Unity has released the beta for version 5.5 of its eponymous engine.
The headline improvements in the unstable iteration are to line rendering and the particle system, with LineRenderer and TrailRenderer both overhauled to use a more accurate line drawing algorithm.
On the particle side, new options for attaching real-time lights through the lights module have been introduced, as well as a new noise module to add noise to particle movement and adjust quality accordingly. Ribbonised trails can be similarly be added via the trails module. Finally, the colour gradient system has been expanded to offer more control over the hue of particles – further properties can be altered via custom data.
Elsewhere, Unity’s Mono C# compiler has been updated to Mono 4.4, fixing some bugs and generally boosting performance.
WebGL 2.0 has been made the default for new projects, bringing it into line with OpenGL ES 3.0 when it comes to rendering and visual quality in browsers – though it’s worth noting that browser support remains experimental.
The way Unity handles 2D physics has also been improved, adding new collision detection options and Rigidbody2D properties.
The tool’s texture importer has been tweaked, too, adding the ability to decouple texture format from compression and texture shape from texture type, as well as other capabilities. When it comes to HDR textures, the FP16 format and BC6H compression are now supported.
Oh, and there’s new splash screen tools on the way.
Read the full rundown on Unity’s blog.