Unity has released the official 2018.1 build and provided it for download.
As we reported here when we spoke to Unity at the Game Developers Conference in March, the 2018.1 release includes the Scriptable Render Pipeline (SRP) Preview, the new C# Job System and Entity Component System (ECS), a Package Manager, improvements to level design and shaders, and more.
Watch the video for an overview.
Scriptable Render Pipeline (SRP)
The Scriptable Render Pipeline allows developers and technical artists to have the full power of modern GPU hardware using C# code and material shaders. Two render pipelines are being provided with Unity: the High-Definition Render Pipeline for developers with AAA aspirations, and the Lightweight Render Pipeline (LW RP) for those looking for a combination of beauty, speed, and optimized battery life on mobile devices and similar platforms.
High Definition Render Pipeline (HD RP)
This modern renderer will support a limited set of platforms: PC DX11+, PS4, XBox One, Metal, Vulkan - no XR. It targets high-end PCs and consoles and prioritizes high definition visuals., The tradeoff is that HD RP will not work with less powerful platforms, and some learning and re-tooling may be required.
The renderer is a hybrid Tile/Cluster Forward/Deferred renderer. It features volumetric and unified lighting, new light shapes, and decals.
Lightweight Render Pipeline (LW RP)
This pipeline is a single-pass forward renderer intended to use fewer draw calls, which is an ideal solution for mobile and performance-hungry applications like XR.
LW RP has its own process for rendering and requires shaders written with it in mind.
C# Job System and Entity Component System (ECS)
The Entity Component System combined with the Job system allows Unity developers to take full advantage of multicore processors without the programming headache. Developers can use the extra horsepower to add more effects, complexity, and behaviors to their games.
Level Design and Shaders
More improvements have been added to help artists, designers, and developers collaborate more efficiently by making it possible to create levels, cinematic content, and gameplay sequences without coding.
Unity 2018.1 builds on the Package Manager introduced in Unity 2017.2 with a new Package Manager User Interface, the Hub and Project Templates, and more to help developers get started faster and more efficiently.
Unity's goal is to make the toolset more modular where features can be installed, removed, enabled, and disabled quickly and easily.
Much more is included in the 2018.1 release. Learn more and view all the details at the Unity announcement here.