We're evaluating the suitability of Spine. Since Spine doesn't save I chose to look at the examples to see if they were compatible with the version of Unity we're using (updating Unity isn't a luxury we have, we're exporting to console).

I first looked at: Spine Test Drive\Assets\Spine Examples\Other Examples\dragon.scene

This example appears to be broken. None of the graphics load. I am using Unity 2019.1.7f1, I have downloaded the shaders needed to make Spine work.

I spent a few hours trying different things whilst also asking others online for advice. Others have confirmed that the dragon.scene example is broken. If I drag the skeleton asset for the dragon into the scene it works and animates when the editor is in Play mode.

This has shaken our confidence in Spine. We have recently stopped using GAF (a Flash animation conversion tool) because of discontinued support. We don't want to invest the amount of money required to use Spine when learning how to use it has been a frustrating tour of broken examples. It's like the example projects are telling us to avoid using Spine.
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We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and the bad experience this has caused. You are absolutely right that this should not have happened, we thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and allowing us to address the issue. I have first fixed and then decided to delete the Dragon scene from the examples altogether, since it does not really contribute to learning spine-unity.

All Spine Examples scenes have also been re-serialized from Unity 2017.1 (the minimum officially supported Unity version in spine-unity 3.8 ), up to Unity 2019.3 there shall now no longer be any issues.

The updated unitypackages can be downloaded here as usual:
Spine Unity Download

It is very much appreciated to share your thoughts and problems so that we can improve Spine and its runtimes.
Your opinion on the spine-unity documentation pages is also much appreciated, in case your confidence has not been shaken too much already.

I have created an issue ticket to improve the example scenes in order to provide a better learning experience:
[unity] Improve example scenes, description and structure · #1628

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