Brace yourselves, it’s Unity 4.3

Happy days are here again – yes, we’ve just added a whole raft of new and exciting features to your favorite game engine.

In this release you’ll find our much-anticipated 2D toolset, some truly stunning Mecanim features, MonoDevelop 4.0.1 (we knew you’d be pleased to see that one), lots of major Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store Apps features, Plastic SCM integration for your version control pleasure and tons of optimizations.

We’re extremely grateful to all the Alpha and Beta testers without whose help we wouldn’t have been able to develop these great new ideas into stable features – many, many thanks people.

Read on to get the release highlights, or for a complete overview of all the cool new updates and fixes there isn’t space to mention here, see the release notes.

Another dimension

Unity is a 3D engine, right? Not quite – now it’s more. It comes with a dedicated and streamlined 2D workflow. We think you’ll be surprised to discover quite how flexible and resourceful a single spritesheet can become.

Our 2D tools make importing sprites, populating scenes, adding physics and animating so easy. What’s more, with one exception, all our new 2D features are currently available in the free version of Unity!

Unity 4.3 - 2D Game Development Walkthrough

  • Save time with automatic sprite splicing
  • Iterate on your ideas more quickly with our 2D animation window
  • Add a dimension: Mix 2D and 3D with ease
  • Generate animations automatically from multiple sprites
  • Benefit from a fully-integrated dedicated 2D physics system with rigidbodies, joints and customizable colliders
  • Save on textures with automatic atlas generation (Pro preview)
  • Optimize your fillrate with alpha cutout (Pro only)

We’re getting very animated

In Unity 4.3, Mecanim comes into its own as a powerful animation tool that’s fully integrated with the Unity engine. You can animate just about anything. Use the new keyframe-based dopesheet setting in the animation window to animate sprites, or use Mecanim to drive blend shapes for facial animations. Plus, with Mixamo’s new Face Plus technology, you can create high quality 3D facial capture and animation, in real time, directly within Unity.

It makes us very happy that, in Unity 4.3, we can provide Mecanim users with their most eagerly requested new feature. With full support for animation events, you can call any script function you want to from inside the animation playback. If, for example, you’d like your character’s footfalls to stir up some dust, it’s no problem. Plus, Animator.Play(“StateName”) gives you full runtime script control for Mecanim StateMachines.

Major Mecanim optimizations

We’ve also put a lot of hard work and creativity into cutting performance overheads, including a number of significant Mecanim runtime optimizations. Thanks to these numerous tweaks, you can now have a sizeable horde running around a game without it overtaxing your device. What’s more, you can cut the number of game objects in your scene with the new optimize game objects feature.

Unity co-founder and CTO Joachim Ante introduces new 4.3 Mecanim features

Better scripting

A lot of you have been waiting patiently to see some improvements to the Unity IDE and we’ve been working on a number of things internally to address this. We’re happy to tell you that the latest version of the Unity 4.x cycle comes with the latest version of MonoDevelop (4.0.1).

One thing you’ll immediately notice is that it features a completely new interface. Under the hood there’s also a new completion and refactoring engine and some important bug fixes. It’s a significant advance on MonoDevelop 2.x, and we have plans to do even more... Watch this space!

New opportunities with Windows apps

In recent months we’ve added loads of goodies for iOS and Android publishers including, iOS Game Controller support, improved iOS crash handling and support for OpenGL ES 3.0 to help you get the best out of Qualcomm processors. Now it’s time to make Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store publishers happy!

Most importantly, as of Unity 4.3, you can use JavaScript and Boo when scripting on your Windows Store apps. What’s particularly cool is that we’ve also added support for the trial API, so you can make your apps available on a try-before-you-purchase basis. And, because we’ve added Windows 8.1 support, you can benefit from using Visual Studio 2013 should you wish to.

As if that wasn’t enough, Unity 4.3 also features support for location services and compasses, dial and show notification and cloth simulation.

Way to go Navmesh

Unity Pro’s Navmesh functionality just got much more sophisticated. You can now alter the Navmesh dynamically at runtime with obstacle carving. What’s more, thanks to dynamic offmeshlinks, the user can visualize new ways of getting past those obstacles: If the bridge is down and you fell a tree to span the gap, Navmesh can keep pace with the action.

Iterating your offmeshlinks is easy. There’s no need to bake and repeat – Unity takes care of all your updates automatically so you can see your changes as you make them.

Choose your own version control system

In Unity 4.2 we brought you integrated Perforce support. Now we’ve also added support for distributed version control system Plastic SCM. Like Perforce, Plastic SCM is great at handling large binary files, and their licensing model is very indie friendly.

And much, much more...

It won’t have escaped your attention that we’ve also given the editor controls an overhaul to give them a nice unified look and feel. We’ve added iPhone5S/C to the iPhone generation enum, made joystick input more consistent across Android devices, added ad-loaded callbacks for iOS, integrated the latest version of our highly efficient occlusion culling solution Umbra, made a huge number of performance optimizations.… and, well, we could go on. Instead, why not dip into the Release Notes for more info about all the myriad fixes and improvements new to Unity 4.3.

Download Unity 4.3