How Unity's Native x86 Support made "School of Dragons" drop-dead gorgeous

Published Date
30 - Mar - 2015
| Last Updated
23 - Apr - 2015
 
How Unity's Native x86 Support made "School of Dragons" drop-dead...

The partnership between Unity* and Intel® is paying rewards for mobile device gamers via Android* x86 optimization. Gaming companies, like Jumpstart*, want to release their software on as many platforms as easily as possible, while achieving better performance. Unity’s 4.6 release that provides native x86 support, is making these goals a reality. When Jumpstart applied the new Unity 4.5.4f1 version to their School of Dragons game, they achieved both a 146% frames per second speedup and an 87.6% lower CPU utilization simply by enabling Unity native x86 support1.

 

Unity software’s native Android x86 support provides these potential benefits over previous non-native support:

 

  • Significant reduction in load times
  • Frame per second (FPS) performance increases
  • Lower power consumption

 

Baseline

 

Prior to the Unity 4.6 release, all Unity-based games on Android ran in non-native x86 mode. JumpStart’s School of Dragons was underachieving on both frames per second and CPU utilization as seen in the Non-Native column in Figure 2 below.

Enabling x86 Support

Jumpstart’s lead developer Thomas Su immediately began use of the limited release alpha  4.5.4f1 version when Unity made it available. After enabling native x86 support, School of Dragons realized a significantly increased FPS, improved load times, as well as noticeable power savings as shown in Figure 2.

With the newest releases of Unity 4 and 5 products, automatic x86 support is now built in. In addition to the gaming code, Jumpstart had several key plug-ins such as Facebook* SDK, Supersonic* and selections from Prime31* that needed to be included.  Su saw how simple the entire build was: “It is very easy for us. We just opened our Android project with new version of Unity containing x86 support Unity and rebuilt our project.”

The development team at Jumpstart was very happy with the results: “The performance is very good. The FPS is double on this native support build.” In testing, the load time for School of Dragons dropped by several seconds as measured by the length of time to reach gameplay from the Character Select Screen as reported in Figure 2.

Summary

 

Jumpstart realized significant performance improvements by simply enabling native x86 support. Unity software’s latest 4.6 release can help Android developers see similar results on Intel processor-based mobile devices.

For more such Android resources and tools from Intel, please visit the Intel® Developer Zone

Source: https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/native-x86-support-on-unity-gaming-boosts-performance-for-jumpstart-s-school-of-dragons