Unity 3D, the increasingly popular WYSIWYG—ish engine for building video games, does a lot of things really well. Helping you build in-game user interfaces? That’s not one of them. At least, not yet.
Unity has been promising to overhaul its UI creation system for months now, but has yet to actually ship it. When Unity officially announced that version 5.0 of the engine was in the works, the company was quick to head off complaints by promising that the UI creation tools would still ship for all of those folks running 4.X — many of whom likely purchased 4.x on the promise of the pending UI tools alone.
Today, they’re showing off what looks to be a near-finalized demonstration of the new GUI tools:
If you know your way around Unity, the above video is pretty damned exciting. If you don’t, just know this: one of the best tools for creating video games across a ton of platforms (from next-gen consoles to phones to Macs and PCs) is finally patching up one of its few remaining glaring faults. That means more great games for you, without developers having to burn nearly as much energy on something as dry as building the user interface.
Also worth noting: Unity’s blog post about the video specifically notes that the UI system will ship with Unity 4.6. They just shipped Unity 4.5 this week — so unless there are any more delays, the new UI system will ship in the next (and likely final) major patch before the release of 5.0. Alas, the closest thing we get to a definite launch date is still sometime “this summer.”