Unity 5.5 Beta Released


One of the nice things about moving away from point releases and towards a subscription model is releases come fast an furious.  This is certainly the case with the Unity game engine, which just released the first beta of Unity 5.5.  There a massive number of fixes and API changes in this release and a few new major features.  The big feature of this release is the new line rendering and particle system tools, including new modules for lighting, trails and noise.  This release also saw improvements toimage the physics system, and improved texture importer as well as the C# compiler being upgraded to Mono 4.4 (but not the C# implementation, just the tooling at this point).  Unfortunately the promised Splashscreen tool, enabling you to customize the Made With Unity logo,  got delayed for a later release.



Here are the new features, taken from the release notes:

  • Editor: New selection highlighting in scene view.
    Instead of showing a wireframe a selection outline is now shown. This outline color can be configured in the preferences of Unity. In the gizmo / annotation window you can select if you would like this behavour, the old behaviour, or both.
  • Editor: Option to run Cache Server locally for quick platform switching
  • Particles: New Modules:
    • Lights Module, for adding realtime lights to particles
    • Noise Module, for adding Curl Noise to Particle Movement
    • Trails Module, for rendering ribbonized trails behind particles
  • Physics: New CapsuleCollider2D
  • SceneManager: Editor SceneSet asset.
    When creating a SceneSet asset in the editor it will save the current list of open scenes so that this set of scenes can be easily restored.
  • Scripting: Built-in support for opening scripts in Visual Studio Code as an external script editor on OSX and Windows. Unity will now detect when Visual Studio Code is selected an external script editor and pass the correct arguments to it when opening scripts from Unity and setup a default .vscode/settings.json with file excludes, if it does not already exist.
  • Shaders: Per-rendertarget blend modes. New shader syntax: “Blend N Src Dst”, “BlendOp N Op”, “ColorMask Mask N”, where N is the render target index (0..7). This feature works on DX11/12, GLCore, Metal, PS4.


There were also dozens of fixes, changes and improvements, so I recommend you check out the complete release notes for more details.  They are available, along with the installer, right here.

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