Epic has made radical changes
to its business in the past few weeks, opening up a new subscription system for Unreal Engine licensing and committing to making the engine code open source on GitHub.
Today Epic offered a preview
of what's coming in the Unreal Engine 4.1 update, launching a preview build and a livestreamed Q&A session
as the company seeks to -- as Epic VP Paul Meegan told Gamasutra in a recent interview
-- "restore having a direct relationship with the people who play our games and use our technology."
Notably, a preview build
of the 4.1 engine should be available for subscribers to download from GitHub right now, though Epic cautions that it doesn't include all of the features of UE 4.1.
"This code literally came from our programmers yesterday -- many of us haven't tried it," joked Epic technical director Mike Fricker during a presentation streamed on the on the official Unreal Engine Twitch channel
"We do extensive QA testing, but that pass for 4.1 starts tomorrow...the preview builds are for the adventurous."
The 4.1 source code will also offer initial support for running and packaging games for Linux as well as the Linux-based SteamOS.
Also, the company's Elemental demo will be available to all subscribers as a free download from the Unreal Editor Marketplace when the 4.1 Unreal Engine update rolls out later this month.
More details on the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.1 update, including a big list of patch notes, are available on the Unreal Engine website