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9. July 2020


Epic Games, creators of the popular Fortnite series, as well as Unreal Engine, have just announced they have received a $250M investment from Sony, makers of the PlayStation consoles.  It was announced in June that Epic Games were looking for investments valuing the company at 17B dollars.  While this does not appear to be that investment, it does in fact value Epic Games at over 17B USD.

The $250M dollar investment represents an ownership stake of 1.4%, a far cry from the 40% Tencent received for it’s 2012 $330M investment.  The ultimate question is… what does Sony get out of this?  Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat discusses exactly that subject:

The deal is important for Sony because it needs allies in the upcoming console war. Later this year, Sony plans to launch the PlayStation 5 game console in competition with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. But Epic has said that its Unreal Engine 5 and Fortnite will work with all game platforms, as Epic has generally been neutral when it comes to making cross-platform technology. If Sony gets any advantage from investing in Epic, it isn’t clear from this deal.

In a statement, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that Epic’s technology keeps it at the forefront of game development and that is exemplified in the features of Fortnite. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, meanwhile, said in a statement that both Sony and Epic have created businesses at the intersection of creativity and technology and they share a vision of real-time 3D social experiences that will lead to a convergence of gaming, film, and music. He also said the parties plan to build a “more open and accessible digital ecosystem for all consumers and content creators.”

The bolded point above is perhaps the most important part for game developers, Unreal Engine should not be affected by this investment.  You can learn more in the video below.

GameDev News


9. July 2020


Unreal Engine have just launched a new iPhone App called Live Link that enables real-time facial capture for Unreal Engine using an iPhone 10x or newer.  The requirements are Unreal Engine 4.25 or higher as well as an iPhone with a “True Depth” front facing camera.

Details of the App from the Apple App Store:

Virtual production-ready facial animation in real time from your iPhone -- Live Link Face for UnrealEngine.

Stream high-quality facial expressions to characters and visualize them with live rendering in UnrealEngine. Record facial tracking data that can be further fine-tuned in animation tools to achieve a finalperformance and assembled in Unreal Engine’s Sequencer. Shoot professional-grade performance capture with an integrated stage workflow.

Facial animation via front-camera and ARKit:

    • Stream out the data live to an Unreal Engine instance via Live Link over a network.
    • Drive a 3D preview mesh, optionally overlaid over the video reference on the phone.
    • Record the raw facial animation data and front-facing video reference footage.

Timecode support for multi-device synchronization:

  • Select from the iPhone system clock, an NTP server, or use a Tentacle Sync to connect with a master clock on stage.
  • Video reference is frame accurate with embedded timecode for editorial.

Control Live Link Face remotely with OSC:

  • Trigger recording externally so actors can focus on their performances.
  • Capture slate names and take numbers consistently.
  • Extract data automatically for archival.

Browse and manage the captured library of takes within Live Link Face:

  • Delete takes, share via AirDrop.
  • Play back the reference video on the phone.

You can learn more about the new Live Link application on the Unreal Engine blog and learn more in documentation available here.  Learn more in the video below.

GameDev News


8. July 2020


Core, a game development platform by Manticore Games (previous hands-on here), have just announced a pilot program enabling game developers to get paid for their game creations.  Core is built on top of the Unreal game engine and provides you everything you need to create your own games.  Details of the pilot payment program from the Manticore blog:

We designed the Creator Payouts Pilot Program around one simple concept: the more people play your game, the more you should get paid.

Each calendar month, creators in the program can receive $3 per average daily player. This will be calculated by taking the daily number of unique users who log into your games and averaging them across that month.

This means that if you have 500 unique users log into your games every day (they do not need to be the same players) you could receive $1,500 after the end of the month. If you average 1,000 users, you could receive $3,000. If you average 10,000 … you get the idea.

We chose this system because we want creators to be unified in the mission of making fun games and bringing new players to Core. You don’t need to manage subscriptions or design a vast catalog of microtransactions. Instead, the only thing you need to focus on is making great games that attract and retain players. The more players you and your fellow creators bring in, the more money you could make.

During the pilot, spots are limited for the chance to monetize your Core creations.  If you are interested in getting in the pilot, you need the fill out this form.  Be sure to check out the terms and conditions and the FAQ.  Check out the video below for more details.

GameDev News


7. July 2020


It’s the first Tuesday of the month, and that means it’s time for another Unreal Engine giveaway.  Every month they give away several assets from the Unreal Engine marketplace, so long as you “purchase” them before the first Tuesday of the following month.

This months free assets include:

Also there was one asset added to the permanently free collection:

You can learn more about the giveaway and the assets within in the video below.  Just remember you have until August 4th to redeem them for free.

GameDev News


22. June 2020


There have been a lot of changes at Quixel since being acquired by Epic Games in late 2019, almost all for the better for developers.  Quixel Mixer 2020.1.2 is another example of that, with the texture generation tool getting a huge number of completely free smart materials, along side a new installer and resource manager.

Details of the release from the Quixel blog:

Earlier this year we introduced 3D texturing and Smart Materials support in the first Mixer 2020 release. This release comes with 50 new Smart Materials, a handy new Asset Manager and a new installer that lays the groundwork for regular releases of Smart Material packs. We are also working on new feature updates including Multiple Texture Set Support, slated for later this year.

50 premium scan based Smart Materials have been added to Mixer’s expanding collection of free top-quality assets. Mixer’s Smart Materials are crafted based on your requests by Quixel’s art team, using Megascans to ensure a world-class look and feel to your assets, instantly.

The new release includes Metals such as aluminum, oxidized iron and gold, Fabrics such as denim, linen and camo gear, and a plethora of Plastics, Rocks, Woods and Leathers. All these are ready to go and are completely free to use.

Quixel Miser is a completely free download, as are the new Smart Material packs, while the MegaScans library is available for free to Unreal Engine users.  You can learn more about the release in the video below.

GameDev News


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