Prefab workflow improvements

In 2018.3 we are introducing Prefab workflow improvements, including nested Prefabs, Prefab Variants and Prefab Mode

Improved workflow

The new Prefab workflows, which are available in Unity 2018.3, allow you to split up Prefabs on a granular level. This gives you greater flexibility, increases your productivity and enables you to work confidently without worrying about making time-consuming errors.

The improvements are based on surveys with more than 150 enterprise customers, numerous interviews, several usability tests and two game jams. The long-term goal has been not only to implement support for nesting, but to rethink the core Prefab workflows so different team members can simultaneously edit Prefabs confidently and efficiently.


Greater flexibility

Previously, you were forced to choose between creating large monolithic Prefabs, like buildings, or more granular ones, like pieces of furniture, but you couldn't do both.

Now with support for nested Prefabs, a large building can be made up of many smaller room Prefabs, which in turn can be made up of multiple pieces of furniture Prefabs, and so on.

Productivity booster

This makes it easier for teams of all sizes to:

  • Split up Prefabs into multiple entities for greater efficiency
  • Reuse any content, from small to large
  • Work on different parts of content simultaneously

Prefab Variants

Flexible properties increase efficiency

As a default, a Prefab Variant inherits the objects and properties of the Prefab it is a variant of, but at the same time, you have the possibility both to override those properties and to add additional components and GameObjects. This is similar to the concept of inheritance in object-oriented programming.

For example, if you have a door Prefab, you can create a Variant of it and assign it a different mesh and material to make it look old and broken. Any change made to the base door Prefab will affect the Variant, so for instance you can easily tweak the size of the Collider for both doors by changing the base.

Prefab Mode

Avoid time-consuming mistakes

A cornerstone of the new workflows, Prefab Mode enables you to edit Prefabs in isolation.

Being able to edit an entire Prefab Asset without having to instantiate it in the scene or edit an existing instance means you can avoid mistakes related to accidentally applying overrides in the scene that shouldn't have been applied. Having editing of instances and asset as separate things lets you make your changes with confidence.

Behind the scenes

Learn how the Unity R&D team’s Nikoline Høgh and Stine Kjærbøll went on a journey of discovery: Running user tests, conducting surveys and talking face-to-face with 150 customers, they gained valuable insight that has helped fundamentally improve the Prefab workflows.

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