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Unite 2015 Boston: The Wrap-Up
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Unite 2015 Boston: The Wrap-Up

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Yesterday, when Shane and I left the company of fellow Echo Base writer Sam Segal and prepared for our long trek back home, the air surrounding us was charged with electricity. We had done it. We had tackled the Unite Conference as a news team.

Going into this, none of us knew what to expect. Sure, on a base level, we understood what we had to do; the Unite 2015 Boston conference was where Unity would be holding developer panels and workshops, and we were going to have to cover the news coming from these sources. We were excited, and we were ready. It was time to attend this event, do our job, and come home.

What we probably didn’t expect–knowing full well that I certainly didn’t–was the camaraderie that it would create between us. Not just “us”, the news team that hadn’t shared the effort of working together on a story before. The bigger, more meaningful “us”: all of you reading this. All of you who interacted with this chaotic trio. The diverse, proud, and creative “Unity Community.”

The first time I knew we weren’t dealing with a throng of people just going through the industry-related motions was at our very first panel, the Unite 2015 Keynote.

As John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity Technologies, ushered people from his own team and from the wider development community onto the stage, my cynical mind gave way to my appreciative one. These were real people, with real creativity, and real passion, working to bring you and me a better, more rewarding gaming future.

Joachim Ante, Lucas Meijer, Pete Moss (with the incredibly badass title of “VR Dude”), and many more from Unity Technology’s team stood in front of an auditorium filled with 1,500 people. They used their time to explain what Unity is already making happen, what it wants to do very soon, and where they can see things going in the future. And they always made sure to use some of their time to talk about their users, the ones who bring Unity’s assets and abilities to life for all of us to enjoy. Users like…

Adam Simonar, Studio Director and Level Designer for NVYVE Studios

Rob Pardo, Former CCO of Blizzard Entertainment

And…

The Colossal Order Team (Winners of Unity’s “Game of the Year” Golden Cube Award

…With that only being a sample of the amazing minds behind some of the most beautiful and engaging games already available, still in development, and not yet announced.

The amount of technology and information on display was incredible, but every bit of it was an eye-opener for the three of us as we moved through all three days of this conference. We were treated not only to an endless array of upcoming games and game-related software development tools and assets, but to several different kinds of technologies and applications being built with Unity that either fell outside of the gaming market, or plan to take games in a different and more interactive direction. Soren Harner and his team over at Meta Company, for instance, are working on AR technology for industrial, commercial, and medical use. Project Tango, whose cutting-edge mobile AR/VR applications will utilize phones and tablets to play incredibly immersive games and make design work more accessible and efficient, were pleasant and eager to let anyone within sight (including Sam and Shane) try out their technology. And the team behind Schell games, whose Oculus Rift-ready game “I Expect You to Die” made me react like this.

The truth is, I could go on and on about our entire three days at Unite 2015 Boston. It was incredibly fun to touch base with all of these people, as well as attend and report on these panels. I implore you to use all of the links you see in this article, because I truly believe you will be amazed at what Unity is already doing, and what it has yet to do.

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A special thanks to all of the companies and people above, and to people like the team over at Thinksquirrel who let us play with their Fluvio fluid dynamics asset. You guys made this an absolute blast for us, and we look forward to seeing how far you’ve come at the next Unite conference.

Oh, and just in case they thought I forgot…

An extra special thanks to Eddy Ng and Joel Packer, the guys from Unity Ads! You guys are working on ways to make in-app purchases suck less. If you figure out that formula, you’ll both be my personal heroes.

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Lastly, we thank the entire team over at Unity Technologies. You were all friendly and accommodating, you gave us access to everything and everyone during this event, and you and Microsoft know how to throw a kickass after party.

Thus, Echo Base’s coverage of the Unite 2015 Conference ends. I speak for all of us when we say we hope we will be able to bring you coverage during Unite 2016. It’s been an absolute blast. I know I implied above I was already done giving thanks, but it cannot be avoided:

Thank you to everyone who took time out to read our updates on all things Unity; you’ve given us a Hell of an opportunity to bring you breaking news, and you’ve shared us from one end of the blog-o-sphere to the other. Our audience is amazing, and we are so happy that you are growing right along with us.

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Douglesby Doug is a grab-basket of dysfunction that has been accused of being "the life of the party", even though he thinks of himself as "late to re-binge-watching The Office on his permanently indented couch." An almost obsessive-compulsive consumer of music, video games, and sundry geek-centric forms of media, he spends the majority of his time arguing about how much better Tarantino movies are than anything anybody anywhere else likes (I'm looking at you, Everybody That Doesn't Agree With Me) and thinking about how to most hilariously murder one of his roommate's two cats. In between those glorious times, he practices home inspections, plays with his microKorg, and contributes regularly to Echobase.
  • Chris Martin

    TIL That Hearthstone uses the Unity engine.

    • I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that was the case until Rob Pardo showed up at the panels and was like, “Yeah, how’s that for a knowledge bomb, Doug? Ya fuckin’ DUMMY?”

      He never said that to me. But that’s how it felt when it happened.