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Gameloft to Develop Four New Games Using Unreal Engine 3

PARIS – Gameloft, the leading developer and publisher of digital and online games, announced today a long-term, multi-platform licensing agreement with Epic Games, Inc. that enables Gameloft to incorporate Unreal Engine 3 in four new games, two to be released in 2011 and two in 2012.

“Gameloft is very pleased to partner with Epic, especially with their ability to stay ahead of the curve and continually place the best game engine technology in developers’ hands at any given point in time,” said Julien Fournials, vice president of production, Gameloft. “Using Unreal Engine 3 allows us to push game visuals with remarkable lighting and high-fidelity environments. We are confident that players will enjoy the games powered by Unreal Engine 3.”

“There is no doubt that the four games running on Unreal Engine 3 will be visually stunning and take advantage of the powerful mobile gaming devices,” said Mark Rein, vice president, Epic Games. “We are thrilled to provide our technology to Gameloft and look forward to a lasting collaboration.”

Under the agreement, Gameloft plans to release games on multiple mobile and downloadable platforms, including iOS, Android, PlayStation®Network and set-top boxes.

About Gameloft

A leading global developer and publisher of digital and online games, Gameloft® has established itself as one of the top innovators in its field since 2000. Gameloft creates games for all digital platforms, including mobile phones, smartphones and tablets (including Apple® iOS and Android® devices), set top box, connected TVs and consoles. Gameloft partners with leading international brands such as UNO®, Spider-Man®, James Cameron’s Avatar™, Ferrari® and Sonic Unleashed®. Gameloft also operates its own established franchises, such as Real Football, Asphalt™, Modern Combat 2 : Black Pegasus and N.O.V.A Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance®. Gameloft is present in all continents, distributes its games in 100 countries and employs over 4,000 developers.

Gameloft is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN: FR0000079600, Bloomberg: GFT FP, Reuters: GLFT.PA).

Epic, Epic Games, Unreal, Unreal Engine and UE3 are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States and elsewhere. All rights reserved.

Epic Games Brings Next-Gen Unreal Engine 3 Technology to 2011 GDC

Epic Games, Inc. announces its contributions to the 2011 Game Developers Conference to be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco next week.

Epic Games, Inc. announces its contributions to the 2011 Game Developers Conference to be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco next week. Epic will give multiple talks and demonstrate next-generation content running on Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) at its annual press conference and in private theater presentations.

The Future, as Powered by Unreal Engine 3

Epic is set to reveal its proposal for the next generational leap in gaming. Epic’s real-time Unreal Engine 3-powered demonstration takes atmosphere, effects and human characters to new heights. This completely new, high-end demo will be shown to select licensees, partners, prospective customers and the media behind closed doors.

“This technology demonstration is nothing short of breathtaking. It reminds me of when we first showed Unreal Engine 3 to the world and people were amazed,” said Epic Games President Dr. Michael Capps. “It’s like seeing the Unreal Engine all over again for the very first time.”

Epic will provide presentations for licensees, partners and prospective customers on the half hour each day of the expo. Hours for Epic’s booth are the same as expo hours: Wednesday, March 2, 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m., Thursday, March 3, 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m., and Friday, March 4, 10:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. Demos are scheduled to run on the half hour each day and appointments are not required but priority will be given to those with appointments. In addition, Epic will host free advanced training sessions for UE3 licensees on topics ranging from content creation best practices to rapid prototyping with Unreal Kismet.

Those wishing to meet with Epic should email Mark Rein at mark.rein@epicgames.com. Please specify three possible meeting times, the number of people planning to attend, and whether those individuals would like to see a technology demonstration, chat with Epic business representatives, speak with Epic technical representatives or discuss other matters. Those unable to confirm an appointment in advance are welcome to drop by, and Epic will do its best to accommodate visitors. In addition, representatives from Epic Games Korea and Epic Games Japan will be on hand to speak with licensees and prospective customers from those regions.

Special Media Presentations

Epic will host two media briefings in its private booth (Business Suite #400, South Hall) on Wednesday, March 2, 2:00-3:00 p.m., and Thursday, March 3, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Thursday’s session will repeat content from Wednesday. Media wishing to attend either event should RSVP to dana.cowley@epicgames.com with their name, media outlet title, number of attendees and day preference.

UE3 licensees are making games for iOS, Android, Sony’s Next Generation Portable, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Mac using Epic’s constantly evolving, award-winning toolset. In addition, countless teams are working with the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of UE3, to create games, visualization applications, training simulations, digital films and so much more.

Epic Games’ GDC Sessions

In addition to showing off its latest technology, Epic will present the following GDC lectures and conference sessions:

Monday, Feb. 28, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Room 304, South Hall

Tuesday, March 1, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Room 305, South Hall

Tuesday, March 1, 10:00 a.m. – 6:15 p.m., Room 3020, West Hall

  • Producer Boot Camp with Epic Games Executive Producer Rod Fergusson, Epic Games Producer Chris Mielke and others

Thursday, March 3, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Room 130, North Hall

Thursday, March 3, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Room 3014, West Hall

Thursday, March 3, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Room 110, North Hall

Thursday, March 3, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Room 3006, West Hall

Thursday, March 3, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Room 130, North Hall

Thursday, March 3, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Room 110, North Hall

Friday, March 4, 11:50 a.m. – 12:40 p.m., Room 303, South Hall

Friday, March 4, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Room 300, South Hall

Friday, March 4, 4:10 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Room 303, South Hall

About Unreal Engine

The award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics, best-of-breed toolset and scalability across platforms. Unreal Engine 3’s highly mature toolset and content pipeline consistently evolve along with its advanced mobile features, multi-core processor support, optimizations for iOS, Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3 and massive world support. Unreal Engine 3 is designed to accelerate developers’ productivity for computer and video games, mobile games and applications, training simulations, 3D visualizations and digital films and television shows. Additional information on Unreal Engine 3 can be obtained through the Unreal Technology website at http://www.unrealengine.com.

About Epic Games

Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its “Unreal” series, including “Unreal Tournament 3” for PC, PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. Epic’s “Gears of War” franchise has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and won more than 50 Game of the Year awards. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 is the current andfive-time winner of, and Hall of Fame inductee for, Game Developer magazine’s Best Engine Front Line Award. Unreal Engine 3 has also held the Develop Industry Excellence Award in its category for the past three years. Additional information about Epic can be obtained through the Epic Games website at http://www.epicgames.com.

Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Gears of War 3, Unreal, Unreal Development Kit, UDK, Unreal Engine, UE3, Unreal Kismet, Unreal Landscape and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Bulletstorm

Synopsis

Bulletstorm is a new original intellectual property from the teams behind the award-winning, multiple million-selling Gears of War, Unreal Tournament and Painkiller series of games. Bulletstorm brings new furor to first-person shooter action with its signature ‘kill with skill’ gameplay, which is packed with blockbuster moments. 

Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm tells the story of a futuristic confederation protected by an elite band of mercenaries: Dead Echo. When Dead Echo members Grayson Hunt and Ishi Sato learn they’ve been working for the wrong side, they’re betrayed by their commander and exiled to the far reaches of the galaxy. In Bulletstorm, Grayson and Ishi find themselves surrounded by hordes of mutants and flesh eating gangs in an abandoned paradise. They have two objectives: get off the planet alive, and exact revenge on the man who sent them there.

Bulletstrom

Players step into the role of Grayson Hunt complete with an arsenal of over-the-top combat moves and outrageously large guns. Bulletstorm’s array of distinct ‘skillshots’ produces unprecedented levels of frantic gameplay and yell-inducing satisfaction. The skillshot system rewards players for inciting mayhem in the most creative way possible. The more insane the skillshot, the more points players collects to upgrade their character and unlock weapons, which then allows them to execute even more creative moves and exaggerated skillshots.

HumanSim: Virtual Heroes Makes Serious Games

RALEIGH, NC–Raleigh, NC – Virtual Heroes is serious about videogames. The company, which was instrumental in developing many of the vehicles, weapons, and training applications for the U.S. Army’s _America’s Army_ game, has expanded its reach from military to health applications with the development of HumanSim. Powering the technologies of these serious games is Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3, which Virtual Heroes has been using since 2004.

“We’re taking Unreal Engine 3 to places it’s never been before,” said Jerry Heneghan, Virtual Heroes founder. “Unreal technology allows us to create high-fidelity virtual worlds that offer instruction but are fun, immersive, and engaging to play. It’s hard to create top-tier serious games, but Epic’s technology makes our job easier. Our agreement with Epic enables us to provide our clients with the most advanced interactive technology at a price point that works for our market niche. We can also license Epic's Unreal Engine technology to the U.S. Government for them to create serious and/or educational games within the government itself. This is a huge leap forward for advancing serious games.”

Serious games are one of the fastest-growing segments within four markets: commercial games for entertainment, learning simulations, “serious games,” and virtual worlds for collaboration, which are all still growing at exponential rates. The Serious Games Initiative, a Washington-based effort that works to develop and track the field of serious games, currently estimates that the market for serious games is $100 million, and predicts that it will grow to be a billion-dollar market within the next decade.

HumanSim

Heneghan said the power of Unreal Engine 3 has allowed his team of developers, which includes scientists, Hollywood veterans, educators, instructional designers, and game makers, to focus on other aspects of the game. “We have other problems to solve besides rendering, networking, multi-core CPU/GPU usage, user interface, and level scripting. Epic ensures we are using the latest state-of-the-art technologies built into Unreal Engine 3, and they provide an awesome support network to help make us efficient,” explained Heneghan. “Unreal enables us to focus on linking learning objectives to demonstrable performance parameters in the context of 3D learning scenarios while providing a meaningful assessment on the learner’s proficiency.”

“From a technology standpoint, Unreal Engine 3 is a big advantage because of the amount of people who are working with it,” said Virtual Heroes' technical director. “With everyone from artists, level designers, programmers and the mod community developing on it, if you run into a problem, it’s likely already been fixed by someone else. You can look up information online. It’s not just the rendering technology. It’s the tool palette and the ease of production that the Unreal Developer Network provides. Other engines don’t have that at all.”

Virtual Heroes has worked with and is working with a variety of government and commercial health-industry clients, including Duke University Medical Center, George Washington University Medical Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Durham Veteran’s Administration Hospital, the Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), Kaiser Permanente, NeuroCog, and nContact Surgical.

HumanSim

The HumanSim technology offers both a civilian and military dimension. It combines the most advanced digital game technology (Unreal Engine 3) with a high-fidelity, physiologic-pharmacological model for unprecedented experiential learning. Virtual Heroes plans to build upon the introduction of HumanSim with the development of a portfolio of realistic, engaging, medically accurate, professionally certified simulators suitable for training civilian and military medical personnel.

Heneghan added that Unreal Engine 3 also makes it easier to attract top talent to his studio in North Carolina. Students in schools are now being exposed to Unreal as part of the curriculum, especially since the release of the free Unreal Development Kit (UDK). They’re able to get their hands on Unreal Engine 3 mods before stepping foot into the workplace. And that’s great news new for this growing organization, because the serious games sector is rapidly expanding and new clients are eager to take learning simulations, serious games, virtual worlds, and interactive visualization to the next level.

Epic Games Releases February 2011 Unreal Development Kit Beta

Cary, NC — Epic Games, Inc. has released the February 2011 UDK Beta, the latest version of the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that provides access to the award-winning toolset used in blockbuster video games, 3D visualizations, digital films and more.

Epic is committed to providing the UDK community with regular software releases at no charge, and the latest beta is available now at http://www.udk.com/download.

Look for exciting news from the Game Developers Conference, which will be held February 28 to March 4 in San Francisco. Epic will be demonstrating major new features and upgrades to Unreal Engine 3 at the show.

UDK projects can be promoted to the community in the Works in Progress forum and the Released Projects forum.

It’s easy to sign up as a commercial UDK developer online. Have questions? Check out our FAQ. February Beta Upgrade Notes

Upgrade Notes

Unreal Editor

  • New preferences enable bracket visuals for selected actors in all editor modes.
  • New motion blur preview is active and can be disabled by showing flags.
  • Additional improvements were made to mobile Unreal Kismet support.

Unreal Matinee

  • Visibility tracks in Matinee can now be previewed by scrubbing the timeline slider.

Rendering

  • Modulative decals can now be correctly influenced by fog.

Skeletal Mesh

  • UDK now supports 32-bit index buffers for skeletal meshes which have more than 65,535 vertices.

Steam

  • UDKGame now has additional Steam integration examples.
  • Substantial updates have been made to the Steam online subsystem.

FBX Importer

  • The FBX import pipeline has received improvements for importing and re-importing base LODs for static and skeletal meshes via the FBX pipeline.

Bink Video

  • Upgraded Bink to version 1.99a, which fixes problems with 5.1 surround sound.

Updated UDN Pages:

Community Links:

UDK Forums: http://www.udk.com/forums UDK Developers on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2493123UDK on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/UDK/183744733429 Epic Games on Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/EpicGames Unreal Engine on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/UnrealEngine

© 2011, Epic Games, Inc. Epic, Epic Games, Unreal, Unreal Development Kit, UDK, Unreal Editor, Unreal Engine, UE3, AnimSet Editor, Unreal Content Browser, Unreal Frontend, Unreal Kismet, Unreal Lightmass, Unreal Matinee and UnrealScript are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Unreal Engine 3 Powers Critical and Commercial Success LazyTown

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) has already taken hold of the video game industry, powering top games from game publishers like Electronic Arts, Sega, Midway Games, Capcom, Activision, and Sony Online Entertainment. Now, Hollywood can take notice, as the children's hit TV series, "LazyTown," is the first show utilizing the same powerful game technology to breathe life into its blend of live action, puppetry and computer-generated content. Produced and occasionally directed by Dutch television and film maker Raymond P. Le Gué, "LazyTown" currently airs around the world, including on Nickelodeon and Noggin in the U.S.

For those who don't have children, the show focuses on a "slightly above average hero" named Sportacus 10 (played by Magnus Scheving), who battles against the lazy Robbie Rotten (Stefan Karl Stefansson) to keep residents like Stephanie (Julianna Rose Mauriello) and her new friends Ziggy, Trixie, Stingy and Pixel busy outside and active instead of inside on the couch watching TV and eating junk food. The show is the brainchild of Icelandic visionary athlete Magnus Scheving who envisioned a way to entertain and educate children while encouraging them to have a healthy lifestyle. Scheving stars in the show, writes the scripts and directs most of the episodes. The show, which currently airs in 103 countries, has received three Emmy nominations and won the UK’s prestigious BAFTA award in 2006 for Best International Children’s Show.

Lazytown

In addition to his work as a producer and director, Le Gué has spent the past couple of decades developing, manufacturing and distributing new 3D computer animation, virtual television and cinematographic production technologies. In 1985, Le Gué founded ElectroGIG, which spent the past decade creating a high-end 3D modeling, rendering and animation software product line. At SIGGRAPH in 1994, ElectroGIG introduced the very first commercially available virtual set system on the market. Between 1995 and 2006, Le Gué focused on the development and application of real-time virtual television production pipelines and real-time motion capture and animation pipelines, resulting in a solid and proven virtual production method and four generations of virtual television production systems and architectures named XRGen1 through 4.

Le Gué explains how it all works. “We start with the live actors and puppets on a physical set with a green screen behind them as a backdrop. The green screen is replaced in real time with the sets created in XRGen4 using UE3. As we move the camera and actors around the physical set, the backdrop scene also moves in real time in complete synchronization with the movements of the real camera. All of this is recorded, and the director can watch the resulting composition in real time. For the director, this has all the qualities and freedom of working in a real set at a tiny fraction of the cost and with the complexity it would take to do this with a real set.”

Using the XRGen4 technology, Le Gué has been able to use Unreal Engine 3 as the image generator for 18 of the current 53 "LazyTown" episodes that are airing in the U.S. and in 102 other countries around the globe.

 Lazytown

"UE3 is an important part of our system," said Le Gué. "It is the tool with which we create and render our virtual sets. Until now, we have been using our own dedicated rendering engines, but when we saw the performance of Epic's game engine coming closer and closer to our needs, we decided this is something we needed to investigate."

Le Gué said the studio setup allows the team to generate the "LazyTown" virtual environment, a 3D townscape, as a live background in real time and in high definition. Chromakey (green screen) techniques are used to key these backgrounds behind the live actors.

"This implies that we have a finished composited image from the floor," explained Le Gué. "The camera and crane movements are communicated through sensors to our XRGen4 software to the UE3 game engine. The concept and production design of 'LazyTown' calls for a very rich and diverse look with many location changes within the environment. We would have never been able to do this without the use of virtual sets and hence our system and the UE3 game engine."

In every 24-minute "LazyTown" episode, there are between 400 and 600 visual effects shots, separate from all the shots that are already composited live. Le Gué said producing television like this calls for more planning than a traditionally shot show. In essence, every shot is a potential visual effects shot; some are recorded live, while other shots are processed in post production. Aiming for a highly stylized result, where virtual backgrounds are combined with live foregrounds, has an impact on all design disciplines. For example, virtual sets and physical sets have to match, costumes and props have to match, and, due to the fact that everything is shot in high definition, the quality demands of all used material are extremely high.

UE3 has opened up new avenues for Le Gué and his creative team. They have been able to have free camera movement in real time and genlocked on HD resolution with an extremely large set and a lot of textures in memory.

"This was the first time we used the UE3 engine, and we were extremely pleased that we were able to make the game engine work for us in this very demanding professional production environment," said Le Gué. "For our next production, we will explore more of the extended rendering qualities of UE3 and work them into our production design."

Le Gué said it was pure coincidence that he stumbled upon UE3 for "LazyTown." He said he's always on the lookout to find new ways to create television content, especially in the fantasy/drama genre and the TV game show genre.

"My wife, who is designing game shows for TV, came in contact with Epic at a Game Developers Conference and we started to look into using Unreal Engine for game shows," said Le Gué. "Meanwhile, I was asked to work on 'LazyTown' as executive producer/director on the basis of my extensive experience with virtual sets. About a year later, one the visual effects artists at 'LazyTown' loaded parts of the virtual set into the Unreal game engine. Seeing that made us realize that we should explore the possibility to use UE3 for the second season of the show. Fortunately, we already had our own XRGen3 technology available and we only needed to swap the render core and voila–XRGen4 with UE3."

Le Gué has moved on from "LazyTown" and is now developing some original film productions that will make further use of the virtual sets with XRGen4 and UE3. He believes that UE3 technology, once Hollywood gets its hands on it, will have a watershed impact on the movie and TV business.

"This technology is not only opening doors to Hollywood but independent producers around the world," said Le Gué. "When you realize that the production technologies and methods of the movie '300' are the same as the ones that we have applied on the production of 'LazyTown' and that the underlying hardware platforms are basically the same as the ones that are being used by videogame makers, then the equation is very simple. The impact will be felt everywhere and it will be another driving force, next to high definition, to further convergence of film, TV and games."
 
Le Gué compares "300" and its gaming influence to movies like "Jurassic Park" and "Terminator 2," which were key touchstones in the visual effects movement. Thanks in part to UE3, Le Gué said Hollywood and the creative forces around the globe that utilize this technology are on the cusp of this type of wave. 

Muvizu

Developed by Glasgow’s DA Group, Muvizu 3D is an innovative animation package powered by Unreal Engine 3 that lets users of all skill sets create 3D animations with no experience required.

The Muvizu application, which includes all the assets and tools needed to create 3D movies, is available for free download from www.muvizu.com, a portal that enables users to collaborate on film, audio and drama projects with easy-to-use tools and viewable results in real time.

“We chose Unreal Engine 3 because it is proven technology with an excellent support network,” said Vince Ryan, managing director, consumer unit, DA Group.

“Furthermore, the engine accepts assets created in Maya, and this will lower the barrier to entry for our users when everyone will eventually be able to submit their own creations for others to use within the Muvizu community.”

The philosophy of Muvizu 3D is for content creators to put less energy into animating characters and more effort into directing them onscreen. The goal is to foster collaborative filmmaking by uniting people with contrasting skills through Muvizu’s virtual workspace and storyboarding capabilities.

During Muvizu’s development, DA Group relied heavily on Unreal Engine 3 for rendering, physics and especially scripting.

“The power of the scripting system allows code to be developed much more rapidly than if the entire engine were in C++,” said DA Group’s lead developer, Robert McMillan.

McMillan explained how his team came to work with Epic and ramp up to hit tight production deadlines by leveraging the Unreal Developer Network.

“In the early days, we had been in touch with Epic about using Unreal for another project that never went ahead. We’d had discussions with Mark Rein, who even came to visit our office. We didn’t know what to expect, but the help and assistance was really good. This set the tone for our expectations this time around, and it was no different. In addition, Epic were really flexible with us while the terms of the license were negotiated.”

McMillan continued, “In terms of the software, we got more than we expected. We found through UDN that people have been building add-ons for the engine for quite some time. Technology integrations for features such as animation blending systems and UI tools are available, so UDN saved us from having to do this type of integration work ourselves.

“There is definitely a feeling of community, and that community is dedicated, patient and helpful beyond the call of duty,” said McMillan. “Without UDN, we would probably have had to delay our launch for many, many months.”

“We had expected a professional relationship with Epic and not much more at first,” said Ryan. “The reality, however, was far better. We were encouraged and supported all the way by Epic. Nothing was too much trouble, and UDN seems almost to harbor a collegiate relationship. Truly remarkable and very, very helpful. It was nice to discover that, despite us being a minnow compared with other licensees, we were still accorded first-rate and friendly service.”

“The level of support and information that is available from UDN is incredible – with access to guys at Epic who really know the engine inside out,” said McMillan. “I am so glad we went with Epic, and I really don’t think we would be in the position we are in right now had we not made the right choice.”

Now that Muvizu 3D is available to the public, DA Group is working with its growing user community to bubble the most ingenious projects up to the top for all to enjoy. The studio is launching a competition that will award a high-end hardware prize to the best video created with Muvizu 3D, and the excitement will only grow as more creative types try out the application.

Unreal Engine 3 Pushes New MMO TERA Beyond Traditional RPGs

The latest highly anticipated, massively multiplayer online role-playing game emerging from Seoul is the fantasy epic, TERA Online: The Exiled Realm of Arborea. Developed by a team of 180 at Bluehole Studio, the game stands out from the crowded MMORPG space thanks to its use of Unreal Engine 3 technology as well as the creative force behind this original game. Bluehole Studio was formed in March 2007 by serial entrepreneur Byung-Gyu Chang and the producer, lead game designer, lead programmer and art director of NCsoft’s Lineage II, which also used Unreal Engine technology.

“Unreal Engine 3 is an excellent engine that a large majority of our developers had experience of with through previous games,” said Sung-joong Lew, lead client programmer at Bluehole Studio.  “The Unreal Engine provides essential features like rendering expression and performance, as well as a variety and productivity of development tools. In addition, the technology’s expandability is excellent. The engine’s strong point is that features implemented during the development of Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War 2 were automatically applied to Unreal Engine 3, allowing developers direct access to the latest technology.”

Tera

Shin-hyoung Im, technical art director on the game, said his team utilized UE3’s Kismet and Matinee to create the game’s opening cinematics. The engine’s good modularization helped the team add features needed for first-person shooting without difficulties. Im added that UE3's well-formed development tools allowed the team to easily make additional resources.

There were early challenges in developing TERA back in 2007. Lew said his studio was concerned about the level of productivity for developers guaranteed by the game engine. But Unreal Engine 3 had well-organized development tools that allowed them to produce resources at the early stage of game development.

“We had to struggle with bugs at that stage on account of having used the engine at its immature development stage,” said Lew. “Also, it was hard to develop dynamically loading massive data with a vast terrain development tool for a MMORPG.”

TERA

Ultimately, the team was able to get the most out of UE3 technology, thanks in part to the past experience of key members of the team, as well as help through the Unreal Development Network and later Epic Korea.

TERA Online is set in the fantasy world of Arborea, which Harns Kim, associate producer of the game, said was influenced by traditional fantasy worlds found in The Lord of the Rings and other fantasy stories and games like Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, as well as ancient Greek and Roman mythology.

“The creator gods created the world, and their children waged war until all of them leave the world,” explained Kim. “While humans and other creatures are left on the earth, one of vanished gods escapes to a subterranean world and creates a new race. When this subterranean race raids the surface of the earth, the humans and creatures must unite to defeat them.”

TERA

While the story will propel the action forward in this new MMORPG, what Kim believes gamers will gravitate towards is the non-targeting gameplay. The melee combat in this PC game is similar to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gameplay in that a character’s strike relies on range of attack. The long-range combat in TERA adds cross-hairs like first-person shooter games.

"TERA’s highlight is its non-targeting battle mode,” said Lew. “The player can directly attack enemies without having to select each enemy, which is totally different from other MMORPGs out there on the market. This awesome feature will greatly improve the sense of reality and excitement of the game."

Lew added that the non-targeting battle system provides a more dynamic game experiences by using advanced hardware technology propelled by Unreal Engine 3. The team focused on this unique battle system because one of the core ideas driving this new game was to implement a console-inspired action gameplay style to the MMORPG genre. This feature alone separates TERA from anything else available today, including behemoths like World of Warcraft.

In addition to having a console feel in-game, the thing that anyone who watches the trailers or boots up the gameplay of TERA will experience first-hand is the amazing visuals that Unreal Engine 3 brings to the title. Whether a player is battling a race like the baraka or high elf or, playing classes like sorceress or priest, or taking on monsters like the fire destroyer or infernal beast, TERA boasts breathtaking visuals.

“First of all, we did our best to express the feel of character skins and various materials used in real costumes by utilizing features such as diffuse, normal, specular and specular power provided by standard phong shader of Unreal Engine,” explained Im. “And we tuned up the phong shader a little bit to make it express unique color impression for TERA. For this, character designers and technology artists have been working hard for quite a long time, and their efforts are still on-going.”

And like many MMORPGs, TERA will tap into the creative power of the players. Every playable character can be completely customized to take advantage of Unreal Engine 3 visuals. Similar to intuitive and deep customization of World of Warcraft, TERA players can select face, hair, voice, clothing, weapons, gear and other options for each race. Additional details like skin color, hair color, tattoos beard, accessories and others are provided through material parameter adjustments.

TERA

“Productivity is the main concern in developing an online game like TERA,” said Lew. “So it is best to change the course that a large development team could develop resources of high volume and high quality rather than to induce up-to-date technology more in rendering. Unreal Engine 3 allowed technology artists to edit materials freely so that various visual looks could be produced.”

Bluehole Studio was able to make use of Epic Games’ Unreal Development Network. Lew said that the team benefited from the Unreal Engine 3 mailing list and the archived information from Epic and other Unreal developers. 

“The difficulties we had were our development team’s use of English and the low traffic speed on UDN web sites,” said Lew. “But the Epic Korea team has helped us with the English translation since they opened up its office.”

While TERA Online was created over the past three years in Seoul, the game was designed for the global MMORPG market from the outset, which was one of the reasons Unreal Engine 3 was used.

“The Korean MMO market is very competitive,” said Kim. “The market anticipates emerging killer titles, with a focus on not just a few new elements but the overall quality of the games. We are developing TERA Online to the level where every such need is satisfied. From the early stage of development, we’ve targeted a global market for this new flagship franchise.”

TERA releases in 2011 in Korea and worldwide in 2012, the latest in a growing list of top-tier MMORPGs that run on UE3 technology.

Epic Games Releases January 2011 Unreal Development Kit Beta

Epic Games, Inc. has released the January 2011 UDK Beta, the latest version of the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 that provides access to the award-winning toolset used in blockbuster video games, 3D visualizations, digital films and more.

Epic is committed to providing the UDK community with regular software releases at no charge, and the latest beta is available now at here.

We’re very pleased to have released UDK with iOS support. UDK users are invited to check out our new iOS Development forum. Here, you can take advantage of free tutorials, documentation and help from other mobile developers.

Have a UDK project you want to show off? Share it with the community in the Works in Progress forum or the Released Projects forum.

It’s easy to sign up as a commercial UDK developer online. Our FAQ can help you determine which type of license is right for you.

Upgrade Notes

Rendering

New colorize post process

You can now force depth of field. The new Min Blur Amount post process setting can be used to force in-focus pixels to be blurred.

  • Various image reflection quality and performance improvements have been made.
  • Optimizations have been made to particle emitters, as well as memory improvements.
Mobile
  • PhysX is now supported on iOS.
    • Rigid body physics, fracturable meshes and ragdolls are among supported features.
    • Note: Cloth, fluids and soft bodies remain disabled on iOS for performance reasons.
  • Upgraded to iOS SDK 4.2
  • The latest version of UDK Remote supports ping functionality, so it knows when it is talking to a PC.
  • The latest version of UDK Remote’s text entry box has been fixed on older versions of iOS.
Unreal Editor

UDK now has a mesh selection previewer. You can now highlight sections of a mesh simply by selecting the corresponding material property.

UDK now supports editor map favorites. You can now star maps that you work with frequently and they'll persist in the editor's toolbar.

Move to End of Track has been added to Unreal Matinee.

The functionality of the individual translation and rotation track selections in the Matinee curve editor has been improved.

A box for selecting subgroups within the matinee curve editor was added.

  • The rotation widget now draws how many degrees have been rotated in the viewport.
  • Kismet undo is now able to undo shortcut key-inserted sequence actions.
  • An option to preserve degenerate triangles has been added to the FBX importer.
  • Various fixes were made to the FBX importer, including rotations in Matinee, LODs, lightmaps, tangents on movement curves and auto tangents on cameras.
  • When importing atop an existing object in an unloaded package, there will now be a confirmation screen instead of clobbering the existing object.
  • The AnimSet Searcher now searches all AnimSets that are currently loaded.
  • You can now double click on colors in the material editor to open a color picker.
  • The new Align to Floor editor lets you snap actors using their pivot point.
  • There is now a map check warning for combat volumes and triggers that aren’t referenced.
  • You can now re-order properties in the favorites panel.
  • A confirmation dialog is now displayed when baking instanced mesh paint data back to the mesh asset.
  • The group selection dialog now defaults to listing just the groups in the current package.
  • Properties for Location, Rotation and Scale3D are now displayed in real time in the property windows when objects are modified outside of them.
  • Ctrl-Shift-A can now be used to select all Kismet actions.
Miscellaneous Enhancements
  • Various improvements were made to Unreal Frontend including key bindings, map sorting and new cook/make buttons.
  • The Bink player has been upgraded to version 1.99a.
  • The network profiler takes into account all actors types, RPCs and properties that are replicated during a data stream and then summarizes replication counts and sizes.

A new network profiling tool captures server information primarily for outgoing bandwidth as it relates to data transmission and network events.

UDN Pages:

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Cowboys Stadium: Unreal Engine 3 Brings Architecture to Life

DALLAS, TX—One of the leading architectural firms in the world, HKS, has quietly been revolutionizing the way sports stadiums, luxury hotels and state-of-the art hospitals are being designed. The company recently signed a licensing deal with Epic Games to bring Unreal Engine 3 into the company’s development process, allowing the clients who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on sports arenas and cutting-edge buildings to see what the final structure will look like in real-time 3D.

While most architecture firms still draw up 2D blueprints that require the buyers to use more than their imagination in envisioning the final building, HKS has a team of four architects dedicated to using UE3 to bring one-third of the company’s annual workload (roughly 60 of 300 projects) to life in glorious, lifelike 3D.

“There’s not much comparison between what we’re doing with Unreal now to how we used to show clients’ projects before,” said Bryan Trubey, Principal and Senior Vice President, HKS. “It’s like comparing a Model T to a space shuttle. We can show so much more in a really comprehensive way so the client can understand what they’re getting, and the message the space is trying to give to anyone who has the fortune to be in it later when they’re built. There’s just no way to do that as effectively as with Unreal technology.”

Cowboy Stadium

Anyone who has been to the trendy W Hotel in downtown Dallas has experienced exactly what that parent company saw when HKS modeled the hotel and the surrounding landscape using Unreal technology. Dallas Cowboys fans will have to wait a few years for Jerry Jones’ new $1 billion stadium to open, but it’s already a reality at HKS thanks to the Unreal engine. The same holds true for the Indianapolis Colts’ $500 million stadium, which opens 2009, and the Liverpool, England Soccer Stadium, which is still in the planning process.

“Unreal technology has been instrumental in selling the Cowboys, Colts and Liverpool projects,” said Trubey. “Epic’s technology allowed us to develop animations and walk-throughs that brought these structures to life in the presentations.”

The masterminds behind HKS’ innovative decision to leave the 2D world of architecture and jump into the 3D realm of gaming were Dave Chauviere, Principal and CIO, HKS, and Pat Carmichael, Manager of Advanced Technologies, HKS. Both men actually first attempted to bring their drawings to life with computers using id Software’s Quake II engine, but that technology just couldn’t handle the tasks.

Cowboy Stadium

Chauviere spent some time roughly translating HKS’ gorgeous Dallas headquarters into a 3D model using Quake II, which his son, Ted, had received for Christmas back in 1997.

“I did this building with all the doors, windows and petitions, and then Quake II just blew up because it couldn’t handle that many polygons,” said Chauviere. “The outside of the building looked like the aftermath of a nuclear bomb. It had a reddish hue to it because I didn’t have any custom environments. It was the first time I experimented with taking game technology to architecture.”

After customizing his home PC with a new Voodoo card and motherboard, a father-son project, Chauviere bought Unreal in 1998 and decided to give that technology a try.

“The differences between the Quake II and Unreal engines were night and day,” said Chauviere. “The HKS building took 17 hours to render lighting with Quake II, which just wasn’t practical. The Unreal Editor was so much faster.”

Cowboy Stadium

Carmichael said they took the same geometry in Unreal Engine as they had rendered in Autodesk 3DS Max and achieved 90 percent of the graphic acuity but it was instant in comparison. Unreal was rendering and writing to disc 10,364 frames an hour compared to 3DS Max’ one frame per hour. The real-time walk-through was running at close to 30 frames per second, compared to 3DS Max’ rendering of approximately one hour per frame. At the time they were doing this, it was pretty revolutionary.

“The order of magnitude that Unreal opens up to us as architects is phenomenal,” said Carmichael. “Architects want every window and door operable and every driveway has to look accurate. I’ve had people walk up to the PC monitor with a color strip to make sure color-matching was dead-on. The light angles for shade and shadow have to be correct for the time of day and location that they tell us.”

As Epic has improved on its Unreal technology, HKS has continued to build its own custom tools that allows its in-house team to translate the 3D models of its building projects seamlessly into the UE3 world, getting the textures and lighting right. Carmichael said that over the next 18 to 24 months, as the company integrates the new Autodesk REVIT technology across all of its projects (this software translates 3D models into 2D drawings), UE3 will be used for real-time visualization for every building.

Over the next few months, 10 HKS employees will be using UE3 technology. Carmichael said the goal is to have all 200 design presenters using UE3 for pitch meetings within two years. HKS is currently working with NVIDIA and Intel to bring PC Express 2 into the fold, which will give Carmichael and his team system memory as well as video memory to bring these complex buildings to life.

“Architects want every detail in the building to be as accurately acute as the real environment as possible,” said Carmichael. “There are thousands of surfaces in a typical building that we do, especially with the scale of buildings that HKS does. We have to have a lot of different texture surfaces simulated in these environments, and it’s a lot of work.”