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7. November 2018


Epic Games have just released Unreal Engine 4.21.  This release was very clearly influenced by the development process and requirements of creating Fortnite for iOS and Android, with several improvements to both mobile support, testing procedures and networking code resulting.  This release also features further improvements to Niagara, the new particle system, which now has Nintendo Switch support and a much more user friendly creation process.  Another new and interesting if experimental feature is Pixel Streaming, enabling you to broadcast from an Unreal Engine game directly to supported modern web browsers.

Details of the release from the Unreal Engine blog:

Unreal Engine 4.21 continues our relentless pursuit of greater efficiency, performance, and stability for every project on any platform. We made it easier to work smarter and create faster because we want your imagination to be the only limit when using our tools. And we battle-tested the engine on every platform until it met our developers' high standards so your project will shine once it is ready for the masses.

We are always looking for ways to streamline everyday tasks so developers can focus on creating meaningful, exciting, and engaging experiences. Our industry-leading Niagara effects toolset is now even more powerful and easier to use, enabling you to dream up the next generation of real-time visual effects. You can build multiplayer experiences on a scale not previously possible using the now production-ready Replication Graph functionality. Iterate faster thanks to optimizations with up to a 60% speed increase when cooking content, run automated tests to find issues using the new Gauntlet automation framework, and speed up your day-to-day workflows with usability improvements to the Animation system, Blueprint Visual Scripting, Sequencer, and more.

We strive to make it possible for your creations to be enjoyed as you intended by everyone, everywhere regardless of the form factor they choose. Building on the previous release, we have added even more optimizations developed for Fortnite on Android and iOS to further improve the process for developing for mobile devices. Available in Early Access, Pixel Streaming opens a whole new avenue to deploy apps in a web browser with no barrier to entry and no compromise on rendering quality. We have also improved support for Linux as well as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality devices.

As with all Unreal Engine releases, the release notes go into a great deal more detail, so be sure to click to learn more or watch the video embedded below.  As always, you can install Unreal Engine using the Epic Game Launcher.


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.


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25. September 2018


Back in March of this year, Epic announced a $12 million dollar asset giveaway of their now defunct game Paragon.  This included several characters and world creation assets from the game, in Unreal Engine format, complete with rig, control blueprints, multiple animations and more.  These are free for use as long as you are using them in an Unreal Engine powered project.  Today Epic announced the final release of assets from the game, a final 19 fully rigged and textured characters.

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

This final round follows two previous releases in March and August through which developers can download Paragon packs to use in their own UE4 projects with no strings attached. To date, Epic has released more than $17 million worth of content from its high-end multiplayer online battle arena game, including dozens of characters with their custom animation Blueprints, visual effects and audio dialogue, along with environment set pieces and sample maps.


This final selection of free releases includes 19 memorable Paragon Heroes: Aurora, Drongo, Gideon, Greystone, Iggy & Scorch, Kallari, Lt. Belica, Morigesh, Narbash, Revenant,  Sparrow, Steel, Sun-Wukong, Terra, The Fey, Wraith, Yin, Zinx and Boris - the previously unreleased character who was the final Paragon Hero to be announced. In addition, several previously unreleased bonus skins are also included.

You can view the assets in the Unreal Engine store right here.  For details on how to use the assets, be sure to watch the following video:

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14. August 2018


Are you looking to learn how to use Unreal Engine?  If so, today Epic just launched their new online academy, which is home to all of their existing video tutorials, as well as several new videos, organized into courses by industry or job position.  Current courses are split into the following tracks:

  • Game Development
  • Architecture
  • Industrial Design
  • Media and Entertainment

Details of the new course from the Unreal Engine blog:

Additional tracks sort content by job roles like Designer or Programmer, and each series is labeled with levels from Getting Started to Master Level. Videos are available on demand, and series are broken into short chunks for convenient learning anytime, anywhere.

This new platform includes a lot of the great video content you’ve seen on our website in the past, plus dozens of new videos on common workflows, new features, and a whole lot more! The learning platform is open to everyone, and offered free of charge. More content will be added regularly.

You can access the Unreal Engine Online Learning platform through the Video Tutorials option under the Learn tab at the Unreal Engine website. Check out the videos and get started on your journey to mastering Unreal Engine!

You can access the courses by clicking the Vide Tutorials link in the Learning section of the Epic Game Launcher, or by going to the website academy.unrealengine.com.  Best of all, all of this content is completely free.

GameDev News


18. July 2018


It has only been about 5 weeks since Unreal Engine 4.20 preview 1 was released so today’s full release of Unreal Engine 4.20 is impressively quick.  Some of the star features of this release include the new Niagara particle system, support for Visual Studio 2017 and beta Leap Magic support.  Perhaps the biggest new improvements in this release however come from Epic’s work on the mobile version of their smash hit game FortNite.  This release contains a massive number of mobile target improvements they gained from porting their own game to run on iOS and Android devices.

Mobile improvements alone include:

  • Improved Android debugging
  • Minimum Static Mesh LOD per platform
  • Minimum Skeletal Mesh LOD per platform
  • Hardware occlusion improvements
  • HLOD tools and workflow optimizations
  • Audio quality node
  • Audio variation culling
  • Audio downsampling per platform
  • Audio compression quality per platform
  • Shading model tweaks to better match PC
  • Reflection capture brightness fix
  • Landscape support for four layers
  • Landscape tessellation improvements
  • No memory cost for unused LODs, including:
    • Static Meshes
    • Skeletal Meshes
    • Material quality levels
    • Grass and foliage
    • High detail components and meshes
    • High detail emitters in Cascade
  • Settings based on device memory
  • Material memory reduction
  • Editor scriptability for bulk asset changes
  • Particle component pooling
  • Material parameter collection update cost

As always Epic have released a massive and comprehensive release note available here.  You can download the 4.20 UE4 release using the Epic Game Launcher.

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