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We are extremely excited to announce the 2D Experimental Preview! This is an early access version, so you can try out all the new features being developed by the 2D team. And it’s available to everyone!

The purpose of the 2D Experimental Preview build and forum is to provide our community a way to experience new and experimental 2D features that are in development and participate in the development through discussions and feedback. Community feedback is valuable to us as it will help us gauge the usefulness of features and if we are headed in the right direction.

We are calling it Experimental Preview because, instead of just releasing a preview of features in development, we also want to include experiments or prototypes of ideas, so we can get feedback at a very early stage.

WHAT IS IN THIS RELEASE?

9-Slice Sprites

9slice9-Slice is a 2D technique which allows you to reuse an image with variable dimension without preparing multiple assets. Defined areas of an image can be stretched or repeated when an image dimension changes. This technique is commonly used in UI and we have brought this over to sprites as well. It works great for a variety of things, like creating platforms or backgrounds very quickly while using a small amount of texture memory.

Outline Editoroutlineeditor

The Outline Editor is a new addition to the Sprite Editor Window providing the ability to either automatically generate a selectable level of tessellation or manually edit the mesh shape of the sprite.

sortinggroupSorting Group

The Sorting Group Component provides the ability to render a set of objects separately from others on the same Sorting Layer. It ensures that all renderers that are children of the sorting group are sorted together for rendering. This is extremely useful in cases where the amount and order of the Sorting Layers becomes very complex to manage.

Sprite Maskspritemask

Masks are great for either hiding or revealing portions of sprites and have many applications including making cool transition effects. That is why we have also added an alpha threshold control to it. Two types of masks are available, Global Masks that affects the scene, and Scoped Masks which work within a GameObjects hierarchy.

2D Physics

physics2dWe have added quite a few new things for 2D Physics as well. There is now a CapsuleCollider2D Component. This removes the need to use multiple colliders to make a capsule shape and is more optimized as well. We have also added an Edge-Radius property for BoxCollider2D & EdgeCollider2D components, a new 2D Physics Casting API and a new 2D Contacts API, in addition to numerous improvements to 2D Physics.

Tile Map

tilemapThe Tile Map starts with a new Grid Component to specify a tile layout and comes with preset layouts such as Rectangular, Isometric and Hexagonal. Layers are then used to place tiles and this provides the ability to use multiple layers that can be translated or tinted differently. The Tile Map uses a Tile Map Palette for easy access to groups of tiles as well as tile painting tools. A key feature for tiles is the Tile Asset which provides many options such as attaching prefabs to tiles and also programmable tiles.

PARTICIPATE

Head over to the 2D Experimental Preview Forum to grab the latest release and try it out. Give us feedback, suggestions, ask questions, start discussions, make some noise. Be part of developing these new 2D features!

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  1. What is game performance reporting, how does it work with our other services and what we want to take it in the future? Learn all on the blog!?

  2. gj guys. but i still waiting to hear more about a more optimized texture packer like this one:
    https://www.codeandweb.com/blog/2014/03/28/using-spritesheets-with-unity#

  3. One important question: Can I offset individual isometric tiles so they would overlap other tiles? Imagine an isometric tile map, 64 x 32 (w x h) would be the size for a tile region. I want to create tile assets that are higher then 32 units/pixels/points and offset a few of them on the y-axis. I’d expect tiles at the bottom to be in front of tiles which are above in the grip. If I would offset a tile (to simulate some raised or lowered ground), that tile would overlap the tile above it, because the tile above is behind my bottom tile. I want to build isometric tile maps that look like this example and use just three maps (ground, buildings, objects). This is a highly wished feature for me. I’ve only seen this in the asset store build by some people. No other engines support this. :(

    1. Okay overlaying with larger sprites does work as expected with Sprite order: top right. I’m a little confused what Sprite order should exactly mean. At first glance I’d set it to bottom left, with assumption that the bottom left sprite will be in front of others.

      It would be amazing if we could offset individual tile (pivot offset?). Not asset pivot, because I don’t want all tiles with the same texture to have the exact same offset. I want an option for fine tuning individual tiles.

      Any chance that might be added to the final release?

  4. I think you should add the ability for sprites to interact with all types of lighting such as light probes, dynamic shadows and any thing else and along with that cast its own shadows because that would be really cool

  5. Does this 2D Experimental Preview Release require Pro license? I have Unity Personal checkbox disabled during activation

    1. Johaness Reuben

      June 21, 2016 at 5:20 am

      A Pro license is not required for the Experimental Preview.

  6. Christina Petit

    June 18, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Have been waiting for this a while. Tile mapping feature is brilliant. I hope 2D pathfinding will come soon. ?

  7. TILE MAPSS UNITY RULEEESS

    1. Remove language specific mark from the url. Like in my case instead of blogs.unity3d.com/ru/2016/06… to blogs.unity3d.com/2016/06…

      1. Interesting Bug, thanks xD.

  8. Never properly touched on the 2D side of unity until trying this experimental build, the tile palette and tile map features are easy to get into, I could seriously build something with this. Really nice work.

  9. Is EdgeCollider a separate type of 2D collider?
    I mean, can I create a line segment with it?

  10. Any plan to support SVG files ? That would be a great solution to handle different device resolutions without having multiple set of assets.

  11. Well, not everyone – some of us are using your Linux build.

    Are we going to continue to see this sort of forking? Is it time to consider modularizing more, so we can try add-ons in part of our current environment?

  12. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSS!! These are perfect! Tile mapping, and the sprite patch stuff. So freakin’ awesome. Hyped for all of this coming to the full verisons!

  13. hmmm it seems to crash on me once i try to run the unity engine build…

  14. Michael Chugg

    June 13, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I can’t wait to play around with your new upcoming tools!

  15. 2D pathfinding?

    1. Johaness Reuben

      June 13, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      Not in this Preview.

      1. 2D Particles ?!

  16. Off topic trouble: I can’t see the content of the article (and all others in this blog). I tried deactivating my plug-ins, using another browser… No luck. Any idea?

    Few weeks ago I was able to view the content of this blog without any trouble.

    Greetings from Peru.

    1. Hi Eduardo – what language are you viewing the blog in? I believe we currently have an issue with non-English languages displaying properly, so as a temporary solution try switching to English to see if it fixes things.

      1. Spanish language changed to English… Now I can see everything!

        Thank you Alice!

  17. Varun Malladi

    June 13, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    AWESOME! I CANT WAIT FOR TILE MAPS :D !!!

  18. Does the tilemap do any chunking/culling?

    1. Johaness Reuben

      June 13, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Yes it does.

  19. What happened with Smart Sprites? Are they dropped completely or will they reappear in a later version?

    1. Johaness Reuben

      June 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Smart Sprite is still in development. It will be coming back.

  20. Great!

  21. YES!!! FINALLY!!! THANK YOU!!

  22. Arnaud Couturier

    June 13, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Always nice to see Unity still working on better 2d tools! Keep it up guys!

  23. Oh, I love it! Any plans to release it with 5.4?

    1. Johaness Reuben

      June 13, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      At this point we do not have a scheduled date when the features will be in release. Naturally, the more and faster we get feedback we can move faster towards a release build :)

      1. My feedback is: I need it yesterday! :)

  24. Great ! but i really miss bumped sprites, integrated with sprite packer, any chances ?

  25. Brian Williams

    June 13, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Amazing work as always.

  26. AYY, SO HYPED!

  27. Martin Edmaier

    June 13, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    why you dont buy an tileplugin and interact it into untiy? Or partern up with an developer like that.
    Instead of trying to cook your own soup again and again…

    1. Because the solution the developers are working on is far superior to any Asset Store plugin there currently is.

      1. Check the assets store there are good solution. We dont need an own version from unity.

      2. I don’t agree. There are plugins like Ferr2D or Rotorz whose developers have been on this for a very long time.

  28. This is some of the greatest news I could read.

    My team and I have been working on all of those features but for no significant progress on most of them.

    Thank you Unity

  29. Ahh I was exited to early. Just read the forum that its not clear IF en when the features will go live.
    So it would not be wise at this point in time to continue my project using the Preview as it’s unclear if and how many features will make it to the finish line and when that will be.

    Still good news do..

  30. Really excited about this 2D improvemnts. We have been waiting for them for ages. Can they be used in a released product?

    Cheers.

    1. Johaness Reuben

      June 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      The 2D Experimental Preview should not be used for a released product or production. It is purely to try out, experiment, share some ideas, opinions on the features we have in development. There’s more info on this in the forum.

  31. That’s great news! Even more so as the new functions where moved at the roadmap from “Juli” to “In Development” a few months ago. So this is great unexpected news indeed.

    1. We had to realign out priorities because users kept telling us basic stuff aren’t done right (sorting, atlas, hd/sd) but these are also complex questions that we need time to check when we could ship them. hence the ‘back to dev’ manoeuvre. Hope this makes sense.

  32. Good job! When are these features going to be available on a stable release?

  33. Enrique Moreno

    June 13, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! YES!! Finally 9-slice and tile maps!

    Thank you!