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Unity's latest tech demo is a pretty sci-fantasy short film


The folks behind Unity are showing their game engine off at its very fanciest in a new short film, created using the newest version. The Heretic, as it's named, is the short adventure of a man and his technocrow going off to face a god. Some near-future urban fantasy vibes right here. Very fancy indeed. Come watch!

I particularly like how the birdstrands have a stop-motion look to them. Jan Švankmajer would be proud of that creature.

"The Heretic was created on stock Unity 2019.3 and pushed Unity's graphics features to the limit," Unity say, "including every possible aspect of the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) with the integrated Post-Processing stack, and the Visual Effect Graph."

Mm, yes, you've really got to clear your pipeline. All sorts of post-processed stacks can get stuck in there if you're not careful. If you're not charting the u-bend on the Visual Effect Graph, you've no one but yourself to blame when pixels flood all over your feet.

Unity debuted the first four minutes of The Heretic at the Game Developers Conference in March 2019 then showed more in September. The full release of The Heretic comes to celebrate today's the launch of Unity 2019.3.

Unity has a bit of a perception problem because it's so accessible to fledgling developers. That means loads of scrappy Unity games are out there (which, to be clear, I think is great), which leads to dimwits believing Unity's only good for that, then they go around shouting that in YouTube comments. In truth, Unity is used for everything from the stylised prettiness of Knights & Bikes and Untitled Goose Game to the realistic-ish stylings of Subnautica and GTFO. Even Blizzard use it for Hearthstone. These short films from their demo teams might be made to sell industries on Unity, but I bet the company hope they'll win over the public too.

Unity advise devs not to use 2019.3 if they're properly making or supporting a game, mind, only if they want to ride the bleeding edge right now. Otherwise you should instead wait for 2019.4, which will be a more stable and enduring "long-term support" release. Devs who want to see more editor windows might enjoy this video showing off 2019.3 features:

Disclosure: I have pals who work at Unity on not-this things.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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