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Unity may mostly be known for the focus on “fun and games.” But over the years the use of the platform has truly matured in the development of industry-defining game changers (pun intended) for serious games and virtual environments, from the military to education to medical.

We actively work to always ensure Unity is ready and primed for government applications, and were recently reissued certifications by both the US Army and US Air Force. And, in just the past year, NASA’s Mars Rover, NASA Jet Propulsion and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) all took advantage of Unity for a variety of projects.

For example, NOAA leverages the power of Unity to create powerful data visualizations of their big data for science analysis, education and outreach. One of their products named TerraViz is a multi-platform interactive visualization tool that accepts information in formats like KML or data provided through web map services (WMS) and displays the results in a 3D environment. They can seamlessly display millions of points of information at game-level frame rates, as NOAA produces thousands of gigabytes of information every day.

Serious games projects made with Unity also swept the majority of the category awards at the recent Serious Games Showcase and Challenge at the recent Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Four of the six category winners were made with Unity and approximately 40 percent of both the overall submissions and finalists for SGS&C were Unity projects. The judging included more than 100 people from academia, government and industries around the globe for the official awards of the I/ITSEC conference that attracts 20,000 attendees each year. The top, award-winning projects using Unity technology were:

  • Government: Cross-Competency Cultural Trainer by JKO-J7
  • Student: Machineers by IT University of Copenhagen
  • Mobile: DragonBox+ by WeWantToKnow AS
  • People’s Choice: C-ID Combat Vehicle Detection & Identification by AEgis Technologies

We’re most proud of the fact that Unity’s accessibility and our business model has truly enabled the growth in opportunities — for both small businesses and large companies — with serious games. Organizations including Booz Hamilton Allen, CliniSpace, Daden for BAE Systems, Designing Digitally Inc., E-Semble, Heartwood, Real Visual, Serious Games, Vienna University, VIZERRA, and more, have chosen and implemented incredible new experiences, simulations, and 3D content and serious games with Unity. We believe anyone should have the ability to create interactive, real-world applications outside of the traditional games realm, and we will continue to innovate and deliver the cutting-edge features that makes Unity stand out in the interactive applications fields.

To see non-game examples, in action, where Unity has been used with great success, please make sure to check out Unity’s serious games demo reel and visit our dedicated serious games mini-site at

14 replies on “Unity’s Serious Business With Serious Games”


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We have also been using Unity for about 5-6 serious games since 2009. From top-down touch table games, water model visualizations, augmented reality tools, to first person cooperative multiplayer games! Hopefully can show you some at the GDC.

What was the unaccredited architectural clip at the very start? I’d love to know how they did the sketchup-esque line rendering!

Its great to finally see Unity gain some publicity in these fields. I / we have been using it for serious games in training and tutoring since 2009 / 2010 and we only started on what can be done out of my view

Let’s not forget that Unity is now also approved on the Canadian Forces Defence network as a baseline application.

Speaking of serious games how do you guys handle GIS and very large terrain data (with massive forests/vegetations and all that stuff)?
I’m hitting a performance ceil with very large terrains and vegetation everywhere. Did you guys have some plans for procedural vegetation systems (using layer masks)? It looks like it’s faster and we don’t have to plant everything by hand. -_-

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