Unity's TECH stream release of the year is now available. Unity 2020.1 includes a wide range of features and improvements that make Unity workflows even more intuitive and make you more productive, while Unity 2019 LTS remains the recommended version for projects in production.
Also, if you hadn’t heard the other news, Unity has acquired the Bolt visual scripting asset from Developer Ludiq, and Bolt is now included in all Unity plans at no additional cost. You can read more about it in this blog post.
What’s new in Unity 2020.1
Editor and team workflows
New improvements to the toolsets make you more productive, provide more ways to customize your workflows to your specific needs, and reduce interruptions so you can stay in the flow. With Unity 2020.1 you can now visualize the scene context or parent Prefab while editing your Prefab asset. Unity added several importer improvements so custom properties for objects originating from SketchUp can now be imported along with new axis conversion settings, letting you fix axis import issues without having to reopen meshes in a digital content creation (DCC) program.
For programmer tools, Unity has primarily focused on improving usability and stabilizing workflows introduced in previous releases. For example, you can run the Profiler as a standalone app, which reduces the performance overhead when profiling the Editor and gives you cleaner profile data.
Check out the page dedicated to programmer tools in Unity 2020.1 for more details.
Artist tooling and creative workflows
2D Animation now gets a performance boost if you install the Burst Compiler and Collections packages via the Package Manager. This allows the 2D Animation package to use Burst compilation and low-level array utilities to speed up Unity’s processing of Sprite mesh deformation. 2D Physics includes updates like Rigidbody2D XY Position Constraints improvements, Per-frame Auto-Simulation to update physics at the same rate as the rendering cycle, and Edge Collider2D.
Finally, Cinemachine, the suite of tools for dynamic codeless camera behavior, version 2.5 is now a verified package.
Graphics and scalable quality
You can now use Camera Stacking to layer the output of multiple Cameras and create a single combined output using the Universal Render Pipeline for when you need something that is rendered out of the main camera’s context (e.g., a version of your character in a pause menu, or a special cockpit setup in a mech game).
Reaching your audience: Platforms
Unity 2020.1 also added high dynamic range (HDR) display support for the Editor, allowing developers that use displays that support HDR to take advantage of the increased color and brightness ranges while working with HDR content without having to build for the target device to see the results.
Unity has been supporting development for the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation platforms since the release of the 2019.3 TECH stream, and the current releases continue to do so.
Two TECH stream releases in 2020
As Unity announced in January with the release of 2019.3, since more and more features are distributed as packages are continuously updated, it is reducing the number of TECH stream releases from three to two per year. This allows for an extended stabilization phase to validate and improve the stability and quality of our tools between releases. Finally, you have fewer major releases to upgrade to. Unity 2020.2 is scheduled for Q4 2020.
This means that Unity 2020.2 beta will be available during the summer. To be among the first to try it out, sign up for our beta newsletter and get an update in your inbox when it’s available for testing.