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Global game engine and monetization platform Unity said its Unity 6 platform will launch in 2024 with AI innovations and platform updates.
The company that creates and nurtures real-time 3D content unveiled a series of cutting-edge AI innovations and platform upgrades at its annual developer conference, Unite. These introductions are designed to enhance the means by which game developers realize their visions and manage successful games.
Highlights of the Unity conference included the early access availability of Unity Muse – an AI-powered suite aimed at streamlining content creation, a peek at Unity 6 – the major software release anticipated for 2024 – and the introduction of Unity Cloud, a The series of interconnected products and services aims to help developers streamline content across projects and pipelines, Mark Whitten, president of Unity Create, said in an interview with GamesBeat.
Whitten said this is an important conference, as it is Unity’s first chance to make peace with game developers, after just a few weeks ago Unity announced an unexpected price increase based on the number of downloads, which many Were ready to wage war against the company. After an outcry from game developers, Unity backed down and offered more attractive alternatives – and Unity CEO John Riccitiello resigned. He was replaced by James M. Whitehurst, former Red Hat CEO, as interim CEO and president.
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new runtime fee
Regarding the price change, Whitten said, “I think people are just tired of hearing from me. My goal as a keynote speaker was to showcase the technology to people on our core engineering team.
On September 22, Unity announced the latest version of its pricing policy supporting several changes that angered developers. Runtime fees, based on the number of downloads, will take effect with the launch of Unity 6 next year. But it will be implemented differently.
“What you’ll hear a lot from us at Unite is our commitment to listening to our developer community, prioritizing based on their feedback, and clearly showing how we’re addressing their big requests,” Whitten said.
In terms of getting developers to trust Unity again, Whitten said the focus will be on showing rather than telling, and that the company hopes to address trust issues by following through on its commitments.
“I firmly believe that what builds trust is consistency of action,” Whitten said. “We’re all really focused on listening, making sure we’re providing a lot of value that creators find useful.”
Unity Museum Imagination
Under the revised policy, the runtime fee starts on the next version of Unity, so it does not apply to any existing titles. The fee is either 2.5% of revenue or a calculated runtime fee, whichever is lower.
Downloads count only begins when a developer’s game surpasses one million downloads and $1 million in revenue on a 12-month trailing basis. Developers can choose to pay 2.5% of revenue per month or a runtime fee calculated based on downloads, whichever is lower.
Unity replaced the requirement for developers to dictate download numbers to a self-reporting system on download numbers.
Unity Muse, which was first unveiled in a closed beta, has now transitioned into early access, offering continually expanding features for developers of all skill levels, Whitten said. Features include muse chat, muse sprites and muse textures.
Specifically, sprites and textures are supported by a custom-built deep-learning model trained on proprietary data and Unity’s owned or licensed images, eliminating any copyrighted or recognizable artistic styles.
Hugo Kostić, a technical artist at Far From Here Studio, praises Unity Muse for quickly generating high-quality organic textures, giving artists more time to focus on creative aspects.
Unity Muse is available as a standalone product for $30 per month, giving customers priority access to upcoming features like Muse Animate, Muse Behavior, and Muse Sketch. These features are intended to enhance character animations, interactions, and rapid prototyping for team collaboration.
Additionally, Unity Sentis, an AI model-driven tool, is helping developers integrate complex AI data models into the Unity runtime. Currently in open beta, Unity Sentis is expected to launch into general availability with Unity 6 in 2024.
Unity 6, which is positioned as an upcoming major software release in 2024, aspires to provide advanced visual enhancements, accelerated multiplayer game creation, AI support, and mobile and VR device innovations. It is anticipated to push the boundaries of visual quality and efficiency in world building.
“We’re here to help developers create amazing games and find success,” Whitten said. “The heart of our work is their response. They tell us where we are helping them and they tell us when there is more work to do. In Unity 6, this means focusing on performance and workflow improvements. In AI, this means working to ensure they have the control they need to create even more and faster. We want to be a true partner to our creators, meeting their needs at any point in their game development lifecycle.
Additionally, Unity has introduced Unity Cloud, a suite of interconnected tools to facilitate content organization and collaboration across teams and development lifecycles. Early access to Unity Cloud offers new features for asset management, team administration, and content workflow integration.
apple vision pro development
You can see through the screen of Apple Vision Pro so other people can see your eyes.
Additionally, Unity’s previous platform support for Apple Vision Pro, which was introduced as PolySpatial at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), has progressed to an open beta program. The program is now available to all Unity Pro, Enterprise, and Industry customers, facilitating the development of spatial applications for Apple Vision Pro using Unity’s editor and runtime.
For Vision Pro development, the Unity tool is going into open beta for any Unity customer to leverage that technology to build Apple Vision Pro. This means that any Unity customer will be able to develop games and apps for Apple’s new headset.
“This is a really big moment,” Whitten said. “We’re very excited to see what the developers do.”
First in-person Unite event after Covid
The event in Amsterdam is the first opportunity for Unity to meet its community in person since 2019. There will be lots of workshops and developer tracks, and the event is so overbooked that there’s a waiting list.
“This year, one of the main things we’ll really be focusing on is the next version of Unity, which will come out next year,” Whitten said. “It has to do with quality and stability and really significant graphics improvements and easier multiplayer and things like that.”
Whitten said that instead of naming its Unity versions according to the year they were launched, Unity is moving to a numbering system to make it less confusing.
“We will also make our AI tools and Unity Muse available to everyone. We’re really excited to show where those tools are now,” he said. “They have been in beta for some time but this will mark when they will be available for everyone to start using and subscribing to.”
That said, the cloud capabilities are really designed to make it easier for people to create games in large groups or manage large bits of data in the Unity engine and editor.
Regarding work with the new CEO, Whitten said that based on his experience at Red Hat, Whitehouse has a deep focus on providing value for creators.
“They’ve been great to work with, but these plans have been in the works for a long time,” Whitten said. “We hope Unity 6 is going to be the number one thing that surprises people.”
Unity will have performance enhancements that will allow developers to run rich scenes at greater performance rates on a variety of platforms.
“The other big thing we’re spending a lot of time working on is really making sure that the multiplayer experience is easy to create and continuing to improve,” Whitten said. “Now every game is a live game and a multiplayer game. The product also includes more AI.”
The tools will help developers become more productive and create content and prototypes faster than ever. Whitten said he’s excited that so many developers are already doing really interesting things with AI tools.
“I was very surprised by the amount of stuff that was coming back,” he said. “Muse is heavy on the generative AI side. And people are already using the tool.
This includes simple things like a version of Pong created with raytracing technology.
AI with Unity Muse
Regarding AI, Whitten said, “Our goal with Muse is to make sure that we’re constantly building these magical tools that will help you in every part of game development. If you’re stuck, like you need some help with code, or how to do something in Unity, or if there’s some kind of content you want to make some quick sort of changes to, Muse is where it’s at. Muse Chat is where you can code and ask questions.
Unity will show off what’s to come in the future with AI, like tools that go from text prompts to generating animations.
“There will be a lot of tools that will generate a lot of different types of assets,” he said. “Our focus with Muse is to make sure they are easy to integrate into your game. We want to focus on making sure we can create the types of animations that matter for games.”
Muse will be a subscription of around $30 per month that grants developers a certain amount of generations. If the developer goes beyond normal usage, there will be additional costs.
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