Epic Games pushing for 'quantum leap' in next-gen hardware power

Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski says company has "huge responsibility" to "drag this industry into the next generation" with Unreal Engine 4.

Epic Games is calling on Microsoft and Sony to offer bleeding-edge visuals with the next wave of consoles, and it believes the Unreal Engine 4 can spur such an advancement in fidelity. In an interview published today at Wired, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski said the company's proprietary Unreal Engine 4 needs to be at the forefront of next-generation technology.

The next wave of consoles are going to offer impressive visuals, if Epic has its way.

"There is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of our engine team and our studio to drag this industry into the next generation," Bleszinski said. "It is up to Epic, and [CEO] Tim Sweeney in particular, to motivate Sony and Microsoft not to phone in what these next consoles are going to be. It needs to be a quantum leap. They need to damn near render Avatar in real time, because I want it and gamers want it--even if they don't know they want it."

Why should Microsoft and Sony listen to Epic? Sweeney says his company has a more intimate relationship with manufacturers than others do.

"We're much more in sync with the console makers than any other developer is," he said. "That means we can give detailed recommendations with a complete understanding of what is going to be commercially possible."

A preview of the Unreal Engine 4 was offered to select licensees, partners, and prospective clients during the 2012 Game Developers Conference in March, with those parties required to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

As for advancements of the Unreal Engine 4 over its predecessors, Sweeney said the new framework includes tools that allow for shortened production cycles and lower development costs. In terms of technical specifics, the new engine includes a new dynamic lighting system, which operates based on calculations of objects' inherent properties, as opposed to being dictated by preprogrammed effects. This technology will supposedly allow for more realistic lighting, where "colors mix, translucent materials glow, and objects viewed through water refract."

For more on the Unreal Engine 4, and to see images rendered by the technology, check out the full Wired interview.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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PodXCOM
PodXCOM

Sorry if you seen most of these tech demos before, but I want to make sure that everybody is updated and is aware of what is going to come. So I'm posting it here:

 

New

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KppTmsNFneg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXIoEUq8YE8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIwfS8uJJIk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSjU2oUl5_0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjhM_xc6Yes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul3v2K3cXK4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cuXgRVMvZ0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dJZ-hluiug

 

Best

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLd8kEQJIzw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuWuTc5agVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00gAbgBu8R4

Heads

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9RAk8yfcxI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TtgW20IEm0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m0QDLIDJ94

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyoHvNpuaK4

Real World

http://techdeville.com/2012/03/02/fox-engine-shows-off-some-of-its-impressive-lighting-technology/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj9XjdPOH-A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhZG7SjX1Lg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2eohnOYgms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe0RoDDzR-o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuR1wBCw_FU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rckLya4Welk

other:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7Qw05BUuss

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqBSNAOsMDc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjIzoGnkCZs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yanP8i0UkY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UluV83tF55Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ5V42zI9Xc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSOQGazo7Oo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbBY6whr-rs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYimRnIRw_E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um6rMjwSNdU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpfRrQfqD4E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcM399E9MZs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6kwteEHnpw

Gazz64
Gazz64

Who are they to tell us gamers what we want, I should think I already know what I want, I'm not stupid and resent the implication! Its a sales pitch nothing more! but they shouldn't be putting down the end users. Yes visuals are important but the most they need to be is functional, if that calls for highly detailed backgrounds and characters to pull the player in, Mass Effect, Metroid Prime and Resident evil case in point, then so be it, but if a game has no playability then no-one is gooing to play it. As an example Crash Banidicoot, the graphics weren't phenominal but the game oozed character and was very playable, who didn't play the first level to death just to see how fast they could possibly do it. Common Epic drop the orrogance work with your partners don't stand over them with a big stick trying to tell them what there customers want.

Zeeksie
Zeeksie

Epic Games: the one game developer who's ego and arrogance couldn't be matched by anyone.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Haters gonna hate, but he's right. You don't wanna awesome graphics - enjoy your stone age Mario, freaking Luddites.

calum1984
calum1984

He just doesnt get it.....its not about the graphics thats not what people are complaining about (more is nice but not neccesary at this point). The thing is the puny memory the current console system have (360=512mb shared between cpu/gpu giving each 256mb and ps3=256mb seperate for both cpu/gpu....essentially the same), pc gamers complain because every game coming out bar the odd few are boxed in linear games they're like that so to conserve memory on consoles (e.g the campaign's on bf3/CoD) AI, maps, sound etc all use memory up with just 256mb to play with its a balancing act at this point.

 

Assuming they still follow the same console cycle (doubling up each release) then the next console which should have been out already following the previous 5 year cycle it would have had 512mb for system and 512mb for gpu, thats still behind even cheap pc's with 4gb of system memory (most of the big gaming rigs now have 8gb, for the next console they need to skip the gen that should have come and give the things 1gb of mem for cpu and another 1gb for gpu in order to keep up otherwise they will be outdated technologically on release. We don't want more graphically impressive linear games we want more open sandbox style of games with exploration or if they are linear then at least be longer/harder with regards to levels/ai difficulty we're sick of being treated like morons incapable of working things out for ourselves

Dirty_Window
Dirty_Window

As Unreal license the game engines... It's not hard to see why they want a "quantum leap". No smaller company would be able to produce viable alternative engines to compete with any hope of profit. 

ptown58
ptown58

"'quantum leap'" = today's best PC ?

esoteryk
esoteryk

How real does it have to be for you to enjoy a game? When is it good enough? I don't think realism matters much at all as any game made with integrity and a good story will become real to the player regardless of how good it looks.

 

I hate to say it but  I see a future of nothing but more sequels with slightly better graphics than the current systems produce.

 

I seriously hope these advances are focused more on other things besides graphical realism. This preoccupation many gamers have with it, imo, distracts devs away from what games are about.

Nightrain50
Nightrain50

I agree with him for the first time in many years. If the leap forward in graphics isn't huge than there is no need to upgrade. I also agree with @Ravenshout about A.I. but that's on software developers not on the hardware, as long as the hardware has enough under the hood to get good results, it's up to game developers to use that hardware for great things.

Ravenshout
Ravenshout

Spend more money and time on A.I and gameplay innovations, please.

 

shakensparco
shakensparco

 @Gazz64 "Gameplay is above graphics." Yeah yeah yeah we know we know already. You need to pay attention to what Cliff is saying. He says for the next gen to be successful, the graphical jump needs to be HUGE. Why else would we upgrade when we don't really need new tech to have good gameplay. These aren't the NES days. Gameplay is not reliant on tech anymore, we have to have an incentive to upgrade which is amazing graphics.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @Gazz64    Can Crash Banidicoot do the same thing as  Minecraft, Red Faction Guerrilla, From Dust, Assassin's Creed, Fracture, Half-Life 2, PS3's MAG, Hydrophobia, or Alone In The Dark can do? These are games that needed the current Hardware to work, and there are going to be games for the PS4/720 that are impossible to do in the current generation.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD I hope you're trolling, because you can't be this stupid. Nobody is complaining about the graphics being better, everyone wants better graphics. But we are complaining about everything else that this engine is bad for. The price for example, or the fact that it is mainly focused on visuals, rather than A.I., or such. Read some more comments, before making a dumb statement.

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @danusty 'I'm not even a fan on the look of the avatar movie'

 

Congratulations, you have officially missed the entire point. He is not saying 'Make it look like Avatar!' he is saying 'Make it as impressive as Avatar!' and their is no denying (at least from a rational person, you might not be) that Avatar has very impressive visuals. 

 

Also, the whole point of gaming is to immerse the player. Graphics looking better mean the player is going to be more immersed. That is undeniable, even from people like you. Not to mention that a game can be graphically powerful without having to be photo-realistic its called 'stylized animation'. Team Fortress 2 is a fantastic example of this. 

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @danusty   Your post makes me want to say vulgar things at you.

 

I got one better: Why not destroy your PS2, and go play on the PS1, Hmm? Or go back to SNES? Or NES?  Or even Atari 2600? Everything will look much more 'Fake' then.

 

Also, why do you even bother telling us that? Don't you have enough Systems with 'fake' looking games? You have, and this is off the top of my head, PSN, Xbox Live, iphone, DS, PSP, 3DS, Vita, PS2, PS1, PC, Indie games, and all those mods by fans. Why would you even give a damn if people want Avatar graphics? Why are you acting like we need to go back to our caves,  like a Neanderthal, instead of going into the future?

 

Do you know why that awful Michael Bay's Transformers became so populer? It's because it was the first time we were going to see Photorealistic giant robots, that's all. Everything else, was garbage. But because that awful Directer,  Michael Bay, got to be the first one to show Giant Photorealistic Robots, he is treated like some great storyteller, and better Giant Robots stories will never be told, because Michael Bay was the first.

 

I would like for us to someday make a great giant robot story, with Photorealistic graphics, and show everybody just how awful Michael Bay is. But that will never happen unless we step toe to toe with Hollywood Best CGI.

 

And you don't care for games looking real. So what? what about the rest of us? Why should we hold back technology because you want to stay in the past?

 

 

joujou264
joujou264

 @Dirty_Window Not really, because there is a possibility that the UE4 would be too expensive for a lot of developers, and that possibility is really high. So that would come as a bonus to smaller, not so advanced, engine's, which would be much cheaper.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @esoteryk  (sigh) did you even look at the Tech demos I posted down below? We are not just going to have better graphics, you know.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Nightrain50 How can you agree with him? He literally wants to make the consolesx inaccesible to lots, and lots of people. Did you think about that? Remember how slow the start for the PS3 was? And when the PS3 actually started earning money for Sony? Not too long ago. Though, I don't think sony would even consider doing that kind of thing again, I think that they will rather have the middle class console, because of the economical standpoint of Sony.

shakensparco
shakensparco

 @Ravenshout Ummm what does "spend more money on gameplay innovations" mean? You can't buy innovations. That's about creativity.

 

And hard to believe for you I'm sure, but AI can be limited by hardware as well. The calculations can only be so complex before it begins to demand too many system resources.

 

And because we can have gameplay innovations on the current gen, he is saying that the only way for the next gen to be successful is mind blowing graphics. Otherwise, gamers have no reason to upgrade.

joujou264
joujou264

 @shakensparco  @Gazz64 Ugh, ''You need to pay attention to what Cliff is saying.'' that, ''when we don't really need new tech to have good gameplay.'' that, and this ''Gameplay is not reliant on tech anymore'' gave me the rest. I have no more faith in the gamer community.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 AI is customizable in UE3 and it will be in UE4. Price? Actually UE3 is pretty cheap and free altogether for non-commercial use and studies. Focused on graphics my ass - it's not CryEngine.

 

I hope you're trolling, because you can't be this stupid.

joujou264
joujou264

 @PodXCOM No, ''we'' don't want realistic graphics either. I'd like to see interesting art styles, rather than realistic stuff. I have enough ''realistic'' in real life. But, that'' just my opinion. Maybe the opinion of others too. But regardless, that's what I think. So, don't bother responding to me with your ''How can you not want realistic graphics, blablablabla.'', because I just said that this is my opinion.

Dirty_Window
Dirty_Window

 @joujou264 

The idea is the engine gets developed by Unreal for a load of £££ that most independents can't afford. All AAA games have to have killer graphics because that's what the casual's focus on. 

 

They factor in the cost of license to other developers who will give an idea of what they'll pay during the development/bidding process. They know it's better to license it thousand times at ££ rather than 100 times at £££

 

They're good at what they do now so the industry will trust them over a start up or a difficult to use engine like CryEngine3/4.

joujou264
joujou264

 @TheSnowmanSaint I gave up on CoD, a loooooooooong time ago. I kind of excluded it out of ''gaming'', because there's just nothing, it's a gray mass, bland gameplay, boring outdated graphics, just everything is just like a sandwich that has been laying under the sofa for 20 years.

TheSnowmanSaint
TheSnowmanSaint

 @joujou264 Annnd all the mindless CoD drones didn't already make you lose faith? No? All right then, just checking up on that.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD I'm not gonna buy a 600$ machine either, that's way too much just to play games.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 Sony has awful pricing politics. They had a different thing in mind when they have begun selling PS3. They were positioning it as if it were PC. You could even install Linux on it. I think Sony will not make the same mistake twice and will focus PS4 on games only. It will cheapen the production costs and give them a competitive edge. That is if they will decide to cut the price for it. I won't be buying another console for 600

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD Why would they do that again, didn't they learn anything from the PS3? Well, then again they would be pretty screwed if they don't make it as good as the nextbox. Though, if they are going to sell their console for 600$+ then they will experience the same thing that happened with the PS3, or even worse. Sony is in a pretty bad state, I think they're on the brink of doing the same as SEGA did, if the sales are as low as they we're at the PS3's first half of it's lifespan. Also, didn't the PSVita have crappy sales, I don't think that it was really necessary  for Sony to make it that expensive, considering the fact that they we're competing with the 3DS. I hope they learn something from the PS3, and Vita launch sales. Let's hope that they do the right decision, and make it as good and cheap as it can be.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD Ok, so basically, if I like Nintendo exclusives, which I do, and if I'm a little short money-wise, go to Nintend? But if I want a beast, then go to MS? I excluded Sony, because they most likely won't make a beast machine because of their economic problems, it's a long story. And I excluded PC, because I'm looking for a console, and I already have a fairly good gaming PC.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 It's just the expected stuff from the newly released platform. A lack of games on the start and the most of them from the first party. Nintendo has a history of being rusty towards third-parties, so I don't expect a lot of exclusives from them. All the games that you've named are multiplats and there's IMO no sense in buying a brand new console that will run titles just as good as the cheaper competitors. The true power lies in exclusive stuff and I don't see a worthy exclusive third-party game anytime soon.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD Ok, Thanks. But why would it be limited to the Nintendo franchises, there's already games coming out like Assassins Creed 3, Darksiders 2, Metro: Last Light. Do you think that the development for those games is going to stop after the launch? I had this kind of feeling too, since there we're a lot of games announced, and I believe none of them would be on the Wii U. Although, I did read a article in which it said that Nintendo ordered all the Wii U games developers to shut up until E3. Let's hope E3 is going to be full of surprises.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 

1) I'd wait a year in your case. Buying it at launch will probably limit your games to the traditional Nintendo franchises.

2) Granted, if the hardware is cheaper, but the input methods are the same as now, Nintendo WiiU will have an advantage.

3) It depends on the hardware of the competitors. If they will make powerhouses, WiiU will be bound to the same fate as Wii, since porting multiplat titles for the core audience to it will probably be cancelled at some point.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD Thanks for the answers, but I'd like to forward my last question.

1) And what if I'm not a die hard fan of Nintendo, is it still worth?

2) What if MS/Sony doesn't listen to Epic, and sticks to cheaper hardware, would the Wii U be at a advantage to the 720/PS4?

3) And lastly, will the Wii U be worth picking up for a longer time period than 1-2 years?

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 

1) I worked primarily on actions and Turn-Based strategies.  At the moment I work on a multiplat simulation game.

 

2) NES age games were about as expensive as indie games now. You could make a game with a small team of 5-10 people in a few months time. And it would be a great game for the time indeed. The thing is - it was a lot more complicated process, that demanded quite a lot from the devs. So ultimately - it was a lot cheaper, but also a lot more challenging.

 

3) Actually it's certainly got some potential, because it gives you a lot of different interaction options. I expect it to have a lot of creative titles. However I expect it's hardware  to be on the same level as XBOX360 because it'd be quite a risk to have better hardware and still sell it for cheap. In the most optimistic case - it's gonna be 1.5 times as powerful. I think it will have a lot of ps3/pc/xbox360 multiplat titles during the first few years of it's lifespan, so it's basically a no-brainer to buy one if you're into Nintendo gaming paradigm.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD Ugh, looking at my comments after writing them, they look a lil' bit retarded, nonetheless, I'd like to read your answers, if that's possible.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD You're a developer? Great, I have some questions I would like to ask you:

1) What kind of developer are you? For example: Retro developer, MMO developer, Modern Multiplat developer, etc. Just as what kind of dev you currently work.)

2) If you were a developer at the time, were NES age games more expensive to make, than current age?

3) I see you as a quite reasonable person, so I would like to hear your thoughts on the Wii U as a dev, since I was planning to get one this year.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 thanks, I appreciate your attitude. Actually I had you at a disadvantage, because I'm a game developer myself. 

 

Also just FYI the character models, textures and other assets are made very very detailed from the git-go. Then they are being gradually downscaled in quality until they hit the intended performance mark. Thus the development will actually go faster and become cheaper if the target platform has exquisite hardware that allows the artists to import their assets almost as is.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD Well, you might have a point there. But nonetheless, those tools should be groundbreaking, because the costs on making a UE4 game would be pretty darn high. You got me at the A.I. part, I absolutely forgot about that. Thanks, for reminding me 2 comments later, than you should of done.

 

Nonetheless, I give up, I wasn't really in the mood for arguing today anyway, and I'm quite tired too. Maybe that's why I just blindly argued.

 

BTW, this is how you give up, without losing your dignity.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 

1) You can't read, right? "Sweeney said the new framework includes tools that allow for shortened production cycles and lower development costs"

 

2) BECAUSE AI IS NOT A PART OF THE ENGINE for fucks sake. Every AI system is written from scratch for the game. Or do you think that Bioshock has the same AI system as Mortal Kombat? Both however use UE3.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD I know it, because:

1) The hardware that UE4 was shown working on was very expensive, you should know about the rest of the story like, developing time, resources, etc.

2) UE4 has been talked on about the graphics, but not as much about A.I. or other graphics unrelated things. Which shows that what Epic is mainly aiming at, is better graphics.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

 @joujou264 how can you know "this engine is bad for. The price for example, or the fact that it is mainly focused on visuals, rather than A.I., or such."? Aren't you assuming things?

 

Making statements based on assumptions is just a dumb thing to do.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Morphine_OD Those were examples. And what you proved them with to be wrong, were assumptions. And how can you know that it isn't focused on graphics, have you tested the UE4?

 

Please don't answer questions with assumptions, because that is just a dumb thing to do.

joujou264
joujou264

 @vault-boy  @PodXCOM I didn't say that we don't need the engine. I just implied that not everyone wants to see, for instance, a gray depressing building in a realistic city. I'd much rather see buildings in a art style of Braid, or Skyward Sword, or any other significant art style. I like to play something realistic from time to time, but not always.

 

And BTW, if a game should go down the route of realistic graphics, and realistic gameplay, it should be somewhat like ArmA 2, because that's one of the most realistic FPS I've ever seen.

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @joujou264  @PodXCOM Also to your ' I'd like to see interesting art styles, rather than realistic stuff.' comment if you are implying that you don't need good graphical power to make 'art styles' as you call them which I can assume is something along the lines of TF2, Skyward Sword, etc. which are all very nice looking games then you are pretty stupid. Skyward Sword looks pretty damn awesome but the graphical power from the Wii makes it look significantly worse than it could have on a superior system.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @danusty  -->"go back to PS1, Id go back to it, FF9, tales of destiny, breath of fire 4, SF alpha 3, MK trilogy (photo realistic), the list goes on and on are all great games even by today's standards. go back to the snes, we have chrono trigger, FF6, FF4, breath of fire 1 and 2, secret of mana, to name a few, I love me those fake sprite graphics. go back to the nes, SMB 3, FF, dragon warrior 4, crystalis, river city ransom, double dragon 2, life force, to name a few, I freaking love those games."<--

 

.... Wow. Didn't thought I was talking to an experienced player, who knew his stuff. Nice to know there is still people who likes JRPGs. So what do you think of Pandora's Tower and Resonance of Fate? I don't know what they are like.

 

-->"if you want to challenge michaek bay's photo realistic giant robot movie with aweful story, challenge him by making another photo realistic giant robot movie but this time use a good story. "<--

 

Long story, but the only way that is going to happen is if, A, The studio sees how populer the giabt robot name is. Or B, a big name director makes along and makes a movie out of it.

 

Because Michael Bay ran with it all the way to the ground, to the point where no one was excited for another giabt robot movie, the chances for a Giant robot movie (like  Gundam, Macross, Eva, Zone of the Enders, MGS, FLCL  etc.) goes down drastically.

 

Ridley Scott and James Cameron were working on an idea for "alien 5", but when they heard of AVP: Alien vs. Predator, they were turned-off in making another alien:

http://movies.ign.com/articles/686/686746p1.html

 

But if Prometheus does well, then it may get them excited to make "alien 5".

 

Right now, most people see giant robots as just being silly. So the way I see it, it's just better to wait for a Photorealistic giant robots game, instead.