Unity is a cross-platform game engine that offers a way to create a game and run it on multiple platforms including Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Windows Holographic is the underlying technology that enables Windows 10 to run augmented reality apps as part of the Universal Windows Platform.
On Wednesday, Unity Technologies, makers of the Unity gaming engine, announced an upgrade to version 5.5. In addition to a number of gaming-specific updates, Unity 5.5 adds in Windows Holographic support to enable the development of HoloLens augmented reality titles by integrating Holographic Emulation directly within the Unity workflow.
Performance is an essential aspect of any gaming engine and Unity 5.5 performance has been significantly enhanced for all platforms. Android and iOS GPU instancing is now supported and the physics engine has been updated to PhysX 3.3.3. Developers can more easily evaluate their game’s performance using the new CPU Usage Profiler timeline view.
Next, Unity 5.5 now supports a Codeless in-app purchase (IAP) feature to allow developers to implement in-app purchases across multiple stores. The feature supports the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, and more.
The engine’s particle system also received an update, with a new Lights Module with the ability to attach real-time lights to a percentage of particles and to react to properties of the particles themselves. Turbulence is easier to implement based on particle movement with the new Noise Module and the Trails Module enables adding ribboned trails to particle systems.
Other improvements in Unity 5.5 include updates to the Animation Windows providing improved performance for faster and more reliable iteration. The LineRenderer component makes it easier to add trails to moving objects. Logos are easier to add via the new splash screen tools. Finally, a host of other features and improvements have been implemented in Unity 5.5, all of which are outlined in the complete release notes.
If you’re a developer and want to implement the new Windows Holographic support in Unity 5.5, then you can access the documentation here. As usual, Unity is free for personal use by hobbyists and beginners, with subscription and tailored enterprise options for commercial developers.