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16. May 2019


Announced back in December of 2018, Online Services is a collection of free and cross platform game engine agnostic services for multiplayer games, as battle tested in Fortnite.  Services such as achievements, player inventory, matchmaking and voice communications will be made available completely free.  The roll-out is over time, with the ticketing and game analytics services currently being live, with the remaining coming at some point in the future. 

Unfortunately there has been a bit of a delay:

As a result of our current prioritizations, several roadmap items are being delayed. Most notably, we are rescheduling the release of the Player Reports and Player Data Storage services. To provide more detail, we are moving the roadmap to a Trello board, which you can bookmark and revisit at your convenience.

It’s not all bad news though, there is one major new change that should be happily received.

We’re also working to open up the identity and social services we built for Fortnite to support cross-play in partner games without requiring the use of Epic accounts or other Epic dependencies.

This should make the use of Epic’s Online Services a great deal more appealling to many developers… once they finally arrive.  If you are interested in signing for the SDK click here.  To learn more, watch the video embedded below.

GameDev News


14. May 2019


Epic Games have acquired Twinmotion, a archviz solution built on top of Epic’s Unreal game engine technology.  Even better, Twinmotion is being made available for free Until November of 2019, with the license remaining valid past that date.

Details from the announcement blog:

We’re excited to announce that Epic Games and Twinmotion have joined forces! Powered by Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, a high-quality, easy-to-use real-time visualization solution, is now part of the Epic family. And the best news? Our new version of Twinmotion is absolutely free to download and use for all customers until November 2019.


Twinmotion makes compelling design visualization easy! Whether you’re in the architecture, construction, urban planning, or landscaping industry, its highly intuitive interface enables you to assign PBR materials, set up lighting, and even choose the season and the weather with just a few clicks. Populate your scene from a library of ready-to-use assets, including animated characters, and trees whose foliage blows in the wind. With as few as two clicks, you can create paths of walking people or moving cars, and then vary their appearance to suit your scene.


Twinmotion can be downloaded using the Epic Game Launcher, under the newly added Twinmotion tab.  Learn more about Twinmotion on the recently updated UnrealEngine site.  You can see Twinmotion in action in the video below.

GameDev News


10. May 2019


While Unreal Engine doesn’t provide C# support out of the box, it does provide an exceptional plugin system, so it was only a matter of time until C# plugins arrived.  Today we are looking at the open source USharp extension, which is based on the MonoUE plugin project.  Using this plugin, UE4 gains C# functionality with the following features:

  • Write C# using UObject exposed types (AActor, AGameMode, UActorComponent, etc). Define new UObject types and inherit existing ones. Exposed C# types can then be used in (or extended by) Blueprint.
  • Access to Unreal's reflection system (UClass, UFunction, UProperty, etc).
  • Hot-reload
  • Dynamically switch between .NET Framework, .NET Core and Mono for an improved debugging / runtime experience without having to reopen the editor
  • Supports Windows, Mac and Linux

There are however some downsides:

  • This project depends on a lot of PInvoked functions which could potentially behave differently on different C++ compilers. This project may not work on some target platforms.
  • Like mono-ue this project depends on lots of generated code and IL weaving. It probably isn't the best for performance and there is a huge amount of generated code everywhere.
  • The weaved IL currently seems to break edit-and-continue debugging (issue with cecil?)
  • There is currently too much marshaling on structs / collections (list, map, set). Marshaling needs to be redesigned to avoid copies of entire collections / structs on trivial calls between C# / native code. Additionally marshaling of delegates needs to be redesigned (various issues such as being referenced as a copy of the delegate).

If you are interested in checking out USharp, you can find the installation instructions here.  One potential problem to be aware of, the project creator doesn’t seem to have attached a license to the code repository!  While this code is not production ready, if you intend to use it in any capacity, I would make sure the license is suitable.  See the results of the plugin in action in the video below.

GameDev News


7. May 2019


Epic Games have just launched a preview of their upcoming Unreal Engine Academy.  This is a one stop location for Unreal Engine courses in video format which is completely free, although it requires you to log in with your Epic credentials.  The Unreal Academy will track your current progress through a course and even has motivational achievements that can be attained.  Currently the pickings are fairly slim, with 3 official courses and just over a dozen other courses available.  The new portal will most likely replace the existing Unreal Academy, with much of the content being shared.

This move comes in response to a similar portal launched by Unity just last week, Unity Learn.  It offers very similar content, although Unity Learn also offers some text based tutorials in addition to video.

Regardless to which game engine you use, never has it been easier to get access to excellent courses to get you up and running.  Check out the new Unreal Engine Academy in action in the video below.

GameDev News


1. May 2019


Starting toward the end of 2018, Epic Games started giving away free developer content from the Unreal Engine marketplace, free for that month.  This May is no exception, with several new assets available for free during the month, as well as a couple more assets now available indefinitely free.


This Months assets include:

With the following assets free forever:

Be sure to “purchase” the assets from the marketplace before April 1, 2019 to get them for free.  If you are interested in a hands-on video with a particular asset, please let me know and I will see what I can do.




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