Unity's impressive Megacity tech demo is available now

Megacity is a very flashy tech demo designed by Unity to show off the engine's entity component system and burst compiler. It's mostly just pertinent if you're a developer, but the product of these tools is certainly enjoyable to watch, even if you're a layman. It's available for download now, and you can see it in action in the above video from last year. 

"In Los Angeles, there was a lot of interest in ECS and the Burst Compiler," says Unity. "Building on the Nordeus demo from Unite Austin, our Game Code and FPS Sample teams produced Megacity, a dynamic futuristic cityscape. Megacity exploits our Data-Oriented Technology Stack (DOTS), the name for all projects under the Performance by Default banner, including ECS, Native Collections, C# Job System, and the Burst Compiler."

The city took two artists only two months to create, complete with flying vehicles, hundreds and thousands of objects and countless audio sources. Other teams did assist, however, providing other upcoming Unity features due out this year. Here are a few of them:

  • Workflows for (very) large scenes
  • C# audio system
  • HLOD system
  • ECS culling system 
  • Asynchronous scene streaming 
  • Asynchronous entity instantiation 
  • Improvements to ECS tooling and debugging features

As someone whose development experience doesn't go beyond putting an adventure game script into Articy Draft, a lot of this is going right over my head, but the city is tantalising nonetheless. Futuristic megacities seem like brilliant video game fodder, but they're rare. I've been waiting for a recreation of Judge Dredd's Mega-City One or The Fifth Element's New York for years, but neither city has been given the attention they deserve. 

Presumably the scale is a bit off-putting, but Unity's Megacity is apparently evidence that something that massive and complicated can be built on a small budget. Unity explains how it was built below, and there are several other videos that go into greater detail about the specifics. 

You can download Megacity here, giving you access to the full source files and assets. Now, who's going to build Mega-City One for me? Maybe Rebellion could pause one of the many Sniper Elite games in development and give Dredd some love.

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.