Unity 4 gives game coders animation, Flash, Linux support

Unity Technologies, maker of a widely used video-game engine, today announced that its fourth-generation product will introduce new animation technology and extend its support for Adobe Systems’ Flash Player, Linux, and Microsoft’s DirectX 11.

The game engine brings physics simulations and other tools to programmers — especially those who want to reach multiple computing systems. Such “cross-platform” developer tools are a good fit for today’s world: Unity games can be adapted for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, Xbox, PS3, Wii, and the Web, though adjustments are necessary for performance and interface differences.

Unity 4 will be available for preorder today and delivered in beta form in coming weeks to those who pay up, Chief Executive David Helgason said.

It will extend in some new directions:

• The built-in Mecanim tool, acquired last year, for animating things like 3D character actions. Animators also can sell their work in Unity’s asset store, a sales channel for pre-fab items that game developers might need such as grungy wall textures and realistic trees.

• Support for Linux PCs. “There is is surprisingly big underserved market when comes to Linux gaming,” Helgason said, so the company is bringing its Linux support out of the lab. “It’s not the hottest [market], but it’s very significant installed base on the desktop and on laptops.”

• DirectX 11 support for Windo… [Read more]

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