Unity 4.0 now on sale with DirectX 11 support, Linux publishing preview, new animation tools and more

The Unity game engine and development platform has reached the 4.0 milestone and is now available for purchase with a slew of new features onboard. Headlining the update are DirectX 11 support, new animation tools and an add-on for publishing games to Flash. In addition, Tux is getting some love with a preview of a deployment option for publishing games to Desktop Linux. Sure, a landmark release might seem like a good time for Unity Technologies to cool its heels and slow down development, but a respite isn't on the roadmap. According to the firm's CEO, David Helgason, Unity 4 will see a faster paced schedule and more frequent releases than the platform previously had. Developers can snag a free version of the software or shell out at least $1,500 for a professional license. For more details on additions and improvements to the engine, hit the jump for the press release or tap the second source link below for the complete rundown.

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Unity 4.0 Launches

San Francisco – November 14, 2012 – Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity multi-platform engine and development tools, is proud to announce Unity 4.0 is now available for download. Unity 4, announced in June, will consist of a series of updates designed to improve the product through an extensive improvement of existing tech and the rollout of new features.

The first in a series of updates for Unity 4, this version includes significant additions such as DirectX 11 support and Mecanim animation tools. In addition users will have access to a Linux deployment preview and the Adobe® Flash® Player deployment add-on.

"Unity 4 will see the addition of an incredible number of new, highly advanced, features and continuous improvement across the tech to be released in smaller, faster increments than Unity has seen in the past," said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies. "It's an exciting time for Unity and the 4.0 release marks the beginning of a great new era for our technology."

Mecanim – Stunning Character Animation
Mecanim, Unity's powerful and innovative animation technology, is setting new industry standards for tools in integrated development environments allowing the creation of complex state machines, blend trees, IK rigging, and auto retarget animations to characters of different sizes and shapes, all inside of the Unity editor. Developers will find a sizeableselection of retargetable animations available in the Unity Asset Store: http://unity3d.com/unity/asset-store/.

DirectX 11
With the ability to take advantage of full DirectX 11 support, including shader model 5, tessellation for smoother models and environments in game worlds, and compute shaders for advanced GPU computation, Unity 4.0 empowers developers. DirectX 11 support development was aided by development of the Butterfly Effect demo: http://unity3d.com/promo/butterfly/.

High-end Visual Capabilities for All Platforms
Unity 4.0 also features real-time shadows on mobile, skinned mesh instancing, the ability to use normal maps when bakinglightmaps, and a refined GPU profiler. It's easy to make extremely high-end visuals that scale across the best of what's available on modern PCs and the most advanced mobile graphics chips.

Adobe Flash Player Add-on
The Adobe Flash Player deployment add-on will empower developers to publish their new and existing titles to one of the world's most ubiquitous gaming platforms on the web. With the wealth of incredible features in the 4.0 release, Unity is the most powerful development pipeline for creating high quality 2D and 3D content for Adobe Flash Player. The add-on is now available for sale in the Unity store: https://store.unity3d.com/.

Linux Publishing Preview
Unity 4.0 will also include a preview of a new deployment option to publish games to Desktop Linux, clearing a path for the Unity community to bring exciting new content to the PC market's most voracious indie gamers. Desktop Linux standalone publishing will be available for allUnity 4 users at no additional cost.

Unity 4 introduces many additional features and improvements, including:
● Shuriken particle system supports external forces, bent normals, automatic culling, and environmental collisions
● 3D texture support
● Navigation: dynamic obstacles and avoidance priority
● Major optimizations in GUI performance and memory usage
● Dynamic fonts on all platforms with HTML-like markup
● Remote Unity Web Player debugging
● New Project Window workflows
● Iterative lightmap baking
● Refined component-based workflows
● Extensible inspectors for custom classes
● Improved Cubemap import pipeline
● Geometry data improvements for huge memory and performance savings
● Meshes can be constructed from non-triangle geometry – render points & lines efficiently

Unity 4 and the Adobe Flash Player add-on for Unity are now available for purchase at the Unity store (https://store.unity3d.com/).