Epic Games puts out APB on new Unreal Engine 3 features

GDC 2010: Gears of War maker shows off the ever-expanding reach of its game tech, which now extends to the iPhone and Palm Pre; Realtime Worlds' Dave Jones gives a demo of his studio's upcoming massively multiplayer online action game.

19 Comments

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Who Was There: Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games; Alan Willard, senior technical artist and designer at Epic Games; Mary Beth Haggerty, from Autodesk (maker of Maya); and Dave Jones, creative director at Realtime Worlds.

What They Talked About: Like at previous GDCs, Epic's 2010 media briefing was a relatively low-key, relaxed event. Willard and Rein kicked things off by showing some of the new tools that are in use in the latest version of the Unreal Engine 3. These include the ability to independently alter the surface of an object apart from the material that the object is constructed from. To illustrate, a suspended sphere was shown onscreen, swirling with reds and yellows as if composed of lava; the temperature variation (and different colors that resulted) of the different areas of the surface were built in and rendered in real time. At one point, another floating bubble of silver was shown, its surface bobbling as it floated; Rein jokingly referred to this as a "mercury cube," harking back to the infamous meat cube shown during Epic's media briefing at the 2008 GDC.

Other cool tech on display centered around quickly building in-game objects. One tool lets players generate buildings on a level map by drawing a basic box to set the building's size and then dropping a prerendered texture into the box; the engine then does the work of matching the texture to the dimensions of the box the developer created.

Another tool essentially makes it easy to create long and snaking vines, which can be twisted and replicated at will. One interesting use of this tech is creating an entire train track system, simply by replicating and manipulating a single track object. Other tech included advanced particle effects for creating ribbons off of objects (perfect for things like water streams or gory blood splashes), as well as improved particle lighting effects.

Cops and criminals take the fight online in the upcoming MMO game APB.
Cops and criminals take the fight online in the upcoming MMO game APB.

With the technical demos out of the way, Rein also took some time to mention how Unreal 3 will now be running on a mobile device near you, including the iPhone and Palm Pre. Rein also talked about the Unreal Development Kit; a free version of the Unreal Engine 3 to be used by students and developers for noncommercial or educational purposes. Released just about four months ago, the UDK has been used by indie developers to create numerous games so far, as Rein demonstrated with a brief video reel showing off a handful of new or upcoming UDK-developed games.

Autodesk's Mary Beth Haggerty was next on the bill, giving a brief demo of some of that company's products and how they can be used to tie in with Unreal Engine 3 to improve things like character animations, with particular regard to how characters interact with their environments.

The highlight of the press briefing came from Realtime Worlds' Dave Jones, who gave a live demonstration of the studio's upcoming MMO cops and criminals game, APB. Jones spent a good deal of time showing off the game's deep customization options, as well as the PVP balance between the criminal and enforcer factions. For a more detailed look at the game, check out GameSpot's impressions of Jones' demo.

Quote: "We tend to make very violent games in Scotland, if you haven't noticed." -- Realtime Worlds' Dave Jones on his Dundee-based development studio, moments after using his criminal character in APB to gun down an innocent civilian and rob her body. Jones was also one of the designers on the original Grand Theft Auto.

Takeaway: Between the recent release of the Unreal Development Kit and the spread of Unreal Engine 3 to mobile phones, the reach of Epic's game engine continues to spread. And the recently delayed APB continues to look appealing.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 19 comments about this story
19 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Masked_Man
Masked_Man

36

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

The Unreal Engine is the best. that is why a crap ton of devs use it. i mean ALOT of devs.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for renigade16
renigade16

6134

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I wanted it on the Xbox cus my PC sucks! *Cry*

Upvote • 
Avatar image for nastuf
nastuf

25

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I wanna know more about weapons like more than guns maybe knives, bats, nightsticks, and such. My ideal bastard of a character use explosives to trap and ambush enemies at close range, eh just a thought.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for kubb724
kubb724

192

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@ kamizuka EPIC has always put out and done brilliant work ...

Upvote • 
Avatar image for kubb724
kubb724

192

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Upvote • 
Avatar image for ekultus
ekultus

1013

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

this game is gonna be epic!!!

Upvote • 
Avatar image for AnelZukic
AnelZukic

3792

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

Looks like Unreal Engine is just going to be used even more, and I regard it as one of the best but I like Crytek Engine 3 more :)

Upvote • 
Avatar image for steelmouth
steelmouth

1084

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

PS i love you guys at epic you just great thanks for Gears and thanks for the free UDK its great it got me thinking i can develop my own games, now if only i spend more time on it than on playing games

Upvote • 
Avatar image for steelmouth
steelmouth

1084

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 0

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Pete5506
Pete5506

10112

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 39

User Lists: 0

I hope this all turns out well

Upvote • 
Avatar image for metalkid9
metalkid9

6013

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 21

User Lists: 0

Word on the street is they're going to anounce gears 3 at E3

Upvote • 
Avatar image for biokrysty
biokrysty

1278

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 13

User Lists: 0

we don't need unreal technology 3 yet , it can wait .....

Upvote • 
Avatar image for kamizuka
kamizuka

771

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Epic is showing off like the Unreal Engine is the best there is. i say they are full of it! dont get me wrong it is great, I played Gears2 but it is not the best thing i looked at.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Blue_Chaos7
Blue_Chaos7

32

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 0

If they can make an engine who's online functionality isn't so flawed (which is why UT3 tanked) then maybe I'll smile when I see made with Unreal Technology. I mean some amazing examples of non unreal tech driving lag free online are Uncharted 2 (I call witchcraft on that game and even then it has host migration for backup), MW2 (pretty solid but the host migration saves the day) and Halo 3 (again very solid consistent online experience).

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Red122
Red122

409

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

I really doubt you will see a gears 3 on the current console

Upvote • 
Avatar image for mayceV
mayceV

4633

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 20

User Lists: 0

UDK sounds pretty cool gotta check it out some time.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for jenguando
jenguando

141

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Epic bore me.Gears 3 without laggy multiplayer for cryin out loud

Upvote • 
Avatar image for sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

6690

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 90

User Lists: 2

No words about Gears of War 3, Epic?

Upvote • 
Avatar image for wis3boi
wis3boi

32507

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

this game engine is outta control! :D

Upvote •