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Unity 4 beta for Windows Phone 8.1 apps

April 2, 2014 in Company News and Info, Unity Products and Services by

Unity is proud to announce the Unity 4 beta program for Windows Phone 8.1 apps. We have been working on Windows Phone 8.1 support for Unity 4 for a long time and it feels great to finally be able to share this technology with the game development community.

The initial beta program has limited capacity, and is only open to experienced Unity developers who have had Unity Windows Phone 8 or Windows Store apps games published. If that sounds like you, you’re very welcome to apply for the Windows Phone 8.1 apps beta program. As a beta participant, you’ll test new technology, report bugs and help us to make it better.

How can my team apply for the beta program ?

To participate in the beta program, please send an email to unityforwindowsphone81@unity3d.com. Include a short introduction to your team and provide links to published games on Windows Store or Windows Phone Store.

Existing participants in the Windows Phone 8 beta program will gain access to Unity 4 Windows Phone 8.1 apps beta builds automatically.

The beta consists of two parts:

  • Participants can discuss issues, ask questions, give feedback to Unity engineers and report bugs via the mailing list. Please note that this can result in significant email traffic.
  • The beta site hosts Windows Phone 8.1 beta builds, info on how to get started and all other relevant information.

We promise to answer your application within 72 hours. Please note that not all applicants will gain access to the beta program at this time.

What’s under the hood ?

Unity 4 Windows Phone 8.1 apps support is almost feature complete, but a lot of bug fixes and polishing are needed. This is our first beta build, so it’s going to take time for us to reach rock solid stability. However, we feel experienced developers can take advantage of this early-stage technology and ship games on Windows Phone 8.1 right now.

At this point we really need feedback from you, the game creators working on real games. By joining our beta testing program, you can help us accelerate development to ensure this is a great product for all Unity users.

In a nutshell, Unity 4 Windows Phone 8.1 apps has the following features:

  • Improved scripting performance: the Unity scripting backend has been heavily optimized. This was possible because we’ve added a new Windows Phone 8.1 SDK.
  • Improved rendering performance: the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK also enabled us to implement efficient multithreaded rendering on mobile devices so all those cores can be put to a good use.
  • Convergence of Windows Store and Windows Phone apps: Windows Phone 8.1 is considered as part of the Windows Store Apps family rather than being an extension to Windows Phone 8. As such, it behaves much more like Windows Store apps behave in Unity :
    • As for Windows Store applications, scripts can now be compiled with the Microsoft C# compiler. This means it’s possible to access phone-specific APIs in scripts. You can still compile scripts with Mono compiler – which compiler you use is up to you.
    • The Building Windows Phone 8.1 project is located under the “Windows Store” platform. To build a Windows Phone 8.1 application, select the “Phone 8.1″ SDK.
    • The UnityEngine.WSA namespace is available for Windows Phone 8.1 games. UnityEngine.WindowsPhone is no longer accessible.
    • Unity exposes a way to build Universal Windows Store/Phone 8.1 applications, through selecting “Universal 8.1″ SDK in the build window. Upon building such a project, Unity creates a Universal Visual Studio project, which can then be built to both Windows and Windows Phone devices.

Can I publish my games to Windows Phone Store?

Yes, absolutely. However, Microsoft have yet to announce when Windows Phone 8.1 apps will be accepted on Windows Phone Store. To publish content built with Unity, you will, of course, also need a valid Unity 4 or Unity 5 license.

When will Windows Phone 8.1 apps support be released?

Windows Phone 8.1 apps support in Unity 4 will be released this summer. We are working very hard to make that it’s of the highest quality, and we will take the time it takes to polish it. Of course, this does not prevent you from publishing awesome games with our beta builds!

A word of warning

Please do not enter this open beta program if the release of your Unity 4 Windows Phone 8.1 product is subject to any time-sensitive dependencies. This Unity Beta product is not fully functional nor does it contain a full commercial set of locked tools. New Unity users should wait to develop in Unity for Windows Phone 8.1 until after the public commercial release or use the existing Unity 4 Windows Phone 8 apps product.

We appreciate you carefully considering what your expectations are of this beta product and not depending on it for any of your deadlines. We’re really looking forward to taking it to maturity with your help!

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Comments (29)

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2 Apr 2014, 10:06 pm

Nice Team , Good Company , I hope you release Unity 5 Soon !!
Unity is best engine i see . it`s Extreme Hard than UE4 i know that .

Thanks Unity .

saasdx
3 Apr 2014, 3:14 am

no c++?

manas
3 Apr 2014, 4:59 am

STILL no C++, poor Unity….

Anthony
3 Apr 2014, 5:05 am

I love unity and all the advance feature it added through out the years,,, But i think the unity user prefer to beta test the new GUI system than to create a project for windows 8.1 , cause since window xp many like myself never up grade to the latest version of window till at least 2 years after it release.

Vilmantas Balasevicius
3 Apr 2014, 8:38 am

Anthony, new GUI system is in closed beta testing for now, but it is coming…

Samuel
3 Apr 2014, 1:39 pm

Dear Unity, I am fully satisfied with C#, which I use since 2003.
Thank you for using this language. I think does who want C++ came from another Engine since they realized that Unity is much better, easy to use, flexible, portable and affordable.

David
3 Apr 2014, 2:47 pm

Good job Unity team i look very much forward to be able to test Unity 5 i am using Unity everyday and honestly those WHO think they “need” c++ seriously has a screw Loose c# Works perfect for me and i started out using Unity with absolutely no knowledge whether it was JavaScript of C# but today i’m solely using C# and like the above user i am totally fine with this since it is a scripting language which c++ ain’t… i can’t believe that those requiring c++ can’t see that since they should be more aware of this than me since i only started using Unity 2 years ago!

Cayl
3 Apr 2014, 4:12 pm

Good Lord Universal Windows Apps!! That was half-announced like yesterday, Does your implementation run on XONE too, if so I’m finally getting on the Windows bandwaggon. That is awesome news, I can’t think of a reason not to deploy to Windows now especially that it’s a free plugin and hopefully will stay so.
Do we need the new VS2013 Update? Is it like a single xap file or we need to publish for each platform. Please make another blog to detail how things work, this is a pivotal turn of events for mobile development.
Can we expect it by Unity 4.6?

coxlin
3 Apr 2014, 4:12 pm

“still no C++”, well C# is easier and faster to actually deal with than C++ and the syntax isn’t exactly worlds apart and you probably don’t need to do super low level stuff so…

Samir Tirmizi
3 Apr 2014, 8:42 pm

Eagerly waiting for Unity 5… It will be really helpful in developing 3D Apps if better GUI controls & Database support is added.

3 Apr 2014, 9:12 pm

The fuc*in People that hate unity ? so go UE4 and pay fuc**n money 5% each ur game !

so please stop @!##$@ Fuc**n Annoying . !!

4 Apr 2014, 7:32 pm

Im very proud about the new beta…also I don’t need C++ support. Good job, guys.

Christopher Myburgh
5 Apr 2014, 12:29 pm

Only dinosaurs still WANT to program in decrepit C++. Get with the 21st century and MOVE ON! You’ll be more productive for it!

Pascal
5 Apr 2014, 1:19 pm

Considering that the benefits of C# are way greater than C++. C++ is a halfdone, half OOP, unsafe, scripting language. Where as C# is a fully typesafe OOP language from inside out. The statement of C++ running faster because it is native is bollocks aswell. It doesnt matter with what language you acctually develop, its about how you develop your code. And I can pretty much say for sure, that everyone around here requesting c++, never really DID develop in c++… It doesnt matter for them if they code in C++ or C#, they will be equally slow since they cant optimize C# code and neither they can nano optimize C++ code. The benefit aswell comes with the acctual work needed to develop an app. Where C++ needs 10 lines, due to directives to distinguesh between different processor architectures/hardware, C# only needs one due to being compiled at runtime via the JIT/CLR.
Furthermore, C++ support is infact given in C#. Just P/Invoke does the job. However, unitys API works with the Mono runtime, which only supports a couple of languages like C#/F#/JS… Its simply not possible to give C++ support since the runtime doesnt support it. And yea, it would be dumb to add C++ support since itll be a step back.
The new century is here and C++ is getting more and more deprecated. In a few years, the newer virtualized languages like C#/Java will more and more replace C++. Its already happing so yea, its better to go with the language which has the best chances in the feature.

Requesting C++ support is a request, just showing how less someone knows about Unity/C#/Mono.

Just my two cents.

5 Apr 2014, 4:09 pm

Guys. Using C++ as a “scripting language” in Unity is quite offtopic with this blog post. Can we please stay on topic?

Gregory Booth
6 Apr 2014, 7:11 pm

“Only dinosaurs still WANT to program in decrepit C++.”

Wow!

Better let just about the rest of the game industry know that!.., start with Epic, then tell Crytek… after that tell, just about everyone else.

Pascal
7 Apr 2014, 8:03 am

Just because they use it, doesnt mean they are right. Modern companies are moving more and more to fully virtual OOP languages.

7 Apr 2014, 4:28 pm

Amateur programmers and noobs, get your stuff right already on computer science, particularly on programming. Unity3d engine is written in C++ for performance and you have access to parts of it through C#. C# is really good for gameplay, it’s higher level than C++, has a familiar syntax with C++, has no manual memory management and is fast enough. Let’s not mention C# is a programming language not a scripting language. In Unity3D C# is compiled AOT for more performance. I love C# and I also respect C++.

7 Apr 2014, 9:36 pm

Guys, C# is good enough for high level game related code. When it comes to low level stuff such as critical algorithms, drivers and what’s not, C++ is a clear winner. Anyone asking for C++ to move a camera and fire up some trigger events is just an idiotic noob. The only reason I would ever request C++ code support in Unity is if I want to implement something not related to high level gameplay code that the engine itself doesn’t give support for (which is really rare). If you want to learn C++, go somewhere else.

koblavi
8 Apr 2014, 12:50 am

People please hold your horses. There are lots of forums to have the C# vs C++ fanboy battles Google it. We’re supposed to be rejoicing/whining about WP 8.1 here.

That said, it won’t hurt to clarify a few things… The Unity Engine (The part that actually does the drawing & physics & lighting, particles etc…) is written in C++ with some platform specific bit optimised in lower level assembly. Your game logic is written in some language (C#, UnityScript, Boo,F# etc) which targets the mono runtime which is bundled with the engine. Unity exposes engine functionality through it’s APIs (found in UnityEngine & UnityEditor libs)…..

In most cases, we usually don’t need to do pointer arithmetic & unsafe stuff when writing Game Logic, even complex AI. Of course if you wanted to do some fancy fluid simulation cos Unity.gimmeSomeFancyFuildPhysx() doesn’t exist, you’d probably appreciate the value of a language like C++ whose compiler targets and optimises (unsafe) code for hardware; no GCs and VMs etc. And if you absolutely must, P/Invoke or Unsafe C# are more that glad to assist you shoot yourself in the foot ;-). Yes there is a crowd out there that wants to write low level extensions for the engine, I for one (and long time friend JASON :-D) would want to implement Dynamic Fluid Surfaces. And we hope Unity Exposes bits of the engine which give lower level access and allow us to extend the engine. But for the rest of the crowd who want c++ as a scripting language to target the mono runtime, please to take a bit of time to learn C#, it’s not so different.

Matt
8 Apr 2014, 3:07 am

Any chance we can get .NET 4/4.5 so we can use the cool new features of the windows 8 api (like MIDI on RT, etc)?

8 Apr 2014, 8:59 am

When making games as Windows Store app for Windows 8.0/8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1 apps you can use latest .NET features if you choose to use Microsoft compiler.

paul dumont
9 Apr 2014, 10:32 pm

PLEAS CAN YOU CREAT A LINUX VERSION TO UNITY !

Samuel
10 Apr 2014, 12:52 pm

Ok, I admit I was terribly wrong and unrespectful about C++. Sorry about that.

Samuel
10 Apr 2014, 12:53 pm

*disrespectful :P

Kevin
11 Apr 2014, 9:22 pm

Those lambasting C++ probably just don’t get modern C++ and/or why C++ is advantageous. C++ gives you direct control over memory layout. For CPU-bound computation, this is priceless. C++ is the most elegant way to exercise cache efficiency and deterministic garbage collection. C# gives you tools to do that, but it’s nowhere near as elegant. C# is an incredibly productive language, and perfect for most projects, but there are many scenarios that would greatly benefit from (modern) C++.

I personally don’t have a great need for it in Unity (yet), but the desire for it makes plenty of sense to me.

25 Apr 2014, 10:05 pm

Get help me for aways

26 Apr 2014, 10:13 am

facilitate the interaction between science and policy through multi-scaled and multidimensional integrated assessment processes and products of high legitimacy, credibility and utility; and

Gregory Booth
20 May 2014, 5:29 am

“Just because they use it, doesnt mean they are right. Modern companies are moving more and more to fully virtual OOP languages.”

Wrong

“Modern”? lmao

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