Epic Diaries: Flash support

Epic Diaries: Flash support

By Mark Rein

November 17th 2011 at 9:00AM

Mark Rein details Unreal Engine 3's move to support Flash

On October 4th in Los Angeles, Epic Games founder and technical director Tim Sweeney appeared onstage at the Adobe MAX 2011 to demonstrate Unreal Engine 3 running in Flash.

We’ve been working closely with Adobe on this technology for quite some time. A few months ago when we decided we would do a demo for this event, we weren’t sure what we were going to show.

The first content we decided to try in Flash was Epic Citadel and it ran amazingly well – better than we expected, considering how early on this was. But we began thinking a demo of content designed for mobile might set expectations too low, and we should aim higher.

FLASH STUFF

So what did we do? We chose as our demo a fully playable level from Unreal Tournament 3, and it turned out to look even better than the version we shipped on Xbox 360 and PS3, with improvements like global illumination, better shadows, and god rays.

We’re not just talking about triple-A console quality on the web, we’re actually showing it onscreen, in a web browser, playing inside Flash.

I can’t blame you if you couldn’t imagine a Facebook game at the level of Unreal Tournament 3 before today.

But know now that UE3 with Flash support is the technology that will enable experiences like this, and we’re just getting started. UE3 has earned recognition as the best game engine for PC, console and mobile, and now we’re adding the Web via Adobe Flash support.

With many of the world’s best developers using UE3’s professional-strength tools, we’re sure to see amazing uses for this down the road. There’s still some work to do before we can release this technology to developers, and we’ll have more to talk about soon.

FROM INFINITY TO BEYOND

Onstage at Apple’s Let’s Talk iPhone event the very same day, Epic’s president, Mike Capps, and Chair Entertainment creative director, Donald Mustard, revealed and demonstrated Infinity Blade 2, the full-blown sequel to the hugely successful iOS game Infinity Blade.

Infinity Blade 2 uses some cool new technical features that demonstrate what developers are able to do with Unreal Engine 3.

Let’s start with two high-end graphics features that take advantage of the latest A5-equipped iOS devices (iPad 2 and the new iPhone 4S).

Dynamic character shadows, which include self-shadowing, allow for greater realism in both combat and cinematic sequences, and provide greater range of visual contrast and color depth.

Dynamic light shafts, also known as ‘god rays’ enhance the visual appeal of outdoor areas, as well as allow for great realism and cinematic quality together with visual effects such as lens flares.

iOS 5 introduces Apple’s new iCloud service, and Infinity Blade 2 will take advantage of iCloud save games, which will automatically sync your save files between multiple iOS 5 devices. This allows players to start the game on one iOS 5 device and then continue on another.

Infinity Blade 2 features ‘massively social’ gameplay challenge modes, driven through back-end server support, providing new challenges for players to complete in conjunction with each other.

These challenges change frequently over time, allowing for greater variation of gameplay and offering unique rewards for participation.

Finally, Facebook integration is another great feature coming in Infinity Blade 2. This will allow players to post accomplishments, invite other players and friends to challenges, and utilise their Facebook network to enhance their gameplay experience.

Infinity Blade 2 is set to release on the App Store on December 1st, 2011.

Be sure to visit www.infinityblade2.com for all the details.

UDK BREAKS ONE MILLION SUPPORT, AND ADDS MAC SUPPORT

Finally, I’m pleased to report that UDK has more than one million unique installs and now supports Mac OS X.

This isn’t a download count, nor does it count users who installed a new version of UDK over an old version, or reinstalls. This means there are more than one million different computers onto which the UDK has been installed.

We're very excited to see what developers do with these new features utilising our toolset. Between seeing UE3 in Flash, in iOS, and on Macs, we're looking forward to a very eventful 2012, to say the least.