This is one of those “announcements of an announcement” – there's almost no information available at present aside from the fact that “Paragon” exists. That, and a trailer (below).
Epic Games released the below teaser trailer and Play Paragon website earlier today, indicating a 2016 release target for the enigmatic title. From a first glance, it looks as if Paragon is either a team shooter or a MOBA, strictly based on the fact that (1) it's got guns and (2) the characters are being called Heroes.
Epic Games has posted a showdown for the all the major virtual reality headsets currently competing. Those who own or have access to an Oculus DK2 (and up), Sony Morpheus (a device that seems aptly named for Showdown), or HTC Vive can download and run Epic’s Matrix-inspired VR experience.
“Tessellation” isn't an entirely new technology – Epic and Crytek have been talking about it for years, alongside nVidia's own pushes – but it's been getting more visibility in modern games. GTA V, for instance, has a special tessellation toggle that can be tweaked for performance. Like most settings found in a graphics menu, the general understanding of tessellation is nebulous at best; it's one of those settings that, perhaps like ambient occlusion or anti-aliasing, has a loose tool-tip of a definition, but doesn't get broken-down with much depth.
As part of our efforts to expand our game graphics settings glossary, we sat down with Epic Games Senior Technical Artist Alan Willard, a 17-year veteran of the company. Willard provided a basic overview of tessellation, how it is used in game graphics, GPU load and performance, and implementation techniques.
“There's a lot of focus on VR right now – a lot of people are pouring money and passion into it,” Epic Games' Chance Ivey told us in an interview, “it's getting rooted into the mainstream.”
Our last major virtual reality piece focused on the history of the technology, highlighting the profound advancement of this decade's sub-$1000 consumer-ready devices. VR has long faced location-based and monetary challenges, with original equipment costs ranking in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not more, in some military applications – and consuming entire rooms for setup. As Valve rolls-out its impressive full-room VR experience and as Oculus nears the launch of the Rift, developers face a slew of unseen (to the gamer) challenges of integration.
The East Coast Game Conference often feels like the “Epic Games Conference.” The show is indisputably dominated by local heavyweight Epic Games of Unreal fame, leveraging its home-field advantage to offer paneled insights on the game development process.
In hot pursuit of Bioware's humbling keynote on storytelling and narrative, we attended an Epic Games panel on the topic of Unreal Tournament's symbiotic, community-based development endeavors. The panel was headed-up by Senior Designer Jim Brown, an industry veteran who agreed to an on-camera discussion pertaining to oft-untold level design tactics.
Unreal Engine 4 -- one of the premiere engines used for creating games -- has been making quite a splash in the gaming market, primarily due to demonstrations that show off its impressive potential. More recently, Epic unveiled an Unreal Engine demo using nVidia’s Tegra K1 mobile SOC, which hosts a 64-bit ARM CPU and Kepler-based GPU with 192 CUDA cores, 4 ROPs, and 8 texture units.
The Epic Games Twitch livestream today announced the development of a new, free Unreal Tournament game that will be crowd-sourcing development from the community; the game will be "not free to play, just free," meaning no microtransactions, no subscriptions, no purchases. "It's just free. That's it," Senior Programmer Steve Polge told the community, an Unreal Tournament 2004 cutout in the background.
This news comes after Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney previously told us directly that there would be "no new Unreal Tournament game" and that they were moving on as a company. The new UT was hinted at last week, where rumors spun that it'd be based on UT2K4. It is now clear that the new game will be a completely new title using a crowd-sourced development model. I'll be referring to this as "Unreal Tournament 4," for sake of this post, though it is yet unnamed.
UPDATE: The game was just named. It is simply "Unreal Tournament," there will be no suffix on this one.
For those of you who followed our GDC coverage of Epic Games' press conference, you'll recall my question to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney (32:45 in our video): "Will there be a new Unreal Tournament game launched with Unreal Engine 4?"
Sweeney's answer let me down, though: "Oh! An Unreal Tournament game! Uh, no, we are not shipping an Unreal Tournament game. We have a lot of nostalgia for that game, but we are not developing anything in the Unreal game universe at all at the moment." Sweeney then went on to discuss Fortnite.
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.
Epic’s GDC 2014 press conference saw the demonstration of the engine’s technology in-use, with the primary focus centered on accessibility (even to non-coders), affordability, and flexibility. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney started off by admitting the conference wouldn’t be a “Steve Jobs type of keynote, [we’re] just computer nerds,” before then diving into some of the history and advancements of Unreal Engine. Sweeney noted that he was personally responsible for approximately 80% of the original UE’s codebase, but with UE4 there are now entire teams dedicated to the engine.
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