ● More on Pure ECS: https://bit.ly/2H9ResT Those links are donw. Not working. Can you fix that. thx.

  30. i want to ask, can we use classic code if ECS release? And if classic code can use when ECS release how about performance? thank you

  31. What the actual fuck? This isn't easier to read. And that's not an opinion, it's observable, quantifiable FACT:

    The code for rotating a simple object goes from 7 lines at 4:14, to fucking twice as much at 8:06.

    ECS might be more performant, but the idea that it's easier to read and construct is horseshit. I'm not moving onto this until there is vastly more support and tutorials for this nonsense.

    People like me who are just now getting into programming and C# are fucked if Unity moves entirely away from OOP and into ECS, especially without any resources or significant community support. And looking around the forums, it seems ECS is as buggy as 2 day old dog shit on a summer afternoon in Louisiana.

  32. Another issue with ECS, it seems entirely built around utilizing 4 threads.

    How future proof is this? How long until 4 threads is ancient and not at all applicable to modern development? So this entire system will be built around an architecture with a rapidly approaching expiration date? And it increases development time? I'd rather drop a script on another object and call it from other scripts with a single line of code instead of writing an extra 20 lines (with debug time), thank you.

    Completely backwards.

    It appears that this is Unity's attempt to play catch up with UE's performance, meanwhile it's built on a house made of straw and it goes against the very thing that makes Unity so popular and a good tool for creatives in the first place.

  33. The only thing I would ever use this for are particles, or lots of objects or enemies on the screen at one time. I don't know much about it, but it really looks like a massive pain in the ass.

  34. ok. I thought I can learn the unity basics here (gamecomponents are strange things for me). Now I'm more confused then before my youtube-search 😀
    … i will coming back, later
    but great video!

  35. Oh wow, not only is my optimization ocd extremely happy, the system seems really intuitive as well!
    UPDATE: Trying this out I get a bunch of deprecation errors and the documentation is still not updated. I'm struggling with a basic "move the entities" as there are no examples on how to e.g. update a transform, and no indication on wether updating a transform is even THE way to move entities anymore. I'm lost.

  36. Oh how wonderful,,, instead of typing something 1 hour to rotate the cube now you have to type something just 1 hour and cube will rotate… well maybe you will forgot to put some freakin ; or ( or maybe just a . and whole your game will be fuked up. Until unity make some real visual scripting, not like those rubbish things called "visual scripting" from the Asset Store everything will be same.

  37. So, we're sacrificing time for performance. If you're making a game, I'd recommend doing it the normal way and not using ESC. Takes too much time and the system is, frankly, way too vague. You can't really specify the objects 100% anymore. If the performance is big enough it'd be good, but at the moment, I doubt it.

  38. getting NullReferenceException when instantiating a prefab with the GameObjectEntity script attached to it – line 175 of said script, "types[t++] = com.GetType();." The system is not processed as a result.
    Any ideas? Thanks!

  39. Hi Brackey's! Great Vid, I have Unity 2019.1 and this is the code that works for me:

    class MoveBulletSystem : ComponentSystem

    {

    protected override void OnUpdate()

    {

    float deltaTime = Time.deltaTime;

    Entities.ForEach((Transform transform, MoveBulletECS moveBulletECS) =>

    {

    transform.Translate(Vector3.forward * deltaTime * moveBulletECS.speed, Space.Self);

    });

    }

    }

    My problem is the code keeps running even when the gameObject is inactive, or even when I change scene. How do I stop the code from running?

  40. Hi, If I follow your link to the pure ECS I get to a github Error 404 Page. Could you fix the link? thank you 🙂

  41. As someone who still fairly new to Unity and programing in general should I cobsider shifting over to using ECS now or should I wait until I'm confednt with object orented?

  42. Holy shit this is terribly written. Why would you run Get Entities inside an update loop? You just taught like 350k people to write bad code.

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