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Now with real-time lighting, Unity 5 announced

Now with real-time lighting, Unity 5 announced

Announcing its upcoming acquisition of Applifier, Unity has more news - this time it's the latest iteration of its game engine - Unity 5.

Available for pre-order now on Unity's store, Unity 5 brings developers a host of new features to bring more detail and effects to games created on the engine.

Chief among these is integration with Geomerics real-time illumination technology, Enlighten, which introduces dynamic, global light effects to games and removes the need for pre-baked lightmaps altogether.

Joining Enlighten is a new real-time lightmap preview feature based on Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR Ray Tracing.

This addition allows developers to get "near instantaneous feedback" for changes to global illumination lightmaps and - less technically - dramatically decreases the amount of time needed to make artistic changes to scenes.

Cross-promoting

Outside of the new lighting options available, Unity 5 introduces an audio overhaul (which includes a new Audio Mixer), new 2D physics effectors, increased loading optimisations, and direct blend trees for animation among other features.

But one of the most intriguing features included in Unity 5 is Unity Cloud, a cross-promotion network that allows devs to run full screen, interstitial ads in mobile games and exchange ad units with other Unity developers.

Unity reckons this will give developers access to the combined power of over 500 million Unity mobile game installs - all for free.

Speaking on the launch of Unity 5, CEO David Helgason said his goal was to give back to developers.

"Every time we ship a new version of Unity, we're looking to empower developers with technology that wouldn't normally be available to everyone," he said.

"With the huge additions in our lighting workflow, physically based shading, a new platform, and a new built-in method for user acquisition, we're improving the Unity experience from both a creative and business perspective."

Unity 5 is available for pre-order now, directly from the Unity Store.


US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.

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