Today Unity Technologies released their newest Tech Demo for Unity 2018. To say the demo is impressive would be an understatement. Honestly, it is hard to find words to describe just how incredible the demo is.
In the past few years Unity Technologies has shown that they want to be the leading development platform for Indie and AAA studios alike. Their tech demos and involvement with OATS / Neill Blomkamp – to create the Adam shorts (the team behind Book of the Dead created the original ADAM. Then, Unity partnered with OATS for episodes 2 and 3), continuously demonstrate just how far the developer is willing to push the envelope. Their latest demo, “Book of the Dead”, blurs the lines between video games and reality with it’s hyper-realistic, high fidelity graphics.
The Scriptable Render Pipeline is to thank for Unity’s newest demo. This new, powerful real-time rendering software allows developers to have absolute control over the rendering process; letting them achieve a level of detail that, as of right now, has no equal.
“Forests are amazing; they can be mysterious, dangerous, and breathtakingly beautiful. Achieving the feelings a forest evokes is one of the hardest challenges when working within real-time graphics. We set out to tackle this with ‘Book of the Dead’ to see how much a small team like ours could accomplish working within Unity,” said Veselin Efremov, Unity Technologies Creative Director. “Seeking out challenges like this helps Unity to evolve and advance. We use new features when they’re introduced early in their development cycle, and we partner closely with our tech teams to push new features to their limits so that the innovations we uncover together will make a better product for our developers. When a demo is done, we know that the engine has achieved new functionality; and we are excited to see developers use this tech for their next creations.”
Using Unity’s new Scriptable Render Pipeline, Post-Processing Stack, and Progressive Lightmapper, the “Book of the Dead” demo gives us a look at a first-person interactive experience being played in real-time that sets a new standard for the industry. What’s even more exciting is the fact that this demo was targeted for the PlayStation 4 console! The story unravels in two parallel timelines, and while the audience views these scattered memories of our protagonist, they discover there is more to her than she is willing to divulge. If you’re interested further in how “Book of the Dead” was created you can visit Unity’s website.
With the release of Unity 2017.3 in December, the developer completed it’s year-long cycle, within which time it gave developers tools like Timeline and Cinemachine, letting artists and developers create more together. A perfect example being the “ADAM” mini-series. In 2018, Unity looks to build on this foundation, giving advanced developers and engineers even more control through new features like the Scriptable Render Pipeline and the C# Job System. These new features will continue to evolve over the next year, helping developers achieve new heights in real-time rendering, graphics, and increasing runtime performance in the engine itself.
The Scriptable Render Pipeline lets modern hardware reach their full potential without the hassle of building a new engine, placing control of the powerful new rendering process in the hands of capable developers. The new render pipeline is a combination of power and ease- meaning developers can control the rendering engine at a “fine-grained level” without the need to write a completely new rendering pipeline. This in turn leads to an increase in graphics quality and gameplay performance in AAA consoles, PC’s, and mobile.
The C# Job System is a new coding system that increases performance. This new multithreaded high-performance system lets you harness the power of multi-core processors without the programming headache. Combined with the Entity Component System, it allows developers to optimize creations for major performance increases. This means developers can throw in more effects and complex systems, or utilize that raw horse power to add complex AI to make more rich, immersive worlds.
Unity Technologies has amassed the world’s best talent with the goal of making Unity 2018 the best choice for all creators. They have hired the industries leading engineers and artists from renowned studios like Bungie, Insomniac, and Naughty Dog. With this team they’re building the foundation alongside more than 1,000 engineers making industry breakthroughs that are, or will be, available to developers around the world. Gaming experiences made with Unity reached over 3 billion devices in 2017 and the Unity engine was installed more than 20 billion times in the past 12 months. With the demo they just released I don’t see those numbers dropping anytime soon. It is clear Unity Technologies is aiming to be the best around and so far nothing is standing in their way.