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Epic to show new Unreal Engine 3 features at GDC

Posted on Monday, March 16 2009 @ 15:46:56 CET by

Epic Games announced it will show off a new version of its Unreal Engine 3 at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco next week. One of the upgrades of the game engine will be an integrated MMOG backend solution.
Find out why top developers and publishers use Unreal Engine 3 to power their games for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Epic will showcase the most recent upgrades to the Unreal Engine in a private theater within its expo suite, ES 144, located in the West Hall.

Unreal Lightmass, a new global illumination solver, will be shown for the first time at GDC. Unreal Lightmass produces high-quality static lighting with next-generation effects, such as: soft shadows with accurate penumbrae; diffuse and specular interreflection; and color bleeding. Furthermore, Epic's new Swarm distributed computing framework enables lighting to be generated up to 10 times faster. The new lighting features are bundled with Unreal Engine 3 and benefit all current and future engine licensees. Like all of Epic’s engine features, Unreal Lightmass is available at no additional cost to licensees.

A new content browser and search engine, powered by a back-end database, enables designers to find game assets near-instantly among large amounts of source content. With thumbnail previews, support for content tagging, and asset collection management, the Unreal Content Browser frees artists from the need to manually open files to look for game assets.

“We looked at how easy it was to search the net with Google, and find photos on Flickr, and redesigned Unreal Engine 3's content searching and tagging along those lines,” said Tim Sweeney, chief executive officer and technical director of Epic Games. “The result was a productivity boon for artists and designers.”

To power the online community features of Gears of War 2, Epic developed a scalable statistics and data management back end. Now available as a general feature of Unreal Engine 3, the Unreal Master Control Program (MCP) is a high-reliability online service architecture supporting announcements, settings management, online population tracking, and data collection for hardware, profile, and game stats. Unreal MCP includes a set of tools for visualizing gameplay, including such features as heat maps displaying regions of player activity within a level.

"Battle-tested by over 6.8 million hours of online player time, Unreal MCP seriously ups the ante for game engines," says Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. "The online infrastructure required for a modern, triple-A game represents man-years of work, and all of this is now included in Unreal Engine 3."

In addition, Epic Games China will share details regarding its integrated, massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) backend solution for Unreal Engine 3.



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