Unity 5.6 is coming, what you need to know
|Christian Hargrave in Game Development Wednesday, March 1, 2017|
Unity Technologies announces Unity 5.6 and Unity 2017 at The Game Developers Conference (GDC).
“The Unity 5 cycle culminating in 5.6 represents great progress in our key focus areas: graphics, performance, stability, efficiency and platform growth. I’m really proud of what our engineering teams delivered,” said John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity Technologies. “Features like Physically Based Rendering, Global Illumination, and Codeless IAP are just a few of the advancements that have helped make Unity 5, and the community it powers, so successful.”
Key features in Unity 5.6:
- Progressive Lightmapper speeds up iteration and testing of lighting scenarios and reduces baking times.
- Navigation Mesh system adds AI and path-finding to more easily control character navigation through giant game worlds.
- New Video Player supports smooth 4K playback to provide immersive video and enable the creation of 360 video experiences.
- Native support for Vulkan graphics API provides better performance across Windows, Tizen, and Android platforms, while consuming less device power.
- TextMesh Pro provides improved control of text formatting and layout through Advanced Text Rendering and is now available for free to users of 5.3+, with native Unity integration coming in Unity 2017.
Also at GDC, two of their partners announced new opportunities for thier creators seeking global distribution and discovery:
- Xiaomi, one of the top handset manufacturers and Android app stores in China, is now offering Western developers direct access to the Chinese market; interested developers can learn more in the new Xiaomi-Unity Developer Portal.
- Facebook announced Facebook Gameroom Premium support, inviting developers of premium games - like The Eyes of
Ara and Skyhill - to bring their content to the PC gaming platform’s growing portfolio. For developers using Unity IAP to implement payments, the company also announced that Facebook payment support will be available in Unity 5.6.
Lastly, Unity 2017, their next generation, will get new features and improvements across graphics, performance, stability, efficiency and platforms as well as a new dedicated focus area: artists and designers. To improve team productivity and collaboration for non-programmers, Unity 2017 will bring the start of a series of features designed specifically for artists and designers across disciplines, from technical artists, to lighting artists, animators and more. Beta signups will be available in April.
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