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We’re at Unite Europe 2015 in Amsterdam. Here’s a little overview of the Unity keynote. We talk about Unity Ads, visual capabilities of the engine, Analytics and the release of the Blacksmith demo.
This year’s keynote was focused on the evolution of the Unity 5 engine. Developers from all over the world talked about their games (Cities: Skylines, Best Fiends) and members of the Unity team shared their thoughts on the development of the engine.
CEO John Riccitiello started off Unite Europe 2015 with a talk about the company’s outlook and it’s key guiding principles: democratize game development, solve hard problems, and help developers succeed. Plenty of big names were mentioned, including the recent Fallout Shelter that took the mobile app store by storm, successfully reaching the top of the charts.
The Unity EVP of Ads and Everyplay, Jussi Laakkonen, discussed how Unity Ads is helping developers make revenue and drive user engagement. Unity Ads will be integrated into the Unity engine with the release of 5.2 in fall.
One of the best examples of using Unity Ads is Best Fiends. It seriously did a lovely job integrating ads into the gameplay resulting in a seamless process that generates revenues and increases player retention. Gamers actually get in-app bonuses for watching ads and this makes them happy. We’ve actually talked with Seriously a while back. You can check out the article over here.
Unity Analytics was the star of the show. This tool has a lot of cool features. It allows you to view the most popular devices in a specific region to figure out your optimization techniques. You can also watch the event heat maps directly on the level in-game and figure out when the player dies most often. Unity Analytics’ John Cheng did a great job of demonstrating how the massive amounts of data streaming into Unity Analytics can be used to make smart decisions.
Unity CTO Joachim Ante announced that The Blacksmith demo is now available for all developers at the Asset Store. You can download the massive package now and figure out how you can make great looking games with top-notch visuals.
You can also download The Blacksmith runtime demo and check it out on your PC. The demo isn’t that hardware reliant, so it can easily work on a laptop. Check out the link to find out about the demo.
Lucas Meijer was a big hit among the programmers. He made a great demo of Unity 5.1 networking solution by turning a simple single player arcade game into a multiplayer title. Everybody was pretty impressed by watching this demo. He also talked about VR and AR experiences and how you can build them with Unity.
The announcement of Unity Public Roadmap was probably the nicest thing to hear. Now you can now have a little glimpse of the future and figure out what will happen with the engine in the future. There’s more info about over at the official blog.
Finally, there was a great talk from Mariina Hallikainen, CEO and co-founder of Colossal Order. Colossal Order is a great company that makes wonderful simulation and strategy games. They have recently released a wonderful city building game called Cities Skylines, which was a huge hit. It sold over a million copies and became a great hub for modders.
The keynote was concluded with David Helgason taking a look back at the first 10 years of Unity 1’s launch at WWDC in 2005. There was even an anecdote about their first payment order from the Asset Store being blocked by PayPal because they thought it was credit card fraud. I guess if they had been using Xsolla, that wouldn’t have happened.
Overall, it was a great look at the engine, it’s features, and the way you could use this technology to build games for mobile platforms and PC.
Stay tuned for more interviews from Unite 2015. Oh, and we were able to get a hold of Iestyn Lloyd (he’s awesome just as expected) and guys from Mixamo, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.