Unity Technologies announced the next big release of their game engine earlier this week: Unity 4. This was quite a surprise to me, since they’ve only launched their previous big release, Unity 3.5, in March at the Game Developers Conference.
The main features that they’re adding in this release include an advanced character animation tool, and improved graphics (advanced shadows for mobile devices, and DirectX 11 rendering for PC games), and support for the Linux operating system.
Most of the announced features are particularly useful for the development of higher quality full games, but for rapid prototyping we have to look at the smaller features.
Among the announced features, these are the two features of which we believe that they could interesting for rapid prototyping:
- Major optimisations in UnityGUI performance and memory usage: This would also allow us to prototype more complex 2D games faster on the mobile platform, hopefully entirely removing the need to use sprite manager systems for prototyping purposes, as described in this earlier blog post.
- Dynamic fonts on all platforms with HTML-like markup: This could allow us to prototype UIs faster.
- The profiler feature will also work on mobile: This will make it faster to find performance bottlenecks – even though this would only be available for certain Android devices, perhaps they’ll extend it to iOS in the future. And profiling on Android could help detecting performance issues that are present on iOS as well.
The release date hasn’t been announced yet, and I suspect that there may be several smaller workflow improvements that make it more convenient to work with Unity.
2 thoughts on “Unity 4 Announced”
For those hungry for more details, the official press release for the Unity 4 announcement can be found here:
In the mean time, we’ve pre-ordered Unity4. As soon as we’ve had the chance to use it for the first time, we’ll comment!