Following Crytek’s announcement about the free SDK version of CryEngine 3, Unity Technologies announced today that Unity 4.0 is now available for download. Unity 4, announced in June, will consist of a series of updates designed to improve the product through an extensive improvement of existing tech and the rollout of new features.
The first in a series of updates for Unity 4, this version includes 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.
David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies said:
“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. It’s an exciting time for Unity and the 4.0 release marks the beginning of a great new era for our technology.”
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.
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 promises to empower developers.
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.
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
John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards."