GDC 2014 | Unity 5 Announced and Teased

When it comes to making video game’s people would often turn towards Unreal, or CryTek for their highly coveted game engines. However that will be changing starting today after the announcement of Unity 5 at this years GDC.

For those of you unfamiliar with Unity and their game engine. I highly suggest you visit this page here, because I’m not going to be covering all the awesome games made with this indie friendly game engine. Instead I will be covering the awesome stuff they will be adding to the game engine, and what will soon be in my very own hands. But first, the video that touches on everything that will be added soon.

Unity 5 Feature Preview

That video is pure gold! For the people who’re into game development and who’re currently using Unity but aren’t quite sure what it all mean. Don’t worry I’m going to break it down play by play. Or in this case, what’s the most important and is making me drool with anticipation.

RealTime Global Illumination

  • Considerably in my opinion one of the biggest features being added to Unity 5 ,  This will enable you to skip light-mapping some game textures, and will give you the freedom to create unique lighting situation. Which until now was extremely difficult to do. But thanks to Geomerics: Enlighten lighting system, achieving effects seen in the video will be ridiculously easy. And for those of who’re again unfamiliar with Enlighten and would like to see it running. You can visit the page here, to see footage of what games have used this lighting and exactly why it’s such a big deal that Unity now has it. 

Reflection Probes, Physically Based Shading

  • I believe Reflection Probes are pretty self explanatory, they reflect light, shadows, etc – More accurately. Physically Based Shading  on the other hands gives you the power to create lifelike textures. So no matter if its a rising sun, or a slightly cloudy sun with a few beams of sunlight. Your object will reflect it exactly how it would in real life. Now, I’m no expert on this, in fact I’ve just started looking into it myself for my own personal projects. However there is a blog post explaining exactly what it is and what it does from last years UNITE ( Unity exclusive conference about the game engine) and a blog post that I came across last year when I first heard about Physically Based Shading.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

  • The GUI system in unity responsible for making on screen text, menu’s, mini-maps, you name it. Has been needing an overhaul now for the past two years If I’m not mistaken. Last year they announced that it would be coming in a Unity 4, unfortunately that’s not the case so I’m excited to see that it’s happening in Unity 5 …… maybe.

The video above touched on other features that have long since been needed and wanted within Unity. Things like better mixing options– for audio and visual effects, 64-bit CPU support, and an updated version of Nvidia’s PhysX, and of course proper 2D game support. Unity 5 seems to be on the right track. I just hope it will get released sometime later this year.

Source: Unity

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