Unity CEO John Riccitiello took to the stage at GDC - along with CTO Joachim Ante, Technical Director Lucas Meijer, and Founder David Helgason, along with key staff and partners – to share their plans for the popular engine.
The next update, Unity 5.6, will be released on 31st March and will also be the final update under the Unity 5 name. Of most interest to VR developers is the news that the 5.6 update supports Google Daydream, as well as Cardboard on both Android and iOS.
Key Features Of Unity 5.6
- Progressive Lightmapper: Immediate feedback on lighting scenarios, with selective baking, super fast iteration, and debugging.
- Vulkan: Maximises performance and reduces battery usage.
- Metal: Apple Metal graphics API gives you access to the raw power of the chipsets on your devices.
- 2D Tools: CompositeCollider2D, an outline editor, 2D physics contacts API and more.
- New NavMesh tools: Improving AI and Pathfinding.
- Unity Collaborate Beta: Teams can save, share, and sync their Unity project via the cloud!
- Performance Reporting: Unity 5.6 will capture and report native crashes recorded for iOS games.
- TextMesh Pro: Will be available for free to users of 5.3+ and natively integrated into Unity in the future.
- VR platforms: 5.6 will ship with Google Daydream, and Cardboard – including both Android and iOS.
What Comes After 5? 2017!
Unity 5's replacement, Unity 2017, will enter Beta in April.We’re promised that Unity will continue its commitment to improve key areas like graphics, stability, efficiency, and platform growth for Unity’s growing audience of creators, artists, and animators.
Upcoming features include:
- New scriptable rendering pipeline that will allow developers to customize and extend render loops for mobile, HD and VR/AR.
- Timeline is a drag-and-drop track-based sequencing tool for animations, sounds, events, videos and more.
- Cinemachine is Unity’s smart camera system, for gameplay cameras, cutscenes, film and TV pipelines and everything in between.
The Unity Labs team is also working with partners like Oculus, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Daydream to bring you the XR Foundation Toolkit, a framework for XR developers and artists to get up-to-speed as quickly as possible creating immersive experiences. You can find out more about OpenXR in our recent report.
Best EditorVR Competition
EditorVR has been downloaded more than 6,000 times since its Alpha in December. Unity is now running a competition to find the best EditorVR tool. There’s a cash prize and the winner will be chosen and showcased at Vision Summit 2017.
Artist In Residence
Unity chose the GDC stage to announce its first Artist In Residence position. You can submit your application here.
Video: The Full Unity Keynote From GDC 2017