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The Ninja Have Assembled

March 22, 2011 in Events, Technology by

ninjacamp1The Copenhagen office is packed with developers who have gathered for NinjaCamp III. As the name implies, we have done two of these experimental weeks before. Each camp has focused on different aspects of development life at Unity. This time NinjaCamp is an opportunity for developers to work on projects that we would normally either not have time for or believe to be too crazy to attempt. This time, we are also opening up the doors and inviting everyone in to see what we are working on during the week. We will be blogging, tweeting and recording interviews in order to give you an insight into Unity and some of the exciting stuff we are working on.

So, what are we working on? We started the day by compiling a preliminary list of projects and forming teams. Naturally this list could change, new projects could form, and projects could evolve. It is important to remember that this week is experimental — a weeklong extension of Unity’s “Fridays are For Fun” process — some projects will end up in the future versions of Unity… and some will crash and burn.

  • Cheap colliding particles on the GPU
  • Webkit-based welcome screen
  • One-click web publishing
  • Collaborative editing
  • DirectX 11
  • Vertex Painting
  • Install Analytics
  • Multithreaded Renderer
  • NVIDIA Performance Profiling Extensions
  • PhysX 3
  • AI Sandbox
  • Web camera support
  • New Script dialog
  • New terrain engine
  • Supporting any .NET compiler
  • Scene creation tools
  • Assets Store game project
  • Timeline editor
  • Dynamic mixing of sounds based on dB
  • Blendshape implementation

For more information during the week, head to, follow the #NinjaCamp hashtag on Twitter or check out updates on our Facebook page.

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22 Mar 2011, 7:16 am

Of course, Copenhagen is not that far away… *plotting*

22 Mar 2011, 7:41 am

“Blendshape implementation”

THIIIIIIIS! it’d save me so much work, I started putting my own system together but the prospect of making it work with skinned meshes is pretty terrifying ^_^;

anyway, there’s plenty of cool on that list and probably more that will evolve away from it, have fun you guys! :)

22 Mar 2011, 7:44 am

No x64 on the list? :(

(Hopefully it’s just because x64 is almost done and nobody needs to work on it for now…)

22 Mar 2011, 7:57 am

New terrain engine sounds great :)Having webkit be more than just a welcome screen and a full replacement for the GUI would kick ass!

22 Mar 2011, 8:04 am

Collaborative editing
- This would push Unity far above everything else. It’s one of those things that people don’t know they’re missing until they experience it (like Unity itself). Plus it would solve many issues with asset server/merging etc etc. Unity already serialises everything so it should be easy!* :D
* May be a lie

22 Mar 2011, 8:21 am

Pffff… I wish I could attend one of these,
see the masters at work.

1. Vertex Painting : Awesome, I could vertex paint in blender and import straight to Unity.
2. Blendshape implementation : Again Awesome,but don’t forget to that a bone rotation can trigger a blendshape

But the most terrific project would be a 3D modeller inside Unity, Polygone modelling but also sculpting does not have to be as complex as 3D studio max or Zbrush but just something that would work in the unity workflow.
Just imagine never having to leave the wonderfull unity environment while creating your game. That would be pure awesomeness!!!!

How about Lightmap and Normal Map working together? at the moment they don’t…

Good luck guys, the future of unity is in your capable hands.

22 Mar 2011, 8:21 am

New Terrain Engine FTW!
Overhangs, better shaders, and especially IOS compatibility, would be exploits truly worthy of the Unity ninjas. It’s rather inexplicable how I currently can’t use the terrain engine on my iPad 2…

22 Mar 2011, 8:53 am

I want to know what project my Unity heroes will be working on! Joachim, Aras, and Nich! Aras can I have your autograph!? :-D ;-)

Adams Immersive
22 Mar 2011, 9:10 am

Sounds like some great stuff, even if only a part of that list make it to delivery!

22 Mar 2011, 9:11 am


As far as I am aware the idea would be to have exposed variables for each blend shape, with the idea that they can be animated with the animation view. Which in turn would allow you to link blend shape strength to rotation or maybe even switch it up and control blend shapes with waveforms I guess :)

22 Mar 2011, 9:14 am


Vertex colors painted in other modelling applications are already imported into Unity. You just need to use a shader that uses them.

The blog post refers to Vertex Painting directly inside of Unity.

22 Mar 2011, 9:20 am

I’m setting my expectations reasonable for this… I know that not all of the things on this list will get done, and the ones that get done probably won’t be the ones that I’m hoping for (although I’m firmly on the side of wanting blend shapes as well).

Whatever comes out of this, the main message I get is that you guys are a bunch of freakishly creative individuals, and Unity will do nothing but improve because of it. Good job!

22 Mar 2011, 11:25 am

Go blendshapes! You guys have some great features here, hope to see some of them in unity soon :)

22 Mar 2011, 11:57 am

Here is my wish list: :)

# Cheap colliding particles on the GPU
# Collaborative editing
# DirectX 11
# Vertex Painting
# Multithreaded Renderer
# NVIDIA Performance Profiling Extensions
# PhysX 3
# AI Sandbox
# Timeline editor

22 Mar 2011, 12:05 pm

Damn, I wish I could pop over and walk through those open doors of yours to see the grand masters at work.
but I’m stuck in Jutland for the time being.

Anyway, good luck with your projects, I’m really looking forward to seeing the results! =D

22 Mar 2011, 12:43 pm

Hello Unity ;)
What about a voting system for these points?

22 Mar 2011, 12:52 pm

WoW! Fuckimg awaesome! Simple as that! The greatest company ever! You guys are so lucky!

22 Mar 2011, 1:12 pm

@Ahmad: well, one point of this week is that developers can work on something they absolutely want to work on. If we get other people voting on that, then it’s back to the regular “we need to work on what we need to work on”, right? :)

@fan: I’m working on Direct3D 11. I don’t quite know what Joachim & Nicholas are working on (I’m one of the few who couldn’t make it to Copenhagen this week…).

22 Mar 2011, 2:30 pm

I find it disappointing that there is no mention of work on the GUI system. It currently is a non starter on iphone and generally a fly in the champagne for this otherwise superb tool.

It is currently the #2 most requested feature as you can see here:

22 Mar 2011, 3:28 pm

Paul this is a week where the developers make what they want to make, chances are that the GUI is being done “officially”, since its such a requested feature, but just not this one week, since they can choose freely what to do and would rather work on other stuff =)

22 Mar 2011, 7:06 pm

Oh no, a list of what Unity doesn’t plan to make. And it’s all hanging on one week and a few lucky people. Good luck! (DirectX 11 is the best btw.)

22 Mar 2011, 7:23 pm

All the initatives sounds good, but my vote goes to implementing blendshapes.

22 Mar 2011, 7:29 pm

Meanwhile, here’s my own wish list among those mentioned:
# Collaborative editing
# DirectX 11
# Multithreaded Renderer

22 Mar 2011, 9:34 pm

@Paul: GUI system (and a lot of other things) is being worked on as regular task.

22 Mar 2011, 11:09 pm

So if i understand those features are what you guys are working in that “do what you want week” but you aren’t sure if those features will end up on Unity?
Can you be a bit more clearer, I’m a bit confused?

22 Mar 2011, 11:34 pm

the DX 11 feature would be nice. dx 11 implementation reported to be much easier than older versions and hopefully aras would be able to make something good in this week and the result would be the feature to be released in next 6 months. AI sandbox is great too.

23 Mar 2011, 1:13 am


It’s missing a more efficient and flexible/opened GUI obviously. I know Unity is mostly targeting games, but 100% of my work with Unity requires heavy Interface work, because the 3d content in itself is only a portion of an application, rarely the whole. Don’t forget non games project, educational, scientific, technical fields, where Unity really has an important role to play as well. I SO appreciate this is not as fun as working on 3D itself… but having a “united” and consistent ( why can’t I have monoBehaviors on GUI elements for example) 3d AND 2d system would propulse Unity to a different sphere all together.

Have a good week at coding :)


23 Mar 2011, 2:05 am

My wish list :D :
DirectX 11
Vertex Painting
Multithreaded Renderer
NVIDIA Performance Profiling Extensions
PhysX 3
Dynamic mixing of sounds based on dB
Blendshape implementation

Joe Robins
23 Mar 2011, 2:29 am

@Georges Paz
I think you kind of have it, its a week of experimentation and creation. We work on cool projects that are not necessarily included in the current plan for Unity.
Experimental things, Projects from our “Fridays are for fun” that need extra time etc. The new features we work on may well end up in a future version of Unity, the key is that we are given the chance to aim high, maybe fail but also potentially make “total awesome” :)

23 Mar 2011, 6:21 am

Any news about the “Collaborative editing”?
I’m very curious since it should be very similar to my Masters project.

Jason Amstrad
23 Mar 2011, 7:21 am

What do you guys mean by AI Sandbox ?
How does that differ from Pathnode AI and NavMesh AI ?

23 Mar 2011, 8:21 am

What is “scene creator tool”?? is it some kind of cutscene creator or something else?

23 Mar 2011, 10:32 am

Restating what has been mentioned a few times:
The stuff above is not a preview of the Unity roadmap. We’re fooling around for a week, hacking ideas together, completely disconnected from the roadmap. So:

– If it’s *not* on the list, that doesn’t mean that we’re not working on it in regular weeks. When you have an opportunity to do whatever you want, you rarely want to just continue whatever you were already doing. Taking a breather from active projects is healthy.

– If it *is* on the list, we *might* put it on the roadmap at some point. But it’s just as likely that the project will just continue as a FAFF project.

@Jason Amstrad:
The AI sandbox is meant to be a playground for testing out AI designs. I’m aiming for a faction of badguys, some friendlies and some civilians running around in a scene, shooting at each-other. The project is based on Path, Behave and UnitySteer plus different additional systems.

The goal is that at the end of the week I’ll have something interesting looking which I’ll clean up, add a bit of polish and make available for download so people can edit, expand and replace their own stuff in there.

23 Mar 2011, 1:28 pm

We need a new GUI :)

23 Mar 2011, 3:49 pm

how about updating raknet to v.4 ?

23 Mar 2011, 10:30 pm

@GUI seekers
they are working on a new GUI system! it’s in unity’s roadmap and the staff is working on it in regular weeks so don’t worry and wait for it to be released!

24 Mar 2011, 12:00 am

We would really like to pass matrix arrays to shaders. That (relatively simple) feature will allow us to implement hardware (shader based) skinning on our own.

24 Mar 2011, 2:35 am

I’m interested to see what will come out of this.
I think some of the features mentioned are good enough to be put on the roadmap. I’m thinking of webcam support and making sure

24 Mar 2011, 2:36 am

… and making sure Unity stays up-to-date with its dependencies (directx, physx, …)

(accidentally submitted my unfinished comment due to being clumsy with the iPad)

24 Mar 2011, 6:42 am

C’mon Terrain Engine, Blendshapes, and MP Renderer!! Man that would be SO nice. Timeline Editor, and Dynamic Mixing of sounds would also be awesome…. actually it would all be awesome, it’s just that I’m on the art side of the equation :)

24 Mar 2011, 10:17 am

Analytics ? Like Google Analytics? Great!

25 Mar 2011, 7:05 am

Awesome stuff. My favorites:

Blendshape implementation
Vertex Painting
Multithreaded Renderer
Collaborative editing
PhysX 3
AI Sandbox
Web camera support
New Script dialog
New terrain engine
Supporting any .NET compiler
Timeline editor
Dynamic mixing of sounds based on dB

I think the others are great, too – just not my personal top priorities. Really, I think blendshapes are what Unity misses most at the moment. I really love it how you “play around” with Unity and keep on making it better and better and better!!! :-)

15 Apr 2011, 8:04 am

here’s my wish list :D :

Cheap colliding particles on the GPU
Webkit-based welcome screen
One-click web publishing
Collaborative editing
DirectX 11
Vertex Painting
Install Analytics
Multithreaded Renderer
NVIDIA Performance Profiling Extensions
PhysX 3
AI Sandbox
Web camera support
New Script dialog
New terrain engine
Supporting any .NET compiler
Scene creation tools
Assets Store game project
Timeline editor
Dynamic mixing of sounds based on dB
Blendshape implementation

husauhashuu I want all of these! this would be awesome!

27 Sep 2011, 8:54 am

I´m selling my mac license of zBrush 4R2 on ebay from $0.99 if anyone is interested

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