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13. November 2019


Back at GDC 2019, Crytek surprised the world with a demonstration that showcased real-time raytracing without the need for modern RTX enabled hardware.  Today CryTek released that benchmark into the wild.  You can learn more about the benchmark here.


CryTek did an in-depth interview describing the process of creating the benchmark available here:

Crytek has released a new video demonstrating the results of a CRYENGINE research and development project. Neon Noir shows how real-time mesh ray-traced reflections and refractions can deliver highly realistic visuals for games. The Neon Noir demo was created with the new advanced version of CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination showcasing real time ray tracing. This feature will be added to CRYENGINE release roadmap in 2019, enabling developers around the world to build more immersive scenes, more easily, with a production-ready version of the feature.

Neon Noir follows the journey of a police drone investigating a crime scene. As the drone descends into the streets of a futuristic city, illuminated by neon lights, we see its reflection accurately displayed in the windows it passes by, or scattered across the shards of a broken mirror while it emits a red and blue lighting routine that will bounce off the different surfaces utilizing CRYENGINE's advanced Total Illumination feature. Demonstrating further how ray tracing can deliver a lifelike environment, neon lights are reflected in the puddles below them, street lights flicker on wet surfaces, and windows reflect the scene opposite them accurately.

Neon Noir was developed on a bespoke version of CRYENGINE 5.5., and the experimental ray tracing feature based on CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination used to create the demo is both API and hardware agnostic, enabling ray tracing to run on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. However, the future integration of this new CRYENGINE technology will be optimized to benefit from performance enhancements delivered by the latest generation of graphics cards and supported APIs like Vulkan and DX12.


The benchmark is available on the Crytek Marketplace and requires you to have the CryEngine launcher installed.  You can check out the benchmark running on rather antiquated hardware (at a respectable clip!) in the video below.  According to the CryEngine Roadmap we should expect to see raytracing support (with or without hardware) in CryEngine 5.7, scheduled for a Spring 2020 release.

GameDev News


13. November 2019


The open source MIT licensed game engine Xenko just released version 3.1.  We have featured Xenko several times in the past including this somewhat outdated tutorial series.  The 3.1 release is somewhat difficult to nail down what is new, as the release blog post primarily focuses on the new NuGet features:

Xenko was always a big proponent of NuGet: since first version, Xenko was distributed as a NuGet package.

However, due to limitations (hello packages.config and project.json!), we were leveraging NuGet more as a distribution medium than proper NuGet packages: Xenko 3.0 is still a monolithic single package and it would not work out of the box when referenced from Visual Studio without using Xenko Launcher and Game Studio.

Xenko 3.0 paved the way by making Xenko compatible with the new project system (game projects were referencing Xenko using a PackageReference).

Today, Xenko 3.1 brings Xenko as a set of smaller NuGet package, each containing one assembly, with proper dependencies:

GitHub

As a result, it is now possible to create a game project that references only the packages you want.

You can learn more about the release, as well as a complete unfiltered change long here.  One other thing to be aware of before upgrading to Xenko 3.1 is the requirement to use Visual Studio 2019!  You can learn more about Xenko and this release in the video below.

GameDev News


12. November 2019


There is a new bundle of interest for game developers on Humble, this is the Humble Unreal Engine Game Development Bundle featuring GameDev.tv.  It’s a collection of courses and assets (as well as the games QUBE 1 and 2) for use with the Unreal game engine.  As always the bundle is split into different tiers, where you buy a higher dollar value tier, you get all of the tiers below it.

In this bundle the tiers are:

1$ Tier

  • Unreal Cinematics Training Course
  • Q.U.B.E
  • Star Sparrow Modular Spaceship
  • Another Stylized Material Collection 8

16$ Tier

  • Math For Games Training Course
  • Unreal C++ v4.1X Training Course
  • QUBE 2
  • Master Control Material
  • Rusty Barrels Volume 2
  • Another Easy Terrain Material

20$ Tier

  • Unreal Multiplayer Training Course
  • Unreal C++ 4.22 Training Course
  • Unreal Blueprint Training Course
  • Unreal VR Training Course
  • Steampunk/Victorian Environment with Vehicles
  • Gamemaster Audio – Prosound Mini Pack
  • Slum Village Environment

As with all Humble Bundles, you can decide how your money is allocated between the publisher, humble, charity or if you so choose (and thanks if you do!) to support GFS using this link.  Learn more about this bundle in the video below.

GameDev News


12. November 2019


In addition to the Quixel acquisition news, Epic Games had a number of other announcements today, mostly in regards to non-game development uses of Unreal Engine.  The first news is that Unreal Studio and it’s associated Datasmith functionality are being rolled into Unreal Engine 4.24.  Details from the announcement blog:

As of our upcoming Unreal Engine 4.24 release, the features of Unreal Studio are being rolled into Unreal Engine and will be made available to everyone for free. Unreal Studio, which has been in open beta since March 2018, is a suite of tools and services designed to augment Unreal Engine for architecture, manufacturing, and product design; however, its features have applicability across broader markets.


The most notable Unreal Studio feature that will now become a standard feature in Unreal Engine is Datasmith, a workflow toolkit that enables you to efficiently aggregate and optimize 3ds Max, Revit, SketchUp Pro, Cinema 4D, and a wide range of CAD and BIM data in Unreal Engine.


Making Datasmith available to all Unreal Engine users brings high-fidelity, whole-scene conversion to the masses! In addition, the new Visual Dataprep makes automating data preparation workflows more accessible so smaller, design-focused teams can benefit from them.


As part of this integration all Unreal Engine users will gain static mesh editing, basic UV projections, jacketing and defeaturing optimization tools, and a Variant Manager.

Additionally they announced that the free period for TwinMotion (acquired in May) would be extended into 2020:

Previously, we’d announced that Twinmotion would remain free until November 2019; once downloaded, you can continue using the free version indefinitely. Today, we’re extending the free availability until our next release of Twinmotion, which is anticipated to ship in the first quarter of 2020. The new version will offer even greater photorealism, improved assets, tools to facilitate collaborative workflows, and more.

Twinmotion is a toolset that makes it easy to create interactive architectural scenes powered by Unreal Engine, you can check in out in action in this video.  You can learn more about both of these announcements in the video below.

GameDev News


12. November 2019


Today Epic Games have announced the acquisition of Quixel, the maker of the massive MegaScans PBR texturing library as well as texture creation and management tools Quixel Bridge and Mixer.  The acquisition is a gigantic boon for Unreal Engine developers, as they will get access to the massive texture libraries for free!  Additionally, even non-UE4 users benefit from this deal, as Megascans subscriptions are being improved and Mixer and Bridge 2020 are both being released for free!

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

Today we are thrilled to announce that Quixel, creator of the world’s largest photogrammetry asset library and bundled toolset, has joined the Epic Games family!
Founded in 2011, Quixel is based in Sweden, and over 100 employees across six countries worldwide are joining the Epic Games team. Quixel’s products include Megascans, an extensive library of 2D and 3D photogrammetry assets, supported by companion applications Bridge and Mixer.

[SNIP]

As part of making the Quixel Megascans library of more than 10,000 assets free for all use with Unreal Engine, ten high-resolution packs have been shared today for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, as well as assets from the popular Iceland collection used in the “Rebirth” cinematic short. Additional asset packs will be made available for free on the Marketplace at a future date within the Unreal Engine 4.24 release timeframe.

And more details from the Quixel blog:

Megascans becomes free for use with Unreal Engine

The Megascans library is now completely free for use with Unreal Engine.

That means that if you are using Megascans with UE4, you get free, unlimited, and instant access to all of Megascans through Bridge and Mixer, and a wealth of Megascans packs on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. Ten high-resolution packs have been shared today for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, with additional asset packs being made available for free on the Marketplace at a future date within the Unreal Engine 4.24 release timeframe. This way, you can access the content in whatever way you prefer.

If you’re using Megascans only with UE4, we’ll refund all of your subscriptions for 2019. If you have an active subscription, log in to find out how to obtain a refund. If you have made Megascans purchases in 2019, but do not have an active subscription, we’ll reach out to you regarding refunds.

Megascans subscription prices lowered for everyone

Furthermore, with the generous backing of Epic, we’re immediately slashing the pricing of Megascans, giving you nearly twice as much content to download, and removing the resolution cap—for everyone, regardless of what engine, DCC or renderer you love and rely on. We’re also giving you a refund for the remaining duration of your subscription period to allow you to hop onto one of our new plans. If you have an active subscription, log in to find out how to obtain a refund.

Bridge and Mixer 2020 will be 100% free for everyone

But that’s not all. Epic is helping us make the upcoming 2020 versions of Bridge and Mixer 100% free for everyone, with no subscription required and both fully featured. We are releasing these new free versions within a few weeks from now and I’m thrilled to finally be able to share with you the upcoming updates.

Excellent news all around!  If you want to learn more, be sure to check out our video below.  If you want to see Quixel in action, be sure to check out our earlier hands-on video.

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