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Updating to Unity 2018

Hey all!

Christian here, with an update on development and, well, updates (the software kind).

Midli is being developed in a games engine called Unity, which some (or a lot) of you have probably heard of (it’s pretty popular). It’s a super nifty piece of software, and one of the awesome things about it is how easy it is to make games for multiple platforms, such as both Android and iOS (there are more important differences than you’d think, considering they’re both mobile platforms).

Now, it does have a lot of support for making mobile games, but it’s always been a little bit lacking in certain areas. When you’re not making large scale 3d console games, there ends up being a bit of extra stuff going on that you don’t really need, and some of that stuff can tax a bit on performance and graphics. Not only is there that excess stuff going on, but it also isn’t really that optimized for doing particularly detailed graphics (or things like dynamic lighting) on a mobile platforms. A lot of this means you need to do quite a bit of work on optimizing, which takes a lot of time (and is quite hard).

Fortunately for us that’s all changing! Unity was recently updated to the 2018 edition, which comes with a ton of new features to help with optimization in terms of performance and graphics, specifically targeting mobile games (for those of you interested in the technical stuff, read up on the Lightweight Render Pipeline).

Of course this is mostly just awesome, but updating Unity editions in the middle of a project is not without its difficulties. There are a lot of dependencies when you make games, and when some of those change or get deprecated, suddenly you’ll get tons of errors and stuff that won’t work. So this is what I’ve been working on for the past week and a half. Updating, optimizing, error fixing and tweaking. We’ve been a bit nervous about how to balance visuals and performance, but this update has calmed those nerves and made us confident we can deliver what we’ve always envisioned.

While this has added a couple of weeks to the Midli production timeline, we are actually really happy about it. The project has had its setbacks and delays, but with the new features in the new Unity edition, we are starting to feel like maybe it was meant to be. Going forward it is going to be so much easier to optimize Midli to make sure it plays as smoothly as possible on all platforms, without sacrificing a bunch of cool visual effects!

I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere are doing alright with this crazy summer! Remember to stay cool and hydrated, and I or Louise will bring you some more updates soon!

- Christian & the rest of the DinoByte Team



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