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29. March 2015

 

I’ve been trying to decide what major project to embark on here at Gamefromscratch.com.  All of the current tutorial series are at a stage that I feel they are “good enough” to get anyone started and I will keep adding to them over time.  Once I reach that point I need to decide on what project to work on next.  It’s both a fun and frustrating problem to have!

 

I’ve been thinking about it long and hard, then recently there were some major announcements I simply couldn’t afford to ingore.  First the folks over at Unreal announced that Unreal Engine would no longer have a monthly subscription.  This is actually something I called for ( with a fair bit of hyperbole… ) when Unreal Engine 4 was released.  Immediately after, and with much thunder stolen, Unity made a very similar announcement.  These lowered barriers of entry vastly increased the appeal of both engines.

 

I’ve long intended to cover both engines in more detail.  I immediately subscribed to Unreal 4 on it’s release and did a bit of an overview post.  I never got the opportunity to get much deeper, as frankly, there is a pretty steep learning curve attached and I simply didn’t have the time.  Way back when I launched this game I was intending to “create a game from scratch” using Unity.  Somewhere along the way I got distracted and we ended up with a series of LibGDX, Phaser, Blender, HTML, C++, JavaScript and more game development tutorials.  Oops.

 

So, basically I’ve always intended to cover both for the longest time, but which one should I cover first?

 

I struggled with this for a long time, going back and forth between the two so many times I got nowhere.  Then I had a thought…

 

Lot’s of you have got to be asking “What should I use, Unity or Unreal?”.  It’s a fair and difficult question, as I obviously can’t decide myself!  So I am going to learn both and document the process, both in text and video.  So essentially I am going to do a Unity and Unreal tutorial series at the same time, learning both and documenting the process in both video and text form as I go.

 

Untitled 7

 

That all said…  this thread title and the above image are both a bit on the sensational side.  I am not actually comparing the two engines, there will never be a “Unity is greater than Unreal” or vice versa conclusion.  Both engines are obviously quite viable, popular and each has it’s own strengths and weakness.  Determining which engine is better than the other engine all comes down to your own preferences and requirements.  At this point arguing which engine is better is about as useful as the endless programming language wars.

 

Instead I will be going the process of creating a typical 2D game ( at least initially, 2D only ) in each game engine, documenting the process as thoroughly as possible.  So by the time I am done I should have a fairly comprehensive tutorial series covering creating a 2D game in each engine, and you should have a nice side by side comparison of how each engine works, which should aid in your selection process.

 

I intend to cover subjects such as the following, for each engine, in both video and text tutorial form:

  • Engine overview
  • Learning resources
  • Simple graphics
  • Game loop/Event processing
  • Input
  • Audio
  • Animation
  • Level composition
  • Collisions
  • Physics
  • AI
  • Networking ( maybe )
  • etc…

 

So basically all the pieces that go in to making a simple game.  I will learn it in one engine, document the process, learn it in the other engine, document the process then continue on to the next item in the list.  Obviously if there is something you think I should cover, let me know and I’ll do my best.

 

There are a few caveats of course…  first, this might take a very long time.  I’ve a lot of learning to do here, so there might be a bit of lag between posts.  The biggest catch though is I’ll be documenting things I’ve only just learned!  Expect some mistakes, inefficiencies and other hiccups as I go.  Obviously as I go I will try to be as “right” as possible, but I am no subject matter expert here!  I have a small bit of experience with both engines and tons of experience with game programming in general, but I don’t for a second claim to be an expert with either technology!

 

One other aspect of a game project like this is obviously game assets.  For a programmer, often getting art assets is as much of a time sink as programming!  Therefore I am going to be implementing this project in parallel with another very interesting art tutorial over at 2dgameartforprogrammers to create and release all of the assets to create a game called BotBox.

 

So, essentially I am going to attempt to create that game using both the Unity and Unreal game engines.  Wish me luck and I hope you enjoy it!

 

Of course, any and all feedback highly appreciated.  Please have patience with me… this might take a while!

Programming News General


24. October 2014

 

On a daily basis I use dozens of different programming languages.  Some languages are certainly better than other languages at certain tasks, while other languages truly shine on certain platforms.  Some languages are more portable than others, others are more customizable while some can be faster.  All that said, when all other things are equal and I need to just pick a language, the one I go to is generally C#.  C# just strikes that right balance for me, straddling the line between low level and productivity, convenience and speed, functional and procedural, for me at least.  This news then is welcome, for me at least. :)

 

Xamarin, the maker’s of Mono, a cross platform open source version of the .NET runtime and framework (Perhaps most famously known as the language technology that underpins Unity)  have announced they are bringing it to Unreal Engine.  Here are some of the features and benefits of Mono for Unity:

 

Hot Reload

 

We fully support Unreal Engine's Hot Reload functionality.

This means that whenever you rebuild your C# code in Xamarin Studio, your changes are immediately reloated into the Unreal Editor. The changes are also reflected with running games in the editor, so you can quickly iterate on your design.

On fast machines, the process of rebuilding the C# code and reloading it live takes less than a second. It feel instantaneous.

 

Xamarin Studio

While hard core hackers are happy editing their game code with vi or emacs and have the hot reload functionality do all the work for them, we have also provided a nice integration with the MonoDevelop (and Xamarin's branded version, Xamarin Studio).

It provides a first-class IDE with rich, accurate code completion, and powerful refactoring and analysis tools.

 

Debugging

Full support for C# debugging is included. Simply launch your game from Xamarin Studio as a standalone editor or mobile preview process, and it will connect to the runtime debug engine, giving you full access to a rich suite of abilities to inspect and debug your code.

Seamless Blueprint and Editor Integration

Your C# classes that are exposed to Unreal Engine are fully accessible from Blueprint and the Unreal Editor, just like Blueprint-accessible C++ classes.

You can continue using Blueprint for simple logic and use C# when things get more complicated.

And you can consume your C# classes from Blueprint.

 

Mixed C#/C++/Blueprint Solutions

The same tool that we use to generate bindings to Blueprint-exposed Unreal Engine APIs is integrated into Unreal Build Tool, and will automatically generate bindings to all of your Blueprint-exposed C++ gameplay code and engine modifications.

 

Native Access

In addition to the automatically generated bindings to Blueprint-exposed Unreal C++ code, the Mono runtime allows accessing any native APIs, including custom C/C++ code and the native platform API.

You can manually bind C APIs using Platform Invoke services, or use CppSharp to generate bindings to C++ APIs.

 

Async Programming

The Getting Started tutorial shows the low-level approach to defining behaviors, but this approach can become cumbersome when defining more complex behaviors and AI. Luckily, this task can be simplified with async programming, a C# compiler feature that rewrites what appears to be linear code into a state machine.

For more details about how this helps writing complex gameplay logic, see our overview of async programming.

 

API Profile

The Mono Mobile Profile is the core API profile in the support for Unreal Engine.

The Mono Mobile Profile removes a number of bloated .NET features including System.Configuration support from the Base Class Libraries. This is the same API profile used by Xamarin's Android, iOS and Mac products.

Note: The Mobile Profile is not ABI compatible with existing assemblies compiled for a different profile (like the .NET desktop, Silverlight or Windows Phone). You mustrecompile your source code to generate assemblies targeting the Mobile profile.

A full list of the assemblies in our Mobile framework profile can be found here.

 

Portable Class Libraries

You can use Portable Class Libraries with Xamarin's Unreal Engine support. This allows the same binary library to be shared across a wide range of platforms without code modifications.

To learn more about using Portable Class Libraries with Xamarin, read our Introduction to Portable Class Libraries document.

 

There are a couple limitations.  It’s based on .NET up to 4.5, with a smattering of .NET 5 features.  Well, anync, which is frankly the .NET 5 feature.  Perhaps the biggest limitation is it only has access to code from the Blueprint API.  Given that the Blueprint API has access to just about everything C++ does, this isn’t perhaps the limitation it sounds like.  If you want to make more C++ accessible to .NET you need to use CppSharp.  Additionally, Unreal AND Mono need to be available on the targeted platform, although frankly, Mono is available just about everywhere these days.  However, right now only Windows and Mac are supported, with other platforms under development.

 

Oh yeah, there is of course one other big side effect… money.

 

To redistribute code written with Mono for Unreal Engine, you must have a commercial license to the Mono runtime. These licenses are available from Xamarin for Mac, Android and iOS online, and you can request Windows licenses through support.

 

This of course is completely reasonable.  People make their money selling software, so obviously they have to sell their software.  That said, I’ve always found Xamarian’s licensing to be a bit awful.  There are almost unique in the development world for not offering a (real) free version for non-commercial development and this is a huge mistake IMHO.  The lack of a free edition makes open source software around their tools pretty much non-existent.  Of course you can open source work made with Xamarian tools, but good luck building a community around a commercial only development product.

 

That said, this is still an interesting development and one more feather in Unreal Engine’s cap.  Given that Unity is moving away from Mono and developing their own runtime, it’s not entirely shocking that Xamarin made this move.  It is somewhat ironic that the Unreal Engine .NET runtime will be substantially newer and more complete than Unity’s!

News


18. July 2014

I just received the following email from Unreal:

 

TranslusentFogDemo

Unreal Engine 4.3 Released!

 

More than 500 updates ship in this release! Unreal Engine 4.3 includes greatly improved mobile support, awesome new rendering features, improved Blueprint workflows, and strides toward an excellent experience on Mac and laptops.

 

Check out the new World Composition tools, spline features, and the preview of Paper2D, our 2D toolset! You also get SpeedTree 7 support, our work on Metal API for iOS 8 to date, and new Oculus Rift features such as time warping.

 

There’s no limit to what you can do with Unreal Engine 4 for only $19 per month.

 

Paper2D Side Scroller Template

Have fun with the new side-scroller template game as you become acquainted with Paper2D.

Read More

 

VR Couch Knights

We love VR, and Unreal Engine 4.3 supports the new Oculus DK2 out of the box! Dive into Epic’s popular “Couch Knights” demo which has been making the rounds at GDC and other shows.

Read More

SpeedTree 7

SpeedTree 7 support is here, and UE4 trees are 33% off in the SpeedTree store throughJuly 26!

Read More

Rendering Goodies

Rendering goodies include distance field ambient occlusion, skylight global illumination and shadowed translucency.

Read More

Behavior Trees

Better AI tools! Switch to the new Blackboard mode inside the Behavior Tree Editor to edit and debug Blackboard entries.

Read More

Large World Support!

Large world support! Check out the new World Composition tools. Create sub-levels and position them anywhere.

Read More

Customize Your Static Mesh Collision!

Customize your static mesh collision!

Read More

Spline Editing

Edit splines directly within your levels!

Read More

 

Build games and apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, SteamOS, HTML5 and VR platforms.

Get Unreal for $19/Month

Mobile Developers!

Zen Gardens

Google recently demonstrated the graphics power of L, the upcoming release of Android, using Epic's Rivalry demo running on Tegra K1 at Google I/O. Mobile is a huge focus for UE4, and we hope you’ll enjoy all the latest improvements!

Read More

 

 

The UE4 Roadmap continues to evolve, and we encourage you to vote for features that want to use.

 

To ask questions and share feedback, please visit the forums or join our live broadcasts at Twitch.tv every Thursday at 2pm ET, which you can always go back and view atYouTube.com.

 

Hats off to the developers who contributed to this great release! These who helped are forever immortalized in the Credits section under the editor’s Help menu.

 

Thank you for being a part of this adventure. We can’t wait to see what you build next.

 

We are one step closer to Paper2D support, which is their support for 2D engines. Occulus Rift support is no doubt cool for those developing for the Rift. Not quite as impressive as the last release, but still a good amount of progress from Unreal.

News


5. June 2014

 

The following email just landed in my inbox.

 

Unreal Engine 4.2 is Here!

 

In this update we’re shipping 269 new additions, 163 changes and 107 fixes. That's 539 updates in 6 weeks. Here are a few ways you can do more with Unreal Engine 4 for only $19 per month. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do!

Vehicle Template

Get our feature-rich vehicle support! 4.2 ships with a vehicle template in C++ and Blueprint form, plus our vehicle sample game to help you ramp up.

Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tappy Chicken Demo

Explore Tappy Chicken, recently released for iOS, Android and HTML5, to learn how to make a small, simple app that deploys over the air in less than 30MB. Mobile enhancements include leaderboards, achievements and ad support.

Read More

 

 

 

 

 

Unreal Tournament

Join our new Unreal Tournament open development project for PC, Mac and Linux.

Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Features for 4.2 Release

Get new features like camera animation system, Blueprint cut/copy/paste, and more!

Read More

 

 

 

 

Metal API, iOS 8 and UE4 Developers!

 

Zen Gardens

This week we were a part of Apple’s WWDC keynote revealing Zen Garden, a beautiful environment built in Unreal Engine 4 to demonstrate the kinds of vibrant dynamic scenes and enormous vistas made possible by the new Metal API for iOS 8. We’re bringing the latest technology to UE4 developers.

Read More

 

 

 

 

Download all the free, pretty content on Marketplace!

Here are just two recent additions.

SciFi-Hallway

Quixel’s stunning Sci-Fi Hallway

Read More

stylized Demo

Epic's Stylized Demo

Read More

 

 

We’re just getting started! Check out the UE4 Roadmap and vote for features you want to see in future releases.

If you have any questions or feedback you’d like to share, please visit the forums or join our live broadcasts at Twitch.tv every Thursday at 2pm ET, which you can always go back and view at YouTube.com.

Thank you for being a part of this adventure. As you can see at unrealengine.com, there are many exciting efforts in progress at Epic and throughout the Unreal ecosystem.

We hope to see you around.

 

 

I am downloading the update now.  It appears the download weighs in at 2.6GB.  Unreal continue to bring new features at a pretty good pace.

News


16. May 2014

 

Unreal just announced the contents of the upcoming 4.2 update.  I’m not sure when exactly it is going to be dropping ( I am downloading a 1.3GB update as we speak, but I don’t think it’s 4.2 ).  Regardless there is a stupid (good) amount of content in this update:

 

NEW: SAMPLE VEHICLE GAME

Vehicles are now fully supported in Unreal Engine! To celebrate we’ll be releasing a really cool sample game that demonstrates a fun off-road racing experience!  This will be available for free on the Marketplace with 4.2.

New Sample Vehicle Game

  • Out of the box support for 4WD, FWD, and RWD drive trains.
  • The default drive train simulation assumes 4 wheels; however it will work with any number of wheels.
  • As many gears you desire.
  • Automatic and semi-manual transmissions.
  • And it is all completely exposed to Blueprints!

Mechanical Setup for Vehicle Game

  • Full documentation on setting up a vehicle will be available on the release of 4.2
NEW: STYLIZED RENDERING SAMPLE

The Stylized Rendering sample will be available on the Marketplace for free! This sample showcases the rendering flexibly of Unreal Engine 4.

Stylized Rendering Sample

NEW: CAMERA ANIMATION SYSTEM!

Support for CameraAnims has now been added into Unreal Engine 4! These are very similar to CameraAnims from Unreal Engine 3, but now expanded with Blueprint support.

  • Conceptually, a CameraAnim is simply an animation that can be layered onto the in-game camera.  You can animate the camera position and rotation, FOV, and post process settings.
  • They can be created in the Content Browser, you can convert a track in Matinee to one, or you can import keyframes from external tools like Maya

CameraAnim System

  • To edit a CameraAnim, simply double click the asset in the Content Browser like you would any other asset. The CameraAnim editor is slightly customized version of Matinee. 
  • Multiple CameraAnimInsts (up to 8 currently) can be active at once, all blending and contributing to the final camera settings.
NEW: USER-DEFINED STRUCTURES FOR BLUEPRINTS

User Defined Structures are a brand new asset that is now available for use from within the editor!

A User Defined Structure can be created in the Content Browser.

User-Define Structures in Blueprints

They can be edited in the standalone editor by double clicking them in the Content Browser. Once you are done editing them, you can create a variable of a type of your newUser Defined Structure in your Blueprints.

Content Browser Blueprints

Like vectors, rotators, and other structures, your User Defined Structure will have Makeand Break nodes. User Defined Structures should behave like native structures: USTRUCT(BlueprintType).

NEW: BLUEPRINT FUNCTION LIBRARY

Users can now create a blueprint function library asset!  This allows you to create a nice library of Blueprint functions that can be used throughout your project!

Blueprint Library

Unlike the Blueprint Macro Library, Blueprint Function Libraries don’t require a Parent Class, and are able to be called by all Blueprints in the current project.

NEW: FABRIK INVERSE KINEMATICS SOLVER

FABRIK stands for Forward And Backward Reaching Inverse Kinematic.  It’s an IK solver that works on a chain of bones of any arbitrary length!

Fabrik Inverse Kinematics Solver

  • End Effector settings are the same as our TwoBone_IK node. It can be an absolute Transform, or a relative one (based on another bone from the same Skeleton).
  • In the Solver section, you define the chain of bones to use, from the ‘Root’ to the ‘Tip’. The ‘Tip’ will try to reach the end effector location.
  • End Effector Rotation Source allows you to control the rotation (maintain component space, local space, match end effector target rotation).
  • Precision is how close it needs to get. The lower, the more precise it gets to the End Effector Target, but the more expensive. (Although from tests it does a really nice job, and much quicker than the CCD_IK node).
  • MaxIterations is there to control performance, and make sure edge cases will not take frame rate down.

Thanks to GitHub community member Stephen Whittle for this feature!

NEW: CANVAS RENDER TARGETS

You can now draw Canvas UI straight to a texture, and then map that texture to objects in your scene!

  • This is fully supported by both C++ and Blueprint workflows. 
  • A special thanks to community member James Tan for submitting this.
NEW: VEHICLE TEMPLATE

We have a new project template that gives a simple automobile to start your new vehicle-based project with.  Both Blueprint and C++ versions of this template will be included with 4.2!

Vehicle Template

NEW: ANIMATION BLUEPRINT ASSET OVERRIDE EDITOR

Persona now has the ability to override the assets used in Play and Evaluate nodes in parent animation blueprints from a child blueprint.

The editor for this can be found in the Window menu in Persona:

Asset OVerride

The editor collects all of the nodes that can have their animation asset overridden. New assets can be picked from the pickers on the right of the panel. This works with longer inheritance chains too and shows the most appropriate defaults for that blueprint based upon the blueprints further up in the hierarchy. Finally, the “eye” button will link you to the AnimGraph node you are overriding:

AnimGraph

NEW: IMPROVED ANIM NOTIFY EDITOR

Multi-select support for Anim Notifies has been added into Persona! Shift + click adds to selection, and Ctrl + click toggles a notify selection.

You can drag the selection around and it will remain within the notify panel while obeying snaps:

Image Notifier

Copy/Paste works with groups too with a number of options:

You can paste them at the absolute, relative, or original time, in relation from where they were copied.

NEW: BLUEPRINT CUT AND PASTE FOR COMPONENTS

Cut/Copy/Paste commands have now been added to Components mode!

Blueprints Cute/Paste

  • Select individual components and either right-click or use keyboard Cut/Paste commands to copy or move components around!.
  • You can cut/copy components from one Blueprint and paste them right into another Blueprint!

If the selection includes a hierarchy, it will be preserved in the pasted copy!

NEW: EXPERIMENTAL MATH EXPRESSION NODE FOR BLUEPRINTS

There is a new experimental plugin available for the Math Expression Node for Blueprints. This node enables you to simply type in an expression and it will make the input pins, output pins, and a collapsed graph that contains your math expression.

Experimental Math Expression Node

  • To use this node, simply activate the Math Expression plugin in the plugin manager. It will then appear in the right click context menu of the Blueprint Graph Editor
  • Once created, type in your expression. If you make a mistake, you can edit the expression by renaming the node.
NEW: UV PARALLAX FOR SPLINETHICKEN MATERIAL FUNCTION

You can now add UV parallax to materials using the SplineThicken Material Function.  This makes it look like your object is round!

SlineThicken Example

  • The normals part of the function has been re-touched and they are now transforming correctly for all object rotations. This gives accurate lighting and specular!

New inputs:

  • UVs for Thickness (V2): This lets you specify a different UV channel for storing the thickness (tip to base) gradient. Useful to have this on UV1 or 2 for trees where there might be an overall tree length included not just a single pipe or branch etc.
  • UVs for Texturing (V2): This is the UVs for any textures you want applied to the pipe. You need to include and scale math here so it knows how much to parallax by. This is only needed if you want the 3D parallax correction results.
  • DeriveNormalZ (Bool): When checked, the shader will use DeriveNormalZ to compute the height of the normal. Gives much nicer ‘round’ shape. When false, 0.62 is assumed which is the average height of half a sphere centered at 0. If you want to use CustomUVs to solve the normal, you either need DeriveNormalZ to be false, or you need a row of vertices in the center of the spline mesh. If you do not have the added verts and use CustomUVs, it will say the normal has 0 height across the entire mesh.
  • AngleCorrectedNormals (Bool): Whether to use angle corrected normals when applying the additional normal texture. More accurate but more expensive.
  • AdditionalNormal (V3): Lets you specify an additional normalmap that will piggyback onto the vertexnormal transformation.

New output:

  • UVs with Parallax: This gives the UVs to use for any textures you want to have the 3d parallax.

Currently the function only handles 1 texture coordinate, so if you want multiple textures to have the correction, they all need to use the same scale.

NEW: ANIMATION DEBUG FEATURES

There are a number of new Animation Debug commands at your disposal. First there is in game rendering of a skeletal mesh’s bones:

Animation Debug Features

This is enabled using the ShowDebug Bones console command. As seen above the bones are represented by individual white lines.

  • An alternative look, matching the bones displayed in Persona, can be enabled via theShowDebugToggleSubCategory 3DBones console command.
  • Next is the animation debug output, which can be enabled using the ShowDebug Animation console command.
  • This is split up into 5 sections, each of which can be toggled on and off using theShowDebugToggleSubCategory command followed by the category name listed below e.g. ShowDebugToggleSubCategory SyncsGroups
    • SyncGroups: Displays the animation assets currently contributing to the final pose, organised by their sync group (or Ungrouped if they don’t belong to a group). By default Blendspaces listed in this section show all their contributing animations / weights. To reduce screen space used by the output this can be toggled off with ShowDebugToggleSubCategory FullBlendspaceDisplay.
    • Montages: Lists the montages currently being used by the character. The active montage is highlighted in green.
    • Curves: List the curve values (in Name: Value pairs) that have been activated by the playing animation(s).
    • Notifies: Display any notify states that are currently in effect.
    • Graph: Displays the active pose graph. The display starts with the last node (the root node) which represents the final pose and goes on to list all the nodes that go into making that final pose. Nodes are represented in such a way as to keep their hierarchy, allowing the user to see which nodes are connected to what without having to refer to the original blueprint asset. Active nodes are coloured green and (if they have been toggled to display usingShowDebugToggleSubCategory FullGraph ) inactive nodes are coloured grey.
NEW: LEVEL VIEWPORT STATS

Many useful engine stats can be visualized over the viewport.  You can now access these using the new “Stat” section under the viewport “Show” menu.

Level Viewport Stats

  • You can also toggle most of these stats by typing “Stat <name>” into a debug console prompt. 
  • By default the stats aren’t remembered between sessions, but you can turn that on by enabling “Save Engine Stats” in the editor’s Viewport preferences section.
NEW: OBJ MESH FILE FORMAT SUPPORT

You can now import .obj files for static meshes!

The file format is very simple so keep in mind that it does not support the following features:

  • Vertex color importing.
  • Collision importing.
  • Tangent and binormal importing.
  • Transforms.
    • The model will be rotated if not modeled with Z up because with OBJ importing we have no way of getting the source coordinate system.
NEW: UPGRADED FBX TO 2014

The FBX importer as now been upgraded to the 2014 version from Autodesk.

  • This allows Tangent and binormals on mirrored meshes to be imported correctly
  • You can still use the earlier FBX plugins found in any Maya/Max version before 2014, but you may get a warning on import when using a very old file.
NEW: WINDOWS XP SUPPORT (PREVIEW)

Developers working out of GitHub now have the ability to deploy your project to Windows XP.

  • To enable this, set WindowsPlatform.SupportWindowsXP to true in UnrealBuildTool, and edit your project’s settings to enable OpenGL shader support.
  • When running on Windows XP, OpenGL is automatically used instead of DirectX 11 for rendering
  • This feature is early in development and will be improved over time.
NEW: IMPROVED BLUEPRINT SUPPORT FOR ACTOR DESTRUCTION
  • In Blueprints, the new EndPlay function replaces the Destroyed function.  Existing usages of Destroyed will automatically update to the new function.
  • EndPlay will not just fire when an Actor is explicitly destroyed, but will also execute anytime an Actor ceases to be in the World.  This includes a level transition, a streaming level being unloaded, a PIE session ending, or Destroy being called for an Actor
  • In C++, the AActor::Destroyed virtual function remains, however it is primarily intended for editor transaction purposes.
  • The C++ AActor::EndPlay virtual function takes an enumeration parameter indicating the reason the Actor has been removed from the World.
  • The AActor::OnRemoveFromWorld virtual function, previously called for each Actor when the streaming level they belong to was unloaded, has been removed and its functionality included in AActor::EndPlay.
IMPROVEMENTS AND BUG FIXES

Editor

  • New: Vertex painting now works with Blueprints.
  • New: When attaching actors, you can now use an actor picker to choose which actor to attachto.
  • New: Added check for "Game View" when drawing geometry features in the editor.
  • New: You can now use Alt + [ or ] to adjust the size of the transform gizmo.
  • New: Collections now store and display a custom colour based on the local user settings.
  • New: Added option for Flat Bottomed collision to character components.
  • New: You now have the option to remove content downloaded from marketplace.
  • New: Creating multiple actors using drag and drop from the content browser now undo's as a single transaction.
  • New: Added the ability to refresh the project browser list.
  • New: You can now chooe where to place a class added via the New Class Wizard.
  • New: You can now provide a function to get the objects you want to show in the details view when creating an FSimpleAssetEditor.
  • Moved Source Code Access functionality to a plugin.
    • Source code access is now performed on the main thread.
  • Changed Static Meshes to check Screen Size rather than Distance to calculate which LOD to use.
  • Changed renaming an actor so it now ignores leading or trailing space when validating the name.
  • Fixed static lighting to now be disabled for Instanced Static Mesh Components.
  • Fixed project template names and descriptions to now fall back to English if a valid translation cannot be found for the current language.
  • Fixed the Submit Files Dialog to now follow the same style as the rest of the engine.
  • Fixed the Cascade ToggleRealtime tooltip to match the other Editor Viewports.
  • Fixed Particle System Components to now toggle visibility correctly.
  • Removed viewport-position menu items from the scene outliner menu.
  • Disabled Ctrl-select when using vertex paint.
  • Content Browser
    • New: Enter and Space Bar keys can now be remapped for the Content Browser.
  • Material Editor
    • New: Release Stats and Build In Stats toolbar buttons now have icons.
    • New: Added Find Results tab to Material Editor.
    • New: Added shortcut for component mask on Shift+C.
  • Texture Editor
    • Changed the Use Specified Mip Level property (bUseSpecifiedMipLevel) to now default to false, and the number of cinematic mips is ignored by the UI when it's true.
  • Persona
    • Changed the default and details inspectors so they are now disabled when editing a read only graph.
    • Fixed the erroneously set flag CPF_DisableEditOnTemplate by adding code to clear it.
  • Source Control
    • New: Added ability to sync directories from source control in the Editor.
  • New: Added P4 API 2014.2 with OpenSSL 1.0.1g.
  • BSP
    • New: A BSP actor is now deselected when none of its surfaces are selected.
    • Fixed the Slate Property Editor Combo element (SPropertyEditorCombo) to update the selection before opening itself.
  • UI
    • Fixed restoring from full screen to now set the window position on the native window.
  • Viewports
    • New: In-game Slate UI is now visible in editor viewports when in immersive mode.
  • Scene Outliner
    • New: Added filter that hides actors that aren’t in the current level.
    • New: There is now a menu option for scene outliner folders to select all the actors within that folder.
    • New: Duplicate now functions with hidden actors.
    • Changed the 'eye' visibility icon to acts on the current selection, if the row is selected.
    • Removed viewport-position menu items from the scene outliner menu.
  • Landscape
    • New: Implemented navigation geometry export for instanced static meshes.
    • New: Added support for landscape splines to FBX export.
    • Removed sculpting-only options from flatten tool when in paint mode.
  • Audio
    • New: Integrated Omni Radius from Unreal Engine 3.
  • Animation
    • New: Native Anim Notifies and states are now supported.

iOS, Android, and HTML5

  • Lots of iOS, Android, and HTML5 improvements – full details will be in the final release notes.

Blueprints

  • Fixed duplicate move calls occurring on Blueprint Graph nodes.

Rendering

  • New: The build scale is now taken into account when calculating a Static Meshes streaming texture factors.
  • New: Particle parameter distributions can now be used in conjunction with Color Over Life for GPU sprites.
  • New: Mesh Modifies Material Position now uses the result of the material translator.
  • New: Particle Lights now work with camera offset (per-view).
  • New: Added commandlet which lists all Static Mesh assets that were imported fromSpeedtrees.

 

 

An impressive amount of new feature in this update. The biggest have to be the ability to render UI components to in game objects as well as the new vehicle support.  The new camera animation system is also an impressive addition.  On of the smaller, but probably most important to many indie developers, is the addition of OBJ support for static mesh creation.  This opens up Unreal Engine to a whole realm of 3D creation tools that have no ( or poor ) FBX support, as the > $4,000 price tag on various Autodesk applications can make for a bitter pill.

 

I have to say, I continue to be amazed at how fast they are updating Unreal Engine.  Hopefully this update drops very soon.

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