Unite Europe 2015 Keynote Wrap up
It’s been awhile since we held a Unite in Europe, so we were thrilled to be hosting another event in beautiful Amsterdam. Against the backdrop of the impressive Westergasfabriek, the event has brought together over 1000 attendees from the gaming community, hailing from many different countries, to share ideas, learn best practices, and help each other make ridiculously cool games.
The show kicked off today with the keynote when John Riccitiello took the stage to outline Unity’s three key guiding principles: 1) democratize game development; 2) solve hard problems; and 3) help developers succeed. All of the decisions we’re making and directions we’re heading are based on these three ideas. That means hiring more talent so that we can take more of the ugly work away from you and let you focus on making games, and building new tools, services and initiatives to help you guys find success.
Following an inspiring message from our good friend Rob Pardo, Jussi Laakkonen took the stage to walk us through how Unity Ads is helping developers make money and increase engagement using Seriously Games’ Best Fiends as a successful example of ads done right. Jussi closed his portion of the keynote with the announcement that Unity Ads would be integrated into the Unity engine with the release of 5.2 this fall.
Unity Analytics’ John Cheng then took the stage to demonstrate the upcoming live dashboards displaying the massive amounts of data streaming into our analytics system which can be used to understand the greater market and make smart decisions. Also demonstrated were tools used to understand players and make positive adjustments to games. Heat maps allow users to overlay a visualization in-editor representing player activity while the Funnel Analyzer can show engagement levels and help iron out level design. Using the awesome mobile physics puzzler Ultraflow as an example, John showed how Ultrateam were able to identify and adjust a level to increase player engagement and overall user base.
Best of all, getting analytics hooked up in your game is easy and was made available in 5.1. As demonstrated on stage, its as simple as pasting your Cloud Project ID into the editor. You can learn more about Unity Analytics at http://unity3d.com/services/analytics.
As the presentation shifted to technical aspects of the engine and editor, Joachim Ante took the stage to dive a bit farther into the Blacksmith demo. Following the demonstration was the news that many of the assets from The Blacksmith are now available to use on the Asset Store. Additionally The Blacksmith runtime demo is now available for download so that you can check it out on your own computer. For more information on The Blacksmith project, visit the site.
Joachim handed the mic over to Lucas Meijer, who continued the technical portion of the show with a rundown of the recent changes to Unity 5.1, showing off how the new Unity networking solution and discuss features to make VR and AR development within Unity incredible for years to come.
Finally, Lucas also had the pleasure of announcing an exciting bit of news. Unity now has a Public Roadmap! We know it’s something that you’ve wanted for a while and we’re all very happy that you now have it. For more information on that roadmap, we suggest you wander over to our blog post all about it.
Lucas then passed the baton to Thomas Peterson, who discussed the challenges of testing and QA when creating a complex piece of software like Unity. Through our sustained engineering program and impressive suite of automation tools, we’ve taken great steps in a very positive direction. One of the things we’re very proud of is that companies like Intel, ARM, Qualcomm, Sony, and Oculus are all using these tools to ensure you’re all getting the best experience possible on their hardware.
John came back on stage to introduce our awesome guest speaker, Mariina Hallikainen, CEO and co-founder of and found great success doing it. Mariina was nice enough to share valuable information about their journey to create the game.
Colossal Order is a company that embodies the spirit of democratization. Their team of 9 built a game, Cities Skylines, that directly challenged one of the most venerable franchises in PC gaming. It’s fairly fitting then that David Helgason took the stage to thank Mariina and take a nostalgic look back at the first 10 years since Unity 1 launched at WWDC in 2005 by introducing a special 10 year anniversary highlight reel showcasing games from the past, present and future.
After a short message from Unity’s Andy Touch detailing some housekeeping issues for show attendees, the keynote ended and sessions began. As you may already know, Unite isn’t one singular event, and we’ve already held successful shows in Tokyo, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul, and Taipei – and we’re not done yet! Our marquee conference, Unite Boston is taking place in September along with the Unity Awards and finally, Unite Melbourne (date TBD). Hopefully we’ll see you there!