Unity 6 announced with AI tools, plus Apple & Meta partnerships

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2023

Cross-platform game development engine Unity 6 has arrived, with a bundle of new improvements incorporating AI features for characters, and better support for headsets including the forthcoming Apple Vision Pro.




The leading game developer tools and engine maker, Unity announced a new upgrade to its tools suite - Unity 6 LTS at its Unite developer conference in Amsterdam a few weeks ago.

Unity has the advantage of providing mostly seamless tools across platforms which allows developers to create cutting-edge 3D games and applications with less effort. Games created with Unity can be published simultaneously across many platforms including iOS, macOS, tvOS, Android, web and others.

The new Unity 6 LTS features slated for release in 2024 include new AI features for character and scene creation, WebGPU support, and enhancements for XR (Extended Reality) headsets, including the upcoming Apple Vision Pro.

Unity 6 LTS will also feature multiplayer and performance improvements, as well as WebGPU support.

WebGPU is a new open graphics standard under development by the W3C consortium and will feature a JavaScript API based on Vulkan, Microsoft's Direct3D 12, and Apple's Metal graphics APIs. The new standard also promises to bring a standardized graphics interface across mobile devices, assuming those devices support the APIs mentioned above.

WebGPU will also include a standardized web-based graphics display view which will provide 3D rendering across all web browsers on any system "anytime, anywhere."

3D game lighting will be enhanced with Unity 6's Adaptive Probe Volumes, and Universal Pipeline Rendering.

Other new features will support Spatial-Temporal Post-Processing, GPU Occlusion Culling, and GPU Resident Drawer. Occlusion Culling speeds up rendering performance by removing parts of mesh objects that are hidden from view by other objects or parts of scene environments.

Unity offices. Photo courtesy Figurr.
Unity offices. Photo courtesy Figurr.

Unity Cloud



Unity Cloud is Unity's collaboration and asset sharing environment. The upgraded version will include improvements to dashboard, team administration, asset manager, and DevOps tools.

Currently Unity Cloud is in early access preview for registered subscribers.

AI Improvements



Artificial intelligence features of Unity Muse and Unity Sentis are also seeing improvements and new features.

Muse will incorporate generative AI features for sprites and textures, and Sentis will include new AI features for generating game characters that can have game AI built-in, and know how to respond to other game characters and events automatically. Muse will also provide AI modification of existing Unity assets.

Unity Behavior will allow developers to ask AI to create character behavior and interaction simply by entering word prompts. Developer AI will feature developer tool and code answers.

Full support for Muse will arrive in late 2024.

Apple and Meta partnerships



Unity partnerships with Apple and Meta were also announced at Unite 2023. Both Apple and Meta announced they would work with Unity on creation of developer tools for Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest and Smart Glasses XR headsets.

In June at Apple's WWDC keynote, Susan Prescott, Apple's Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations announced "Today, we are excited to share that we've been working with Unity to bring those apps to Vision Pro, so popular Unity-based games and apps can gain full access to visionOS features such as passthrough, high-resolution rendering, and native gestures."

Unity 6 promises to allow developers to bring many existing games built on Unity to Apple Vision Pro. It's not clear when it will be released, however.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    After the fiasco this past year, will anyone ever trust them again?  I know that I deleted it off of my dev environment.  I recognize that I was lucky to be in a position to do so, but I wonder how many others were.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,273moderator
    After the fiasco this past year, will anyone ever trust them again?  I know that I deleted it off of my dev environment.  I recognize that I was lucky to be in a position to do so, but I wonder how many others were.
    At least they ditched their CEO who was clearly a driving force in the direction they went and they did it because they have been racking up billions in losses.

    The problem is there aren't a lot of good options to choose from, Unity and Unreal are pretty much the only two viable production-quality engines and even with the updated license options, Unity is the cheaper of the two.

    They lost a lot of trust with what they did but until a better alternative comes along, the only other option is Unreal and while they haven't done anything bad with licensing, they could in future and have shown they can't be trusted as a business partner.

    The best we can hope for is that a big game company gifts one of their high quality rendering engines to open source.

    Unity 6 looks like it will offer some decent performance improvements without any extra work (16:13):



    That shows a 2.5x boost for big scenes. They are still playing catchup to Unreal with their runtime lighting system and scene complexity but this could mean big games like Genshin Impact run much more smoothly on iOS devices with a simple update (assuming the devs are willing to agree to the new terms as they come into effect with the new runtime).
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Getting a translation layer between Godot and RealityKit probably makes a lot of sense in light of Unity's unraveling for cross-platform AR games. It is one of the leading engines Unity developers are moving to. Miguel De Icaza (the lead behind Mono, Microsoft Xamarin, and GTK+/Gnome) is pushing Godot developers to use Apple's Swift programming language after apologizing for his role in making C# the development language for Unity saying that it is not a suitable language for realtime applications like video games. Godot is intended to be language neutral with support for many languages including C#, Swift, C++, and their own Python-like scripting language. There is even early work to build an alternative editor for Godot in Apple's SwiftUI.
    edited December 2023
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Marvin said:
    After the fiasco this past year, will anyone ever trust them again?  I know that I deleted it off of my dev environment.  I recognize that I was lucky to be in a position to do so, but I wonder how many others were.
    At least they ditched their CEO who was clearly a driving force in the direction they went and they did it because they have been racking up billions in losses.

    Yeah, but the board knew what they were doing when the approved it; he didn't act unilaterally.  Just just blamed him for everything when the fertilizer entered the ventilation system.

    Marvin said:

    The problem is there aren't a lot of good options to choose from, Unity and Unreal are pretty much the only two viable production-quality engines and even with the updated license options, Unity is the cheaper of the two.

    There are a number of open source game engines.  The problem with most of them is that many large game developers can't afford to depend on the community for technical support, and many of these projects are run by people who aren't super fond of large companies anyway.  That's a huge generalization, of course, but one based on my experience in other open source projects.

    I'm currently evaluating Godot for my project.  We shall see.

  • Reply 5 of 5
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,273moderator
    Getting a translation layer between Godot and RealityKit probably makes a lot of sense in light of Unity's unraveling for cross-platform AR games. It is one of the leading engines Unity developers are moving to. Miguel De Icaza (the lead behind Mono, Microsoft Xamarin, and GTK+/Gnome) is pushing Godot developers to use Apple's Swift programming language after apologizing for his role in making C# the development language for Unity saying that it is not a suitable language for realtime applications like video games. Godot is intended to be language neutral with support for many languages including C#, Swift, C++, and their own Python-like scripting language. There is even early work to build an alternative editor for Godot in Apple's SwiftUI.
    That's interesting, Miguel talks about Swift and C# here:



    One of Godot's downsides is the custom GDScript because it's not portable or fast. C# is ok and lots of games use it (Genshin Impact uses it) but Swift has a C#-like syntax and if it improves performance, that would be a plus and having it as a main language for a game engine would improve Swift adoption a lot.
    Marvin said:

    The problem is there aren't a lot of good options to choose from, Unity and Unreal are pretty much the only two viable production-quality engines and even with the updated license options, Unity is the cheaper of the two.

    There are a number of open source game engines.  The problem with most of them is that many large game developers can't afford to depend on the community for technical support, and many of these projects are run by people who aren't super fond of large companies anyway.  That's a huge generalization, of course, but one based on my experience in other open source projects.

    I'm currently evaluating Godot for my project.  We shall see.
    It's difficult to maintain a large-scale open source (free) project as people who work on it still need to be paid. It creates a massive resource issue. It can work out well for important projects as they get funding. Godot's funding stream is listed here:

    https://fund.godotengine.org

    55k euros/month is only enough to support around 20 developers and the github shows that about 20 developers have contributed most of it. They have a couple of thousand community contributors but only 50 have contributed over 10k lines of code.

    Unity makes over $1b/year and employs over 7000 people. Building and maintaining a high quality rendering engine, hundreds of tools, integration with multiple platforms with 20 people is not an easy task. Godot has over 9000 open issues:

    https://github.com/godotengine/godot/issues

    This is standard for any big project but it takes way longer to fix issues with a smaller team.

    Even the better demos made with Godot look like they are from over 10 years ago (especially interior at 3:00):



    The bigger commercial engines can put more people into the rendering system development:





    Unreal is the best and can beat in-house engines from big game studios:



    In terms of rendering quality, I'd say Godot is about 4/10, Unity 8/10, Unreal 10/10.
    For tools, Unity and Unreal are fairly level at 7/10, Godot 5/10.

    Godot would be fine for 2D mobile games.
    Unity is best for 3D mobile games and better for 2D than Godot.
    Unreal is best for high-end 3D games.

    An open source project really needs to be able to employ a number of highly skilled engine devs making $100k+/year. Amazon did this with their Lumberyard project (based on CryEngine) but it hasn't gained much traction.

    I think the whole games industry would benefit from delivering some high quality community tools for game production. They'd benefit from employees across the industry being familiar with standard workflows. They can build it on top of USD. Open scene format that can plug in any kind of tools and rendering system.

    Then it's easier for people to build different parts. You can license a high quality rendering engine and have an open source toolset or for simple projects, use all open source components. Authoring/artist tools can integrate with the open scene format. Nobody would be tied to any particular system and projects could migrate quickly to a different system. In theory, it could be as simple as a dropdown to switch from one renderer to another.

    EA's been trying to get their Frostbite engine adopted more widely internally for a while but had a lot of trouble developing it for different games:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/13/05/15/ea-reveals-frostbite-go-game-engine-for-apples-ios-google-android
    https://www.vg247.com/how-the-frostbite-engine-became-a-nightmare-for-ea-in-general-and-bioware-in-particular

    "Frostbite is easily the worst, sh*tiest, most pain in the ass engine I've ever used in my career, and I shipped Wolfenstein off the Doom 3 tech. The exact same game design in Unreal vs. Frostbite will take dozens more engineers, money, and time on FB because of the way its architected and how far behind it is from Unreal (unless you are making BF). There is a reason I chose Unreal Engine 4 as my engine for my next project."

    "
    We obviously had to take the Frostbite Engine, because there was the internal initiative to make sure that everybody was on the same technology, but it was an engine that was made to do first-person shooters not third-person traversal cinematic games"

    Even Unreal isn't well designed for every game. It's strength is high-end 3D games. Building a small 2D game for mobile in Unreal isn't a good route to go.

    If there was a modular engine with 3 main parts: renderer -> scene (USD) <- tools, it can be adapted to fit any type of game and any platform, even better than Unreal can.
    edited December 2023 muthuk_vanalingam
Sign In or Register to comment.