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  • Mario gets first-person in Unreal Engine 3

    by 
    Jordan Mallory
    Jordan Mallory
    07.30.2011

    This isn't the first, second, or even third time that Mario's iconic Mushroom Kingdom has been translated into first person, but it is the first time anyone has ever associated the words "killing spree" and "goomba."

  • The Game Archaeologist and the What Ifs: Ultima X: Odyssey

    by 
    Justin Olivetti
    Justin Olivetti
    07.05.2011

    Last week on The Game Archaeologist: Murder most foul! A promising sequel to a hit MMO cut down in its prime, left to die on the front steps of EA's headquarters while its team was banished into exile! With special guest star, Richard Garriott's hair braid. And now, for the exciting conclusion! As disappointed that some MMO fans were over Ultima Worlds Online: Origin's cancellation, the truth is that the industry still was young, these MMOs still had their "new car smell," and hey, there was always Ultima Online to play. It was probably the right call at the time to not create your own competition, but if that was the case, EA should've never begun it to begin with. So did the company have a major case of cancellation remorse? Or did it look at other industry sequels like Asheron's Call 2 and EverQuest II and feel as though it was being upstaged? Whatever the reason, EA decided that it had been too hasty, and it greenlit development on yet another Ultima Online sequel, this one titled Ultima X: Odyssey. It would go deeper and further into development, gather more acclaim, and generate more hype than UWO:O, and in fact would get within spitting distance of launching.

  • LucasArts licenses Unreal Engine 3 for long-term, multi-project use

    by 
    James Ransom-Wiley
    James Ransom-Wiley
    04.26.2011

    LucasArts has entered into a multi-year licensing agreement with Epic Games to develop with Unreal Engine 3, the studios announced today. The deal will encompass "multiple projects" and looks to provide a shortcut for LucasArts "between inspiration and execution on a wide variety of gaming platforms," according to Zak Phelps, the company's director of technology. Epic VP Mark Rein echoed that sentiment when he trumpeted "Unreal Engine 3's ability to scale across platforms, from mobile, through PC and console all the way up to the next generation of games." Epic's recent tech demo of the latest UE3 updates certainly looked incredible, but we didn't notice any new features promising to render a deeper Star Wars experience. Then again, we'd probably pay a buck just to see the Force unleashed on our iPhone, inspired or not. Previously, LucasArts licensed Unreal Engine 2 for 2005's Star Wars: Republic Commando (pictured).

  • Epic Games' Tim Sweeney turned into a game character

    by 
    Griffin McElroy
    Griffin McElroy
    04.25.2011

    Man, are you guys ready to get meta? Epic Games founder (and Unreal Engine mastermind) Tim Sweeney was recently the subject of an Unreal Tournament 3 skin crafted by artist Gary Storkamp. Apparently, the guy is crazy about Burger King. And about hitting dudes with his keyboard.

  • Mark Rein: Unreal's 'focus is all devices'

    by 
    Mike Schramm
    Mike Schramm
    04.02.2011

    Mark Rein's like an old-school tonic salesman with his Unreal Engine lately. You want it running on iOS devices including the new iPad 2? You've got it, friend! You want it on Android devices, including the Xperia Play and the Motorola Xoom? Say no more, chum! And you want it on next-gen devices that haven't even been announced yet? Yes, Mr. Rein's Unreal Engine elixir is just the thing to cure those ills that ail you. Try it today! OK well, Rein doesn't get quite that archaic in his recent interview with Develop, but he's bombastic about the rendering technology, promising that it will run great on any device you can throw at it, far into the future. Rein says Epic does want to "raise the bar on mobiles" as it did with Infinity Blade, but that the recent DirectX 11 demo is targeted squarely at would-be new console developers. Rein wants the demo to be "the big leap that we think justifies that new piece of hardware you're going to build," whether that be the Xbox 720, the PlayStation 4, or whatever else hardware manufacturers dream up. Also, that nasty back pain you've been dealing with? Rein doesn't actually say the Unreal Engine will get rid of it, but it's worth a try, right friend?

  • Infinity Blade looks great on a 50" HDTV via iPad 2

    by 
    Dana Franklin
    Dana Franklin
    03.16.2011

    The new iPad 2 paired with Apple's Digital AV Adapter is perfect for watching movies with your family, teaching lessons to a classroom or presenting the latest sales figures to a boardroom on an HDTV. TouchGen found it's also an awesome new way to enjoy your favorite iPad games, like Real Racing 2 or Epic's Infinity Blade, on a much bigger screen. TouchGen reporters connected an iPad 2 to a 50-inch LG HDTV using Apple's HDMI adapter. With this setup, everything seen or heard on the iPad 2 is mirrored on the big screen. Fire up a game like Infinity Blade, powered by Epic's iPad-optimized Unreal Engine, and the iPad suddenly looks like a potent challenger in the home console market. "I guarantee that anyone passing by would just assume you were playing an Xbox 360 or PS3 game," says Matt Dunn in his report for TouchGen. "Obviously the 4:3 aspect ratio gives it away a bit, but damn if iPad 2-optimized games don't look great on a nice TV!" Admittedly, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 both support higher resolution 1080p video and probably still beat the iPad 2 in raw graphics performance. But the iPad's new ability to bring its library of games to the big screens in our living rooms shows the potential for tablet devices to compete directly with dedicated gaming consoles. Perhaps in a year or two, we'll be writing about how a future iPad stacks up against the PS4 and third-generation Xbox. Today, we can enjoy Epic's gorgeously crafted Infinity Blade on a 50-inch HDTV! That's a bit drool-worthy in itself. Right? Keep reading to see videos from TouchGen of Real Racing 2 and Epic's Infinity Blade being played on an HDTV. [via Dvice]

  • Gameloft working on four Unreal Engine games

    by 
    Josh Helfferich
    Josh Helfferich
    02.28.2011

    We have some wicked awesome news on the iOS gaming front today -- Gameloft, the developer of popular 3D mobile games such as N.O.V.A and Asphalt, has announced a partnership with Epic Games that will allow Gameloft to use Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 in four new titles, two of which are expected by the end of 2011. Unreal Engine on Apple devices first became a talking point when Epic Games debuted its tech demo of the engine, titled Epic Citadel, at Apple's iPod event last September. The game displayed graphics that far surpassed anything previously seen on iOS, raising eyebrows around the world. Epic later went on to release the full version of the game, which is now known as IGN's iPhone Game of the Year for 2010 -- Infinity Blade. I, for one, am very excited about this announcement. Between this partnership and its entry into the Mac App Store, Gameloft has been showing some serious ambition. Let's hope we see some great games on the Unreal Engine 3 later this year.

  • Unreal-powered Dungeon Defenders: First Wave now available for Android

    by 
    Chris Ziegler
    Chris Ziegler
    12.24.2010

    In case you had any preconceptions that you were going to be able to put down your phone long enough to greet friends and family members this holiday weekend... well, think again, because Dungeon Defenders: First Wave -- built atop Unreal Engine 3 -- is now available on Android. Tegra 2 devices like the Optimus 2X are billed as the "best" choices for playing the game, but seeing how those aren't really available, your next best options are Samsung's Hummingbird-based phones including the Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S series, and the Nexus S. A patch to be released next month will allow players to interact with their iOS-sporting counterparts online, while those on Tegra-based devices will get the opportunity to play with folks on PCs sometime later in the first quarter. Grab it now for $2.99; follow the break for the full press release.

  • Dungeon Defenders delivers Unreal Engine to Android next week

    by 
    Andrew Yoon
    Andrew Yoon
    12.18.2010

    Will Unreal Engine be able to take over the Android sales charts, much as it has on iOS with Infinity Blade? Trendy Entertainment hopes so, as it plans on bringing the first Unreal Engine-powered game to Android phones next week, on December 23rd. Dungeon Defenders: First Wave is a tower defense-RPG hybrid that our own Mike Schramm described as "fast-paced, complex and, at times, utterly overwhelming." Dungeon Defenders is already available on iOS for $2.99, and we're assuming the Android version won't differ significantly. If you're wondering if the game will work on your Android device, check out the system requirements after the break.

  • Dungeon Defenders: First Wave brings Unreal Engine to Android this month

    by 
    Chris Ziegler
    Chris Ziegler
    12.17.2010

    Along with Rage HD, Infinity Blade has been one of the titles to really solidify iOS' position as the leader in mobile gaming right now, but that's not to say Android isn't in hot pursuit: besides this Zeus we have on the horizon, Gingerbread improves gaming support on the API level -- and now we're seeing our first Unreal Engine 3-based title make the leap. Dungeon Defenders: First Wave, which just launched on iOS, is coming to Android 2.1 and above on December 23rd bringing with it an online, multiplayer tower defense gaming experience. Of course, one problem these guys have now is that Android hardware is all over the map, so they actually need to publish a long list of minimum requirements -- just like PC titles -- and in this case you need 512MB of RAM, an 800MHz or better SOC with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, and at least 400MB of free storage. Apart from the myTouch 4G (which has some occasional "stability issues"), most recent mid- to high-end handsets seem to be ready to roll, including "all Tegra 2 based devices" like the Optimus 2X that was just announced. Follow the break for some video action and the full press release.

  • Unreal Engine 3 dev kit adding iOS support tomorrow, Infinity Blade clones coming Friday

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    12.15.2010

    The Unreal Engine 3 already made a quite spectacular debut on iOS with Epic Games' own Infinity Blade, but the company's decided it's time to finally stop teasing and give us the software to really play with it. Tomorrow's planned update to the UDK will deliver iOS support, meaning that all the fancy tools that helped make Infinity Blade such a blindingly gorgeous game will be at your fingertips should you be feeling creative. Licensing for the Engine is free for testing and non-commercial use, but you'll have to pay $99 if you want to sell anything you produce with it, to be followed by a 25 percent slice of your earnings beyond $5,000 and, of course, Apple's 30 percent cut of whatever's left. That might not sound like the best business plan in the world, but consider that Infinity Blade is estimated to have racked up over $1.5 million in sales already -- we're sure there'll be enough change left for ice cream even after Epic and Apple have had their share.

  • App review: Infinity Blade (iPhone)

    by 
    Vlad Savov
    Vlad Savov
    12.09.2010

    Aww, would you look at that, the iPhone's trying to play big boy games! Following in the well received footsteps of Rage HD, today marks the debut of Infinity Blade, the second in what's hopefully a wave of gorgeous-looking iOS games boasting advanced 3D graphics, if not 3D gameplay. Epic Games has put aside the chainsaw-equipped projectile weaponry of its wildly successful Gears of War console series to deliver the first mobile game built around its Unreal Engine 3. You won't be surprised to hear that it's utterly delicious to look at, and the visuals certainly helped transport us to this alien realm of swords, axes, shields, and magical rings -- where body armor is optional, but helmets apparently are not. Jump past the break to see this visual feast in motion and to soak up some more of our impressions. %Gallery-110231%

  • Unreal Engine 3 overview video touts new visual effects

    by 
    David Hinkle
    David Hinkle
    11.24.2010

    Directional light shafts, color grading and cascaded shadow maps may seem like gobbledygook to most of us, but to developers, they're important. At least Epic thinks these terms for Unreal Engine 3 features are important enough to use as selling points. Just past the break, you can check out a new video demonstration of the tech. Additionally, Epic has released a new beta version of its free Unreal Engine 3 UDK today, now featuring an additional map and "many improvements to the Unreal Editor." If you'd like to grab it, head on over to the official site.

  • See gameplay 'target' footage of Spielberg's canceled Project LMNO

    by 
    Randy Nelson
    Randy Nelson
    11.04.2010

    It's common practice for developers to create "target" footage of their games early in the development process in order to give their artists and designers something to shoot for. Following its look back at the now-canceled collaboration between EA and director Steven Spielberg, Project LMNO, 1UP has posted what it says is target gameplay footage from the cooperative "escape" game. It's a (very) brief clip, but it clearly shows the A.I.-driven future girl "Eve" from a first-person perspective, and actions that imply that it's the player's character looking at her. The player sniffs a rose that's sitting in a vase on the table of the diner they appear to be in, and passes it to her. Eve smells it next, showing a range of reactions on her face, then abruptly bolts from the table when a sinister black Humvee pulls up outside. This is presumably the beginning of an escape sequence, and sees Eve performing inhuman acrobatic moves to traverse the restaurant. The footage is clearly pre-rendered, and it's not much to go on, but it's unquestionably neat to see what Project LMNO could have looked like. You can see for yourself just after the break.

  • 1UP examines Spielberg's LMNO, the game that 'tried to do too much'

    by 
    James Ransom-Wiley
    James Ransom-Wiley
    11.02.2010

    If EA and the Steven Spielberg couldn't pull of a first-person hybrid built on "escape gameplay" and driven by an emotional co-op dynamic, featuring an AI-controlled partner -- spoiler alert -- from the future, whose character evolution was to be determined by non-verbal interaction with the player, then who could pull it off? Probably no one. "LMNO," as this project was code-named, was officially canned by EA last month -- and it's been dead for at least a year, according to 1UP's new in-depth investigation into the game. The report -- and definitely read the whole thing -- is a compelling tale in and of itself: the inside scoop on a big-budget experiment (a "hyper-replayable" 2- to 3-hour game with no multiplayer) that would later morph into an Uncharted clone (complete with "an alien version of Megan Fox"), dubbed The Escape Artist, before being canceled altogether. But the LMNO story is also a striking reminder of just how inflexible AAA game development has become. EA tried admirably to invest in new IP several years ago, but its actually released games didn't provide the returns the publisher had expected from consumers. Had it come together as original designers Doug Church and Randy Smith once envisioned, LMNO could have been EA's most ambitious original IP to date. Instead, it fell apart as the industry fell back on iteration (you know, "sequelitis") and made jaw-dropping investments in socially-networked casual gaming as the path to future profitability. LMNO once carried the heavy burden of being the video game that would finally "make you cry." Assuming that the industry has yet to recognize this milestone as having been achieved, the mission now seems better suited for an indie developer with nothing to lose; one free from the concerns of the corporate goliath: namely, staying in business. [Pictured: Pre-Megan Fox "Eve" character concept; source: 1UP]

  • DmC: Devil May Cry to utilize Unreal Engine

    by 
    David Hinkle
    David Hinkle
    09.30.2010

    It would seem that DmC: Devil May Cry is really going the distance with the reboot concept -- to the point that Ninja Theory's upcoming stab at the series will employ a completely different game engine than DMC4. The developer confirmed on its forums that Dante's next adventure will be powered by Epic's Unreal Engine (just like it's Enslaved for Namco Bandai) and not Capcom's go-to multiplatform development suite, MT Framework; which has powered many of Capcom's premier titles this console generation, including the last DMC game. To date, only internal Capcom studios have created games with MT Framework, but the company has said it's willing to share with external studios. Earlier this year, Capcom published its first Unreal Engine 3 game in Airtight Games' Dark Void. Ninja Theory's Enslaved, which will be released next week (published by Namco Bandai), is also an Unreal-powered game. [Thanks, original fred]

  • Looking back at six years of Lineage II

    by 
    Justin Olivetti
    Justin Olivetti
    06.27.2010

    Released in South Korea in 2003 and North America a year later, Lineage II came out as an old-school hardcore grind just as MMOs like City of Heroes, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars arrived on the scene and signaled a decisive shift toward more user-friendly, casual-accessible gameplay. Even so, Lineage II charged ahead to capture an impressive amount of players -- a reported 610,000 gamers were playing the title three years after launch -- and the game both endured and grew as time progressed. A six-year anniversary doesn't have quite the gravitas as a five- or ten-year one, yet it's still an accomplishment that many of Lineage II's contemporaries failed to achieve before closing their doors. Travel with us then as we step back in time to an era when MMOs were the equivalent of a dangerous playground, with players leaping about despite rusty swings, harsh death penalties and a never-ending monkey bar grind. Join us as we examine Lineage II's history and seek to understand the secrets of this game's popularity, and what it still has to offer for the contemporary gamer.

  • Gears of War art director makes an Unreal movie pitch

    by 
    Griffin McElroy
    Griffin McElroy
    06.13.2010

    Epic Games' Jerry O'Flaherty, art director for the original Gears of War title and once-reported director of the upcoming Thundercats film reboot, recently put together a unique pitch for a film tentatively titled Samurai. Well, okay, the film itself doesn't look too terribly unique (it's like 300, but with more wakizashi), but the fact that almost all of its backgrounds and special effects were created using the Unreal Engine sets it apart from most modern cinematic projects. O'Flaherty explains in the pitch's description that it was created "with the intent of sharing all of the environment assets ... between the movie and the game." Seeing as how the pitch was shot with zero budget in two days, this simple proof of concept (posted after the jump) could lead to an even greater influx of cost-efficient video game-to-short film adaptations. Hey, don't give us that look! Those can be pretty good on occasion.

  • BioWare Montreal seeking multiplayer programmers with Unreal Engine experience

    by 
    Ben Gilbert
    Ben Gilbert
    06.01.2010

    A job listing for "multiplayer programmers" has appeared on EA's official website, specifically for BioWare Montreal -- a studio that describes itself in the same listing as "working on Mass Effect, one of the industry's most beloved and acclaimed franchises, as we build our way toward becoming a fully self-sufficient BioWare studio." EA's Montreal-based recruiter, Jeff Goldstein, apparently had a similar listing on his LinkedIn page (no longer available but captured by CinemaBlend), which pegged the multiplayer programmers as working on the "Mass Effect Franchise." The position additionally requires "experience with the Unreal Engine" -- out of BioWare's current and known franchises, Mass Effect is the only one to use Unreal. Alarmingly, the listing fails to point out that, if applicants are to work on a Mass Effect 3 multiplayer component, they'll be working on the hardest game development task of all time. We can't even begin to wonder how multiplayer dialogue trees work. When contacted for comment, an EA rep told Joystiq, "Mass Effect is a rich, dynamic fiction designed as a trilogy. The team at BioWare is working on new downloadable content for Mass Effect 2 and are in the early stages of Mass Effect 3 development." [Thanks, Khai; via NeverKnowTech]

  • Epic's free Unreal Development Kit adds Steamworks

    by 
    Richard Mitchell
    Richard Mitchell
    05.26.2010

    Epic has released an update to its Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free version of Unreal Engine 3. The update includes a host of new features, but one of the most significant additions is support for Steamworks. According to the changelog, Steam has become the default online system for UDK and will handle online functions like friends, matchmaking and server browsing. The update also adds Scaleform GFx, which allows game creators to build attractive user interfaces. You can check out a video of Scaleform GFx in action after the break. Head over to Shacknews for the full list of new UDK tweaks.