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If I have questions about building a game using Unity and C#, where is the best place in StackExchange to ask for help?

I found out that the "C#" that runs on Unity is not the same as the "C#" that Microsoft documents. I needed to sort an array, and I have some questions about the Unity API.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question might be more appropriate for meta... \$\endgroup\$ – Pikalek Mar 10 '17 at 4:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Read the help center at the various sites to find out which support what. \$\endgroup\$ – Almo Mar 10 '17 at 5:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found out that the "C#" that runs on Unity is not the same as the "C#" that Microsoft documents (I needed to sort an array), and I had some questions about the Unity API. I suppose this is the right place then for this kind of questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ellison Mar 10 '17 at 6:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that Unity uses an earlier version of C#. Microsoft documents it; but anything newer would naturally not apply to Unity. In regards to sorting an array, you can use System.Array.Sort(array). AFAIK, that is how you always sorted an array. However, I suspect it comes up as Array.Sort() in documentation, because Microsoft assumes your using the System namespace. I make note of that, here, because if it does solve your problem, I would honestly think the question itself showed a lack of research. Always show research - it might save you a downvote or two. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Mar 10 '17 at 11:38
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It depends. It might be here on GDSE, StackOverflow, Computer Graphics, or possibly others. The general rule I apply is which sort of expert would give the best answer to my problem. If the nature of the question is such that a game developer would give you a better answer, then GDSE is an appropriate place to ask. If it's more of a general programming question, Stack Overflow is probably more appropriate (that being said, GDSE seems to be relaxing the "general programming questions are off-topic" stance somewhat). I initially asked a question here about simplex noise that was on-topic, but later we decided it was better served by CGSE instead.

  • Take your best guess at which community might have the sort of answers you need.
  • Read their help center info to double check that your question is on topic for that community.
  • Ask & adjust as needed.
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You should be fine asking questions about both the use of arrays and the general Unity API on this site.

There once was a time when we closed questions that involved generic programming. However, we have loosened this restriction quite considerably, after a good argument made by Josh. I have also seen it said, somewhere, that Stack Overflow is where we send these questions to die, and in retrospect, I whole heartily agree.

There is one caveat: Make sure you still follow the general rules of the site. If you are unfamiliar with them, I suggest having a quick read of "What topics can I ask about?" and "What type of questions should I avoid asking?".

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I found out that the "C#" that runs on Unity is not the same as the "C#" that Microsoft documents.

But it is. The language is exactly the same. You will even use a lot of the .NET core classes like String or List. The main difference is that you might be interacting with different APIs.

When you wonder if you should post on Gamedev.SE or Stackoverflow, then you should ask yourself this question: "is it a question which any C# programmer can answer, or is it something you can only answer if you have experience with Unity?".

I needed to sort an array

Sorting arrays is something every developer needs to do once in a while, no matter if they develop games, office tools, web applications or telemetry software for space probes. And no matter in which of these industries you work, if you use C#, you would do it roughly the same way. So this is a question you would ask on stackoverflow (although it would really surprise me if you manage to come up with a question about sorting in C# which isn't already answered on stackoverflow)

and I have some questions about the Unity API.

Now that's a question you would rather ask on Gamedev.SE, because Unity is (almost) exclusively used by game developers. If you are a game developer too, you will likely get a better answer on Gamedev.SE.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe we would accept the array question, here. I also feel the user would receive very negative feedback asking about something like that on StackExchange. We do accept generic programming questions, now. Within reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Mar 10 '17 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gnemlock Why do you think there would be negative feedback about a question about sorting arrays on Stackexchange which wouldn't also receive negative feedback on Gamedev.SE? \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Mar 10 '17 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ StackOverflow is a lot less forgiving than we are, here.. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Mar 10 '17 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not saying it won't receive negative feedback, here. But on StackOverflow, it would be a lot worst. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Mar 10 '17 at 14:33
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Unity programming questions are on topic for GD.SE, but in practice I've found that Unity Answers is a much better resource. Disclaimers:

  • They are not affiliated with StackExchange, although they use the software
  • Quality and curation is much worse

But in terms of sheer breadth of content, they are the best resource I've found online.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, but when the question is "where in Stack Exchange, this does not actually answer the question. It could also be misinterpreted as "not here, go away". Perhaps this would be better served as a comment? \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Mar 14 '17 at 10:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ What if OP is unaware that SE doesn't always have the best site for a particular domain? SO is great and all but that doesn't apply to every other stack. When SE either doesn't cater to a domain or if its stack is clearly inferior, I'm happy to suggest an offsite alternative. I mentioned right off the bat that GD.SE is fine, but not the best. That's clearly not a "not here, go away". \$\endgroup\$ – congusbongus Mar 14 '17 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ In which case, this would be better served as a comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Mar 14 '17 at 12:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ OP here... yes, I am familiar with Unity's own site, but I am exploring my options. Stack Overflow has been quite useful over the years with Android (non-game) issues, so I was looking to see what you had for Unity games. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ellison Mar 15 '17 at 10:14

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