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Unity Technologies held their annual indie DirectX 11 contest to see who could design the best DirectX 11 project for the contest and the winner was went to Anton Hand and crew who designed a compelling tech demo called The Museum of the Microstar, made entirely within the Unity Engine and featured some of the most impressive uses of the DirectX 11 technology.

Rust LTD's use of DX11 properties is impeccable and showcases a lot of potential for the future of the Unity 4 and the Unity Engine in general. As noted in the press release announcing the winner for the Unity challenge...
In January, Unity challenged its users to harness the power of DirectX 11 and create some amazing content. Today Unity announced the Grand Prize Winner and runners up to the competition. ??The Grand Prize Winner who walked away with he $10,000 and a trip to Unite 2013 in Vancouver, was “The Museum of the Microstar”by Anton Hand and team who produced a tech demo and interactive narrative short in a massive sci-fi museum of mankind’s disastrous quest towards technological advancement.

The tech demo isn't nearly as “disastrous” as the description puts out. You won't be seeing any Roland Emmerich-style explosions and particle dispersion. However, we do have the tech demo available for viewing below, which gets extremely technical with lots and lots and lots of geek talk, if you're into that sort of thing.

Also, for those who discount the Unity 4 as a serious player in the next-gen engine race, just get a load of how it handles particle effect displacement and simulation, and notice how close it comes to challenging both Epic and Square Enix with their Unreal Engine 4 and Luminous Engine, respectively.

I have to say, I was not expecting that at all. More than anything, Anton and his crew at Rust actually put forth real-world game design philosophies that could play huge roles in the way both mainstream and indie teams approach game design mechanics for upcoming titles. These guys could do wonders with helping build a particle asset store using the latest in DirectX 11 tech. I remember many, many years ago when tessellated geometry was just theory and displacement mapping was something the common game-centric hardware could barely handle at the time, hence the common use of parallax mapping.

It's amazing that we've reached a point where displacement mapping will be the wave of the future and will make it extremely easy for designers to make use of procedurally generated geometry without requiring half as many artists or architects to bring objects, environments or scenes to life.

You can learn more about Unity's contest and what you can expect from the future of the Unity Engine by visiting the official website. And congratulations to Anton Hand and Rust LTD for winning the Unity Challenge.