Unigine is a proprietary cross-platform game engine, developed by Russian software company Unigine Corp. Apart from its use as a game engine, it is mainly used in enterprise area: simulators, virtual reality systems, serious games and visualization. Distinguishing feature of Unigine is the support for large open worlds, up to the planet scale. It also has advanced 3D renderer which currently supports OpenGL 4 and DirectX 11. An updated Unigine SDK is released each 3 months.
|Initial release||0.3 / May 4, 2005|
2.8 / April 30, 2019
|Written in||C++ (runtime)|
|Type||Game engine, Software development kit|
Unigine Engine is also a core technology for a lineup of benchmarks (CPU, GPU, power supply, cooling system), which are used by overclockers and technical media: Tom's Hardware, Linus Tech Tips, PC Gamer and others. Unigine benchmarks are also included as part of the Phoronix Test Suite for benchmarking purposes on Linux and other systems.
The first public release was 0.3 version on May 4, 2005. The last update is released on July 7, 2014.
Initially started with only Microsoft Windows and Linux support, more platforms were added later: OS X, PlayStation 3, Android, iOS. Experimental support for WebGL was not included into the official SDK. UNIGINE 1 had support for several graphical APIs: DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11, OpenGL, OpenGL ES, PlayStation 3. Initial versions (v0.3x) had only OpenGL support.
There are 3 APIs for developers: C++, C#, UnigineScript (proprietary scripting language, similar to С++ in syntax). Custom shaders can be written in GLSL and HLSL languages.
Serious game featuresEdit
UNIGINE 1 has several features required by professional simulators and enterprise VR systems (mostly support for large virtual scenarios and specific hardware), often called serious games.
Support for large virtual worlds was implemented via double precision of coordinates (64-bit per axis), zone-based background data streaming, and optional operations in geographic coordinate system (latitude, longitude, and elevation instead of X, Y, Z).
Video output to sophisticated displays was implemented via so-called multi-channel rendering (network-synchronized image generation of a single large image with several computers), which is a standard approach in professional simulators. The same system enabled support of multiple output devices with asymmetric projections (e.g. CAVE). Curved screens with multiple projectors (requiring image warping and edge blending) were also supported. Also, various types of stereoscopic 3D output were supported: anaglyph, separate images output, Nvidia 3D Vision, as well as VR HMD support (Oculus Rift). Unigine 1 also supported multi-monitor output (video-walls).
Unigine renderer supports shader model 5.0 with hardware tessellation and DirectCompute (as well as OpenCL), together with a set of post-processes, including screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), and real-time global illumination. There is a set of built-in high-level objects like terrain, grass, water, clouds and so on. Unigine uses a proprietary physics engine (collision detection, rigid body physics, dynamical destruction of objects, rag doll, cloth, fluid buoyancy, force fields, time reverse). Pathfinding is also implemented with a proprietary engine, together with basic AI components (spatial triggers, callbacks). Other features includes interactive 3D GUI, video playback using Theora codec, 3D audio system based on OpenAL library, WYSIWYG scene editor (UnigineEditor).
Originally released on October 10, 2015.
Unigine 2 has all features from Unigine 1, with further focus on simulators and enterprise use. The main differences are the transition from forward rendering to deferred rendering approach, PBR shading, and introduction of several new graphical technologies like geometry water, multi-layered volumetric clouds, SSRTGI, and voxel-based lighting, and introduction of C# API.
The roots of Unigine are in the frustum.org open source project, which was initiated in 2002 by Alexander "Frustum" Zaprjagaev, who is a co-founder (along with Denis Shergin, CEO) and ex-CTO of Unigine Corp. The name "Unigine" means "universal engine" or "unique engine".
Linux game competitionEdit
On November 25, 2010, Unigine Corp announced a competition to support Linux game development. They agreed to give away a free license of the Unigine engine to anyone willing to develop and release a game with a Linux native client, and would also grant the team a Windows license. The competition ran until December 10, 2010, with a considerable number of entries being submitted. Due to the unexpected response, Unigine decided to extend the offer to the three best applicants, with each getting full Unigine licenses. The winners were announced on December 13, 2010, with the developers selected being Kot-in-Action Creative Artel (who previously developed Steel Storm), Gamepulp (who intend to make a puzzle platformer), and MED-ART (who previously worked on Painkiller: Resurrection).
As of 2019 company claimed to have more than 200 B2B customers worldwide. They primarily use Unigine for military and Virtual Reality projects. Several notable projects include graphical benchmarks and CAD systems.
- Cradle - released for Windows and Linux in 2015 (Steam page)
- Oil Rush - released for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X in 2012
- Syndicates of Arkon - released for Windows in 2010
- Tryst - released for Windows in 2012
- Petshop - released for Windows and Mac, featuring web-player in 2011
- Sumoman - released for Windows and Linux in 2017 (Steam page)
- Demolicious - released for iOS in 2012
- Dual Universe - MMO RPG on a planetary scale (currently in Alpha, release planned for 2020)
- Relics of Annorath MMO, ceased Production in 2017
- Dilogus: The Winds of War
- MMT Online - playable demo available for Windows and Linux
- The Dreamers
- Node - VR shooter (Steam page)
- Kingdom of Kore - action RPG for PC (in future for PS3) - cancelled by publisher
- El Somni Quas - MMORPG (Patreon page)
- Jim Bourke Airshow Trainer - flight simulator (Steam page)
Simulation and visualizationEdit
- NAUTIS maritime simulators by VSTEP
- Be-200 flight simulator
- Klee 3D (3D visualization solution for digital marketing and research applications)
- The visualization component of the analytical software complex developed for JSC "ALMAZ-ANTEY" MSDB", an affiliate of JSC "Concern "Almaz-Antey"
- Real-time interactive architectural visualization projects of AI3D
- Bell-206 Ranger rescue helicopter simulator
- Magus ex Machina (3D animated movie)
- SIMREX CDS, SIMREX FDS, SIMREX FTS car driving simulators by INNOSIMULATION
- Real-time artworks by John Gerrard (artist): Farm, Solar Reserve, Exercise, Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas), X. laevis (Spacelab)
- Train simulators by SPECTR
- DVS3D by GDI
- RF-X flight simulator
- NAVANTIS Ship Simulator
- VR simulator for learning of computer vision for autonomous flight control at Daedalean AI
UNIGINE Engine is used as a platform for a series of benchmarks, which can be used to determine the stability of PC hardware (CPU, GPU, power supply, cooling system) under extremely stressful conditions, as well as for overclocking:
- "Unigine v0.3 is released (official press-release) - Unigine". web.archive.org. 10 November 2006.
- "UNIGINE 2.8: Improved Data Streaming, Cached Shadows, Refactored Editor, Better Vegetation - Unigine Developer". developer.unigine.com.
- "Unigine Engine Now Supports OpenGL 4.0".
- "Development Log". Unigine Corp. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- "Phoronix, Unigine Game Engine Continues To Advance".
- "City Traffic System, New File Dialog and Node Export Plugin - Unigine Developer". developer.unigine.com.
- "3D Real-time Unigine Crypt demo - WebGL". crypt-webgl.unigine.com.
- "Personal open source project by Alexander Zaprjagaev".
- Larabel, Michael (2010-11-26). "Unigine Starts A Linux Game Development Competition". Phoronix.
- Larabel, Michael (2010-12-12). "Good News Out Of Unigine's Linux Game Competition". Phoronix.
- Larabel, Michael (2010-12-13). "Unigine Announces The Three New Linux Games". Phoronix.
- "An interview with the creators of Unigine".
- "UNIGINE Engine selected for Almaz-Antey software".
- "New NAVANTIS Ship Simulator Presented at DIMDEX 2016".