Unity Technologies made some big announcements during Unite 2016 in Los Angeles, California. The engine maker and proprietary software innovator announced that they are an official partner for Nintendo and that the Unity 3D game engine will be used to power some titles on the Switch. Unfortunately we don’t find out what games those are, but we do know that they’re coming.
They also announced that Unity is powering the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Run, and they will be offering deeper support and new tools for mobile app makers and VR enthusiasts. In fact, Unity has upgraded their support and integrated tools for a wider variety of virtual reality and augmented reality software design possibilities. They’re also increasing support for Vulkan and making the job of artists easier with new Timeline toolsets.
Some of the new features for the engine includes VR video playback for making 360-degree content. The ability to integrate 4K 360-degree videos into projects, a new EditorVR authoring tool, which is set to go live during December for easy VR integration through an adaptable API, along with Google Daydream View support. They have plans on supporting native Daydream View integration into Unity 5.6, will enable VR users to browse the Play Store while using VR headsets.
The Unity Connect open beta has also opened up that allows developers, enthusiasts, designers, artists and engineers to share and examine tasks, portfolios, workflow paradigms and networking opportunities through the new platform. You can learn more about Unity Connect by visiting Connect.Unity.Com.
But wait, there’s more!
Unity announced that the Adam demo, featuring a real-time high-quality CGI-style rendering runtime, is currently available to play around with on your home or work PC. You can download the Adam assets, including the base executable for the demo, Adam, the Guard and Lu, along with Sebastian, the wanderer.
If you’ve never seen the Adam tech demo, you can view it below.
You will need Unity 5.4 or higher if you want to use the assets and play around with them for your own purposes. The assets include various LOD renders for high-end and low-end displays, as well as all the post-processing effects used in the video above, and sample animations for the characters using the Unity 3D animation tree blending tool.
For some of the characters, they’re using physics-based animation sets created using the CaronteFX tool, which is available from the Unity asset store.
The characters and environment packs are all several hundred megabytes worth of data each, so you’ll need plenty of space free in addition to a high-powered rig to run the real-time demo and assets.
One of the best parts about the whole thing was the lighting system. The real-time volumetric lighting effects are available in an asset pack as well, including volumetric smoke and fog effects.
I love those effects so, so much and it’s such a shame that games have a technical ceiling lobbed on them in order to run on the PS4 and Xbox One, thus many of the really awesome features of the Unity 5 game engine can’t be utilized because the home consoles aren’t powerful enough to render things like natural, procedural global illumination or volumetric light rays, dispersion and fog. That’s not to mention that volume-based effects really help bring things like fire and explosions to life like nothing else, but they’re also extremely taxing on the hardware. It’ll be cool to finally see these effects applied more often in real-time games in the future (hopefully).
Anyway, if you want to get your hands on all of the Adam assets, you can do so by downloading them from the Unity 3D blog.