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Check Out: 5.6 Is Now Available and Completes the Unity 5 Cycle
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Will Unity Give a Push to VR and Better 3D Graphics With Its Game Engine?
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Is Unity the Ultimate Engine for Developing Games on Android?

Check Out: 5.6 Is Now Available and Completes the Unity 5 Cycle

Developed in June 2005, Unity is a cross-platform engine for gaming developed by Unity Technologies. It’s used to develop video games for PCs, mobile devices, consoles, and websites. Now extended to twenty-seven platforms, Unity is and has always been, known for its ability to develop games on multiple platforms. It’s one of the most successful gaming engines in the history of game development. More recent versions of Unity came with improvements in game graphics and lighting, as well as a highly optimized rendering pipeline for both VR and AR devices. The unity team is known for delivering an outstanding and stable product on release, removing all bugs and introducing new features like the new unified OpenGL rendering background.

On March 31st, 2017, Unity 5.6 was released and, as the Unity team has announced, this will be the final installment in the Unity 5 cycle. It includes Lightmapper preview, Vulkan support, a new video player, new light modes, and much more. This is a massive improvement compared to the version that was released two years ago. Here is what  Unity 5.6 brings to the table in terms of mobile game development.

The highlights of this release at a glance:

  • Incredible lighting improvements:  The new Unity 5.6 adds the Progressive Lightmapper preview. It has the ability to provide immediate feedback when trying out different lighting scenarios. It also offers new Light Modes, which allow for both baked lighting and real-time lighting for static and dynamic objects.
  • Graphics Performance improvements:  Unity 5.6 introduces another new feature, GPU instancing. It enables a new variety of effects that can be used where numerous, similar objects are needed at a very low-performance cost. Compute shaders for Metal is another feature that allows the developer to add more details to games by tapping into the raw power of both the chipsets of Apple iOS and MacOS.
  • Support for Vulkan:  This is extremely important for reducing driver overhead and CPU workload while increasing development speed. As a result, the CPU becomes free to do any additional computation or rendering. This also saves on battery life.
  • Particle System Updated:  There is a massive update on the particle system for this version of Unity, giving the user more control and more options. It also improves the actual Particle System performance.
  • Video Player:  The old video player is replaced by a new one which enables playback of four thousand videos and allows developers to build 360° Virtual Reality experiences.
  • Improvement in the Navigational system:  Unity 5.6 offers improved AI and pathfinding tools, known as a NavMesh system. It enables a whole new set of use cases and gameplay options for character navigation.
  • New 2D tools:  Complex 2D objects can be easily created using the new 2D tools available with Unity 5.6. The new features include new varieties of gameplay and effects. This is inclusive of particle effects that are featured when interacting with 2D objects.
  • TextMesh Pro: One of the top performing tools on the Unity Asset Store, TextMesh Pro can now be natively integrated with Unity 5.6. It features advanced text rendering and dynamic visual text styling.
  • Performance reporting: Performance reporting now collects native crashes for iOS. The Profiler improvements and Physics debug visualization make it easier to find the source of performance issues.
  • New platforms:  The addition of compatibility with Facebook Gameroom, Google Daydream and Cardboard for Android means that the engine has made huge advances in compatibility. Nintendo Switch Support is another compatible platform that is available.
  • Experimental support for WebAssembly:  There is now experimental support for WebAssembly, a cross-browser technology.
  • Unity collaborates:  Unity Collaborate makes it simpler for teams to share, save and sync their Unity projects. This enables developers from around the world to contribute to the project. With Ignore Files, included in Unity Collaborate, the user can ignore files and directories in your project that aren’t needed. Another valuable aspect is the new Rollback feature which allows the user to generate a previous version of his or her project. This is extremely helpful for undoing unwanted or unintentional changes.

With Unity 5.6, everything seems to get easier. It’s a fully integrated development engine which can provide rich, out of the box functionality that allows the user to create amazing games and other 2D/3D content. Unity’s rapid and productive workflows help the developer drastically reduce time, effort and cost of making interactive content. Particularly, Unity 5.6 adds many exceptional improvements in graphics as well as the new impressive improvements for shading that include reflection probes and physical shading. All these features are securing Unity 5.6 as the future of game development.

Will Unity Give a Push to VR and Better 3D Graphics With Its Game Engine?

For several years,  game developing companies have been using game engines to bring their games to life,  implementing their ideas into the game. Unity is not an exception. Team unity is always active and uses different types of high-end graphics to develop the latest game engines. According to Clive Downie, the chief marketing officer of Unity, if you are among those who earn less than 100,000 dollars revenue on their unity projects, you are offered unity game engines for free. As the revenue, and therefore needs, of a company increase, the company offers Unity Pro on a fee basis.

The year 2017 is highly important for Virtual Reality. VR game development has become a hot topic, but choosing a VR game development is a difficult task since there are multiple game engines available in the market. Among them, the Unity and the Unreal engine are the two most popular platforms. The question that arises is which one of them is the best for you? Describing the answer in one word is not possible, but it is clear that the votes for the Unity Engine are a little more than the votes for the Unreal Engine. Unity is transforming VR and developing better 3D graphics with its game engine.

Before going on to the advantages of Unity game engines, let’s  find out more about the Unity Engines:

  • In terms of game development tools, Unity can be considered one of the most popular ones. It was introduced to the market in the year 2005, and since then it has been holding its good reputation for creating 2D as well as 3D games. It is quite an unusual fact that a game engine is developing both 2D and 3D games.
  • Boo, UnityScript and C# are the three development languages that are supported by this platform.
  • Unity basically has two versions – one is free and the other is the pro. All the versions of Unity offer a support desk, the web, mobile and console platform. Whereas the free versions of Unity support Android, Windows, iOS, Mac OS X and various other mobile versions, the pro version offers support for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation.
  • The Unity engines are cost effective and they have a wide range of developers. One of the most important features of this platform is that it offers the best value for the latest and highly advanced game development engine. The editing tools that are used in this platform are easily extended through plug-ins. Not only that, the Unity platform supports a wide range of asset formats.
  • The Unity engine has the longest track record with mobile games in comparison to all gaming platforms. The free version is enough for beginners as they would have very little to almost no use of the pro version features. Even though the pro version is fee-based, the cost is highly reasonable. The results that are received from Unity are unbelievably impressive.

Advantages of the Unity engine:

  • Supports a wide range of platforms:

The Unity engine offers a great deal of support to almost every platform, and approximately 95% of the work is shared between iOS, PC, mobile and web platforms.

  • Outstanding graphics:

The Unity Engine is famous for its incredible graphics feature. With its great material, it supports the latest audio-visual effects. The graphics are highly accessible and the visual can be scaled down easily while maintaining the quality, even on low-level access, and can be optimized with pixel shaders.

  • Easy deployment:

Unity is so accessible that any game can be deployed on this engine.

  • Stable code:

In comparison with the languages of other engines, Unity’s code is very stable and it consists of a good architecture for minimized errors and good performance.  

  • IDE:

Unity includes IDE, which is considered as the most powerful tool with extraordinary game development features and a user-friendly environment.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Unity is an outstanding platform for game development. If you are a game developer and you want to develop a creative two-dimensional or three-dimensional game, then Unity is highly recommended for you. To help you get started you can find a number of tutorial videos, which can help you get familiar with the process of game development on Unity.

Is Unity the Ultimate Engine for Developing Games on Android?

There is much game developing engines in the market, but no other platform is as popular as Unity. On their official website, Unity reveals just how popular they are among the users and they also revealed their actual share of market presence. It is easy to comprehend from the information on their website that they are dominating the global game engine market with 45% of share in the industry.  This is more than three times the size of its nearest competitor.

Statista and Develop 100 Tech List both placed Unity as number one. Develop 100 Tech List features top 100 game development engines voted by CTOs, experts of gaming industries and indie developers. Along with dominating the global game engine market, Unity is also dominating the tools market by holding 47% of total share of the game engines used by developers. This was announced by Developer Economics based on a survey of 10,000+ app developers.

Why and How Unity Climbed the Ladder of Success?

Unity was behind the other game engines when it started out. Unity stepped up in the game development market by offering a platform for beginners. The low learning curve is one of the key attractions that has made Unity so popular. Today, Unity is shaping up a booming global game market.  

If you are wondering how Unity did it, you must keep in mind that Unity served where the industry lacked. When you compare Unity as an engine for developing android games to other android game development engines, you will see a clear difference.  While other android game developing engines might require coding for every section of the game, Unity allows you to reduce the coding requirement. This is very beneficial for new developers.

Features of the Unity Engine

No other platform can match the perfection of Unity when it comes to ease of use for beginners. Unity has three parts- game engine, a code editor and an application where you can put designs or the user interface together. There is also a graphic preview option and function called “control play.” Here are certain developer-friendly features that make Unity the king of game development.

  • Unity’s graphics engines use OpenGL, Open GL ES and Direct 3D for mobile platforms and various other APIs. Decent support is offered for reflection, bump mapping and parallax.
  • There are features to add text and use shadow maps for dynamic shadows in the game.
  • Various file formats of different software are supported by Unity engine
  • Scripting that is built on Mono allows the programmers to write the unity script similar to JavaScript, C#, and Boo.
  • Developers can use Unity’s asset server control solution to keep track of developer scripts and game assets.  PostgreSQ1 is used as a backend system for audio, while the Theora Codec is used for video playback.
  • Built-in support for PhysX physics engine with real-time cloth simulation on skinned meshes, thick ray casts, and collision layers.

Advantages of Using Unity Engine

Unity engine offers a wide range of benefits to the developers. Unity engine use’s C# which makes the game development process easier even for beginners. C#, being a high-level language in itself, allows developers to start their game development process easily.  As was pointed out earlier, Unity also reduces the need to code every single part of the game. You just have to code for each actor or a group of them in separate files. The mobile gaming industry, especially the android version, is fiercely competitive. Unity is most suited for cross-platform game development. You can develop games on various platforms with the same coding. They offer complimentary game promotion and analytics service. Help and support are readily available at hand.

The Unity engine has seen an escalation in popularity at a faster rate due to the advantages offered to game developers. With complementary and integrated game promotion along with analytics services, Unity has retained its old users and impressed new ones. It is the result of their constant efforts to satisfy users that more players want to play games made with Unity and more developers rely on their tools and services.

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