• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Promit

Unreal Engine 4

29 posts in this topic

I just read this article about Unreal Engine 4:
[url="http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/05/ff_unreal4/"]http://www.wired.com.../05/ff_unreal4/[/url]
I'm warning you now, it is [i]extremely [/i]melodramatic and generally kind of a shoddy article. If someone has a better summary of the new engine that would be great, although I believe not much is known at this point.

Here is what I do know: I'm bored. Partly because the Wired writer is a bit of a tool, and partly because I'm just not seeing what is exciting about all this. Sweeney and the rest of the crew at Epic do some excellent technical work, though I'll avoid commenting on their game design or art direction. But I don't particularly care for the screenshots being shared. Maybe it looks better in motion, but I'm not seeing anything new and different.

It might just be an allergic reaction to the hype, here. Unreal's strength was always about packaging up the bleeding edge with heavy tooling and making it accessible to developers who couldn't afford to do the engineering work. That deserves real credit, and is probably most responsible for bringing the industry [i]as a whole[/i] to a new level of excellence. What I don't see is any evidence that Epic have really managed to advance the bleeding edge of real-time graphics.

One of my high profile friends in the industry suggested that this death march to the top of quality graphics might be completely unsustainable, as art budgets become improbably gigantic. Much like desktop computing, we might be reaching the point where graphics has simply peaked for your standard consumer and other things begin to take priority -- price, convenience, features, etc. That would be similar to the forces that brought netbooks and tablets to the market in strength. It's the same force that pushed laptops past desktops over the course of the last decade. I don't think we're there yet in games; the consoles will give us one more solid generation of leap forward. But I do think the day is coming where sheer compute power is not what drives mainstream consoles.

Bit of a rant there, but I'm curious to hear all of your thoughts on the matter. Edited by Promit
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure that we should be using those screenshots as a means of judging "next-gen" graphical quality. They really just strike me as images from a tech-demo that was showing off some specific new-features (probably their new dynamic GI system, or whatever it is they're using).
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sort of curious about the GI system on display there-- I was going to make a thread on the subject but saw this one. Going to guess some sort of fast voxelization and LPVs?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, it's just 14 people making a tech demo to show stuff off for prospective buyers. Plenty of polys and some brdf jiggery, GPGPU particle simulations, etc. The dynamic global illumination looks interesting. I mean, I expect it's a low res voxel grid ala light propagation volumes. But it also appears to include specular and dynamic occlusion, which is certainly a welcome advance. Edited by Frenetic Pony
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wanna see a demo that shows off dynamic skeletal animation. Something similar in quality to the video below, but reacts properly to collisions

[media]http://youtu.be/DuEzU6Szi5c?t=1m[/media]

When I first saw the video above it seriously looked like CG (not because of lighting/particle effects, but because of animation quality) Edited by jameszhao00
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Promit' timestamp='1337285815' post='4941029']
One of my high profile friends in the industry suggested that this death march to the top of quality graphics might be completely unsustainable, as art budgets become improbably gigantic. Much like desktop computing, we might be reaching the point where graphics has simply peaked for your standard consumer and other things begin to take priority -- price, convenience, features, etc. That would be similar to the forces that brought netbooks and tablets to the market in strength. It's the same force that pushed laptops past desktops over the course of the last decade. I don't think we're there yet in games; the consoles will give us one more solid generation of leap forward. But I do think the day is coming where sheer compute power is not what drives mainstream consoles.
[/quote]

Quite a bit of a popular misnomer there, heck even CEO's seem to believe this. But seriously, what the heck are art departments going to spend extra money on? More polys and higher rez textures? Those are free! Global illumination? Your programmers are already paid, they need to be doing something. 1080p, higher res shadow maps, more lights? I don't know, maybe when profiling the performance I'll change a few numbers in a config file, tell the artists they can go nuts.

Making games look significantly better could easily be done for relatively close to zero increased costs in terms of art, and upgrading your engine is also another thing developers already budget for. Unless developers go absolutely nuts (and I don't see why they would) and start modeling dynamic sweat systems so correctly simulated sweat stains appear on clothes or something then there's little too worry about in terms of art costs increasing. Now gameplay is a different story. Much more power means more stuff for programmers to do, means possibly you want more programmers to do more stuff. But that's hugely variable on the project your doing. Besides, with digital distribution devs and publishers should hopefully be earning a larger profit margin on each sale AND cutting down on used games as well. Edited by Frenetic Pony
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='jameszhao00' timestamp='1337293145' post='4941045']
I wanna see a demo that shows off dynamic skeletal animation. Something similar in quality to the video below, but reacts properly to collisions

[media]http://youtu.be/DuEzU6Szi5c?t=1m[/media]

When I first saw the video above it seriously looked like CG (not because of lighting/particle effects, but because of animation quality)
[/quote]I don't see anything dynamic in the skeletons here. it looks like the same old animation stuff; lots of prebaked animations being selected somewhat intelligently. They're not even blending between all of them.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Promit' timestamp='1337307127' post='4941085']
[quote name='jameszhao00' timestamp='1337293145' post='4941045']
I wanna see a demo that shows off dynamic skeletal animation. Something similar in quality to the video below, but reacts properly to collisions

[media]http://youtu.be/DuEzU6Szi5c?t=1m[/media]

When I first saw the video above it seriously looked like CG (not because of lighting/particle effects, but because of animation quality)
[/quote]I don't see anything dynamic in the skeletons here. it looks like the same old animation stuff; lots of prebaked animations being selected somewhat intelligently. They're not even blending between all of them.
[/quote]

Yea that Dante's video is all prebaked stuff (I wish it had dynamic animations that reacts properly to collisions). In that particular scene excellent character animations is the major factor in 'this looks spectacular'. As a hobby graphics programmer I fawn over the latest and greatest lighting effect, but as a consumer I just want better animations, original art direction and original gameplay.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Promit' timestamp='1337285815' post='4941029']
I don't particularly care for the screenshots being shared.
[/quote]Seconded. The initial screens for UE3 gave me quite of excitement and as far as I've understood, they actually were meant to be real content for ... BulletStorm?
Those do not seem too impressive to me. I won't comment on the technical features but I would have selected them with more care considering the public consumption.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It sounds to me like they have fire and smoke and entirely dynamic material-based lighting? If they can combine all three effects into one, similar to what guys like Jensen and Fedkiw could do only 10 years ago ([url="http://physbam.stanford.edu/~fedkiw/papers/stanford2002-02.pdf"]http://physbam.stanf...ford2002-02.pdf[/url] , Fig. 9 and 10), but in realtime and on currently available hardware, then colour me fully impressed (not that UE3 is anything short of awesome already). And realtime, realistic optics? The possibility alone of realtime, dynamics light caustics slamming through dynamic, partially self-illuminated inhomogeneous media just makes me want to do a happy dance. This was precisely why a Softimage license cost the price of a car 15 years ago. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

Perhaps I'm just falling victim to wishful thinking / excessive extrapolation and inaccurate reporting. Even without this wishful thinking related to fluid dynamics and lighting though, I agree that the vast majority of those Wired screencaps do not match the potential that is generally described in the verbage. I mean, some of the screencaps are totally amazing though, like that one with the knight walking through the busted up castle a la Infinity Blade on steroids, OMFG drool, swoon. So yeah, when are the "official" demo reel screencaps / videos coming out? Are they just teasing for now? I'm pretty sure I saw some video related to the illuminated bowling ball rolling around on its own inside a fairly dark circus tent a number of months ago, and yeah it was frickin intense, so why wasn't that included (or was it from a different studio, and I just be confusing stuffs here)? [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/sad.png[/img] Edited by taby
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Frenetic Pony' timestamp='1337299189' post='4941064']Making games look significantly better could easily be done for relatively close to zero increased costs in terms of art developers already budget for.
[/quote]

How do you figure that? Increasing polycount and texture resolution and the amount of maps allowed per material means that it takes longer to make the same amount of content. If it takes longer to make the same amount of content then it costs more money on content to make.

In my experience, the biggest increase in cost for development has been the increase in the complexity of art content.

-= Dave
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='David Neubelt' timestamp='1337402248' post='4941351']

How do you figure that? Increasing polycount and texture resolution and the amount of maps allowed per material means that it takes longer to make the same amount of content. If it takes longer to make the same amount of content then it costs more money on content to make.

[/quote]

Most character art is already created in high-res and then baked to some low-res model. Not sure about the world meshes/textures.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Found this actually readable article (with a 'feature list'). Seems weird that the article doesn't seem to have sources though.

[url="http://gameindustry.about.com/od/trends/a/Unreal-Engine-4-First-Look.htm"]http://gameindustry....-First-Look.htm[/url]

I'm most excited about the move away from unrealscript and to a Kismet/dynamically compiled C++ hybrid (Unity style). Edited by jameszhao00
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
puff!... I'm not sure about how great moving away from UnrealScript would be, while it does has a performance cost on the game, it also has several advantages on the production/development side. It presents a clean way to manage the whole networking of the game and the language was designed to work on a state-machine manner out of the box... no to mention that you can use the "class" class to store a class-type on it, or all the properties to interact with the editor.

moving to pure C++ and leaving all this language designed features a side would be (IMHO) a great disadvantage... however, I do believe that Unreal should use more extensively the C++ part of the engine to do most of the game logic on it, and manage on the UnrealScript side only a subset of what it does now, focusing it more on the content side, and not that much on the architecture side (pretty much like CryEngine does now with C++ and LUA).

I think that a drawback of current Unreal's UnrealScript is that you have to write the whole logic of the game on the UnrealScript side, and just very few specific things on the C++ part of the engine.

Cheers!
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How is moving to pure C++ going to make it easier for development versus a nice, more noob friendly scripting language??? Maybe there's something big they aren't telling us, after all they said that you can "build an entire mod" using Kismet. So... is that somehow more like their new scripting language, and you only use that and C++?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh yeah, realtime dynamic Lambent blood that actually casts light. I'm also looking forward to that, and makes me wonder if the faked Lambent blood in Gears 3 inspired the material-based lighting in UE4, or the other way around. Edited by taby
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Frenetic Pony' timestamp='1337888944' post='4942994']
How is moving to pure C++ going to make it easier for development versus a nice, more noob friendly scripting language??? Maybe there's something big they aren't telling us, after all they said that you can "build an entire mod" using Kismet. So... is that somehow more like their new scripting language, and you only use that and C++?
[/quote]

Kismet is a graphic programming language. You link components such as conditions, events, etc together like a flow chart.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So here is the demo: [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OZmRt8gCsC0"]https://www.youtube....d&v=OZmRt8gCsC0[/url]

That looks way better than the screenshots had led me to believe, double so if that's if all that lighting is in realtime with no precalculation as I understood that haphazard excuse for an article to be claiming up above. My biggest question would be how, if they had no precalculation/artist finaggling, they got the interior's ambient so dark compared to the exterior stuff. I suppose Notch managed it with Minecraft of all things, but I don't think I've ever seen how.

And watching it a second time, I notice there's color bleed from object not directly in light, and it doesn't seem like there's any especially noticeable secondary light bleeding through walls either, so secondary occlusion of some kind seems evident (or just trickery and small radii). Whatever it is Sweeney is doing here, it's something I'd love to know about. Edited by Frenetic Pony
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Video with dev commentary: [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MOvfn1p92_8"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MOvfn1p92_8[/url]

After seeing the video and hearing "voxel lighting" I expect their lighting tech to be [url="http://research.nvidia.com/publication/interactive-indirect-illumination-using-voxel-cone-tracing"]http://research.nvidia.com/publication/interactive-indirect-illumination-using-voxel-cone-tracing[/url] or something very similar.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ue4 uses a voxelied light system. I heard it in one of the dev videos. And i think they're just doing a deferred shading pass with the added lpvs.
What I found stunning was the particle system. If they combine this with the new ui and workflow then games will improve significantly as the baking pass can be excluded now. This means that devs can focus more on the game play side.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Eternal' timestamp='1339159647' post='4947343']
After seeing the video and hearing "voxel lighting" I expect their lighting tech to be [url="http://research.nvidia.com/publication/interactive-indirect-illumination-using-voxel-cone-tracing"]http://research.nvidia.com/publication/interactive-indirect-illumination-using-voxel-cone-tracing[/url] or something very similar.
[/quote]
Yeah. That's exactly what I'm talking about
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, I remember that paper. It wasn't even close to realtime, but I've been thinking about how to get rid of a lot of the overhead from that. I mean, they rendered all the geometry six times to get a voxel representation, and, why not just have some sort of proxy voxels for everything already.

Still, impressive improvements all around.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Apparently they are tracing a voxel tree: [url="http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/stunning-videos-show-unreal-engine-4s-next-gen-gtx-680-powered-real-time-graphics/"]http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/stunning-videos-show-unreal-engine-4s-next-gen-gtx-680-powered-real-time-graphics/[/url]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1gzb2tXipc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1gzb2tXipc[/url]

In this video the guy says that you cannot implement this with deferred rendering (at like 2:30). Either he doesn't know what he's talking about because the guy showing the UE4 demo said that they were using deferred rendering, or they are using a different technique.. I haven't read the paper on it yet but does anyone know what sort of rendering architectures [b]are[/b] compatible with the technique described in the video (deferred, forward, multipass etc)?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@m6d think that's Light Propgation Volumes? I'm also unsure as to why he's relating 'deferred shading' to the initial radiance injection using a RSM...
-------

Square enix's tech demo - [media]http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2012-agnis-philosophy/731978[/media]

The facial animation/rendering/beard at 5:30 looked great. Edited by jameszhao00
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0