Unity 5.3 Released

Posted on by Ryan

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Great news for Indie developers as Unity Technologies have announced that Unity 5.3 is now available for download. This updated version has many bug fixes, most of them from WebGL, and the addition of webcam support.

Below is the full list of improvements you will find with Unity 5.3.

  • The Unity Standard Shader now uses Desktop-quality reflection functions for WebGL. Previously, Unity WebGL would use a simplified version of the Standard Shader built for mobile devices using the OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics library. Now WebGL uses the same reflection functions as we use on the desktop, resulting in much better quality materials.
  • Soft shadow support.
  • Unity WebGL will now handle compression for you if the server is not configured to do it. Previously, WebGL would require you to set up your web server to serve gzip-compressed versions of your files to the clients. Otherwise, you would serve uncompressed data which would mean that downloads would be several times larger than they should be. As this turned to be confusing and difficult to set up, our WebGL runtime will now automatically download gzip-compressed versions of the data if the web server is not configured correctly to serve the compressed data. It will then decompress the gzip in JavaScript on the client side – which adds a small extra delay to having the compression handled on the protocol level (which still works if your web server is configured correctly), but which means that you no longer need to read your server manual to avoid unnecessarily huge downloads. (See Distribution size here).
  • Data files will now be LZ4 compressed in memory. In WebGL, you don’t have access to a real file system. For this reason, we will keep all your assets in memory all the time. In Unity 5.3, asset data in memory is compressed using LZ4, and will only be decompressed when assets are loaded. This means that your asset data will use less space in memory, and you will be less likely to run out of memory.
  • WebGL build files can now be more easily relocated to different urls. All files generated by the build process are now referenced directly in the generated index.html file. So if you want to deploy your build data to an external hosting solution it is now easier to configure, as all the urls you need to set are handily in one place. (See Moving build output files here).
  • WebGL in Unity Cloud Build is now a platform option. Team members can directly test the game/application in the browser.
  • Improved documentation. For 5.3, we gave the WebGL documentation a makeover and added a lot of additional information. It was important for us to document, in detail, what things are currently not supported on the WebGL platform, or supported only on specific browsers.
  • Numerous bug fixes. Unity 5.3 has 28 WebGL-specific bug fixes compared to 5.2.x – and many other fixes which benefit WebGL users but are not specific to the platform. Additionally, several other WebGL-specific bug fixes have been deployed in various patch releases during the 5.2.x release cycle, which are now all being rolled into 5.3.