Epic Diaries: UDK on mobile

Epic Diaries: UDK on mobile

By Mark Rein

March 22nd 2011 at 8:00AM

A look at Unreal Engine 3's support for a new wave of mobile gaming

Anyone looking for proof that Unreal Engine 3 is ready for the world of mobile game development got their answer in December 2010.

Epic and ChAIR Entertainment’s own Infinity Blade created a major stir the moment it was released for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch for a simple reason: it showed that mobile gaming is ready for console-quality graphics and game play.

Upon release, Infinity Blade shot to the top of the iTunes App Store charts around the world. IGN named it the best iPhone game of the year. It won TouchGen’s Best Action Game, Best Graphics and Game of the Year honours along with many other awards.

The game’s first free update has already shipped adding in-app purchases to the mix, and more features, including multi-player, which is on the way.

THE NEW WAVE

The floodgates have been opened for a new phase of game development for mobile devices. Not only has Infinity Blade shown that mobile devices can support high-fidelity graphics, it’s also proved that there’s a large market of mobile users whose trigger fingers have been itching for quality mobile games.

Infinity Blade isn’t the only UE3-powered mobile game making a splash. Trendy Entertainment’s Dungeon Defenders: The First Wave is the first UDK-powered game to debut on Android as well as the iOS devices.

“Developing mobile games with Unreal technology allowed our small team, with no prior experience on mobile platforms, to produce several titles in just a handful of months – just in time for the holiday season,” says development director Jeremy Stieglitz.

“Unreal’s combination of robust tools, seamless art-driven pipelines, and powerful graphics has given our team the power to create high-end games which clearly stand out from the crowd.”

And that’s just the beginning. Plenty of developers are using the Unreal Development Kit for free to test the waters of mobile gaming, now that it’s clear they won’t have to compromise to go mobile.

ALL THAT JAZZ

”UDK for mobile development brings the power of Unreal Engine 3 to virtually anyone, allowing them to realise their own game ideas, and make them come to life on their own mobile devices,” states Epic’s Shane Caudle.

“Now with UDK, anyone can be a game developer and sell their games on Apple’s highly successful App store.”

Caudle created a tutorial to demonstrate how to use UDK to prototype an iOS game using the visual scripting language Unreal Kismet without touching code. If nothing else, it’s worth watching just to see Jazz Jackrabbit in action again – Jazz starred in one of the first games Epic ever made, back in 1994. In the tutorial, the game is designed to be a top-down dual-stick shooter.

“This Jazz tutorial is just a simple example of how quickly you can get something fun up and running without having to write any code, due to the power of Kismet,” explains Caudle.

Finally, it’s GDC time. If you’re interested in using Unreal Engine 3, let’s talk at GDC this year. Whether you’re making a game for console, PC or mobile, you should see our latest tools and technologies in action. Contact us at licensing@epicgames.com with several day and time combinations that suit your schedule.