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Unity Technology is probably one of the few proprietary engine designers out there that has, from the get-go, set their sights on maximizing efficiency from the lower tier of game development to the higher tier, all in one fell swoop. Well, the latest edition of the Unity Engine adds a lot of convenient new features to make game design so much easier on developers.
As noted in the news alert...
The first update release for Unity 4, 4.1 is packed with amazing Pro and Free features including support for Apple AirPlay, and is designed so that developers can seamlessly improve game performance and easily create awesome new content.
The thing I like the most out of the update is this new feature in Unity 4.1 called Memory Profiler. Now, this neat little addition to the engine enables developers to easily see how much memory each element of the game takes up. So technically, if you have actor props, furniture, platforms and a few destructible items and particle effects, you can pinpoint how much memory each proponent takes up, so you can gauge what you need to scale to get the best performance out of your game. I think that is really, really, really slick, especially considering that memory has been such a huge issue in the console game design department.
Additional, 4.1 has AirPlay support so you can easily build your game to run on a mobile device and then play on an HDTV using an iPhone or iPad as a game controller. Neat stuff.
Another big update comes in the form of additional shader support so you can design games with more varied flags on material to enable or disable specific shaders either using the new custom material function or the shader API. That's probably going to come in real handy for games that use a lot of material aesthetics to give off a specific impression, sort of like the gold metal shine and polycarbonate look used on a lot of materials in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
You can learn more about Unity 4.1 or grab a copy by visiting the Official Unity Technology Website or you can check out a tech demo showcasing how the Unity 4 engine can run intense CGI quality simulations in real-time.