Unity 5.6 Released With Tons of Performance Improvements and Support for Vulkan API
After a long beta testing period, Unity has now finally released the latest version of its cross-platform game development tools. The version 5.6 brings in tons of new features, performance updates as well as support for new platforms and Vulkan API.
Speaking of the changes, the 5.6 update brings massive improvements to baked lighting and real-time global illumination (GI) to allow for more life-like lighting. For this, Unity has introduced a new lightmap solution called Progressive Lightmapper. The new solution offers developers almost immediate feedback in different lighting scenarios and also dramatically reduces the time needed to iterate backed lights, the level of bounced lighting and waiting minutes. Progressive Lightmapper will entirely replace the current Enlighten-based lightmap solution once it becomes ready. On top of that, support for new features such as Light Modes, baked LODs, and reduced memory is also on the way.
The new update introduces a new video player which enables support for 4K video playback and allows developers to create 360-degree video experiences for VR.
The update also brings support for the Vulkan graphics API. In case you’re not aware, Vulkan is a power-efficient successor to the OpenGL API which boosts graphics performance on mobile platforms while still consuming less in overhead to deliver maximum performance without sacrificing battery life. Of course, to take advantage of the Vulkan API, your device must have support for the API at both hardware and software level.
The new update also adds native support for new platforms to help developers easily build and optimize their games across multiple platforms. Developers can now seamlessly publish their games to Facebook Gameroom, Google Daydream and Cardboard as well as Nintendo Switch console.
Elsewhere, the update also brings in new Light Mode, tons of graphical improvements, new post-processing stack, improved multiplayer and lots more.
If you want to dive deeper, you can read the detailed post explaining each of the changes here.
Finally, this update also marks the end of Unity 5 cycle as the company is planning to introduce a new version numbering system for all new releases in 2017.
Source: Unity Via: Venturebeat
After Unity 5.6, we will introduce a new version numbering system starting with the 2017.x cycle for all releases in 2017. We’ve made this change to clearly mark the end of the Unity 5 cycle, and align with our release cadence.