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Unity Roadmap

April 10, 2009 in Technology, Unity Products and Services by

Woah my first blog post! And I am going to dive right into the roadmap. This time we are taking a look at what is coming up in the near future.

Unity 2.6

Unity 2.6 is our next big release in the Unity 2.x series (And will be available as a free upgrade). We are planning to release Unity 2.6 sometime later this summer. Here’s some of the things to come:

Threaded Background Loading
We originally implemented background loading Cartoon Network’s FusionFall MMO, and are now integrating this into mainline Unity. The Cartoon Network guys built a huge streaming world where the entire game is split into 16 x 16 scenes. Scenes are loaded and unloaded on the fly while the character runs around in the world. There are no noticeable framerate hiccups while loading because all loading code is running in a different thread. It’s a single line API for you to use, and Unity does all the heavy lifting for you completely automatically.

Built-in Realtime Profiler
Dmitry, who just joined us from EA (and previously head of R&D at Crytek), is working on a hierarchical Performance Profiler. It gives you a quick overview of where Unity is spending its time and how you are spending time in your scripts. Profiling times are separated out by frames, so you can step through previous frames. The profiler shows you all managed memory allocations, so it’s gonna be great for reducing garbage collector hiccups!

Memory Optimizations + Performance Optimizations
Aras has spent some time optimizing the graphics rendering pipeline. For example shadow rendering code is up to 30% faster now. Renaldas “ReJ” has been working a lot on hardcore iPhone optimizations recently, and some of those will carry right over into Unity, so we will see some gains from that as well. And lastly, during 2008 we worked on a lot of optimization for FusionFall (after all, we’re pulling off running a full MMO on very low end hardware), and they will all find their way back into Unity 2.6. We don’t know what performance increase this will end up being when it’s all combined, but it’s safe to assume that you will be blown away when you see it.

Visual Studio Integration
Unity has always been a tool where designers, artists and hardcore programmers work together and do group hugs sharing the love. With Unity 2.6 we will automatically generate Visual Studio projects and you can double click on an error in the console log in Unity and it will bring you right to that line in Visual Studio. Let’s face it, Visual Studio is the world’s best IDE for writing C# code, and we’ll make it easy to take full advantage of Visual Studio for Unity users.

Keyframe & Animation Curve Editor
Rune and Nicholas are working on an all new Curve Editor for Unity. You can see some more information about this in Nicholas’s blog post a few days ago. But to sum it up, it rocks. It’s a full on curve editor with support for editing curve tangents, it’s as powerful as what people know from 3ds Max and Maya but a lot more intuitive. It lets you animate any type of property and you can even animate material properties, like UV offset & scale, color, float and vector properties.

I just can’t wait to see what people do when they get these material animation tools in their hands, combined with our shader system where you can expose arbitrary properties to artists for tweaking… this is going to open up a whole new world of awesome graphics effects!

Improved Asset Unloading
We are working on an a method for unloading of assets that will look at exactly what assets are referenced from scripts or used by any object in the scene using garbage collection.

Vertex Shader based Vertex Lighting
Currently Unity mixes the fixed function pipeline for vertex lit objects and vertex shaders for pixel lit lights. On Direct3D this creates some rendering artifacts on very close or self intersecting surfaces. We want to end this by implementing a full fixed function emulator in vertex shaders. You won’t have to do anything, it will just work!

Anti-aliasing with Image Effects
Anti-aliasing should work with image post-processing effects. ’nuff said!

Later Releases

There are some other very important features that we are working on. We want to have them in Unity as fast as possible. They won’t be ready for 2.6 and we also don’t know when they will be finished,  but they will come as a free upgrade for Unity 2.x.

Debugger
While Unity provides a lot of debug utilities like live watching member variables in the Inspector as scripts are modifying, we don’t yet have a full on line by line Debugger. We are currently internally working on adding a debugger to Mono for OS X and we have contracted another company to work on the debugger for Windows.

Perforce and SVN integration
Perforce and Subversion integration for Unity is very much on our minds these days. As we are getting more and more large game studios on board with Unity this is a very much requested feature. For the time being, rest assured that support for Perforce / SVN is coming.

2.5.1 Bug fix Update

New features are cool and all but before we get there, we will make sure that Unity 2.5.1 is working rock solid for everyone. We have just released a complete rewrite of the entire editor for the first time on Windows, from what we hear it’s working very solidly but there are some corner case issues we need to fix. So expect a Unity 2.5.1 very soon that focuses only on bug fixes.

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10 Apr 2009, 2:23 pm

Hey Joe,
Awesome list of up-n-coming features, thanks for filling us in on what’s in store.
Can I ask… any plans for Collada support in the near future?
Thanks again,
Seon

10 Apr 2009, 3:14 pm

Amazing, I love it all, and can’t wait.

10 Apr 2009, 4:19 pm

What about Java support in Visual Studio?

10 Apr 2009, 4:37 pm

@Neodrop: Unity does not support Java. If you meant JavaScript, then VisualStudio does not have built-in support for that. For 2.6 time frame, we’re only looking into C# support. Something better for JavaScript might come later of course.

Adams Immersive
10 Apr 2009, 5:21 pm

Sounds great! Can’t wait to dive back into Unity.

10 Apr 2009, 5:33 pm

thx for sharing! very much appreciated!

10 Apr 2009, 6:02 pm

Firstly, thank you very much. This provides me the tools to do some planning (without becoming obsessed with checking forum rumors ;-) ).

Fantastic roadmap, btw!!!! The questions emerges “what the heck do you guys think is a full version upgrade??!!” Not that I’m complaining!

On the profiler, is this intended to be a internal only implementation, or will it be possible to expose some APIs (or other comm methods) to enable deeper analysis, even add-on tooling?

Thanks,

Galen

10 Apr 2009, 6:35 pm

@Seon: Unity already has Collada support through the FBX SDK. There are no plans currently to replace this with another library. If you have Collada files that are not fully supported, then please push Autodesk via bug reporting to improve their Collada support.

Preludian
10 Apr 2009, 7:52 pm

Very nice of you to have and share the roadmap.

Could you elaborate on what features will be only pro and what also indie, besides the obvious ones, like AA for image effects or threaded background loading?

Thx alot!

Joachim Ante
10 Apr 2009, 8:03 pm

For the profiler we are planning to expose some BeginBlock / EndBlock to scripting, so you can sample specific regions of code as well. Other than that it just profiles important engine functions and scripts.

10 Apr 2009, 9:03 pm

Sexy! Looking forward to these great goodies. Thanks for being open about this stuff as well, it’s a nice treat indeed.

Tarzan
10 Apr 2009, 10:30 pm

I’m a newbie to Unity 3D and I am barely starting to scratch the surface.

One question: Will it be integrated with Visual Studio Express Edition, or will we need the full-blown version of Visual Studio?

Please clarify.

10 Apr 2009, 10:40 pm

Like the iPhone roadmap – greatly appreciated the openess! Thanks a bunch! And congrats to your first blog here. You should blog more often! :-)

10 Apr 2009, 11:25 pm

It’s cool that you publish a roadmap, I often wished this from other companies in vain.
This is a grea roadmap. Will you also add the PVS thingy that was mentioned in the iphone context?

Luc
11 Apr 2009, 12:27 am

Please, provide multi-monitor support. It would be nice, since you already have multi-camera support. At least provide fullscreen on dual display setups. Please !!!

Joachim Ante
11 Apr 2009, 1:24 am

We will support both Visual Studio Express Edition and full blow Visual Studio.
Btw. you can use Visual Studio to a fairly large extent already in Unity 2.5:
http://lucasmeijer.com/posts/visualstudio-integration-for-unity25-itemtemplates/

Tarzan
11 Apr 2009, 12:04 pm

Thanks Joachim for your clarification. I am eagerly looking forward to it.

Luc, Unity 3D already has support for dual monitors. I have 2×22″ monitors. The scene and game windows are on the 1st monitor, and the inspector, hierarchy, project and console windows are on the the second monitor. It works like a charm. Is that what you mean by multiple monitor support?

11 Apr 2009, 12:16 pm

With perforce and svn… i would be interested on build control processes… ant (and similars), hudson (and similars)…

That would ROCK!

Dmitry
11 Apr 2009, 2:59 pm

Is it planned for 2.6 to modify built-in lightmapper to support tree/grass/rock baked shadows ?

Jan
11 Apr 2009, 10:42 pm

I love the profiler, debugger and svn features! And that all free for Unity 2.x users! Great!

12 Apr 2009, 7:39 am

Welcome to the blog, Joe ;)

Very exciting news this is! Currently I’m feeling like a kid in a candy-shop: What the heck should I feature request next? Its all so lovely and the possibilities seem endless :P

Chris Kim
12 Apr 2009, 7:47 am

Every single item on the list is really great and I can’t wait expecially VisualStudio integration and debuggin capability.
However, I would like to see some bug-list in 2.5.1 as well. One particular bug I’m eagerly waiting is ActiveX emdedding into windows(WinForm). It’s the single largest roadblock for my project right now. I really hope it’s in there.
Please keep the good work! Thanks.

13 Apr 2009, 3:25 pm

Wow, thanks for posting this roadmap! Looks like 2.6 is gonna be another awesome and groundbreaking release.

Are you planning to make the Visual Studio integration also work with VMWare on the Mac? That would be very nice :-)

Joachim Ante
14 Apr 2009, 9:15 am

>i would be interested on build control processes… ant (and similars), hudson (and similars)…

Continous integration using Unity is already very easy to do using the asset server. We internally use CruiseControl.NET to run some Unit Tests.

Essentially you can just create a static function in an editor script and use the -executeMethod commandline argument to call it. From the editor script you can build players, asset bundles or run unit tests.

http://unity3d.com/support/documentation/Manual/Command%20Line%20Arguments.html

Greg
14 Apr 2009, 11:08 am

Two road map questions:

1) I understand that you are wiring up thing to get better tooling support with Visual Studio, but where does that leave those of us who don’t develop on Windows platforms? What, if anything, does Unity have planned for better C#/Javascript support for the Mac platform.

2) Only other thing I’d like to see on the roadmap is how you plan to support authors or tutorial writers to fill the enormous void that currently exists in the documentation on both the Unity and the iPhone side.

14 Apr 2009, 11:25 am

@Greg: generation of Visual Studio project files will also make MonoDevelop “just work” as a byproduct (MonoDevelop uses the same format for projects). Once/if MonoDevelop becomes stable enough, we’d very much like to have it included in Unity (on OS X at least).

14 Apr 2009, 3:53 pm

Some betas of Unity 2.5 had some visual hints that Unity iPhone was going to be merged into Unity itself (and I believe this was also hinted at long ago). Is this still on the roadmap?

15 Apr 2009, 9:38 am

“Improved Asset Unloading”
Reading this, I would say we may finally have a “select dependencies” that works, and maybe even a “select referencer”

17 Apr 2009, 1:40 am

We just started looking at the iPhone and moving some of our smaller Unity projects to iPhone and we ran into a problem with .NET 2.0 and Generics not being supported on the iPhone. Is it likely that we would have Generics support on the iPhone?

17 Apr 2009, 7:42 am

@Jeffrey: at this moment Mono Ahead of Time Compilation (AOT) does not fully support generics. iPhone requires AOT. I think Mono guys are working on finishing AOT support for .NET 2.0. I don’t know when they will be finished though.

Minevr
19 Apr 2009, 5:10 pm

Chinese version:http://1vr.cn/article.asp?id=459

Linux Fan
22 Apr 2009, 4:47 pm

Are we ever going to see Linux and Eclipse support?

23 Apr 2009, 6:45 am

@Linux Fan: are you asking for Linux player/web player support, or for Unity editor for Linux? Neither are on the immediate roadmap (this roadmap only covers 2.5.1, 2.6 and the short future).

Flash-Tech
23 Apr 2009, 10:58 am

Hey! How is it possible a guestbook involved? for example when a 3d website. there is perhaps a template?. Also, when will come to follow, social networks, direct x11 support, and live Video and Sound streams?

Flash Tech

23 Apr 2009, 3:37 pm

@Flash-Tech: I’m not sure what you mean by guestbook. But I’d imagine that would need some sort of database on the server, some server side scripts that access the database, and communication via WWW class from Unity. Live video & audio streams are possible right now. Social network support – again, not sure what specifically, but it’s very likely already possible right now. DX11 support will come someday, but it’s not scheduled.

Flash-Tech
23 Apr 2009, 5:46 pm

@Aras

Thanks! I mean the Guestbook in a normal Website. How can i make this in Unity3D 3D Website?

Flash-Tech

Flash-Tech
23 Apr 2009, 5:51 pm

Hey!

Another question. When will a German version of Unity3D out?

And where do I (free) learn Unity3D and Unity3D script?

You’re the best ;-)

Jeffers
29 Apr 2009, 4:04 am

Any chance of Auto-Complete in Unitron?

So we start typing…. Trans … and Unitron shows a menu with possible options and we select…Transform. This would dramatically help newbies and speed up writing scripts.

Cheers

Jeff

29 Apr 2009, 11:19 pm

i just love those new features!!.. waiting for the performance optimizations,curve editor and visual studio integration

Isac
30 Apr 2009, 12:30 am

I must say that I am so happy about discovering Unity3D after trying alot of different game engines. I’m currently using the trial version and I’m just stunned by the features of the engine. I’m definitely going to buy the indie version when my trial is over, Unity3D is awesome!

CosmoKing
5 May 2009, 3:47 pm

When will 2.5.1 be out?

5 May 2009, 4:59 pm

Officially Unity 3D lacks support for vertex morphing/animation or morph targets/blend shapes, respectively; but inofficially, this much sought after capability has been added to Unity 3D via the ‘Morph Target Script’ (Unity Forum Thread: http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=16425). But a script is a script is a script … So when can we expect this important vertex morphing thingie to be supported natively from within Unity 3D ?

5 May 2009, 7:40 pm

@CosmoKing: right when we’ll fix the annoying crash bugs. The problem with them, they are very hard to reproduce and track down.

@Kai: I know it is quite a requested feature (see UserVoice), but I don’t have any details on “when”. This roadmap blog post is only about what’s planned for Unity 2.5.1, 2.6 and “a bit beyond”.

milan
6 May 2009, 12:01 pm

That’s all great… just one thing about “Perforce / SVN is coming”: why don’t you make Git as well, as it is becoming more and more popular. I’m long time CVS/SVN user and I can tell you that advance from CVS to SVN was like from here to Copenhagen :), and advance from SVN to GIT was like from Copenhagen to Moon.
BR, Milan

Ulf Holm Nielsen
6 May 2009, 12:04 pm

Re. Threaded Background Loading..

Will this then allow me to i.e. load prefabs in the background? Or will be hardwired for scenes etc? My main bottleneck these days is in the instantiation of prefabs so any changes here would be much appreciated.

Roger Clark
12 May 2009, 11:47 am

Although new features would be great.

I’d really like the PC (Windows) version bugs and speed issues to be fixed.
Compile speeds are lower on the Windows and it continuously reloads assets that are already loaded :-(
There are old projects e.g. the vehicles demo, that won’t work at all on the PC

Oskar
26 May 2009, 10:34 pm

Hi, just starting to work with Unity!! I love it, been working with Torque, Quest3d and Shiva before but Unity rulez!!
Questions:
Will you support Philips WOW (Quest3D does..)?
Will you support some sort of multitouch for FTIR (homemade) displays? Like NUI Group TouchLib? I presume it wouldn’t be too hard to implement, and potentials for Unity use would increase ALOT i guess!

Anyway.. thanks,
Oskar

30 May 2009, 5:22 pm

I’d got an info from unity sales stuff, that Unity 2.6 will have some audio improvements (FMOD implementation). But I don’t see here any information about it. So – what is the real situation ? Without any DSP unity has much less audio capabilities comparing to competing engines (i.e. Shockwave 11.5). As a developer I’m looking very forward to switch into unity for my current project, but I need to know for sure when audio improvements (if any) will be implemented.

leo
31 May 2009, 12:11 am

the only updates i am waiting for are a crap load of tutorials
and genre based kits

3 Aug 2009, 7:54 pm

“We are currently internally working on adding a debugger to Mono for OS X and we have contracted another company to work on the debugger for Windows.”

Does said company post status reports? Can they at least talk about Mono’s progress on the Windows debugger side?

Or will the Mono-Mac debugger come first?

17 Aug 2009, 4:30 am

Tiny, tiny request: allow us to specify which SVN executable we wish to use, just like you currently do for external editors. Or natively support Git so I don’t have to worry about setting up a SVN-to-Git bridge. ;-D

xxr
4 Sep 2009, 7:55 am

I hope Visual Studio Integration adds name space support.

8 Sep 2009, 1:38 am

You m-m-m-m-m-make me happy.

RHD
10 Sep 2009, 1:31 am

Want the animation editor!

It’s nearly half past September, where’re you at with 2.6?

Not wanting to rush you and have things not work properly, just like, REALLY interested.

xx

van der meijden
10 Sep 2009, 4:51 pm

Can you help us with this problem it has been bugging us for quite some time
it has got to do with networked physics.

Please go to this web site: http://forum.unity3d.com/viewtopic.php?p=96113

Tarence
15 Sep 2009, 9:32 am

Something maybe for the future.

I know Unity prides itself on providing for all needs in game development. I’m a big fan of the tool as a designer and artist, but programmers are always 50/50.

Maybe as a far future look (Unity 3) look at offering a more robust and full C++ support. Yes I know its less efficient, takes longer to debug, but boy do programmers like having the full option. Its like that happy fuzzy blanket. You don’t always needs it but dam when you do, your happy its there.

This also opens a whole new market in terms of sales. My producers where very tossed between torque and unity over this feature, even if it meant using torque script. Simply because it gave them the option if they needed, cause no matter how hard you try Unity will never be perfect. I think C++ support though is a giant leap towards it.

Joachim Ante
15 Sep 2009, 1:00 pm

Unity offers full source code licenses already, See this page:
https://store.unity3d.com/shop/

You can just contact sales@unity3d.com

Future-Tech123
4 Oct 2009, 3:18 pm

Question

Is it possible in the future (maybe with Unity 3D 3.0?)
To make 3D web pages without Unity Webplayer?. How? maybe with WebGL ;-)

That the best thing you can do. 3D web pages without a plug-in.

Then if you were the best ;-)

Flash Tech123

8 Oct 2009, 10:05 am

Threaded Background Loading
I have wanted to do something like this for ages and planned on doing it in the near future… You are going to save me so much trouble by doing this. Thanks ever so much!!!

Future-Tech123
9 Oct 2009, 5:05 pm

Again!

Question

Is it possible in the future (maybe with Unity 3D 3.0?)
To make 3D web pages without Unity Webplayer?. How? maybe with WebGL ;-)

That the best thing you can do. 3D web pages without a plug-in.

Then if you were the best ;-)

Flash Tech123

9 Oct 2009, 7:17 pm

@Future-Tech123/Flash Tech123: perhaps that will be possible but it will require all browsers on both platforms to offer parallel and comparable functionality. The whole reason browser plugin technologies took off was that (a) browsers couldn’t natively offer the desired functionality, or (b) if they could there were far too many variances in behavior across browsers and operating systems. With a plugin we have control over that and aren’t dependent on the browser manufacturers. So if/when there’s a world with operating systems and browsers that we can trust to offer a stable platform then we can consider that sort of thing, until then the Unity Web Player will be required.

Future-Tech123
9 Oct 2009, 7:52 pm

Thanks!

Future-Tech123
9 Oct 2009, 7:54 pm

NEWS!!!!

LINK:

http://jetzt.sueddeutsche.de/texte/anzeigen/487676

Libert Bart
11 Oct 2009, 12:16 pm

That sounds very strange. A German newspaper which knows more then what UT has officially declared…

3DWEBMASTER
12 Oct 2009, 12:54 pm

NEWS!!!!

Adobe will buy Unity3D?

See the LINK:

http://jetzt.sueddeutsche.de/texte/anzeigen/487872

12 Oct 2009, 3:14 pm

@3DWEBMASTER: you noticed that the article says “these are only rumours”, right? :)

17 Dec 2009, 8:05 am

These look really handy. I

3D Web Master
6 Jan 2010, 9:39 am

Question

Is it possible in the future (maybe with Unity 3D 3.0?)
To make 3D web pages without Unity Webplayer?. How? maybe with WebGL

That the best thing you can do. 3D web pages without a plug-in.

Then if you were the best

Flash Tech123

Kobla
8 Mar 2010, 12:31 am

Quote :
“Is it possible in the future (maybe with Unity 3D 3.0?)
To make 3D web pages without Unity Webplayer?. ”

Personally I feel that’s a bit to ask of a great team of developers who’ve not only developed an awesome game engine, but also the most advanced (yet portable) 3d web player ever. (Now installable even without an admin account on windows… even flash player needs that). I think the player is just fine… it is better we build games for a target player Unity tech built rather than a platform (Maybe webGL) that’s going to limit developers. Cheers Unifolks… looking forward to unity 3.0 and possibly a cheaper pro license :)

17 Mar 2010, 7:12 am

Is there any news on DX11? I really want hardware tesselation.

18 May 2011, 9:08 pm

Thanks for the post. Nice read! but i still do not understand much about Vertex Shader based Vertex Lighting

21 May 2011, 7:09 am

Unity 2.6, yes it is one of the biggest release in Unity series. the feature i like most in this release is Keyframe & Animation Curve Editor

21 May 2011, 11:30 pm

Unity 2.6 is the best application in the Unity series I think.

kiki
11 Jun 2011, 6:35 pm

Great engine.

18 Jul 2011, 12:06 pm

Hi! This is such a very nice post. I am glad that you had posted something like this. And I really like this Unity 2.6 as it contains a lot of features. I hope you would continue posting something more like this in the future and any follow-up on this would greatly be appreciated.

21 Jul 2011, 2:47 pm

It is really a very interesting post. I had been looking for articles and tutorials about road map and I found this post to be an essential reference. I really appreciate you for this.

27 Jul 2011, 6:51 pm

thanks … very useful info really well for me in particular …. add more and new knowledge that I can take .. always successful and warm greetings from a newbie blogger

1 Aug 2011, 3:00 pm

This developer tool is always improving. Keep up the good work

1 Aug 2011, 3:02 pm

I like this development tool so much. Thank You

23 Aug 2011, 3:29 am

i Like this tool, thank’s very usefull bro..

15 Sep 2011, 2:35 am

Nice blog look like excellent design we we shall keep visit again.

17 Sep 2011, 7:35 am

It is a well executed post. I like the diagram most. It is a helpful informative post. Thanks for sharing this great information

28 Sep 2011, 4:36 am

I agree with your point.

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