Unity and creating content in a Post-Flash World
By now, you may have seen that many of our friends — including Adobe, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Mozilla — have announced their plans to support a move away from Flash. If you’re a web content creator, this shouldn’t be shocking news. The trend has been moving away from closed browser plugins for a while. We ourselves stopped supporting Flash in 2013 and our own Unity Web Player in 2016. For Flash, recent events are noteworthy, because specific information has been released, allowing the industry to plan for a Post-Flash world.
Creating Interactive Web Content with Unity
As the industry turns the page on Flash, Unity will continue to support interactive experiences on the web through WebGL. We’ve officially supported it as a build target since 2015, and had even helped craft specifications before then. Today, we actively collaborate with our browser friends — Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple — to ensure compatibility and an optimal experience. We will continue to do so.
While collaborating with the industry, we continue to make our own implementation better and better. Some recent improvements: We added support for WebAssembly, which promises faster start-up times and better performance; so much so, that it could be a game changer (more details). We’ve also introduced linear rendering for better graphics. In addition to adding new features, we continue to optimize our own implementation and performance. There’s still some limitations: memory, threading etc… these can manifest in performance issues on 32-bit browsers and mobile devices. We expect some organic resolution, as end users adopt 64-bit browsers and more powerful mobile devices. Furthermore, we expect browsers will continue improving their implementations of WebGL and WebAssembly. We’re especially excited about Shared Array Buffer support, enabling native multithreading for much better performance.
The result of all this is that today, with Unity’s WebGL export, you can deploy your Unity projects to the web, just like any other platform Unity supports (Official Compatibility List).
Need to see what you can do with WebGL and Unity today? Check out some web games, on our Made with Unity site.
Thoughts for the Future
While the industry has (and will continue) to rapidly change, we believe the web is an important platform to support. We, Unity, built our name by supporting a wide range of platforms. As always, we will continue our mission to Democratize Game Development by supporting you all, by supporting the platforms and technologies you want to create for, such as mobile, web, VR — and perhaps all three in a single experience!