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Unite Europe 2017 Keynote Recap: Connecting, Creating, and the Future of Unity

June 27, 2017 in Community | 5 min. read

Unite Europe 2017, taking place in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, has just kicked off! Over the next two days, artists, developers, teachers, filmmakers, researchers, storytellers and anyone using Unity will come together to talk about what they love most - creating with Unity. From hands-on tutorials to a Made with Unity showcase, Unite is the premiere event for everything Unity.

The opening keynote has just concluded and I hope that all of you are just as excited about the future of Unity as we are. We’re excited to announce Unity 2017.1, which will release in July!

During the keynote, we walked through an abbreviated development process of reimagining a mobile version of the game Shadow Tactics by Mimimi. Using Unity Connect to bring talent together and Unity Teams, a set of features that enables faster teamwork, we demonstrated the power of Unity 2017.1’s upcoming release showcasing new features like Timeline, Cinemachine, and much more.  

You can watch the full recorded keynote below:

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Shadow Tactics, reimagined

Using assets from the popular and critically acclaimed game Shadow Tactics by Mimimi, the Unity crew took the stage to build a re-imagined mobile version of the game.

As the team lead, Technical Director Lucas Meijer demonstrated how Unity Connect lets you publish tasks and look for talent to join your team. Sarah Stumbo, Unity’s XR Evangelist, and Mike Wuetherick, R&D Product Manager, joined Lucas on stage and began using Unity Teams. They then set up their project for Collaborate, allowing them to share and work on the same project easily.  Finally, using Cloud Build, which creates builds automatically, the team can now gain easy access to the latest playable versions of the game.

Introducing Timeline

Timeline is Unity’s new powerful visual tool that allows artists and designers to create cinematic content (like the award-winning Adam short film), cutscenes, gameplay sequences, and much more. By simply orchestrating game objects, animations, sounds, and scenes, Sarah demonstrated how Timeline’s multi-track sequencing allows artists and designers to create without any coding.

Mike further described Timeline’s incredible power as a streamlined collaboration between developers/engineers and artists/designers. Artists and designers can focus on sculpting the experience using Timeline exclusively, while the engineers can work on the complex gameplay logic and simply hook in and play the Timeline clips when appropriate.

Cinemachine smart camera system

Adam Myhill, Head of Cinematics, joined the crew to implement the camera system into the game.

Using Cinemachine, the result of over a decade of building gameplay and cinematic cameras, Adam demonstrated how you can eliminate countless hours of hand animation, camera programming, and revision by using the suite of smart cameras to compose a shot whether in gameplay or for cinematic sequences.

Building on Timeline’s sequencing power, Cinemachine’s cameras can, for example, dynamically follow a character, adapt to outside changes, and select the best shots to optimize scene composition. Best of all, you can tune all of the camera settings while in play-mode, enabling super fast iteration times.

Adam also showed how to use new Post Processing stack to add extra polish via individual post FX attached to each Cinemachine camera. He continued showing how to build a game trailer in Unity using a master Timeline (controlling multiple Timeline clips) and directly rendering a video using a preview of Unity’s brand new Video Renderer (which will be available with 2017.1).

Stronger Live-ops Analytics with Remote Setting & Standard Events

Reimagining the game for mobile requires revising the game loop and considering a free-to-play approach. The team was joined by Mark Choi, Head of Unity’s Development Analytics, to show how easy it is to include Ads and In-App Purchases (IAP) that fit within the storyline of the game and do not disrupt the player’s experience. Mark demonstrated enabling Ads and IAP featuring the Codeless IAP feature, both built into Unity, requiring no additional SDK.

Mark also demonstrated the new Standard Events feature which provides a curated set of predefined events frequently used across all kind of games, making it event easier to setup rich analytics for games. Through the rich and automated dashboard, you receive insights uncovering player behavior and ways to optimize. For example, you can quickly adjust some parameters in your game with Remote Settings, modifying the difficulty level of the game without redeployment.

Unity 2017.1

With new features like Timeline and Cinemachine, we are really excited about Unity 2017.1. Enabling greater collaboration and productivity for teams of artists, designers, and developers is core to our mission to democratize game development.

And beyond those major new features, Unity 2017.1 brings a great deal of improvements across the board: graphics (progressive lightmapper, particle system, deferred rendering on iOS/Metal), scripting (.NET4.6/C#6 experimental), team collaboration (Collaborate), Editor productivity (FBX import, Animation keyframing workflow), 2D (Sprite Atlas), VR platforms (VR Works), Video Player (PS4), Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Live-ops Analytics (Remote Settings, Standard Events), and more.

Unity 2017.1 will be released in July, but you can try the release candidate version now!

The Road Ahead

To wrap up the keynote, Unity CTO, Joachim Ante came on stage to give a taste of Unity’s core engine programming features, showing how developers will be able to optimize their code. Starting with the C# Job System, which provides a simple and safe way to write multithreaded code, Joachim showed how a boids simulation performance increases when using the new Job system, taking full advantage of the multi CPU/Core architecture. Next, Joachim demonstrated how our new hyper optimized & specialized C# Job Compiler can take performance to yet another level, enabling the most compute intensive scenarios.

Stay tuned and watch for our upcoming work on the Unity Experimental forums.

And last but certainly not least, we debuted a new demo we've codenamed "Project Forest," which demonstrates the latest advancements in Unity’s graphic technologies. Take a look!

This work-in progress demo uses our latest lighting system, the Progressive Lightmapper, the Post-Processing stack, and it’s built on top of our all new upcoming Scriptable Rendering Pipeline. We’ll be talking about this more at Unite Austin.
Hope to see you there!

June 27, 2017 in Community | 5 min. read