Every month, Epic Games releases a new update to
the free Unreal Development Kit (UDK) downloaded
by more than 800,000 developers around the world.
With the same triple-A toolset as the award-winning
Unreal Engine 3, UDK is popular among professionals, ;edgling developers, and educators alike for its
industry-leading capabilities and ;exibility.
ROBUST UPDATES TO
UDK MAKE WAVES
the end result they need without investing a huge
amount of time placing each individual object.
Other improvements in the June release echo this
sentiment. With the new Unreal Kismet debugger
designers can visualize the ;ow of their Kismet
sequences while their game is running. Designers
can also step through their sequences one frame at
a time and set breakpoints. These features can help
identify exactly what parts of a sequence are currently executing in the game and for what reasons.
Furthermore, Donya Labs is now a member of the
Integrated Partners Program. Donya Labs’ Simplygon
is used to automatically generate game-ready Level
of Detail models (LODs) for a speci;c pixel resolution.
And while every month brings about new improvements, the June 2011 release is particularly exciting
for UDK users. The release introduces a series of
robust updates as well as new technology integration that provides access to Simplygon.
Simplygon, which is known to save developers
hundreds to thousands of hours of manual art
adjustment, provides high-quality mesh reduction
without having to leave the Unreal Editor. Developers
can quickly simplify meshes, generate LODs, and immediately see the results in their maps. Simplygon
is especially useful for converting high-end PC assets
for deployment on mobile devices, which is a boon
to Unreal Engine 3’s cross-platform strengths.
The ;rst major
update is the
brand new foliage system (the
result of which is
this article). The
is amazing in
that it allows
to ‘paint’ foliage
levels as easily as drawing a brush over a canvas.
Foliage instance types can now specify a landscape
layer for weighting, and foliage painting can be used
for altitude-based painting, as well. The new foliage
painting tool, which is focused on speed and quality,
enables developers to quickly paint foliage and decorations such as grass, small rocks and bushes onto
Landscape, static meshes or BSP. UDK is all about
e;ciently building games at triple-A quality.
The addition of fully customizable map templates
(see image below), for example, lets designers immediately con;gure lighting for day, night, dawn, or
sunset by dragging the appropriate thumbnail from
the Unreal Content Browser into a level to populate
settings and achieve the desired lighting e;ect. This
gives developers a wide
range of possibilities for
more complicated lighting
projects and saves a great
deal of time.
There’s now a single editor
and game content tree for
both PC games and mobile
games. This allows developers to share gameplay
logic and assets between
PC and mobile more easily.
We’re making it much easier
to build cross-platform games, while still allowing
developers to accurately preview graphics and
gameplay with a single button click.
Rein is vice president and
co-founder of Epic Games
based in Cary, NC. Epic’s
Unreal Engine 3 has won
Game Developer magazine’s
Best Engine Front Line Award
;ve times along with entry
into the Hall of Fame. UE3
has won three consecutive Develop Industry Excellence
Epic is the creator of the mega-hit “Unreal” series of
games and the blockbuster “Gears of War” franchise.
Follow @MarkRein on Twitter.
UPCOMING EPIC ATTENDED EVENTS
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments.
August 15-17, 2011
August 17-21, 2011
October 10-13, 2011
Montreal Int’l Game
November 1-2, 2011
Now, with our new foliage editor, designers can get
© 2011, Epic Games, Inc. Epic, the Epic Games logo, Gears of War, the Powered by Unreal Technology logo, the Circle U logo, Unreal, Unreal Engine, UE3, Unreal Kismet and Unreal Matinee are trademarks or