ARM Guide for Unity Developers: Optimizing Mobile Gaming Graphics

Version 3.0 of The ARM Guide for Unity Developers shows developers how to get the most out of Unity when developing under the unique challenges of mobile platforms.

Unity is the most popular game engine on the planet, used to develop games and applications across multiple platforms by over 50% of all developers. The ARM Guide for Unity Developers shows developers how to get the most out of Unity when developing under the unique challenges of mobile platforms. It includes:

  • Visual quality enhancements for your mobile games and applications
  • Optimizations for both CPU and GPU performance
  • Battery life extension techniques for applications running on ARM® Cortex® CPU and ARM Mali™ GPU-based devices

The ARM Guide for Unity Developers was developed alongside, and based on, an industrial placement student’s experience at ARM.  Joel was tasked with creating a Unity game from scratch on a mobile platform and worked with the internal demo and tools teams to create interesting new effects and ensure the finished application was suitably efficient. The team has collated in this guide all the beneficial hints, tips and techniques which arose over the course of the project which we hope beginner and intermediate developers alike will find useful in future projects.

Update: Version 3.0 is now available.

The version 3.0 adds the following content:

  • Using Enlighten in custom shaders
  • Combining reflections
  • Using Early-z
  • Dirty lens effect
  • Light shafts
  • Fog effects
  • Bloom
  • Icy wall effect
  • Procedural skybox
  • Fireflies
  • Tangent space to world space conversion tool

Version 2.1

The version 2.1 adds the following content:

  • Real time light probes
  • Specular effects
  • Further optimization techniques

Version 2.0 of the ARM Guide for Unity Developers.

The version 2.0 update includes highly optimized rendering techniques, which are recommended for mobile devices. The reader can find a detailed explanation and code snippets of the new shadows rendering technique based on local cubemaps. Other new sections cover shader optimization and Global Illumination with Enlighten, helping developers to better understand lighting and Unity.

Furthermore, there are several blogs outlining the techniques: Dynamic Soft Shadows Based on Local Cubemap, Reflections Based on Local Cubemaps, Refractions Based on Local Cubemaps and The Power of Local Cubemaps at UNITE APAC and the Taoyuan Effect.

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