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.
A new Unreal Engine is big news for major developers and indies alike. The Unreal Development Kit has been free for years, and early last year Epic dramatically
increased the royalty threshold tenfold
, allowing new developers to make more money from UDK designed games before having to pay a cut to Epic. Hopefully we'll see similar schemes and a free UDK appearing for Unreal Engine 4 in the long run. For now, it'd be nice to see exactly how much better it looks than its predecessor.