Developers, middleware technologies and content creators rally behind Unreal Engine 4
One month after Unreal Engine 4’s online launch, Epic Games released its 4.1 update, bringing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One support to subscribers at no additional cost, along with SteamOS and Linux features, mobile upgrades, and more than 100 improvements based on community feedback.
Also released for free through the UE4 Marketplace was Epic’s Elemental demo, which has been used to showcase high-end visuals on PC and console.
Developers are using UE4 to build games and apps for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PS4, Xbox One, Oculus, Project Morpheus, SteamOS, Linux and HTML5. The latter four platforms are still considered preview efforts for source code users at the time of writing.
With the engine’s full C++ source code – and even live source code access – available to subscribers, developers are propelling Epic’s efforts forward and sharing exciting new projects at a rapid pace.
“The community that has quickly grown up around UE4 has surpassed our expectations,” says Unreal Engine general manager Ray Davis. “Not only in terms of the number of developers who immediately jumped in and started building, but also the amount of contributions they’ve started to make back to the engine itself via the GitHub network.”
Epic highlights noteworthy community projects – spanning games, VR apps and tools – via its weekly Twitch broadcast. One experience that has made big waves is the Starship Bridge demo by Thomas Kadlec, a high-fidelity Oculus environment set within Star Trek’s USS Voyager.
In an interview with a VR site, Kadlec said: “I almost have the sensation of being a movie director when working with Unreal Engine 4. I can come up with an idea and in a matter of minutes [have] an implementation that looks really amazing.”
Davis says: “We actually launched with Oculus support back in March. We are continually impressed by the innovations coming from developers working with VR, and it seemed only natural to make sure UE4 is a great toolset for that innovation.”
Many talented artists frequent Polycount’s forums, and tools provider Quixel fits right in with its high-end toolkit, Quixel Suite, which is in open beta. Quixel’s Wiktor Öhman created a Deus Ex-inspired scene, which is coming to Marketplace for free, listed as Sci-Fi Scene.
To check out UE4 and read blog posts from the dev team, visit www.unrealengine.com. Weekly Twitch broadcast are every Thursday at 6pm GMT. Tune in at www.twitch.tv/unrealengine for the livestream.