Unity is everywhere. A recent survey of UK games companies showed that 72 per cent now used the engine, and its influence spreads well beyond the games industry as well. In just two weeks, MCV will be reporting live from Copenhagen for the company’s biggest event of the year: Unite Copenhagen 2019.
We talk to Katrina Strafford, VP of Marketing at Unity, about the upcoming event and what developers can expect, whether they’re in Copenhagen or watching online.
How does this event rank in terms of importance in your annual cycle, compared to say GDC?
This year, Unite Copenhagen will be our largest event in the West, attracting Unity users across a wide variety of industries, including gaming, robotics, automotive, architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing. Unite conferences are our annual user conferences, designed to immerse attendees in the latest Unity technology, networking, learning content, and much more. Unites have been around for more than 10 years, taking place in 7 countries annually. In terms of sheer size, our footprint at Unite Copenhagen will be more than 530K square feet, compared to our GDC booth, which was 12K.
Why bring Unite to Unity’s ‘place of birth’ in Copenhagen this year?
It’s incredibly meaningful to us to host Unite in the same place that the company was founded 15 years ago. Coming back to our roots is special to us for a few reasons – we get to celebrate our 15th anniversary where it all began, bring our event to the home of Unity’s largest engineering hub, and immerse our community in the vibrant, innovative tech ecosystem found within Copenhagen.
How big do you expect the event to be? In terms of space, sessions, and attendance?
Hosted at the Bella Center, we expect about three thousand attendees to participate in the three-day conference. This year, we’re offering more than 150 sessions, industry-specific tracks, product demos, meetups, hands-on labs, a Training Day, an Expert Bar, Unite at Night, and the Unite keynote. We have sessions than ever before, spanning topics like Data-Oriented Design, Simulation, AR & VR, Artist Tools & Animation, Core Tech, Graphics, Multiplayer, with plenty of content to meet the needs of every attendee. Expect to learn everything from How MADFINGER is Leading Next-Gen Multiplayer Mobile FPS Games to How Volvo Embraced Real-Time 3D and Shook up the Auto Industry.
“This year, we’re offering more than 150 sessions, industry-specific tracks, product demos, meetups, hands-on labs, a Training Day, an Expert Bar, Unite at Night, and the Unite keynote.”
Who can benefit from attending and how should they persuade their boss they should come?
We hear from attendees that Unite Copenhagen is the most important event of the year for learning, networking, and new business opportunities. Those attendees come from all industries and are made up of programmers, designers, architects, artists, project managers, executives, creative directors, simulation directors, user acquisition managers, product managers, and more. What they take away from Unite helps their entire company be more productive and competitive. For example, they can learn from product teams, see the latest product roadmaps, and prepare for upcoming changes to tools they use. They can gain speed and efficiency by learning from experts using new workflows and tools. They can learn how their company can implement the latest technology faster. These are just a few of the learnings that attendees can benefit from long after Unite Copenhagen is over and throughout the rest of the year. For anyone wondering how to get the conversation started with their manager, see our guide here.
The GDC Keynote had some big-name announcements, can we expect something similar from Unite?
The Unite Copenhagen keynote will not disappoint. You can expect exciting new updates delivered by community favorites like Joachim Ante, Danny Lange, and Timoni West, to name a few – and that’s not including our surprise guests. They will share the latest updates for technologies like the Data-Oriented Technology Stack (DOTS), Graphics, Simulation, 2D Toolset, Connected Games, AR, and some of the interesting and innovative ways different companies are using Unity. We are confident the keynote will be informative, fun, and entertaining.
“During the week of Unite, we’ll also be sharing select sessions on the Unity YouTube channel, with many more going live the following week.”
Not everyone can come to Copenhagen, so what are your plans for those further afield?
We understand that it’s simply not possible for everyone to attend our Unite events, which is why we ensure that our keynote is live-streamed, enabling anyone around the world to feel the magic of the keynote. We anticipate Brackeys, Roman Papush, and Code Monkey to stream our keynote from their channels, which will enable even more creators to be a part of that special moment. During the week of Unite, we’ll also be sharing select sessions on the Unity YouTube channel, with many more going live the following week.
How do you ensure that the event engages the increasingly broad use cases for the engine?
We are focused on solving hard problems. We are constantly evaluating our technology and uncovering the ways that it can unlock opportunities for users of all types and levels. To address the broad spectrum of Unity users, we have industry-specific tracks so that we’re delivering appropriate content for as many attendees of Unite Copenhagen as possible. For example, attendees can hear from Volvo’s lead Unity developer, Timmy Ghiurau, about how he brought real-time 3D technology into the automotive industry and how Skanska and OutHere are streamlining worker-safety training in VR.
What are the key areas for discussion this year?
We’re in the midst of a creative revolution; one that affects every single person working in every industry. Real-time 3D is powering the next generation of creators, revolutionizing both the way they create things and the way consumers consume products and information. In the next decade, virtually every piece of content that an individual will consume will be created using real-time 3D technology.
We hope attendees walk away feeling inspired by the fact that we have entered into the Golden Era of gaming – one where constraints that were once there are falling away, thanks to the most significant technology of our time: Real-time 3D. Today, creators like the ones in the Unity community, many of whom are attending Unite, will lead the world into the next realm of creative possibility.
Attendees will also take away with them an understanding that Unity is their partner in next-generation technology and the unbelievable power and performance of DOTS. Some of the specific topics include Ray Tracing, Scriptable Render Pipeline, 2D Toolset, Connected Games, Simulation, and the Data-Oriented Technology Stack (DOTS).
Networking is a big part of such events, what have you got planned in that respect?
Absolutely – networking is a key part of Unite and something attendees enjoy – meeting interesting people never gets old. This year, on Wednesday, September 25 from 6-9pm CST, Unity will be hosting founders, partners, developers, artists, and all Unity enthusiasts at a variety of our favorite downtown locations in Copenhagen. Called Unite at Night, these gatherings will take place at venues like La Boucherie, Heidi’s Bier Bar, and The Drunken Flamingo. Additionally, we’ll be hosting more personalized events throughout the week like a Women in Gaming happy hour and a Unity for All Diversity & Inclusion event. We understand the value of meaningful engagement and are excited to offer this to our users in new ways this year.