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1. January 2019


2018 was an interesting year in game development.  In this post/video, we take a quick stroll down memory lane and look at some of the key stories as they occurred throughoutGameDev2018 the year. 

GameDev News General News Programming Design Art Totally Off Topic


1. November 2018


Epic Games have announced a very cool new promotion where they are collaborating with Unreal Engine Marketplace developers to make their assets available to the broader community completely free for a limited time.  For the month of November you can get the follow assets completely free:

You can add the above assets to your account for free for the remainder of the month of November 2018, and they will remain yours to use forever.  In addition to the above 5 assets, they have also made a number of other assets free for all time, such as water materials, voice packs, soundtracks and more.  Be sure to check the Unreal Engine blog for details on all of the newly free assets as well as for more details on the above assets.

They are also intending to do this again next month, and hopefully continuing into the future.  If you are an Unreal Engine marketplace developer and are interested in having your content featured, be sure to visit this site for more details.  While this is certainly amazing news for Unreal Engine developers, it will be interesting to see what it will do for the Unreal Engine marketplace going forward.


GameDev News


31. March 2016

 

After weeks of preview release, the final release of Unreal Engine 4.11 is here.  This release brings a large number of new features and improvements including:image_6

  • performance and multithreading improvements
  • realistic hair shading
  • realistic eye shading
  • improve skin shading
  • realistic cloth shading (shown right) 
  • capsule (soft) shadows
  • particle depth of field
  • dithered opacity mask
  • dithered LOD crossfades
  • improved hierarchical LOD
  • VR instanced stereo rendering
  • fast physics simulation for characters (Anim Dynamics)
  • live animation recording from gameplay
  • higher quality depth of field
  • platform/sdk updates (Oculus Rift, Steam, nVidia, PlayStation, etc)
  • improved DirectX12 support and DX12 for Xbox One support
  • Metal rendering on MacOS
  • Fast lighting builds
  • Lightmass portals
  • animation pose copying
  • LOD bone reduction tool
  • particle cutouts
  • stereo spatialization
  • sound focus (sound positioning angles)
  • sound occlusion
  • sound concurrency options
  • marker based animation syncing
  • curve blending for animation montages
  • hierarchical LOD outline
  • complex text rendering (experimental)
  • advanced blueprint searching
  • VR head mounted display camera improvements
  • VR Stereo Layers
  • improvements on animation sequencer
  • much, much more.

 

You can read the full release notes here.  As always, the newest version can be downloaded using the Epic Game Launcher.

GameDev News


5. February 2016

 

I have to say this one is pretty cool and possibly not what you think.  The Unreal Engine is getting VR support.  That’s not as in support for VR platforms, it already has that.  No, Unreal Editor is soon going to have support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift enabling you to edit and create your game in VR, taking full use of both platforms motion controllers.  This is a while out however as they aren’t even announcing a release date until March 16th at the GDC.

From the Unreal blog:

The Unreal Editor is up and running in VR, so you can build VR content in VR. Using the Oculus Touch and HTC Vive motion controllers, your movement in the real world is mapped one-to-one in VR; you can reach out, grab, and manipulate objects just as you would in real life. You already know how to use this tool, because it works like the world works.

These are the early days of the revolution in immersive VR content creation, but we’re so excited about what’s up and running that we couldn’t keep it a secret anymore!  VR movement and editing controls are functional, along with key parts of the Unreal Editor UI, including the Details Panel and the Content Browser.  We’ll be showing more and announcing the release date at GDC on Wednesday March 16, 2016.  And when it’s released, it will be a built-in feature of the freely-downloadable Unreal Engine, with full source on GitHub

Best of all, this isn’t a limited mode for VR preview and tweaking.  It is the Unreal Editor, now running in VR. The same Unreal Editor that’s used by everyone ranging from indies and mod makers to triple-A development teams with $100,000,000 budgets. And it runs in VR!

A BOX OF TOYS

You start out in the VR editor at a human scale, and can directly manipulate objects by moving around in a room-scale VR setting.  But you can also use a smartphone-like pinching motion to zoom in and out. With one pinch, the world is shrunk to the size of a Barbie Doll house on your table. You can manipulate it granularly and ergonomically, and then zoom back to human scale.

Besides directly manipulating objects, you also have a laser pointer. Point at a far-away object and you can move it around, or “reel it in” like a fishing rod. Or teleport to the laser pointer’s target location with a single button click, inspired by Bullet Train’s locomotion.

THE VR USER INTERFACE: IPAD MEETS MINORITY REPORT

As a pro tool, the Unreal Editor features a rich 2D user interface, and it’s being rolled out naturally in VR: One button-press places an iPad-like tablet in your hand, and you use the other hand to interact with the tablet.  Scroll, press buttons, tweak Object Details, interact with menus, drag objects out of the Content Browser and drop them directly in the world.

It’s an intuitive way to place a 2D user interface in a VR world that builds on everyone’s Unreal Editor experience, and the underlying Slate user-interface framework provides a great foundation we’ll build on as we work to roll out the entire Unreal Editor UI in VR.

Content Browser

PRODUCTIVITY

As game developers, we at Epic pride ourselves in creating high-productivity tools optimized for shipping products, and VR editing provides a great path forward.

With a mouse, several operations are often required to transform an object along multiple axes in 3D.  In VR, you can frequently accomplish the same result with a single, intuitive motion.  This should come as no surprise, as a mouse only tracks two degrees of movement (X and Y), but in VR your head and two hands track six degrees of freedom each: X, Y, Z, and three rotational axes. That’s 9 times the high-fidelity input bandwidth!

 

More details are available here.  It’s interesting to see if this is useful or just a gimmick.  Obviously working on a VR game in full VR certainly has it’s advantages.  At the end of the day though, few control schemes actually usurp the mighty mouse and keyboard.  Add to that fact, at least with my Gear VR, its tiring both physically and on the eyes after a couple hours.  I cant imagine doing the 9-5 routine with one of these devices strapped to your head.  Time will tell I suppose.

GameDev News


29. January 2016

 

Continuing in their weekly release schedule, a new preview release is available for Unreal 4.11.  As always, these preview releases are very much in development and should be used only by the brave of heart of weak of mind! ;)

In this release we get:

Fixed! UE-25870 Crash opening level blueprint
Fixed! UE-25927 Crash upon selecting the character in the First Person templates
Fixed! UE-24480 Hiding root actor does not hide ChildActor
Fixed! UE-25604 Pressing compile on the Vehicle Blueprint in vehicle advanced and Vehicle Templates Cause the Editor to crash
Fixed! UE-25593 UnrealHeaderTool does not detect program plugins enabled by default
Fixed! UE-25266 HTML5 packaging code project fails could not verify LLVM version
Fixed! UE-25069 [CrashReport] Editor crashes if pointlight is added to level on El Capitan
Fixed! UE-25553 Cinematic camera broken in Infiltrator
Fixed! UE-24815 Crash upon undoing actor selection on a static mesh when paint mode is enabled
Fixed! UE-25713 Crash when adjust sound spatialization through blueprint
Fixed! UE-25123 Mac Editor Freezes after connecting and disconnecting a mobile device
Fixed! UE-24730 Crash loading QA-Promotion FDeferredShadingSceneRenderer
Fixed! UE-25233 Unable to add Chrome as a platform in the HTML5 SDK option. This prevents launching a project in Chrome.
Fixed! UE-24757 Editor crashes when exiting and having a widget blueprint open.
Fixed! UE-25272 IHeadMountedDisplay Crash
Fixed! UE-25774 Editor Crashes When Attempting to Constrain a Component to Itself
Fixed! UE-25011 Crash when selecting a revision with the Blueprint Diff Tool
Fixed! UE-24650 Materials using separate translucency stop rendering if r.SeparateTranslucency is 0
Fixed! UE-24411 Unable to push to SteamVR while Oculus service is running
Fixed! UE-24712 Cannot select a Point Light or Sky Light by clicking on the sprite in the viewport on Mac
Fixed! UE-24300 Crash changing a setting in the Details panel with multiple components selected
Fixed! UE-25753 Slate Renderer Crashing on Shutdown
Fixed! UE-25752 Widget Component crashes on destruction
Fixed! UE-25625 Failing to compile will cause blueprint variables to reset to their default values
Fixed! UE-25605 ContentExamples' Math Hall map opens with Blueprint compiler warnings
Fixed! UE-25573 ContenExamples' LevelScripting map opens with Blueprint warnings
Fixed! UE-25323 Opening a project that contains an actor in viewport with a child actor component of type TextRenderActor crashes the editor
Fixed! UE-25146 Crash occurs texture painting on Mac with Metal
Fixed! UE-25129 Crash occurred painting on landscape sublevels with Retopologize tool
Fixed! UE-25118 Retopologize tool does not line up with cursor
Fixed! UE-25065 [CrashReport] UE4Editor_Persona!FPersonaMeshDetails::IsSectionSelected() [personameshdetails.cpp:1179]
Fixed! UE-24967 Integrate D3D12 update from MS
Fixed! UE-25788 Plugin Warden Fixes
Fixed! UE-25665 FastDecimalFormat doesn't handle overflow when rounding correctly
Fixed! UE-25633 ContentExamples' NetworkFeatures map opens with Blueprint warnings
Fixed! UE-25520 The new BP gather method is ignoring non-root level BPs
Fixed! UE-25507 Vehicle Advanced Template's dashboard view camera on ground in VR
Fixed! UE-25377 Spinning logo in Blueprint_Communication map is the incorrect size
Fixed! UE-25093 Landscape tool switches to Manage New Landscape when hiding a level with landscape mode open.
Fixed! UE-22632 Building the Engine using Visual Studio 2015 can fail if Windows Driver Kit is installed.
Fixed! UE-25680 Right stick is shown but not used in Flying template
Fixed! UE-25675 Player can leave the map in Rolling Template
Fixed! UE-25676 Player can get stuck under bridge in Rolling Template
Fixed! UE-24737 Console Command autocomplete displaying in wrong area
Fixed! UE-25805 Map load errors for RoomNight in RealisticRendering
Fixed! UE-25477 BlueprintOffice has missing NodeGUID warnings on open
Fixed! UE-25529 ContenExamples' BlueprintSplines map opens with blueprint warnings
Fixed! UE-25866 A bug in UBTService_BlueprintBase makes it impossible to create "deactivation-only" BP implemented BT services
Fixed! UE-25739 Crash closing Binary editor with Oculus Audio Plugin enabled
Fixed! UE-24237 Audio not playing at Start Time set by Play node on PC
Fixed! UE-25851 Typo in SkinRendering 1.1 content example
Fixed! UE-24528 Listener Focus Priority Scale doesn't work with Sound Concurrency
Fixed! UE-25682 Broken animation is created if the user records from gameplay but exits PIE before stopping
Fixed! UE-25891 Slate standalone renderer font cache is 1 frame behind
Fixed! UE-25889 Shaped text doesn't handle some characters correctly
Fixed! UE-25013 Editing right-to-left text is very unstable
Fixed! UE-25693 Some maps in ContentExamples have inconsistant Player Start node positions
Fixed! UE-25611 Disable writing NoOBBInstall batch file
Fixed! UE-25886 Content Examples Blueprint_Communication example 3.1 flickers upon looping
Fixed! UE-24006 Game does not launch from UFE using cook on the fly
Fixed! UE-22731 Crash undoing the redo of deleting a bp instance with edits after modifying class
Fixed! UE-25582 Crash moving message log window while messages being pumped to it
Fixed! UE-24872 Camera translates up when clicking in the viewport after working in subeditors
Fixed! UE-25876 Content Examples player has wide slider selection area
Fixed! UE-25947 Portal IPC doesn't filter message scope to just the active users OS account
Fixed! UE-25759 Decals do not render on some Android devices
Fixed! UE-25791 TVOS templates failing to build on EC
Fixed! UE-25521 Editor font doesn't render Arabic glyphs
Fixed! UE-25644 First Person BP and Code gun has odd rotation
Fixed! UE-22270 Interface functions inherited after a duplicated actor blueprint is reparented to the blueprint it was duplicated from cannot be deleted.
Fixed! UE-25961 Untested GameplayDebuggerPlugin enabled in QAGame
Fixed! UE-25575 Long Google Play App ID can cause an invalid error
Fixed! UE-25710 ContentExamples' BlueprintsOverview map opens with Blueprint warnings
Fixed! UE-25704 BlueprintMouseInteraction interactive box moves upon PIE or Launch On
Fixed! UE-22471 Crash when attempting to PIE after undoing deletion of a component
Fixed! UE-25718 Top Down pointer decal is partially missing when on walls
Fixed! UE-25853 Vehicle Advanced BP template has inconsistent lighting
Fixed! UE-25841 Top Down decal and shadow do not affect the template text
Fixed! UE-25786 MatineeFightScene has warnings and errors effecting performance
Fixed! UE-25763 Matinee ContentExamples map has misaligned sequences
Fixed! UE-25679 ExampleProjectWelcome map has inconsistent icon use
Fixed! UE-25699 BlueprintInputExamples map giving PIE errors when playing pixel ship
Fixed! UE-25835 "Auditorium" reverb effect no longer plays in Audio map example 1.9 in Content Examples
Fixed! UE-25878 Content Examples buttons are green when display is not active
Fixed! UE-22705 Inconsistent values from input Y-axis on motion controllers
Fixed! UE-24187 Editor hangs after selecting submit to source control from drop-down
Fixed! UE-25479 Unable to package a BP project for Linux missing UE4Game binary
Fixed! UE-25815 Error loading the editor with Oculus Audio Plugin enabled
Fixed! UE-25351 Setting the Falloff Distance of a Sound Wave/Cue to 0.0 will no longer Play Sound

 

As always the new preview release of Unreal can be downloaded using the Epic Game Launcher.

GameDev News


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