While there was no major point release unveiled at today’s Unity keynote, the engine provider still unveiled a number of new features now available to developers.
The biggest news was the unveiling of Unity Collaborate, a new platform designed to help developers working in teams or spread over different locations.
The system enables users to back up and save their projects to the cloud. Other users added by the project’s creator will then be able to download those files and make their own changes, which are then reflected in the original user’s build.
A team activity feed also allows remote studios to specify what they have added, altered or removed and users will be able to see those changes implemented or restore to an earlier point.
Another highlight was a glimpse at an upcoming product that will allow developers to build their game worlds within virtual reality.
EditorVR is an experimental project by the firm’s Unity Labs division and was demonstrated by principal designer Timoni West. Taking to the stage with an Oculus Rift and two motion controllers, she demonstrated how developers could introduce, place and manipulate assets such as mountains, trees and buildings while using virtual reality.
EditorVR’s interface also features what the team refers to as the ‘chessboard’, a miniature 3D representation of the level being constructed around the developer to give a clearer, top-down view.
West stressed that this was far from the final version of the product and that there was no planned release date, but promised the Unity Labs team would be putting it in devs’ hands “as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, the firm also gave attendees a tour through the new Cinematic Image Effects suite, which adds a number of post-processing effects such as ambient occlusion, volumetric fog, depth of field, lens aberrations and tonemapping colour grading.
CEO John Riccitiello announced that the number of platforms Unity supports has now been increased to 25, with Amazon’s FireOS among the latest additions. He also reiterated that the engine supports all major VR headsets.
Following a successful beta, Unity Analytics has now been fully integrated into the engine for free. Devs no longer need to install a separate SDK, instead activating the range of data-tracking features with a single click. During the beta test, more than 60,000 apps used Unity Analytics to track and predict player behaviour.
Similarly, Unity Multiplayer has also been brought out of beta. The service hosts developers’ live and multiplayer games, with Premium Pool and The Ship: Remasted named as the first two titles to use this functionality.