EPIC Games, creators of the Unreal Engine, have recently released the January 2011 updated version of their free to the public version of the UE3. The third Unreal Engine powers some of the most beautiful games on the market today, games like ‘Unreal Tournament 3’, ‘Gears of War’, ‘Bioshock’, ‘Mass Effect’ and many other great titles.
While the tools are free and a great way to learn about what goes into the game design process, many of the features are likely to go over the top of the average gamers heads. But if you’re willing to put in the effort and get a game out there, this development kit is a great place to start and build your skills in game design. A quick search on the popular video streaming service youtube shows many tutorials on the usage and tools of the kit, these would be a great place to start for anyone wanting to learn the tools.
The January update brings many new features to the UDK, to quote Epic –
PhysX is now enabled for iOS development!
- There is a new Colorize post process.
- You can now force depth of field.
The new Min Blur Amount post process setting can be used to force in-focus pixels to be blurred.
- Various image reflection quality and performance improvements have been made.
- Optimizations have been made to particle emitters, as well as memory improvements.
- PhysX is now supported on iOS.
Rigid body physics, fracturable meshes and ragdolls are among supported features.
Note: Cloth, fluids and soft bodies remain disabled on iOS for performance reasons.
- Upgraded to iOS SDK 4.2
- The latest version of UDK Remote supports ping functionality, so it knows when it is talking to a PC.
- The latest version of UDK Remote’s text entry box has been fixed on older versions of iOS.
- UDK now has a mesh selection preview.
You can now highlight sections of a mesh simply by selecting the corresponding material property.
- UDK now supports editor map favorites.
You can now star maps that you work with frequently and they’ll persist in the editor’s toolbar.
- Move to End of Track has been added to Unreal Matinee.
- The functionality of the individual translation and rotation track selections in the Matinee curve editor has been improved.
- A box for selecting subgroups within the matinee curve editor was added.
- The rotation widget now draws how many degrees have been rotated in the viewport.
- Kismet undo is now able to undo shortcut key-inserted sequence actions.
- An option to preserve degenerate triangles has been added to the FBX importer.
- Various fixes were made to the FBX importer, including rotations in Matinee, LODs, lightmaps, tangents on movement curves and auto tangents on cameras.
- When importing atop an existing object in an unloaded package, there will now be a confirmation screen instead of clobbering the existing object.
- The AnimSet Searcher now searches all AnimSets that are currently loaded.
- You can now double click on colors in the material editor to open a color picker.
- The new Align to Floor editor lets you snap actors using their pivot point.
- There is now a map check warning for combat volumes and triggers that aren’t referenced.
- You can now re-order properties in the favorites panel.
- A confirmation dialog is now displayed when baking instanced mesh paint data back to the mesh asset.
- The group selection dialog now defaults to listing just the groups in the current package.
- Properties for Location, Rotation and Scale3D are now displayed in real time in the property windows when objects are modified outside of them.
- Ctrl-Shift-A can now be used to select all Kismet actions.
- Various improvements were made to Unreal Frontend including key bindings, map sorting and new cook/make buttons.
- The Bink player has been upgraded to version 1.99a.
- A new network profiling tool captures server information primarily for outgoing bandwidth as it relates to data transmission and network events.
The network profiler takes into account all actors types, RPCs and properties that are replicated during a data stream and then summarizes replication counts and sizes.
For more information on the UDK head to the Unreal Development Kit Webpage.
To Download the Kit head to the Download Section of the UDK Website (Currently 1.9GB download).