For the last month we have been working with Coatsink to move Gang Beasts to Unity 5.6  to exploit performance improvements and make use of the expanded NavMesh, lighting, text rendering (TextMesh Pro), particle, post, camera, and debugging tools. The work to move to Unity 5.6 is done and most stability and rendering issues associated with moving to the current Unity 5.6 release have been identified and fixed.
Testing for the 0.5.6 beta build (published with this post) has ended, please flag any issues with Boneloaf support (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The 0.5.6 Early Access beta build has online support for the elevators stage, modified and optimised geometry for the subway and elevators stages, and a series of other optimisations, fixes, and modifications to UI, networking, and character and costume stability. The 0.5.6 beta also has a modified win state for the melee game mode and a provisional scheme for removing idle players from official servers (see the changelog section of this post for information).
In the last month we have also been working with partners to finish the optimisation of stage geometry and physics simulations, expand enemy AI abilities and pathfinding, setup game modes, debug new costume parts, fix camera issues, and rebuild and optimise menu and in-game UI (some of the optimisation work is exposed in the 0.5.6 beta but work on game modes, AI enemies, costume parts, menus and UI, and camera and post effects can’t be exposed for playtesting until a later build). 
The list of modifications and fixes made in this beta build are:
- fixed an issue with character postures on the costume customisation screen
- fixed stage specific issues with baking lights and re-baked light maps for some stages
- implemented a scheme for removing idle players from official servers (the current server session will end and show the message “You were kicked due to inactivity” if inputs are not frequently sent to each player) 
- implemented online support for elevators stage
- modified formatting for UI text and modals for legibility
- modified server disconnection messaging to give more information
- modified the default win state for the melee games on official servers to two round wins per stage (to give players that lose the first round a round to fight in before the stage can cycle (spectating players can join from the next round or the next stage if the stage has ended) 
- modified Steam API authentication messaging (Failed Platform Entitlement) with summary information and instructions
- modified Steam ID names to not scale with distance in non-VR games
- modified the stair light fixture on subway to support swinging from it
- optimised the geometry for subway and elevators stages (made less significant optimisations to geometry for other stages)
- renamed “survival” game mode to “melee” 
 we expect to make the full release build of Gang Beasts with Unity 5.6 later this year when the full set of launch content (game modes, stages, and costume sets) are fully tested and playable
 we have also been working on minimising and removing exploits and deviations in local multiplayer and online multiplayer game modes, please flag exploits and other issues in the comments
 this implementation will be reviewed and modified if removing idle players is exploited or otherwise compromises gameplay)
 similar to Street Fighter if World Warrior’s were gangs from Beef City and had mass brawls not tournaments
 for reference “melee”, “football”, “waves”, and “sandbox” are the four game modes planned for the full release of the game (other game modes will be added in a series of free post launch updates)