Good news everyone, the latest edition of the popular Unity Technologies development engine has just been released. Unity 4.0 is now available for users to download and features many improvements over its predecessor. Unity 4 was announced back in June this year and with its laucnh comes the first wave of updates that include significant additions such as DirectX 11 support and Mecanim animation tools. In addition users will have access to a Linux deployment preview and the Adobe Flash Player deployment add-on.
“Unity 4 will see the addition of an incredible number of new, highly advanced, features and continuous improvement across the tech to be released in smaller, faster increments than Unity has seen in the past,” said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. “It’s an exciting time for Unity and the 4.0 release marks the beginning of a great new era for our technology.”
Mecanim – Stunning Character Animation
Mecanim, Unity’s powerful and innovative animation technology, is setting new industry standards for tools in integrated development environments allowing the creation of complex state machines, blend trees, IK rigging, and auto retarget animations to characters of different sizes and shapes, all inside of the Unity editor. Developers will find a sizeable selection of retargetable animations available in the Unity Asset Store: http://unity3d.com/unity/asset-store/.
With the ability to take advantage of full DirectX 11 support, including shader model 5, tessellation for smoother models and environments in game worlds, and compute shaders for advanced GPU computation, Unity 4.0 empowers developers. DirectX 11 support development was aided by development of the Butterfly Effect demo: http://unity3d.com/promo/butterfly/.
High-end Visual Capabilities for All Platforms
Unity 4.0 also features real-time shadows on mobile, skinned mesh instancing, the ability to use normal maps when baking lightmaps, and a refined GPU profiler. It’s easy to make extremely high-end visuals that scale across the best of what’s available on modern PCs and the most advanced mobile graphics chips.
Adobe Flash Player Add-on
The Adobe Flash Player deployment add-on will empower developers to publish their new and existing titles to one of the world’s most ubiquitous gaming platforms on the web. With the wealth of incredible features in the 4.0 release, Unity is the most powerful development pipeline for creating high quality 2D and 3D content for Adobe Flash Player. The add-on is now available for sale in the Unity store: https://store.unity3d.com/.
Linux Publishing Preview
Unity 4.0 will also include a preview of a new deployment option to publish games to Desktop Linux, clearing a path for the Unity community to bring exciting new content to the PC market’s most voracious indie gamers. Desktop Linux standalone publishing will be available for all Unity 4 users at no additional cost.
Unity 4 introduces many additional features and improvements, including:
• Shuriken particle system supports external forces, bent normals, automatic culling, and environmental collisions
• 3D texture support
• Navigation: dynamic obstacles and avoidance priority
• Major optimizations in GUI performance and memory usage
• Dynamic fonts on all platforms with HTML-like markup
• Remote Unity Web Player debugging
• New Project Window workflows
• Iterative lightmap baking
• Refined component-based workflows
• Extensible inspectors for custom classes
• Improved Cubemap import pipeline
• Geometry data improvements for huge memory and performance savings
• Meshes can be constructed from non-triangle geometry – render points & lines efficiently
Unity 4 and the Adobe Flash Player add-on for Unity are now available for purchase at the Unity store (https://store.unity3d.com/).
Are you a developer or user of Unity? then I'd love to hear your feed back on these new features, let us know in the comments section below.