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Unreal Engine 4 at GDC

Epic Games has already indicated it will unveil the Unreal Engine 4 to the public later this year, and now we have word that they will be showing it off behind closed doors at the Game Developers Conference next week in San Francisco, CA. Don't expect to hear much about this at the time, however, as word is non-disclosure agreements must be signed to view this presentation.

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44. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Mar 4, 2012, 14:00 Beamer
 
SXO wrote on Mar 4, 2012, 12:13:
Beamer wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 13:13:
Verno wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 12:41:
Tanto Edge wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 11:07:
'The PC gaming isn't dead' argument is all well and good but realistically, there aren't that many folks using UE3 to develop PC titles as opposed to folks using it to develop on consoles.
The incredible capabilities of software are being held back by the current console generation..
It's a shame.

AAA titles you mean? PC gaming has moved well beyond being limited to that market as a revenue stream. I agree that the former is being held up by consoles but the latter is thriving in a way not seen since the shareware days, much of that due to Steam and UE.

It'll be nice to see those titles mature, too.
Right now we're getting a certain kind of indie title. I won't call them simple or uncomplex, but they all fit a certain type, or maybe I should say two certain types. Most of them go for "retro" as well.

I still contend we won't be able to get cutting edge 3D FPS games coming from the indie crowd (no, Unity engine games don't count), but I really want to see a strategy revival. Right now it seems we're getting a good amount of half-finished space themed 4x games that aren't setting the world on fire. I want ones that maybe have their ambition pulled back a bit but do what they do insanely well (and preferably not in space.) And I want someone to do something interesting with turn based tactics without feeling like everything needs to move at the same time.

Wishes...

I believe all that is possible as soon as developers start relying less on publishers for funding, which is why I'm hoping all these kickstarter projects we're seeing actually succeed. Once devs realize they can be free of publisher control, I think they will be more willing to innovate as well as some who also push the hardware thresholds. It won't happen at first, small money, small projects, but it could be the beginnings of a renaissance of sorts.

More likely will be publishers realizing they need to carve out a certain chunk of their budget to funding innovation.
 
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43. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Mar 4, 2012, 12:13 SXO
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 13:13:
Verno wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 12:41:
Tanto Edge wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 11:07:
'The PC gaming isn't dead' argument is all well and good but realistically, there aren't that many folks using UE3 to develop PC titles as opposed to folks using it to develop on consoles.
The incredible capabilities of software are being held back by the current console generation..
It's a shame.

AAA titles you mean? PC gaming has moved well beyond being limited to that market as a revenue stream. I agree that the former is being held up by consoles but the latter is thriving in a way not seen since the shareware days, much of that due to Steam and UE.

It'll be nice to see those titles mature, too.
Right now we're getting a certain kind of indie title. I won't call them simple or uncomplex, but they all fit a certain type, or maybe I should say two certain types. Most of them go for "retro" as well.

I still contend we won't be able to get cutting edge 3D FPS games coming from the indie crowd (no, Unity engine games don't count), but I really want to see a strategy revival. Right now it seems we're getting a good amount of half-finished space themed 4x games that aren't setting the world on fire. I want ones that maybe have their ambition pulled back a bit but do what they do insanely well (and preferably not in space.) And I want someone to do something interesting with turn based tactics without feeling like everything needs to move at the same time.

Wishes...

I believe all that is possible as soon as developers start relying less on publishers for funding, which is why I'm hoping all these kickstarter projects we're seeing actually succeed. Once devs realize they can be free of publisher control, I think they will be more willing to innovate as well as some who also push the hardware thresholds. It won't happen at first, small money, small projects, but it could be the beginnings of a renaissance of sorts.
 
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42. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 29, 2012, 13:13 Beamer
 
Verno wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 12:41:
Tanto Edge wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 11:07:
'The PC gaming isn't dead' argument is all well and good but realistically, there aren't that many folks using UE3 to develop PC titles as opposed to folks using it to develop on consoles.
The incredible capabilities of software are being held back by the current console generation..
It's a shame.

AAA titles you mean? PC gaming has moved well beyond being limited to that market as a revenue stream. I agree that the former is being held up by consoles but the latter is thriving in a way not seen since the shareware days, much of that due to Steam and UE.

It'll be nice to see those titles mature, too.
Right now we're getting a certain kind of indie title. I won't call them simple or uncomplex, but they all fit a certain type, or maybe I should say two certain types. Most of them go for "retro" as well.

I still contend we won't be able to get cutting edge 3D FPS games coming from the indie crowd (no, Unity engine games don't count), but I really want to see a strategy revival. Right now it seems we're getting a good amount of half-finished space themed 4x games that aren't setting the world on fire. I want ones that maybe have their ambition pulled back a bit but do what they do insanely well (and preferably not in space.) And I want someone to do something interesting with turn based tactics without feeling like everything needs to move at the same time.

Wishes...
 
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41. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 29, 2012, 12:41 Verno
 
Tanto Edge wrote on Feb 29, 2012, 11:07:
'The PC gaming isn't dead' argument is all well and good but realistically, there aren't that many folks using UE3 to develop PC titles as opposed to folks using it to develop on consoles.
The incredible capabilities of software are being held back by the current console generation..
It's a shame.

AAA titles you mean? PC gaming has moved well beyond being limited to that market as a revenue stream. I agree that the former is being held up by consoles but the latter is thriving in a way not seen since the shareware days, much of that due to Steam and UE.
 
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40. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 29, 2012, 11:07 Tanto Edge
 
'The PC gaming isn't dead' argument is all well and good but realistically, there aren't that many folks using UE3 to develop PC titles as opposed to folks using it to develop on consoles.
The incredible capabilities of software are being held back by the current console generation..
It's a shame.
 
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39. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 21:06 eRe4s3r
 
Well... reality tends to look always the same mainly because its cheap to make everything look the same and use the same cheap materials everywhere, but you could build things that look real that are impossible to build in reality be it due to cost. Besides, just because you automate texture creation and shading of models, doesn't mean you have to forgo specific effects. Its just that this would cut down on the 2 main cost sources in games, environment/level art and character/weapon art.

Its hard to speculate what is possible, because theres very few studios who tried anything of the sorts. Spore in a sense took the very first baby-step still miles away from full procedural art though.

This comment was edited on Feb 28, 2012, 21:13.
 
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38. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 18:28 Ruffiana
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 05:54:
Actually, you don't need more or better artists, you just need better tools. Sculpting is still a terrible chore and normal map generation for sculpts requires complex unwrapping and messing around.

What we actually need is procedural shaders for primary materials, like wood, stone, plants, ground material (sand/stone/etc.) as well as any kind of metal compound with paint simulation. A dirt simulation, AO in-engine baking etc.

The solution to better graphics is not more artists or more art. It is quite literally to automate stupid processes in art creation. Something that requires infinitely more GPU power than we have now, procedural stuff is still at least 20 times slower than baked stuff, that is why EPIC said that. The future is not better shaders, the future is that you do not need to design shaders anymore, you set the material type, paint type, dirt/wear is simulated according to model and you are done. At that point, you can do high-poly objects outside of sculpting, and once sculpting, baking, unwrapping is gone from art-work flow you can finally see some decent graphics in indy games, and superb graphics (photo-real, actually) in AAA games.

Procedural shaders are still years away though. Someone would have to do some insane R&D on that, but once that is done the possibilities are endless.

Well yes, and no. Definitely at a bottleneck in terms of content creation requirements for modern graphic rendering techniques...but if that bottleneck were removed tomorrow with the wave of a magic wand, the thing that's holding games back is a proper respect for art direction and technical art direction.

The reason so many games look the same is because they're based on the same sources of inspiration, share very similiar art direction, and mostly rely on the same shaders mined out of the same white-papers. Developers with the technical capability to pioneer and develop new ways of rendering triangles and pixels are few and far between...and they tend to get copied once they publish a white-paper for GDC or Siggraph.

We'll always be developing tricks for simulating the way real-world materials look in a 3D engine because it's just flat out faster than raytracing everything. It will always be faster--performance wise--to fake something than brute-force your way through it.

Otherwise I agree, the tools and pipelines have a long way to go. Not just modeling though. Rigging, skinning, animation, lighting, environments, scripting, every bit of content is struggling with implementing in increasingly complex system.
 
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37. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 15:13 Kitkoan
 
Creston wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 11:43:
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 05:54:
Actually, you don't need more or better artists, you just need better tools. Sculpting is still a terrible chore and normal map generation for sculpts requires complex unwrapping and messing around.

What we actually need is procedural shaders for primary materials, like wood, stone, plants, ground material (sand/stone/etc.) as well as any kind of metal compound with paint simulation. A dirt simulation, AO in-engine baking etc.

The solution to better graphics is not more artists or more art. It is quite literally to automate stupid processes in art creation. Something that requires infinitely more GPU power than we have now, procedural stuff is still at least 20 times slower than baked stuff, that is why EPIC said that. The future is not better shaders, the future is that you do not need to design shaders anymore, you set the material type, paint type, dirt/wear is simulated according to model and you are done. At that point, you can do high-poly objects outside of sculpting, and once sculpting, baking, unwrapping is gone from art-work flow you can finally see some decent graphics in indy games, and superb graphics (photo-real, actually) in AAA games.

Procedural shaders are still years away though. Someone would have to do some insane R&D on that, but once that is done the possibilities are endless.

Interesting. If you do it that way, however, wouldn't that mean that all games made with the engine LITERALLY would look the same? Since they'd all use the auto-shader?

Creston

Not really, at that point its like an air brush. The paint is applied in the same manner since its completely controlled by is engine. But the artist gets to still choose things like " paint" density, concentration, angles, tones, shapes, etc... Grass can have different heights, colors, patches. Tees can have different leaves, colors, branches length and density, bark color or lack of bark. The tools can help but at the end your still left with the artists vision. If the artist doesn't understand how to use the tools to their fullest or is lazy, then yes, everything looks the same.

Think of a meadow. For the most part, they all run on the same basics. Grass, maybe a few trees, sky, etc... But each meadow can look very different even though the same basic principles are used and reused.
 
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36. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 11:43 Creston
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 05:54:
Actually, you don't need more or better artists, you just need better tools. Sculpting is still a terrible chore and normal map generation for sculpts requires complex unwrapping and messing around.

What we actually need is procedural shaders for primary materials, like wood, stone, plants, ground material (sand/stone/etc.) as well as any kind of metal compound with paint simulation. A dirt simulation, AO in-engine baking etc.

The solution to better graphics is not more artists or more art. It is quite literally to automate stupid processes in art creation. Something that requires infinitely more GPU power than we have now, procedural stuff is still at least 20 times slower than baked stuff, that is why EPIC said that. The future is not better shaders, the future is that you do not need to design shaders anymore, you set the material type, paint type, dirt/wear is simulated according to model and you are done. At that point, you can do high-poly objects outside of sculpting, and once sculpting, baking, unwrapping is gone from art-work flow you can finally see some decent graphics in indy games, and superb graphics (photo-real, actually) in AAA games.

Procedural shaders are still years away though. Someone would have to do some insane R&D on that, but once that is done the possibilities are endless.

Interesting. If you do it that way, however, wouldn't that mean that all games made with the engine LITERALLY would look the same? Since they'd all use the auto-shader?

Creston
 
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35. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 11:38 Creston
 
Please fix the texture pop-in, please fix the texture pop-in, please...

Creston
 
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34. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 10:30 Beamer
 
Dev wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 09:53:
Kitkoan wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 00:40:
Only problem is good luck seeing any game running something like that. The demo ran a very large rig (I think I heard rumors it was done on a triple SLI GTX 560's (technically "off-the-shelf" like they claim, but who has that kinda power?) and it also ran at a speed of 2.5 teraflop, which is beyond what the XBox 720 is supposed to be able to do even (read more here).

A game like this would need a nice budget from a big company and they won't make a game that won't run on any console. So until they can fine tune the code to support the XBox 720/PS4 to make a game like this run on those, keep waiting. (I think it will take 2-3 years after release of those consoles at least until you start seeing this)
Oh I know. And as for who has that, there's a surprising number of people who do things like SLI and crossfire. Despite the fact you can build a decent gaming rig for around $400 nowadays (including graphics card), there's people who still spent $1000+ on double or triple SLI. Most of those people have double or triple monitors too.

Its also a good example of how consoles are holding back game development.

I'm still of the "they look good enough, anyway" school of thought. I am much happier knowing that $1200 will get me pretty much a top of the line system than feeling like I need to go SLI. I'm unhappy enough with the price/length ratio and can't imagine how much worse it would be if there was a push for better graphics.

I think we're getting close to the graphics race totally breaking. It simply costs too much to make ultra-realistic 3D worlds. With so many indie games popping up with 2D or 8-bit or just overall low end graphics and instead pushing new thinking instead of new graphics I think people are slowly putting less emphasis in a need for "OMG this game doesn't have DX11 tessellation! Burn it at the stake!"

Good graphics are very expensive and time consuming. I don't feel like I get much back for that.
 
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33. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 09:53 Dev
 
Kitkoan wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 00:40:
Only problem is good luck seeing any game running something like that. The demo ran a very large rig (I think I heard rumors it was done on a triple SLI GTX 560's (technically "off-the-shelf" like they claim, but who has that kinda power?) and it also ran at a speed of 2.5 teraflop, which is beyond what the XBox 720 is supposed to be able to do even (read more here).

A game like this would need a nice budget from a big company and they won't make a game that won't run on any console. So until they can fine tune the code to support the XBox 720/PS4 to make a game like this run on those, keep waiting. (I think it will take 2-3 years after release of those consoles at least until you start seeing this)
Oh I know. And as for who has that, there's a surprising number of people who do things like SLI and crossfire. Despite the fact you can build a decent gaming rig for around $400 nowadays (including graphics card), there's people who still spent $1000+ on double or triple SLI. Most of those people have double or triple monitors too.

Its also a good example of how consoles are holding back game development.
 
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32. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 09:43 eRe4s3r
 
I'd ignore Hawken alone from the preview vids. It looked like an arcade shoot-em-up and had nothing of the heaviness that mech's demand. Game looked like a regular twitch shooter.. f2p is only one of many nails in that coffin. But maybe they won't make it a pay to win game, but who believes that? They got what, 20m in funding? That investor wants his money back, and that won't be happening by selling skins and balanced mechs.  
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31. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 09:33 Beamer
 
InBlack wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 08:48:
You are missing my point? Seriously? My point is that I doubt that this engine will bring anything new or brilliant or innovative to gaming in general.

PC gaming is not dead, far from it. But for all intents and purposes the big publishers keep pretending that it is, PC game developers hardly bother even 'designing' games without thinking about a future console port at some point and then iterating their design with that in mind and Epic has spat in the face of PC gamers far more times than I can remember.

So please excuse me if I take the possibilites this 'new' engine brings to the table with a grain of salt.

That's still a lot different than a stupid hyperbole like "isn't PC gaming dead to these guys?"

They're probably spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on UDK yet people like you go "isn't PC gaming dead to these guys?"

Whatever, I'll probably play and enjoy Hawken. You can whine that Epic once spat in your face and ignore it. Be like Cutter, who is ignoring it because he's afraid of f2p.
 
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30. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 09:15 StreetPreacher
 
SXO wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 08:39:
Take a look at all the games that use UE 3.0, and you'll see there's quite a range of looks:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games
Holy crap that list is HUGE! I knew that UE3 was very pervasive, but wow. Also, the fact that *3 installments* of at least 2 different AAA blockbuster games (Gears of War and Mass Effect) have shipped on it speaks for UE3's power and longevity, or the overdue status of UE4. Or both.

And yeah - anyone who says that all UE games look the same isn't paying attention. That's like saying all oil paintings look the same. It's all up to the artist.
 
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29. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 08:48 InBlack
 
You are missing my point? Seriously? My point is that I doubt that this engine will bring anything new or brilliant or innovative to gaming in general.

PC gaming is not dead, far from it. But for all intents and purposes the big publishers keep pretending that it is, PC game developers hardly bother even 'designing' games without thinking about a future console port at some point and then iterating their design with that in mind and Epic has spat in the face of PC gamers far more times than I can remember.

So please excuse me if I take the possibilites this 'new' engine brings to the table with a grain of salt.
 
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28. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 08:39 SXO
 
Fion wrote on Feb 27, 2012, 23:35:
I am so sick of this engine. Every game looks the same, all the characters are identical in every game. It is really getting boring.
That's not the fault of the engine, it's a fault of the developers who design their games so similarly. Character design is not a product of the engine a game is developed on, it is a product of the artists who designed them.

Take a look at all the games that use UE 3.0, and you'll see there's quite a range of looks:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games
 
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27. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 08:31 Beamer
 
InBlack wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 08:24:
Beamer wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 07:26:
InBlack wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 07:15:
Why would they even make a new engine since its basically wasted on consoles anyway??

Isnt PC gaming dead to these guys?

Yeah, because none of their games, nor any of their licensees games, come out on PCs.


Except for the ones that are PC exclusive, and the ones that aren't, and the ones that are ported over...

Since you keep baiting Ill keep biting. You mentioned PC exclusives. So how many of todays PC games are PC exclusives? Not very many right? How many shooters are PC exclusives? Even fewer, Im sure you would agree? Lets take it even further:
How many console ports running on Unreal engines are properly ported and optimized for the PC, strictly graphically speaking of course, by that I mean proper high-rez textures and all the other snazzy DirectX 10 & 11 effects?

Still with me Beamer? Want me to take it even further?

Yeah, you can take it as far as you want, but I'm not sure what you're getting at. "Isn't PC gaming dead to these guys?" Considering the engine is being used for PC exclusives, and considering they've added the DX10/11 effects into the engine, I'd say no, no it is not. You can keep going down this road, but if your requirements for "PC gaming isn't dead" are "must include proper high-rez textures and DX11 effects" someone better tell Notch that he doesn't support PCs!

Still with me, dude? Want me to take it even further?

Oh my god, the new X-COM uses UE3. Those bastards at Firaxis sure don't support the PC!
Hey Hawken guys, by using the completely free (well, non-commercial), totally DX11 compatible, top of the line UDK to make a PC exclusive you're telling us PC gaming is dead!

This comment was edited on Feb 28, 2012, 08:36.
 
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26. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 08:24 InBlack
 
Beamer wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 07:26:
InBlack wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 07:15:
Why would they even make a new engine since its basically wasted on consoles anyway??

Isnt PC gaming dead to these guys?

Yeah, because none of their games, nor any of their licensees games, come out on PCs.


Except for the ones that are PC exclusive, and the ones that aren't, and the ones that are ported over...

Since you keep baiting Ill keep biting. You mentioned PC exclusives. So how many of todays PC games are PC exclusives? Not very many right? How many shooters are PC exclusives? Even fewer, Im sure you would agree? Lets take it even further:
How many console ports running on Unreal engines are properly ported and optimized for the PC, strictly graphically speaking of course, by that I mean proper high-rez textures and all the other snazzy DirectX 10 & 11 effects?

Still with me Beamer? Want me to take it even further?
 
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25. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 07:26 Beamer
 
InBlack wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 07:15:
Why would they even make a new engine since its basically wasted on consoles anyway??

Isnt PC gaming dead to these guys?

Yeah, because none of their games, nor any of their licensees games, come out on PCs.


Except for the ones that are PC exclusive, and the ones that aren't, and the ones that are ported over...
 
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