Day two of GDC 2015 is in the books and again there were a few big announcements. So continuing my short blog series, below is some of the big announcements that caught my attention.
Today Unity Technologies unveiled the newest version of their extremely popular game engine. Here is what Unity Technologies had to say about this new version in their press release:
“Unity 5 is a massive update to the Unity Engine, including features such as the Enlighten real-time lighting system and physically-based shaders that provide the power to render stunning high-quality characters, environments, lighting, and effects. Workflow efficiency increased dramatically due to the new unified shader architecture, in-editor real-time lightmap previews, and improved asset bundling. Audio designers will find a completely overhauled audio system including the new Audio Mixer for creating dynamic soundscapes and effects.”
Thats a lot of new features! And thats not even the full list. Besides the highlights above, there are few other big changes that caught my eye. First is one that a lot of us developers have been wishing for. The Unity editor is now 64 bit. This is a huge plus for those working on larger projects and should help increase the over all speed of the editor. Another one that stood out is the announcement that the building Asset Bundles are going to be easier and now incremental. This will make a lot of Asset Store developers extremely happy. There are a lot of other features that have been added and you should definitely check out the press release for a detailed list. One last thing I want to note is that Unity 5 is available now for pre-order from the Unity store (https://store.unity3d.com/) and those who pre-order Unity Pro 5 will also receive Unity Pro 4. You can read the full press release here.
Following the pattern of Unreal and Corona SDK, Unity is going to be available for free. To be precise, the Personal version is for studios and indie developers who have not earned more than $100,000 in the previous fiscal year. The Personal Edition will have all the all engine features and will have all the new features of Unity 5. This is a big move for Unity which had previously hid some of these advanced features behind a pay wall. And while the Personal edition does let you deploy to all 21 supported platforms, including Android and iOS, you will have to live with a Unity splash screen, not a bad deal if you ask me. Read more on this announcement here.
It has been a busy few days with all this awesome news. Im sure this wont be the last big announcements, so stay tuned as I will be adding more recap post as GDC continues.