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Unity 3 Launches With '100-Plus' New Features

Unity 3 Launches With '100-Plus' New Features

September 27, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

September 27, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC, Programming

The increasingly popular Unity 3D development platform makes its third version today, Unity Technologies announced.

Now serving 200,000 users, according to the company, the five year-old Unity engine has benefited enormously in recent years from the explosive growth in browser, social, mobile and online game development.

As it unveils Unity 3, it's celebrating a new honor: the Wall Street Journal has awarded it its Technology Innovation Award in the software category. Unity lists Bigpoint, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Ubisoft and Warner Bros as major clients -- along with Electronic Arts, with which the company just signed a significant multi-year license deal.

Unity claims that "100-plus enhancements" have been added in Unity 3 -- including what it claims is an "up to" tenfold performance boost. New features include a unified editor intended to roll out changes to any supported platform project in a single editor, lightmapping from Beast, and deferred rendering available for web, consoles and stand-alone.

Unity says it's also added a new Umbra-backed PVS solution for occlusion culling, a new source-level debugger which includes variable inspection, audio filters for ambiance effects with integrated editing, and post-filters for lens effects.

"This audacious dream of building a truly unified platform for game development is coming to fruition, says Unity CEO David Helgason. "With tens of thousands of teams of every shape and size using Unity, across every genre and all major platforms, across all parts of the game industry as well as most other industries, economies of collaboration and sharing and scale of stunning dimensions are being realized."

Unity 3 doesn't bring price increases for new seats, and Unity says it will offer discounts for users who upgrade existing licenses. The company also says its iPhone and Pro versions have seen "significant general and platform-specific improvements."

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