Unity Technologies announced a series of updates for its game engine, virtual reality tools, and services for game developers.
Among the announcements is a new web destination, dubbed Unity Connect, that enables developers to offer their services and find talent.
“It is a talent marketplace for game developers,” said Clive Downie, chief marketing officer at Unity, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s an offering of free tools to allow developers to create a portfolio and presence in Unity Connect. They can showcase their work.”
Unity also offered a series of updates for improved graphics, special cinematic effects, and photogrammetry for its core Unity game engine. It said it will launch its EditorVR tool in December.
The company made the announcements at its Unite ’16 event in Los Angeles. Unity says games and apps built with its engine reach more than 1.7 billion devices.
“We’re showcasing some of the great games and experiences coming out on Unity,” Downie said.
Google announced Unity Daydream support, confirming that a native Unity integration, currently in technical preview, will arrive in Unity version 5.6. Google also announced that the Daydream Home storefront will feature the ability to promote deep-linked content for easier discovery of new apps and new experiences in the existing product. The Play Store will also be compatible with VR, allowing users to browse and buy right from within VR. Daydream will also support IAP at launch so premium and freemium developers can drive revenue from their Daydream experiences.
To help with its core game engine, Unity is establishing a new quality assurance facility in the United Kingdom to look for bugs. That’s going to help with stability for the engine, Downie said.
As for VR, Downie said, “We are in a pioneering moment in VR and augmented reality. We know that 70 percent of all AR and VR projects out there are powered by Unity. We are humbled to have achieved this.”
Unity also said it will now have a full-featured version of Otoy’s Octane high-resolution rendering on Unity. "We think this will help us power spectacular VR renderings,” Downie said.
Unity is also releasing a feature called Timeline, which is a track-based sequencing tool that lets artists do animations more easily.
Unity revealed deeper support of Apple’s Metal applications programming interface (API) for iOS and MacOS with GPU instancing, native shaders support in Unity 5.5 and Compute coming later. Enhanced Vulkan support, which in testing showed performance improvements of up to 30 percent to 60 percent, is coming soon. Developers interested in testing the preview builds can go here.