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Is Affinity Designer even developed anymore?


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@PaRunk

All nice and right what you're saying. But in the end the question for people who use the software to do their work and to generate income is: does it have the functions I need to do the job? At first, can it do the job at all, and second can it do it with the least amount of afford and the less time that's possible. And as sad as it is, I have to say that the Affintiy Suite is not the tool at the moment.

It is allways claimed that it's hard work to develop such software. Of course it is, no doubt! But if you look around, there are some softwares that are also created by smaller teams and that develop much faster. For me the most impressive example are the two guys behind Photoline. But take Vector Styler for another example, or Vectornator. And after all, there has been the knowledge at Serif to implement the features. They were mostly there in Draw Plus! and the other Serif softwares. Thus it's not the point that they have to invent the wheel another time. And last but not least, not all concepts and software techniques behind the features are intellectual property of individual companies and thus inaccessible. Many things are just mathematics, many are published as white papers or part of open source libraries. And many features that are missing in the Affintiy softwares are just small extensions to the existing ones (just make solo mode permanent, for example. Just don't leave it by clicking somewhere on the canvas).

And finaly, there's the point that we live in the year 2021. There are softwares that have evolved over decades and set the standards today. If you come into the market today (or better 7 years ago) and claim to have a professional software, you have measure yourself against the existing standards of professional software. You can just as easily not enter the car market today and say, "Hey, our car now has a gasoline engine and even manual transmission!"

I'm afraid Affinity has found its niche in the semi-pro market, both in terms of features and price. And at least for me, it's not the costs that count. I would happily pay more, really more, if the Affinity softwares would be pushed to a real professional level.

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On 1/21/2021 at 4:02 AM, chessboard said:

It is allways claimed that it's hard work to develop such software. Of course it is, no doubt! But if you look around, there are some softwares that are also created by smaller teams and that develop much faster. For me the most impressive example are the two guys behind Photoline. But take Vector Styler for another example, or Vectornator. 

VectorStyler is an interesting example of a 180-degree different approach from Affinity Designer. They're still in open beta, but have tried to cram everything into their 1.0 branch: VS already has features AD has made no progress on for years like blends, distortion envelopes, and more. It all looks great on paper, but unfortunately... these features are almost unusable. 

Affinity Designer has been glacially slow in adding features, which is a problem, but VectorStyler has been almost as slow in addressing critical stability issues, not to mention some major usability shortcomings from adding too many features without a consistent UX vision. The app is incredibly powerful, but it's an absolute mess in its present state.

If it's a choice between reliable versus feature-poor and feature-rich but unreliable, I'll gladly choose the former. But it will be interesting to see how this race plays out between VS developing reliability and AD developing a competitive feature set.

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Vectorstyler just released its most recent beta today. It keeps improving all the time. I'm not sure what defines their features as "Unusable". I've enjoyed the advanced features though I've not even attempted to cover everything, and they work well . My focus recently in testing the betas was encouraging smooth efficiency with brushes and pen tool and Boolean operations. 

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On 1/14/2021 at 11:54 AM, Boldlinedesign said:

I agree Serif has every right to include or exclude features based on their plans and priorities, but they are also beholden to their customers or else they will fail to exist. Serif risks their product being viewed as an amateur alternative if universally understood expectations for professional software are not met sooner than later.
Everyone feels their tool preferences are "essential" and I know not everyone agrees on what is truly necessary to make Affinity products stand on their own.
I think many would agree with my perspective, that properly functioning boolean operations, true vector brushes and text warp are a few examples of basic necessities for a wide majority of designers.
How can anyone create professional designs if the boolean operations create dirty geometry and parts go missing? How limiting is it that only raster brushes can be unique? Why has text warp been available in Photo but not Designer for years?
I'm excited about the little new features like being able to port your brushes to any installed version of the apps on different devices automatically... that is cool - but it feels like we're getting excited about new fancy rims on a car and ignoring the fact that we've never installed brakes. I'd rather a car with brakes and the other essentials over one that has fancy rims and no brakes.....
Yeah the car looks nice with the new rims, but it can never leave the driveway safely... I'd much rather we get the car drive-able first and then worry about making it look flashy.
I'm using an outdated version of Adobe CS6 Illustrator to do my vector work.... I have to paste anything i do in Designer over to Illustrator to merge vectors so they are not a mess. I rely on Illustrator or Vectorstyler to make blends and make text warps. If I want to fill in sections of negative space in a design, I have to also paste it in illustrator to do a live fill or use a blob tool or use the merge tool with a fill behind the negative space to cookie-cutter it. I care WAY more about basic function than I do about the bells and whistles.
 

BLD 2021-01-14 at 11.52.02.png

Although I use mainly APhoto, I totally agree with you. There are basic problems that I mentioned in the forum, like the frustrating problems with simple tasks like write a cation on a layer, that have not been addressed after weeks.  I am not software expert and perhaps that can be difficult to address but it should be a top priority being such a basic function. Paradoxically in the mean time a new beta version has been released but that basic problem is still here. Very upsetting and frustrating.

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The Affinity team took down the roadmap awhile ago but it would be nice if they did something like this. While the 1.9 release candidate is being tested they could post what they plan to tackle in the next 1 or 2 updates. For example we plan on tackling gradient mesh and vector distort in ver 1.10, and bug fixes only in 1.11. This way us user's have a idea of what to look forward to. Right now the beta comes out and you look at the release notes and go aww still no features requested 4 years ago only bug fixes.

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I believe the situation we're in is largely caused by Affinity's business model everyone likes to praise. Since the software is a one time purchase for a rather cheap price (when compared to similar commercial software), their revenue is largely dependent on gaining new customers indefinitely. To do that they periodically release new versions that introduce a bunch of big, marketable features at the cost of the ever crumbling and deficient foundation of the software. Once the new features are introduced, they might get some bug fixes later but rarely are they fundamentally improved even if they are effectively unusable in a professional setting. The team then focuses on the next set of big, marketable features or new products to sustain the company. And with every new product their resources grow thinner and thinner. I absolutely hate Adobe's subscription but this is no alternative, never has been and it seems it never will be either.


Or devs just like to work on something new and don't care about basic vector features like per node stroke width control.

EDIT: Just tried VectorStyler mentioned in this thread. In 30 seconds I found stroke width tool so it's already superior to Affinity Designer in my eyes. This basic tool has been requested in multiple threads here as far 6/7 years ago. Affinity have made 0 improvements in all that time to stroke width control. Pressure graph is as janky as it has always been, creates ugly results and in no way it's even comparable to manual per node stroke width control.

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52 minutes ago, PanthenEye said:

I believe the situation we're in is largely caused by Affinity's business model everyone likes to praise. Since the software is a one time purchase for a rather cheap price (when compared to similar commercial software), their revenue is largely dependent on gaining new customers indefinitely. To do that they periodically release new versions that introduce a bunch of big, marketable features at the cost of the ever crumbling and deficient foundation of the software. Once the new features are introduced, they might get some bug fixes later but rarely are they fundamentally improved even if they are effectively unusable in a professional setting. The team then focuses on the next set of big, marketable features or new products to sustain the company. And with every new product their resources grow thinner and thinner. I absolutely hate Adobe's subscription but this is no alternative, never has been and it seems it never will be either.

I've said this before, but my biggest wish for the Affinity suite is not any one feature, but a new business model. Look at what the UX design app Sketch has been doing with an annual update program: They added more features last year than Affinity Designer probably has in the past four, and they did it without a subscription. Instead, they sell one year of updates – after one year, you can still use the last version you updated to, and it's your choice to renew to get the latest release. 

Basically, I want Serif to start charging at least a little more so they can fund development more sustainably. I don't expect them to keep shipping great new features when the last time I gave them any money was 2014, but they need to give me that opportunity to support the company. 

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1 hour ago, PanthenEye said:

Just tried VectorStyler mentioned in this thread. In 30 seconds I found stroke width tool so it's already superior to Affinity Designer in my eyes.

VectorStyler has got features. You can just pick whatever you dream of and then do it. Well, nice.
But in fact, it kinda suffers from chronical featuritis and multipreferencisity. Before you even get the work done, you'll get lost on the way there inside its parallel optionalization maze.

And then, a few days ago I wanted to get some small work done with VectorStyler. So I just wanted to create a simple CMYK document using my favorite CMYK profile.
Crash.
Try again.
Crash.
Etc.

Meh. No time for that.

(That all said, been there done that with AD, APu et all, too…)

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1 hour ago, Clayton said:

I've said this before, but my biggest wish for the Affinity suite is not any one feature, but a new business model. Look at what the UX design app Sketch has been doing with an annual update program: They added more features last year than Affinity Designer probably has in the past four, and they did it without a subscription. Instead, they sell one year of updates – after one year, you can still use the last version you updated to, and it's your choice to renew to get the latest release. 

Basically, I want Serif to start charging at least a little more so they can fund development more sustainably. I don't expect them to keep shipping great new features when the last time I gave them any money was 2014, but they need to give me that opportunity to support the company. 

I'd like to see that happen too. Since all their revenue only comes from attracting new users, that's where all their development efforts are focused. And hence why long standing, fundamental issues are never addressed - fixing them won't generate new sales so they're forever in the backlog. A change of business model is probably needed like you described, otherwise I can't see AD ever becoming a true professional tool.

I bet the refocus on Publisher and slow AD updates is because AD has probably reached a certain degree of market saturation and is not generating the sales it used to. So they create a new product and invest most resources in that until it also ends up in the same situation at which point it'll enter maintenance mode and they'll develop a new product. Is this really better than Adobe? Not for me at least.

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4 hours ago, Clayton said:

I've said this before, but my biggest wish for the Affinity suite is not any one feature, but a new business model. Look at what the UX design app Sketch has been doing with an annual update program: They added more features last year than Affinity Designer probably has in the past four, and they did it without a subscription. Instead, they sell one year of updates – after one year, you can still use the last version you updated to, and it's your choice to renew to get the latest release. 

Basically, I want Serif to start charging at least a little more so they can fund development more sustainably. I don't expect them to keep shipping great new features when the last time I gave them any money was 2014, but they need to give me that opportunity to support the company. 

I was just saying this on facebook..LOL This model would make sense. Since the release of publisher + the ipad versions the dev teams seem to be spread thin. Hopefully they aren't hoarding big features for a paid 2.0 upgrade. The Sketch model would allow them to hire and give each app the attention it deserves.

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13 minutes ago, dsnaps12 said:

Hopefully they aren't hoarding big features for a paid 2.0 upgrade.

We really aren't. In the last 4 years we have never stopped advertising for new Developers, and have taken a few on but not enough. If you know any encourage them to join us rather than bashing the ones we have got. 

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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@Patrick Connor Sorry it's not bashing just a customer talking with folks in this forum. As you can see from the topic of this post there are concerns from people. And if Serif hasn't hired enough dev's because of $ then maybe ya'll should look at the Sketch pricing model mentioned here as well so each app can get the attention it deserves and grow at a faster pace.

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20 hours ago, loukash said:

VectorStyler has got features. You can just pick whatever you dream of and then do it. Well, nice.
But in fact, it kinda suffers from chronical featuritis and multipreferencisity. Before you even get the work done, you'll get lost on the way there inside its parallel optionalization maze.

And then, a few days ago I wanted to get some small work done with VectorStyler. So I just wanted to create a simple CMYK document using my favorite CMYK profile.
Crash.
Try again.
Crash.
Etc.

Meh. No time for that.

(That all said, been there done that with AD, APu et all, too…)

VS is the perfect companion for AD.

Things that you can't do now in AD can be done in VS. I consider VS as a plugin for AD.

At least, I prefer AD because in my job, I mix vectors and pixels and AD is perfect for that. AI and VS are rather "vectors only".

And AD is a solid rock software.

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Just now, lenogre said:

I consider VS as a plugin for AD.

Yes, that's how I see it as well. Same for Illustrator CS5, for as long as I still work with MacOS El Capitan. As of now, some path operations are still better being accomplished outside AD due to unresolved bugs. :/
But for most other things, the AD workflow is brilliant, once I've stripped my 3 decades of Freehand and Illustrator mindset and muscle memory.

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I moved to Affinity Designer the day it was released on PC. Never looked back.

After many years of using Adobe Illustrator I just dumped it to hell where it belongs with its clunkiness, sluggishness, absurdly minimal updates and unreliability. I rather use Affinity Designer that is absolute pleasure to work with, with less features, then have to curse every 10 minutes at the "industry standard". Some people like their little pocket knives with 100 tiny tools - I prefer solid knife with one, reliable blade. I made hundreds of commercial designs for many different products using Affinity Designer for the last 4 years. Labels, cloth designs, surfing boards designs... And for the last 4 years every now and then I read this whiny comments "oh no, how bad AD is, you need to charge more, you need to add function that I saw on some other app, I am so disappointed, blablabla".
Well I am not disappointed. I am extremely happy.
Do I miss some functions? Sure. Can I see space for improvement? Absolutely. In fact after I stop screaming here I will give devs idea for improvement :D
But I ditched software with 20+ years of development for that young AD because it simply works. Its not laggy mess that crashes at least twice a day like bloody Illustrator that I started literally to hate over the years. "Oh but you cant make something that other software can!". Well, other software couldn't do the most fundamental bloody thing for me - make my work a pleasure. AD did that for me. Same goes for Photoshop and Photo. I cant say much about Publisher because I am not using it save for adding tables :D  But I still bough it to support devs that made my work day a pleasure once more.
Keep up the good work ladies and gents! Negativity always is just a noise that leads to nowhere. I cant wait for 2.0! I put food on the table for my family for the last 4 years with your software. Using it daily. With pleasure. Thank you for that and lets keep it going, shall we?

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2 hours ago, nezumi said:

Some people like their little pocket knives with 100 tiny tools - I prefer solid knife with one, reliable blade.

Well, I'd like to see you fixing a wristwatch with your "solid knife with one, reliable blade". ;)

2 hours ago, nezumi said:

this whiny comments

Fair enough, this thread in particular is unconstructive and leads to nowhere.
In fact, I've unfollowed it some time ago, but for some reason it still pops up on my radar. Oh well.

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7 hours ago, loukash said:

Well, I'd like to see you fixing a wristwatch with your "solid knife with one, reliable blade".

I know what to expect from my tool, I know what I bought it for ;) Not for repairing wristwatches.
Thats kind of the point here. I dont understand people checking software out, not being happy with it but for some reason purchasing it anyways and then whining for bloody years about how they dont like it and how they thought its going to be. I would expect it from kid, but for crying out loud - seeing it done by adults... There is free trial - check it. You dont like it - dont buy it. How hard is that? Isnt that what reasonable adult would do? You think its going to be different in the future? Well, then maybe wait and check another trial in the future, how about that crazy idea?
 I have lot of personal reasons to despise illustrator. But guess what? I didnt bought license and start writing salty comments on Adobe forums ;)

The whole thread starts with " I seem to have made a mistake of switching to Affinity products a while ago with not enough research." You dont say, Sherlock...
I wish I knew what was the thought process there... "I have a perfectly working pipeline here, but theres another software I know very little about... Lets switch!". Smart.

Also - I am not conspiracy theory lover, but when I see dude who just made himself an account shortly before new version coming out, claiming he has it for "some time" and has 1 whiny comment about "oh, oh, how bad that software is" I wouldn't be surprised if he was working for... some other company that accidentally makes similar products. Not saying that he is, but I wouldn't be surprised.
Because otherwise he is just dude who switched to software that he didnt liked which wouldn't make him a smartest person to put it mildly.

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  • 2 months later...

I'd be tickled if they would just fix the things not working correctly, fix the usability issues.

Could live without new features because while you might use of some really cool feature every once in a while, you use things like keyboard shortcuts hundreds of times a day.

That gets tiresome when they don't work.

(Yes, I mean fix the Deselect & Delete shortcuts. Please?)

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On 2/4/2021 at 4:01 PM, Patrick Connor said:

We really aren't. In the last 4 years we have never stopped advertising for new Developers, and have taken a few on but not enough. If you know any encourage them to join us rather than bashing the ones we have got. 

Please hire a Developer hoe's specialized in global language implementing, like Right To Left directions etc. please asap.

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