We speak to Camouflaj’s Ryan Payton about being first out of the door with the new engine
Launching less than a week ahead of GDC, Camouflaj’s République Remastered is the first commercial title to be built with Unity 5. An enhanced version of the episodic mobile series, the game makes use of some of Unity’s latest features.
Studio boss Ryan Payton tells Develop that the beta version of Unity 5 was the “sexy new feature” he was looking for, having promised his Kickstarter backers that a PC version of République would be much more than a straight port.
Crucially, Unity 5 enabled Payton and his team to overcome some of the limitations they faced with the previous engine and their target platform – although he remains proud of what Camouflaj was able to achieve with Unity 4.
“When you’re developing on mobile, especially something that’s graphically ambitious like République, optimising the game can be a painful process,” he said. “We had to make concessions for things like lighting, which was frustrating because so much of our game comes down to mood and dark tones.
“We were finally able to unclamp our high-res textures and embrace Unity 5’s physically-based shading and real-time global illumination, giving the game a much more realistic look and feel. Because Unity 5’s headlining graphics features are all based on real-life properties, it was amazing to see the team produce realistic environments once they converted our assets to physically-based.”
Payton says the graphical improvements, and how accessible the new features are, is Unity 5’s biggest improvement.
“It brings high-end graphics to the masses,” he says. “It also improves workflow and removes the need for guess work during the art creation process.
“To me, Unity 5 is a significant release because it allows small devs like us to compete on a visual level that used to be exclusive to big, triple-A teams. While we’ve received a lot of praise for how République Remastered looks in Unity 5 – and the art and dev team here deserve that praise – this is only the beginning. I’m really excited to see what other developers do once they get their hands on Unity 5, because we’re only scratching the surface.”
Unity 5 is now available in two editions: Professional and Personal. While the former is priced at $75 per month, the free Personal edition ensures Unity remains available to hobbyists, smaller studios and indies.
Payton believes upgrading to Unity 5 was worth the effort – even though his team faced the risks of a beta scheme.
“Now Unity 5 is released to the public, developers should have an easier time transitioning because they’ll be on a stable version and they’ll have the community as a resource,” he says, before teasing: “Speaking of community, Camouflaj is going to be doing something special to help developers with the transition to Unity 5, which we’ll be able to talk about soon.”