GDC11: New Unreal Engine 'a bigger leap forward than UE2 to 3'

GDC11: New Unreal Engine 'a bigger leap forward than UE2 to 3'

By Rob Crossley in San Francisco

March 4th 2011 at 4:47AM

DX11-supported tech 'a major milestone', firm tells Develop

The latest Unreal Engine represents one of the most significant technological progressions in Epic Games’ twenty-year history, a key exec at the company has claimed.

Speaking with Develop at GDC, Epic Games vice president Mark Rein attached bold promises to his firm’s new DX11-supported Unreal Engine.

“We don’t re-name our engine unless there’s a generational leap,” Rein said, “but this new version of Unreal Engine is a bigger technological jump than Unreal Engine 3 was over UE2.”

Such a big declaration comes after Epic showcased a video demonstration of the new engine, which has since received positive initial reactions from many developers.

Epic’s demo focused on cinematic and intense visual effects, as opposed to the procedural flexibility demonstrated in Epic's previous tech showcases. It flaunted Unreal Engine 3's artist-driven features, including image-based reflection and improved bloom, along with Direct X11 features such as sub-surface scattering and dynamic tessalation and displacement.

But Rein explained the firm’s future is also in broadening its services. 

“I think in some ways we hurt our marketing by not trumpeting a new version of the engine every year, but we’ve added so much to UE3 over the years,” he said.

“I mean, the last few years Unreal Engine has been about adding support for as many devices as developers want. We add iOS, we add Mac, we add NGP, we add DX11.”

And, he added, there is still much work to be done in that central expansion plan.

Develop’s full interview with Rein will be published soon.

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