Firefox creators Mozilla have teamed up with Epic to bring the Unreal Engine to web browsers. Announced at GDC, the two companies aren't just looking to give casual and indie developers a web-enabled Unity alternative - their ultimate plan is to make it a viable platform for AAA games. It's going to be a right pain if you accidentally close the tab while waiting for Bioshock Infinite's 17GB of data to load.
Unreal Engine 3
IPKeys Technologies, creator of government-contracted military simulators, announced today that it has partnered with Epic to produce its next batch of tools. The use of Unreal Engine 3 should ensure that troops will be training in good looking virtual environments with excellently rendered bulging neck muscles, if IPKeys so chooses. More importantly, the engine has allowed them to include a very flexible mission editor that could open up new possibilities for PC gaming's hardcore milsim set.
A rather ambitious, currently one-man project is seeking to port the classic shooter Descent into Unreal Engine 3 with the original campaign, new models and textures, and a control scheme that mimics the source as closely as possible. You can find a brief tech demo above that demonstrates flying and shooting, pairing a high-res modern environment with low-poly placeholder models that look ripped right from Ye Descent of Olde.
Epic will be showing off Unreal Engine 4 behind closed doors at GDC next week. This time last year Epic showed off the impressive Unreal Engine Samaritan demo above. That demo was running on a souped up super-PC running several GTX580s in parallel, so we're unlikely to see that sort of carefully choreographed loveliness running in the next engine. Still, given how much has been gradually added to Unreal 3 over the years, the new build must be making quite a leap to justify sticking a 4 on the end.
I know, I know: You see the word "Flash" on a gaming website and immediately lapse into a month-long coma. And why not? You're a hardcore gamer. You couldn't care less about silly things like Angry Birds or the second dimension. That's the thing, though: Unreal 3 on Flash means that browser-based games are about to get a whole hell of a lot more awesome.
"With UE3 and Flash, games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps, reaching an enormous user base," Epic CEO and founder Tim Sweeney said during the Adobe Max conference (via Gamasutra). "This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetize their games."
Next stop: Gears of Farmville, Angry Birdstorm, and Sorority Un-Life. The future's looking pretty damn gray. Er, great. Yes, that's what I meant.
Many, many moons ago - back when Duke Nukem Forever's eventual release was still a valid punchline to any lighthearted joke involving the assuredly painful end to all humanity - a developer called Interceptor Entertainment wowed the gaming world with a perfect Unreal Engine 3 reproduction of Duke 3D's first area. That, Interceptor claimed, was just the beginning. Now, though, I'm really hoping that this isn't the end.
Call me crazy, but an MMO's aesthetics can go a long way towards making it stick out from the rest of the pack. That's how I first noticed Core Blaze, an action MMO in the same vein as Vindictus, being made by Taiwanese developer Gamania. This hack-'n'-slash RPG is quite the looker, using an appealing Chinese art style built in the Unreal Engine 3 to give your monster-slaying an extra coat of polish. Read on to see gameplay footage and a grip of sweet screenshots that'll put the fear of Liang Qu in you.
Yesterday, Epic rounded off the two day Unreal University event in London, offering a day of free seminars to students and enthusiasts looking to make new games using the free Unreal Development Kit. We sat down with with technical artist and level designer Alan Willard and Epic's European territory manager, Mike Gamble for a chat about the popularity of the UDK among fledgeling developers, and how it stacks up against popular competitors like Valve's Source SDK. Their verdict: Source is "long in the tooth."
Two new Duke Nukem trailers hit the web this week. One covers the history of one of PC gaming's most recognisable characters, but it's the above video that had me scratching my chin the most. Duke Nukem Forever is actually going to get released, which is great, but I cant help but feel that Gearbox are pushing just a little too hard. The above trailer is amusing, but I can't shake the awkward feeling of misogyny that seems to ooze from it. Is pixelated pornography a step too far, or is it just harmless fun? Debate in the comments.
Gametrailers have the HD version of the extraordinary 'Samaritan' tech demo shown at GDC last week. It looks like a CGI cutscene, but it's runs in real time using the very latest Unreal Engine technology. In the GDC session, they showed the wireframes behind each character and played with the gravity to prove that it's legit. This could be what our games will look like in a few years time.
Epic have been showing off the latest iteration of Unreal Engine 3 at GDC with a tech demo designed to show what the next generation of gaming will look like. The demo they showed had a trenchcoat wearing, augmented hero taking on security forces and giant robots with his fists. Epic's Mark Rein assured audiences that it wouldn't run on modern consoles, but was powered by three Nvidia GTX 580s, a pricey setup, but one available to PC gamers today. You'll find some stunning screenshots from the demo below.