ECGC 14: Unreal Engine 4.1 Tech Demos, Blue Prints, & Release Date

By Published April 26, 2014 at 12:28 am

NC locals Epic Games instantiated Unreal Engine's productive capacity for hundreds of attendees at ECGC 2014 last week. The entirety of Wednesday saw back-to-back Unreal Engine panels and technology demonstrations, eventually leading into the release of Unreal Engine 4.1 on Thursday morning.

We were on-site to film a few of the panels as complement to our GDC 2014 UE4 pricing announcement video, which discussed Epic's move to a $20/mo. subscription model and open source methodologies. The engine has historically been priced slightly above that -- and by "slightly," I mean "a couple million" -- so the change is a risky one.

For those interested in learning about Unreal Engine from a technology standpoint, this tech demo showcases some of the capabilities of the engine and remains relatively viewer-neutral; gamers should get just as much fascination out of it as aspiring developers -- and it is a very impressive engine with a lot of promise for the industry. We've got a more tech-focused one after this:

Related: NVidia has been working closely to get some of its SDKs embedded in the industry's leading engines, so if you haven't read about HairWorks, FlameWorks, and other tech, you should check it out.

This next video focuses on lower-level topics. Epic Games Technical Artist Zak Parrish takes us through the process of creating a level with spontaneously-exploding cows (because why not?) by using UE4's Blue Prints system.

The audio in the above cuts out at around 43:00, so I've uploaded a part 2 with that fixed here:

What's All This About Unreal Engine 4.1? 

The Unreal Engine 4.1 patch is the first major update since the engine's launch. As Epic's new toolset is offered on a monthly subscription option, patches and codebase updates will be a major contributor to user retention going forward. Upon subscribing to the engine, users gain access to the entire toolset, the source code, and all first-party add-ons that become available during the user's subscription period. If a user unsubscribes, full access to the most recent engine release during the user's subscription is retained; this means you could subscribe, download the assets, and unsubscribe while retaining access to what was installed. For this reason, Epic will be regularly releasing major patches and tech demos to encourage subscriber retention.

The 4.1 update sees the introduction of UE4 to PlayStation and Xbox platforms -- something that previously required direct negotiation -- making UE4 officially cross-platform with all major devices. 4.1 also brought SteamOS and Linux support to the engine and toolset, a couple templates for C++ programmers, and several other enhancements.

If you're interested in Unreal Engine 4 for your own enthusiast reasons, it's not a bad pickup at twenty bucks -- even if it's just to see the technology in action or play around. More info can be had over here: https://www.unrealengine.com/

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Last modified on April 27, 2014 at 12:28 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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