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Unity (game engine)

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Unity (game engine)
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{{short description|Cross-platform video game and simulation engine}}{{distinguish|Unity (user interface)}}







factoids
Microsoft Windows>Windows, macOS, LinuxIA-32, x86-64, ARM architecture>ARMEnglish (language)>English| genre = Game engine| license = Proprietary softwareupJuly 2018PUBLISHER=ALEXA INTERNET, 2018-07-21, | website = {{Official URL}}}}{{Use mdy dates|date=January 2015}}Unity is a cross-platform real-time engine developed by Unity Technologies,INTERVIEW, Dean Takahashi, John, Riccitiello, October 23, 2014,weblink John Riccitiello sets out to identify the engine of growth for Unity Technologies (interview), VentureBeat, January 18, 2015, first announced and released in June 2005 at Apple Inc.'s Worldwide Developers Conference as an OS X-exclusive game engine. As of 2018, the engine has been extended to support 27 platforms.WEB,weblink Unity - Multiplatform, Unity, Unity Technologies, en, June 27, 2018, The engine can be used to create both three-dimensional and two-dimensional games as well as simulations for its many platforms. Several major versions of Unity have been released since its launch, with the latest stable version being Unity 2019.1.0.WEB, Technologies, Unity, Download Unity,weblink Unity Store, 8 March 2019,

Overview

Unity gives users the ability to create games and interactive experiences in both 2D and 3D, and the engine offers a primary scripting API in C#, for both the Unity editor in the form of plugins, and games themselves, as well as drag and drop functionality. Prior to C# being the primary programming language used for the engine, it previously supported Boo, which was removed in the Unity 5WEB,weblink What's new in Unity 5.0, Unity Technologies, September 18, 2017, release, and a version of JavaScript called UnityScript, which was deprecated in August 2017 after the release of Unity 2017.1 in favor of C#.WEB,weblink UnityScript’s long ride off into the sunset, Fine, Richard, August 11, 2017, Unity Technologies Blog, September 18, 2017, The engine has support for the following graphics APIs: Direct3D on Windows and Xbox One; OpenGL on Linux, macOS, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; WebGL on the web; and proprietary APIs on the video game consoles. Additionally, Unity supports the low-level APIs Metal on iOS and macOS and Vulkan on Android, Linux, and Windows, as well as Direct3D 12 on Windows and Xbox One.Within 2D games, Unity allows importation of sprites and an advanced 2D world renderer. For 3D games and simulations, Unity allows specification of texture compression, mipmaps, and resolution settings for each platform that the game engine supports, and provides support for bump mapping, reflection mapping, parallax mapping, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), dynamic shadows using shadow maps, render-to-texture and full-screen post-processing effects.WEB, Using DirectX11 in Unity 4,weblink Unity Technologies, February 19, 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130312140345weblink">weblink March 12, 2013, mdy-all, Since about 2016 Unity also offers cloud-based services to developers, these are presently: Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Certification, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Everyplay, Unity IAP ("In app purchase" - for the Apple and Google app stores), Unity Multiplayer, Unity Performance Reporting, Unity Collaborate and Unity Hub.Unity supports the creation of custom vertex, fragment (or pixel), tessellation and compute shaders. The shaders can be written using Cg, or Microsoft's HLSL.

Supported platforms

The Unity editor is supported on Windows and macOS, with a version of the editor available for the Linux platform, albeit in an experimental stage,NEWS,weblink Unity Comes to Linux: Experimental Build Now Available – Unity Blog, Bard, Na'Tosha Bard, August 26, 2015, Unity Technologies Blog, June 28, 2018, en-US, while the engine itself currently supports building games for 29 different platforms. The platforms are listed as the following: iOS, Android, Tizen, Windows (Vista or newerWEB,weblink What's new in Unity 2018.1, 2 May 2018, Unity Technologies, 18 February 2019, ), Universal Windows Platform, macOS, Linux, WebGL, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, SteamVR, PlayStation VR, Gear VR, Windows Mixed Reality, Daydream, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, tvOS, Nintendo Switch, Fire OS, Facebook Gameroom, Apple's ARKit, Google's ARCore, and Vuforia.Unity formerly supported seven other platforms including its own Unity Web Player. The Unity Web Player was a browser plugin that was only supported on Windows and macOS via Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, and Firefox,WEB,weblink Unity Web Player, however it was deprecated in favor of WebGL.WEB,weblink Unity Web Player Roadmap, Unity Technologies Blog, Since version 5, Unity has been offering its WebGL bundle compiled to JavaScript using a 2-stage language translator (C# to C++ and finally to JavaScript).WEB,weblink Unity Manual: Getting started with WebGL development, Unity is the default software development kit (SDK) used for Nintendo's Wii U video game console, with a free copy included by Nintendo with each Wii U developer license. Unity Technologies calls this bundling of a third-party SDK an "industry first".WEB,weblink Unity for Wii U opens up GamePad hardware and more to developers, McElroy, Griffin, August 20, 2013, Polygon, August 4, 2014, Unity announced on the 19th of March 2019 that they will officially support Google's Stadia cloud streaming gaming platform, however, Stadia still has not been launched to the public.WEB,weblink Unity Support for Stadia: Here’s what you need to know – Unity Blog, Unity Technologies Blog, en-US, 2019-03-20,

Licensing model

During its first ten years as a product the paid versions of Unity were sold outright; in 2016 the corporation changed to a subscription model.WEB,weblink Subscription! Why? Joachim Ante, {{cleanup section|reason=excessive licensing information better served as a summary in prose|date=March 2019}}Unity has one free and three paid licensing options:{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align: center; font-size: 100%; width: auto; table-layout: fixed;"! style="width: 8em" | License Name! All Engine Features and Platforms! Revenue Capacity! Splash Screen! Multiplayer! Cloud Build Queue!Dark Theme! Performance Reporting! Premium Support! Access to Source Code! Real time shadows for all lights! Price! Personal | {{Yes}}| $100,000| Made With Unity and optional Custom AnimationConcurrent user>CCUs| Standard| {{No}}| {{No}}| {{No}}| {{No}}| {{No}}| Free! Plus| {{Yes}}| $200,000| Custom Animation and/or Made with UnityConcurrent user>CCUs| Priority| {{Yes}}| {{Yes}}| {{No}}| {{No}}| {{Yes}}| $420 billed $35 per month for a mandatory 12 monthsweblink!Pro| {{Yes}}| Unlimited| Custom Animation and/or Made with UnityConcurrent user>CCUs| Concurrent Builds| {{Yes}}| {{Yes}}| {{Yes}}| {{No}}| {{Yes}}| $1,500 billed at $125 per month for a mandatory 12 monthsweblink! Enterprise| {{Yes}}| Unlimited| Custom Animation and/or Made with Unity| Custom Multiplayer| Dedicated Build Agents| {{Yes}}| {{Yes}}| {{Yes}}| {{Yes}}| {{Yes}}| Negotiated Pricing

History

The Unity game engine launched in 2005, aiming to "democratize" game development by making it accessible to more developers.NEWS, Unity at 10: For better—or worse—game development has never been easier, Axon, Samuel,weblink Ars Technica, 27 September 2016, 17 October 2018, NEWS, Former EA CEO John Riccitiello is now head of Unity, McWhertor, Michael,weblink Polygon, 22 October 2014, 17 October 2018, The next year, Unity was named runner-up in the Best Use of Mac OS X Graphics category in Apple, Inc's Apple Design Awards.WEB, Apple Design Award winners announced, August 9, 2006, Jeff, Smykill, ArsTechnica,weblink January 18, 2015, Unity was initially released for Mac OS X, later adding support for Microsoft Windows and Web browsers.NEWS, How Unity3D Became a Game-Development Beast, Brodkin, Jon,weblink Dice Insights, June 3, 2013, October 30, 2018, Unity 2.0 launched in 2007 with approximately 50 new features.NEWS, Unity 2.0 game engine now available, Cohen, Peter,weblink PCWorld, October 11, 2007, January 14, 2019, The release included an optimized terrain engine for detailed 3D environments, real-time dynamic shadows, directional lights and spotlights, video playback, and other features. The release also added features whereby developers could collaborate more easily. It included a Networking Layer for developers to create multiplayer games based on User Datagram Protocol, offering Network Address Translation, and State Synchronization and Remote Procedure Calls.When Apple launched its App Store in 2008, Unity quickly added support for the iPhone. For several years, the engine was uncontested on the iPhone and it became well-known with iOS game developers.Unity 3.0 launched in September 2010 with features expanding the engine's graphics features for desktop computers and video game consoles.NEWS, Unity 3 brings very expensive dev tools at a very low price, Girard, Dave,weblink Ars Technica, September 27, 2010, January 14, 2019, In addition to Android support, Unity 3 featured integration of Illuminate Labs' Beast Lightmap tool, deferred rendering, built-in tree editor, native font rendering, automatic UV mapping, and audio filters, among other things.In 2012 VentureBeat wrote, "Few companies have contributed as much to the flowing of independently produced games as Unity Technologies. ... More than 1.3 million developers are using its tools to create gee-whiz graphics in their iOS, Android, console, PC, and web-based games. ... Unity wants to be the engine for multi-platform games, period."INTERVIEW, Game developers, start your Unity 3D engines, David, Helgason, November 2, 2012, Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat, GamesBeat,weblink July 13, 2014, A May 2012 survey by Game Developer magazine indicated Unity as its top game engine for mobile platforms.WEB,weblink Mobile game developer survey leans heavily toward iOS, Unity, Gamasutra, May 24, 2012, July 14, 2014, In July 2014, Unity won the "Best Engine" award at the UK's annual Develop Industry Excellence Awards.WEB, Winners,weblink Develop Online, February 8, 2015, In November 2012, Unity Technologies delivered Unity 4.0.NEWS, Unity 4.0 available for download today with DX 11 support and Linux preview, Tach, Dave,weblink Polygon (website), Polygon, November 14, 2012, January 14, 2019, This version added DirectX 11 and Adobe Flash support, new animation tools called Mecanim, and access to Linux preview.
Facebook integrated a software development kit for games using the Unity game engine in 2013.NEWS, How Facebook Integrated With The Unity Game Engine, Cohen, David,weblink Adweek, November 1, 2013, October 29, 2018, This featured tools that allowed tracking advertising campaigns and deep linking, where users were directly linked from social media posts to specific portions within games, and easy in-game-image sharing. In 2016, Facebook developed a new PC gaming platform with Unity.NEWS, Facebook Developing New PC Gaming Platform; Teams Up With Unity Technologies, Cohen, David,weblink Adweek, August 19, 2016, October 29, 2018, Unity provided support for Facebook's gaming platforms, and Unity developers could more quickly export and publish games to Facebook.The Verge said of 2015's Unity 5 release: "Unity started with the goal of making game development universally accessible.... Unity 5 is a long-awaited step towards that future."WEB, Unity officially releases its new game engine: Unity 5,weblink The Verge, November 26, 2015, With Unity 5, the engine improved its lighting and audio.NEWS, Unity 5 Announced With Better Lighting, Better Audio, And “Early” Support For Plugin-Free Browser Games, Kumparak, Greg,weblink March 18, 2014, January 14, 2019, Through WebGL, Unity developers could add their games to compatible Web browsers with no plug-ins required for players. Unity 5.0 offered real-time global illumination, light mapping previews, Unity Cloud, new audio system, and the Nvidia PhysX3.3 physics engine. The fifth generation of the Unity engine also introduced Cinematic Image Effects to help make Unity games look less generic.NEWS, How new graphics effects can make Unity Engine games look less generic, Orland, Kyle,weblink Ars Technica, March 15, 2016, January 14, 2019, Unity 5.6 added new lighting and particle effects, updated the engine's overall performance, and added native support for Nintendo Switch, Facebook Gameroom, Google Daydream VR, and the Vulkan graphics API.NEWS, Unity 5.6 launches with support for Vulkan graphics, Nintendo Switch, and more, Grubb, Jeff,weblink VentureBeat, March 31, 2017, January 14, 2019, It introduced a 4K video player capable of running 360-degree videos for virtual reality. However, some gamers criticized Unity's accessibility due to the high volume of quickly produced games published on the Steam distribution platform by inexperienced developers.WEB, Unity - does indie gaming's biggest engine have an image problem?,weblink The Guardian, August 14, 2015, CEO John Riccitiello said in an interview that he believes this to be a side-effect of Unity's success in democratizing game development: "If I had my way, I'd like to see 50 million people using Unity – although I don't think we're going to get there any time soon. I'd like to see high school and college kids using it, people outside the core industry. I think it's sad that most people are consumers of technology and not creators. The world's a better place when people know how to create, not just consume, and that's what we're trying to promote."WEB, The chaos of democracy,weblink Develop Online, August 14, 2015, In December 2016, Unity Technologies announced that they would change the versioning numbering system for Unity from sequence-based identifiers to year of release to align the versioning with their more frequent release cadence; Unity 5.6 was therefore followed by Unity 2017.WEB, Batchelor, James, Unity dropping major updates in favour of date-based model,weblink GamesIndustry.biz, 18 March 2017, jamesbatchelor2017unityversions, en, Unity 2017 tools featured a real-time graphics rendering engine, color grading and worldbuilding, live operations analytics and performance reporting.NEWS, Unity Technologies – The World’s Leading Game Engine,weblink Nanalyze, October 18, 2017, January 14, 2019, Unity 2017.2 underscored Unity Technologies' plans beyond video games. This included new tools such as Timeline, which allowed developers to drag-and-drop animations into games, and Cinemachine, a smart camera system within games. Unity 2017.2 also integrated Autodesk's 3DS Max and Maya tools into the Unity engine for a streamlined asset sharing in-game iteration process.NEWS, Unity 2017.2 brings Autodesk integration into the fold, McAloon, Alissa,weblink Gamasutra, October 4, 2017, January 14, 2019, Unity 2018 featured the Scriptable Render Pipeline for developers to create high-end graphics.NEWS, Unity 2018 detailed in GDC keynote, Batchelor, James,weblink gamesindustry.biz, March 20, 2018, January 14, 2019, This included the High-Definition Rendering Pipeline for console and PC experiences, and the Lightweight Rendering Pipeline for mobile, virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. Unity 2018 also included machine learning tools, such as Imitation Learning, whereby games learn from real player habits, support for Magic Leap, and templates for new developers.

Marketing

On December 16, 2013, Unity Technologies Japan revealed new screenshots for an official mascot character named {{nihongo|Unity-chan|ユニティちゃん|Yuniti-chan}}, real name {{nihongo|Kohaku Ōtori|大鳥 こはく|Ōtori Kohaku}} (voiced by {{ill|Asuka Kakumoto|ja|角元明日香|vertical-align=sup}}), with exhibit of the character in Comic Market 85 event in the Tokyo Big Sight between December 29 to the 31st, where themed goods would be distributed and her voice actress would be present at the event. The character's associated game data were to be released in spring 2014.WEB,weblink ユニティ・テクノロジーズ・ジャパン、開発者向けに無償利用可能なキャラクター『ユニティちゃん』を発表 コミックマーケット85にも出展、3Dモデルデータなどを来春提供予定, WEB,weblink "Unity"開発者向けに無償利用可能なキャラクター"ユニティちゃん"が来春デビュー!, WEB,weblink Meet Unity-chan, the Unity Engine’s New Mascot in Japan, The character was designed by Unity Technologies Japan designer "ntny" as an open-source heroine character.WEB,weblink Unity Japan Introduces Their Mascot, Unity-Chan, And How She Was Made, The company allows the use of Unity-chan and related characters in secondary projects under certain licenses.WEB,weblink DATA DOWNLOAD-Guideline - UNITY-CHAN! OFFICIAL WEBSITE, UNITY-CHAN! OFFICIAL WEBSITE, November 27, 2015, For example, Unity-chan appears as a playable character in Runbow.WEB,weblink Exclusive: Check Out Runbow's Complete Cast of Colourful Crossover Characters, Nintendo Life, November 27, 2015, The popularity of the character also led to her appearance in VOCALOID adaptions, including her own sound library for VOCALOID4 and a special adaption of VOCALOID designed to work with the Unity Engine 5.0 version called Unity with VOCALOID.

See also

References

{{Reflist}}

External links

{{Commons category|Unity (game engine)}}
  • {{Official website}}
{{Video game engines|state=autocollapse}}{{Wii U |state=autocollapse}}

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