It’s been two years since we’ve hosted a Unite event to gather with our amazing community of game developers. Thanks to you, this year’s Unite is on track to become our most attended ever. If you haven’t had the chance to watch the keynote yet, we’ve got you covered with this spotlight on what was shared.
“When we say the world is a better place with more creators in it, we mean that literally,” shared CEO John Riccitiello. “Because creators bring people together. Because we know the joy of creating, and we want more people to experience this joy.”
“Now, we know creation is hard,” he continued. “Game creation is especially hard because it involves so many disciplines – from programming to design, art to lighting, character creation to animation, and some serious mastery of technology. Our role at Unity is to make the tools that make it easier for you, as creators, to realize your vision.”
Bringing our community together to offer updates and insights into what we’re working on is so important to us. Today’s hybrid event – both virtual and in person within our local communities in Austin, Brighton, Copenhagen, Montréal, and San Francisco – is also an opportunity for us to listen to your feedback so we can ensure we’re building tools and features that meet your needs.
Watch the full keynote, or keep reading for a recap of highlights from key areas of focus as we continue to heavily invest in our game engine to help you build, scale, and grow incredible games.
DOTS, an acronym for Data-Oriented Technology Stack, is composed of three parts: Entity Component System (or ECS for short), Burst compiler, and the C# Job System. If your game requires massive scale, DOTS is a great alternative to an object-oriented coding framework because it lets you write safe, multithreaded code that can deliver performance gains. Simply put, DOTS enables you to build vast, complex worlds and deliver incredible experiences to your players.
As Laurent Gibert, who oversees the development of DOTS and multiplayer technology at Unity, announced, “ECS is finally leaving its experimental phase. That means that with the coming 2022.2 Tech Stream – like any other feature – ECS will be supported for your projects.”
Gibert emphasized that you don’t have to choose between data- and object-oriented development: The two can coexist. This means you can solve hard scaling problems while relying on your traditional workflows for everything else.
To help you scale up your DOTS skill set more quickly, ECS will include graphics packages, physics capabilities, and Netcode, as well as full documentation, samples, and tutorials.
“ECS is finally leaving its experimental phase. That means that with the coming 2022.2 Tech Stream – like any other feature – ECS will be supported for your projects.”
Creating great visuals is time consuming, so our team spotlighted a few updates to help you achieve your vision more efficiently in both Universal Render Pipeline (URP) and High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP).
“We know that it’s hard to choose a rendering pipeline early in a project,” said Nancy LaRue, a marketing manager for technical artistry tools. “And it can be complicated to switch later on. So we’re working on modifying the render workflow so you’ll be able to use both URP and HDRP in the same project.”
The segment highlighted some new tools for URP, including Forward+ rendering and a new Decals offering, that achieve parity and even eclipse what you could achieve with the Built-in Render Pipeline. To highlight URP tools’ effectiveness in production, Hannah Kennedy, art director from Obsidian Entertainment, took to the stage to talk about the studio’s new game Pentiment, launching November 15. Hannah’s team chose Unity and URP to deliver on their project because they needed a flexible approach, right from the start.
“We were also able to use URP’s wide range of direct and indirect lighting solutions to quickly achieve the mood and enhance the dramatization of the game,” she said.
Next, a demo illustrated an HDRP workflow to help you create dynamic environments using Physically Based Sky, Cloud Layers, Volumetric Fog, Adaptive Probe Volumes, the Volume System, and our incredible new Water System.
We closed the graphics segment by celebrating some of the inspiring and jaw-droppingly gorgeous games that you’ve brought to life with Unity over the last few months. Catch the full sizzle below.
“We’re working toward an end-to-end solution that covers every aspect of your multiplayer game – from creation to ongoing management of a live experience,” explained senior technical product manager Kiki Saintonge. She also shared what’s upcoming for multiplayer services.
Developing and operating multiplayer games is incredibly challenging. We want to make it easier for you to design innovative multiplayer experiences, so we’re improving our Netcode solutions and bringing services like matchmaking and game hosting right into the Editor.
To showcase what’s possible, Timothy “Timo” Vanherberghen, founder and CEO of Triangle Factory, joined us onstage. He spoke about the studio’s multiplayer VR games, Hyper Dash and Breachers, both of which leverage our Matchmaker and Game Server Hosting solutions.
Timo had this to say about why his studio chose to select services from UGS: “We could have built a solution ourselves, but that would mean spending a lot of time building and maintaining features that have nothing to do with our core gameplay. We’re in this industry to build games, not the systems around them.”
Triangle Factory’s next game, Breachers, will be in open alpha later this month.
“We’re in this industry to build games, not the systems around them.”
Today’s keynote also gave a preview of how we’re simplifying VR development with the XR Interaction Toolkit, including an example from Vinci Games in Blacktop Hoops. We shared the ways we’re making it easier for you to customize your Editor with updates to the UI Toolkit, which is now at full feature parity with IMGUI. The keynote even provided insight into how you can continuously fine-tune and test your live game content from a single platform to boost player satisfaction and reduce churn.
Next, we announced the arrival of DirectX 12 in the upcoming Tech Stream 2022.2, as well as the work we’re doing to make our suite of art and VFX tools – including our digital human package, hair system, and puppet-based animation – widely available to you in real-time, so you can use these tools in your games.
Unite 2022 continues for the remainder of today, with technical sessions, roadmap deep dives, and more. This content will also be available on-demand later this year, and you can watch the full keynote address below. Last but not least, we hope you’ll join us tomorrow for Unity for Humanity Summit 2022, an inspiring look at how creators are using real-time 3D technology to make the world a better place.