Unity announces new 2D tools for engine, new publishing initiative, Facebook SDK

By Staff, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 22:19 GMT

Unity Technologies has announced new 2D tools and workflow for the Unity engine and editor for those who create 2D games.

Now in beta, the first iteration of the 2D tools will be released with the Unity 4.3 update this fall.

“We want to be relentless in the improvement of Unity and its usefulness to all developers,” said David Helgason, the firm’s CEO. “Unity can and has been used for the development of many amazing 2D projects, but we knew that it could be better. So we are taking a leap forward by introducing fundamental tools to make Unity a truly great 2D engine.”

Here’s some the tools and how the development works according to the press release:

  • The charge to improve workflow begins with the introduction of a dedicated scene view, which includes specialized 2D scene manipulation tools. Scene view can be toggled between the traditional view or set as the default when creating a project.
  • Importing, manipulating, and working with 2D assets are made easier with the addition of a new sprite texture importer type, automated atlasing, and dedicated 2D renderer
  • component. Adding 2D art to a scene is as easy as dragging a sprite from the asset library into the scene where Unity will then automatically create an object.
  • Additionally, the Unity animation editor has also been upgraded with “dope sheet” functionality and visual sprite animation editing leading to much greater control over complex animations.
  • Finally, the specialized Box2D physics engine has been integrated into Unity. This means better performance, more stable simulation and smaller game builds. Additionally, polygon collider generation from sprite textures means quicker creation of accurate, but fully editable, physical collider meshes for refined physical response between objects in a scene.

In addition to the new toolset, the firm is also launching a new publishing initiative and support for titles created using it toolset.

The first title to be published by the company is Roadhouse Interactive’s Freeride Ski Cross and Black Tower’s Archangel.

“We’ve worked hard over the years to create a technological canvas that allows developers of all sizes to realise their wildest creative visions,” said Helgason told GI International. “Now, thanks to our unique combination of developer trust, technological leadership, newly announced Unity Cloud services, and strong relationships with key distribution partners, Unity Games is in an awesome and unique position to make a hugely positive impact on the lives of game developers.”

This initiative will also help developers with guidance regarding monetization, as well as” advertising, analytics, marketing, testing, and user acquisition under the Unity Cloud banner.

Unity’s new incentive will focus on independent mobile developers at first.

The engine company rounded out a busy day by announcing a new SDK for Facebook. Apparently, 90 million of Facebook’s 260 million users are already playing games made with Unity, up from 30 million at the start of this year. The new SDK should make it even easier for Unity developers to get their games on the social media platform. More details on the SDK are available on this Facebook blog post.

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