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14. April 2019


Raytracing was one of the stars of GDC 2019 this year, with both Unreal and Unity announcing DXR support.  Unreal Engine support was available almost immediately with the release of Unreal Engine 4.22.   Unity users on the other hand have to wait quite a bit longer, with the first official release coming in Fall of 2019 or later.  Fortunately for the impatient Unity have released a highly experimental Unity build with raytracing support. 

You can download the experimental build from Github here with compiled zipped binaries available here.  To fully make use of this version you need to have Windows 10 version 1809 or higher installed as well as an RTX card (even with the updated drivers from NVIDIA, this install will not work on 10 series cards, unlike Unreal Engine). 

If you are interested in learning how Unity deals with real-time raytracing, you can download the PDF documentation right here.



GameDev News


21. March 2019


Earlier at their GDC 2019 keynote, Unity announced the beta release of Unity Distribution Portal, or UDP for short… thank goodness that acronym isn’t taken!  So what exactly is UDP?  Its a combination of a beta package in Unity that integrates with their existing analytics and IAP packages and enables you to submit to the UDP.  The UDP itself is an online portal for managing publishing, IAP and tracking of multiple different online stores around the world. 

Described succinctly as:

Create once, publish everywhere

UDP reduces the engineering complexities associated with publishing to multiple app stores, enables you to distribute and operate games in local markets, and connects you with hundreds of millions of players worldwide through participating app stores.


Currently limited to the Android platform and only a few live app stores ( Catappult and MOO Store), with more coming online soon.  Essentially it allows you to publish to more stores with very little extra effort, all managed and reported in a single interface.  More interesting, is the following question and answer pair from the FAQ:

Does UDP support non-Unity games?

Currently, UDP only supports games made with Unity. However, in the future, UDP will be engine-agnostic. More details on this will be coming soon.

For more details on the Unity Distribution Portal beta visit here.  See it in action in the video below.

GameDev News


19. March 2019


Following on the heels of Google GDC reveal of the Stadia platform, both Unreal and Unity Technologies have announced their support for Stadia game development.  Stadia is a new server side platform for hosting and streaming games to any Chrome supported device.  Below are details from both game engine manufacturer. StaidaLogo


First the Unreal Engine announcement from their blog:

“We’ve been building our support for Stadia to ensure that developers using Unreal Engine can hit the ground running and be successful on the platform,” said Arciel Rekman, Senior Platform Engineer at Epic Games. “Today we’re releasing a fully-featured integration with Stadia to help developers bring their games to an even broader spectrum of players.”


Designed with cross-platform support in mind, Unreal Engine leverages Stadia features through familiar interfaces, resulting in an easy setup, with visual quality and workflows that are consistent across all target devices.

Thanks to Unreal Engine’s cross-platform capabilities, developers can iterate on their game code locally on their Windows PC for Stadia, a Linux and Vulkan-based platform, before deploying to the cloud.

While Unity announced the following:

One of our core missions is democratizing game development. That means enabling developers to build for the platforms of their choice with accessible tools and workflows that make the process of creating easier.

Though we still have technical and engineering work ahead to ensure Unity developers have a smooth experience building for Stadia, here’s what our community needs to know.

What can I expect in building Unity games for Stadia?

Developers familiar with Unity today can expect recognizable tools and a very similar development process when building for Stadia.

What unique Stadia or Google features will be supported by Unity?

We expect to support all native features unique to Stadia that are required to publish your game and make use of platform capabilities. Stay tuned for more details on feature support later this year.

With either platform, before you can start developing for Stadia you need to be a registered Stadia developer, you can apply here.   You need to have a Employer Tax ID if American, and an email with a custom domain address (ie, not Hotmail or Gmail).  Once registered with Stadia, you can then confirm your credentials with Unreal here, while Unity developers have no additional steps to perform.  The Unity Stadia SDK is expected to ship toward the end of 2019.

GameDev News


19. March 2019


Today at their GDC 2019 keynote, Google announced Stadia, their upcoming “gaming platform”, a server based streaming game service that runs on any Chrome enabled device.  Powered by custom GPUs designed by AMD using Vulkan on the Linux OS and spread across the same networking powering the Google search engine, Stadia promises to bring 4K at 60FPS gaming to the masses, with future support for 8K and 120FPS promised.

Being entirely server side, Stadia offers a number of innovative features.  Combined with their newly announced Stadia Controller, you can play games across any Chrome device and seamlessly transition your game between devices.  Since all the work, client and server are done on Google’s servers, they claim this will make cheating virtually impossible, while being able to scale existing game play up to thousands of users over night.  It also offered unique features like Streaming multiple sessions to the same endpoint, enabling flawless couch co-op, or the ability to use multiple server side GPUs for a single game instance enabling advanced special effects.

Stadia is built on top of familiar developer tools:

Create icon

Unreal Engine

Epic Games' official support for Stadia means you’ll have access to the latest technology and features of the world’s most powerful creation engine.



Create icon

Unity

Unity is the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, enabling developers to create rich, interactive experiences.



Create icon

Custom tools

A suite of debugging and tuning tools help you get the most out of our platform, from fine-tuning streaming performance to diagnosing GPU crashes

Industry tools


Current dev tools include Havok®, RenderDoc, Visual Studio, LLVM, AMD RadeonTM2 GPU Profiler, IncrediBuild, UmbraTM 3, FaceFX and Intelligent Music Systems, plus we’re constantly expanding to deliver a familiar development experience

For developers interested in getting started with Stadia, you can sign up at Stadia.dev.  For gamers interested in learning more visit Stadia.com for more details.  If you missed the GDC keynote, you can watch our condensed developer focused version in the video below.  We have done a similar treatment for the Unity keynote as well, available here.

GameDev News


18. March 2019


Unity just wrapped up their GDC 2019 keynote and several new technology previews are now available.  A number of new technologies and downloads were announced during the keynote and they are listed below.  Some appear to still require registration to access, which hopefully is changed shortly or just a quirk of timing.


Game Foundation

A set of pre-built systems common to mobile games, need to apply for early access however.

AR Foundations

Preview access to the new AR (augmented reality) boilerplate projects, including HDRP assets converted to LWRP for use in testing AR titles, as well as AR Remote, allowing you to pull data from a devices camera into Unity editor.

Unity Burst Compiler

A key part of the Unity DOTS (Data-Oriented Technology Stack) will be part of Unity 2019.1, with a new version of the Burst compiler available now.

Unity MegaCity

Full assets of the MegaCity demo have been released today.  It’s a 7.1GB download, so start now before bed!

Unity Physics

In partnership with Havok, Unity have created a new physics system, with the Unity physics portion available now and the Havok system coming in Summer.  Although released today, I do not have a URL and will edit when I receive one.


All of the above URLs are those listed in the GDC keynote for the respective technology as “available today”.  If the URLs are not yet active, please try again shortly.  If the urls change I will edit the values shortly.  Watch the video below for a 12 minute version of the Unity 2019 GDC conference.

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