*UPDATE: Production of Gigaya has been discontinued. There are currently no active plans to publish it, but it will remain as an internal resource at Unity. We want to thank you for your support and excitement for this project. You can find more information on our forums and feel free to ask any related questions there, we will do our best to answer them where we can: https://on.unity.com/3uZ9Urc
At GDC 2022, we highlighted a glimpse of our upcoming puzzle-platformer sample game, Gigaya. Gigaya is still in active development, but when it’s done, it will be a free downloadable project designed to help developers learn from its creation process.
The sample game was created using an ecosystem of Unity tools and features. Throughout the project, you’ll find real-world examples of how these systems work, not just as standalone features but operating in parallel to offer a high quality development product for your games.
The community has been asking Unity to make our own games as a way to validate product workflows, and the Gigaya development team is doing just that. The team consists of 15 creators spanning an array of talents, including programmers, artists, designers, and producers.
Situated alongside Unity core engineering groups, the Gigaya team is not bound to any specific product or feature. This unique structure gives us perspective into the challenges that indie and mid-sized studios face while trying to ship successful games. This arrangement allows for exploration of tools, features, and best practices, which we then use as feedback to improve the Unity development process as a whole.
The Gigaya team isn’t just focused on the technical aspects of game development. Like many studios, the team uses a hybrid of in-office and remote developers who are located around the globe. We face challenges in communication, collaboration, and planning in the same way many modern development studios do. Using this approach, we’ve adopted workflows such as additive scene loading, which allows developers to work in parallel scenes and avoid merge conflicts. These types of workflow solutions help us highlight game production as a holistic process and share that knowledge with Unity developers.
Like past demo projects, Gigaya will eventually be free to download and experiment with, serving as both a point of inspiration and as a learning opportunity. Gigaya will also be the first-ever Unity demo to go through the full product life cycle and be published as a free sample game on Steam.
By having the project go through the full journey from concept to release, we’re finding new perspective on the development process and identifying strengths and weaknesses. The ultimate goal in releasing Gigaya on Steam is not to compete with other developers but to help identify their pain points and offer solutions to help level up creators of all sizes.
Render pipelines are always a hot topic among developers, and Gigaya is no exception. The production team debated which render pipeline would be best for the project, ultimately deciding to use the Universal Render Pipeline (URP) for its cross-platform portability and popularity. Since then, Gigaya has been developed to showcase how URP can be used to create a stylized and unique visual experience that works across a wide range of platforms.
Using URP features, our artist and designers have been able to work together to create a world that tells a story in itself. We’re striving for the environment in Gigaya to feel like a real place with a backstory that’s shaped the land into what it is today. To implement this world, our artists have been working with such features as decals, Shader Graph, VFX Graph, and post-processing effects, to name just a few. The result is a world that feels alive and vibrant.
Having our in-game hero, Wondu, feel responsive is a key element of Gigaya, and a great deal of effort has gone into creating a robust and modular character controller. Outfitted with a jetpack and arm blaster, Wondu faces the challenges of the game’s world while providing an example of many Unity features working together. The character controller highlights ScriptableObjects, Rigidbody physics, and animation to achieve an optimal platforming experience.
We will continue to develop Gigaya over the coming months with an expected release in 2022. Once completed, the sample game, including its assets and source code, will be free for all Unity users to download and experiment with. Steam gamers will also be able to download the build for free from the Steam Store.
To hear about the latest developments, visit the Gigaya landing page.