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12. February 2019


Epic Games have just released Unreal Engine 4.22 Preview 1.  The star feature of this new release is support for DXR, which provides real-time raytracing support on DirectX 12.  You do have to jump through several hoops to enable raytracing in addition to requiring a RTX card.  The preview has several other new features including Oculus Quest support, Niagra and audio engine improvements, Visual Studio 2019 support and more.

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

Preview 1 includes support for real-time ray tracing, Editor Utility Widgets, Blueprint indexing optimizations, virtual production updates, Oculus Quest support and the Unreal Audio Engine is now on by default for new projects.


A full list of the upcoming changes to this build are available on the Unreal Engine forums. We invite you to provide feedback on Preview 1, and all subsequent releases. Please keep in mind that Preview releases are intended only to provide a sample of what is going to be released in the update and are not production-ready.


To get started with Unreal Engine 4.22 Preview 1, head to the Library section on the launcher, select “Add Versions” and choose 4.22 Preview 1. 

Be sure to check the forum for a more complete list of new features.

GameDev News


2. February 2019


In the February release of free Unreal content, two assets stood out in particular.  One was the CCG Toolkit, a card game creation kit covered here, as well as the Platformer Kit 2D.  Both are interesting projects because they illustrate how to create non-traditional style games in Unreal Engine.  The Platformer Kit is described as:

The 2D Platforming Kit is the ultimate tool for creating action platforming titles!  Includes a fully customizable player character complete with 21 animation states and editable parameters for every individual action. Features multiple heavily commented blueprints that allow for easy customization .

With the following features:

Movement System

  • Full On-screen touch controls
  • Customizable movement speed,acceleration and more.
  • Sprint
  • Multi/Wall Jump
  • Wall Slide
  • Dash
  • Ladders

Combat System

  • Melee Attack and Ranged Attack
  • Timed Block
  • Multiple enemy varieties
  • XP and level-up
  • Collect and swap weapons
  • Timed Power-ups Item Drop System

Others

  • Collectables
  • Moving Platforms
  • Save/Load Game
  • Enemy loot Drops
  • Floating Combat Text for player & enemies Health & Damage System
  • Dynamic Health HUD for the player & enemies
  • Fully Functional damage system
  • Colour tinting, temporary invulnerability and knock-back effects after taking damage
  • Audio SFX
  • Menu System

The content is only free until the end of February 2019, so be sure to “buy” it now.  The kit is available here on the Unreal Engine marketplace.  Once it is “purchased” it is yours forever.  We go hands on with the Platformer kit in the video below.

GameDev News


2. February 2019


Currently free as part of the February Unreal content giveaway, we take a hands-on look at CCG Toolkit.  The CCG Toolkit is a collection of blueprints and assets that provide a framework for easily creating digital card games like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.  CCG Toolkit is described as:

The CCG Toolkit is an extensive card game framework that allows developers to create their own single and multiplayer card games. Whether you are looking to develop an idea or want to move your existing tabletop card game into the digital space, the CCG Toolkit provides the essential tools, interactions and functionality to see your own card experience come to life… fast.

With the following features:

- 100% Blueprint Framework

- Multiplayer support

- Customizable Card Game AI + Debug UI

- Highly customizable card creation

- Deck builder - Create, Edit, and Save limitless custom decks

- Card Manager which feature interchangeable positioning profiles

- Card sets with 35+ example cards

- In-game card positioning editor and game tools

- Deck Generator - Filter, Shuffle, and Weigh cards in deck

- Customizable card placement

- Board Players

- Mouse-over card previews

- Card graveyard

- 10+ included card abilities with multiple settings variations

- Player and opponent UI framework

- Turn-based gameplay system

- Player health and mana systems

- Cards and board player interactions

- Basic card movement and visual gameplay cues

- Basic win and loose conditions

- Turn and game timer's

- Simple main menu, deck selection, arena selection, and server selection menus

- Several custom function libraries

- In-game Notifications manager

- 2D and 3D card art and assets

- 7 Included arena's

The toolkit is also extremely well documented, with the PDF documentation available here.  Be sure to “buy” it before February ends to get it for free, as the offer is a limited time only.

GameDev News


1. February 2019


Starting back in November 2018, Epic Games started giving away monthly Unreal Assets, which continues today.  Most of the content is free but must be “purchased”, at which point it is yours forever.  Some of the assets will remain free forever, no just for this month.

February free assets:

CCG Toolkit

Hand Painted Texture Starter Kit

Luos’s Particle Toolkit Vol 1

Platformer 2D Toolkit

Scifi Kitbash Level Builder

Free forever assets:

Medieval Dungeon

Particles and Wind Control System


You can learn more about the assets on the Unreal blog here.

GameDev News


10. January 2019


Well… this has certainly been an interesting day.  It started off with Improbable blogging about how their license with Unity had been terminated due to ToS changes and that they would no longer be able to function as a cloud based networking layer for Unity game developers.  Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney chimed in on Twitter about how bad of a mistake this move was.  Then at the end of the day, Unity responded essentially saying Improbable was lying, clarifying what the news terms of service mean for mean for Unity developers and “platforms”.  So that’s the end of the story… right?

Wrong.

Enter Epic Games, announcing a partnership with Improbable, and a $25 million dollar fund to “help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems”.  Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

First, we want to reaffirm our partnership. Unreal Engine provides full C++ source code for everyone, and its license (https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/eula) ensures it remains open to all game developers and middleware providers, and enables all to collaborate together through SDKs, services, and forks of the source code. Likewise, Improbable is developing a completely open Unreal integration for its online game development platform, SpatialOS. The combination enables developers to rapidly build and deploy both session-based and persistent online worlds across all platforms with the functionality of Unreal Engine and the increased possibilities of distributed computing and cloud services.


Epic Games’ partnership with Improbable, and the integration of Improbable’s cloud-based development platform SpatialOS, is based on shared values, and a shared belief in how companies should work together to support mutual customers in a straightforward, no-surprises way.


We believe we are at the beginning of an unprecedented age of inclusive online games that become parts of our everyday lives. Enabling this will take much more than Epic or Improbable; it will take a vastly more mature, broad-based industry to enable this future: a community of companies connected by values such as fair and openly disclosed business terms, respect for developer choice, and full interoperability between platforms, software, and services. We encourage others with a similar vision to reach out, so we can find ways to make it come sooner.


To assist developers who are left in limbo by the new engine and service incompatibilities that were introduced today, Epic Games and Improbable are together establishing a US $25,000,000 combined fund to help developers transition to more open engines, services, and ecosystems.  This funding will come from a variety of sources including Unreal Dev Grants, Improbable developer assistance funds, and Epic Games store funding.

Ouch!

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