Unity’s latest beta build comes with some great news in the release notes and changelog – full, native integration with Google’s Daydream VR ecosystem is now a major development goal, and should be complete by the end of March, along with support for the budding Vulkan platform. The update will bring the version number for Unity up to 5.6 in the stable channel. Right now, content made in Unity is supported in Daydream and can even be made in VR, but has to be ported over using special processes, which make it hard to update or modify existing works, and make the process of creating Daydream content in Unity just a bit harder. Vulkan, on the other hand, has had rudimentary support since December, and this update promises to make it easy to port almost any content to Vulkan to make it run more easily and efficiently, even for users with lesser hardware.
With this new goal set, Unity users will be able to create a piece of content as they would for any other platform, and instantly export it in a Daydream-friendly format, provided the controls are all set up and the content itself is conducive to VR use. Essentially, the step of converting and porting the content over and rendering it specifically for Daydream can now be skipped, meaning that what users see in test runs with actual Daydream equipment is exactly what users will see.
The much-lauded Vulkan API set is still finding its feet in the 3D media and gaming ecosystems. While users could port content over to Vulkan or use the APIs manually during development since last December, the type of full and official Vulkan support that is slated to drop with version 5.6 of Unity will make it easier than ever for content creators to use Vulkan. The APIs will be integrated, allowing development to take place in Vulkan, rather than porting over to Vulkan later. Just like with Daydream, this means that the preview that developers see inside the Unity development interface is exactly what users see, and it’s now far easier for users with less technical knowledge than others to reap the benefits of developing in Vulkan.