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Epic Games' Unreal Engine Heads To Flash
Epic Games' Unreal Engine Heads To Flash
October 4, 2011 | By Kris Graft

Unreal Engine 3 may have -- so far -- made its mark on the console, PC and mobile markets, but now Epic Games says its engine is about to truly go "everywhere."

On Tuesday during the Adobe Max conference in L.A., Epic CEO, founder and technical director Tim Sweeney announced UE3 support for Adobe's Flash player.

With support for Flash, Gears of War and Unreal Tournament developer Epic Games brings its already widely-used engine to an even wider audience of web-goers, thanks to the ubiquity of Adobe's web-based platform.

Industry veteran Sweeney showed a live demonstration of UE3 running inside the recently-released Adobe Flash 11 during his keynote at the conference, using the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game Unreal Tournament 3 as an example.

UE3 works well thanks to Flash 11's hardware accelerated, programmable graphics pipeline, Adobe said. Flash is now "capable of running triple-A gaming content authored for high-end platforms using the industry's latest tools and technologies," the company said in a statement.

Adobe also promised that thanks to the wide use of Flash in web browsers and social networks, UE3 is expected to "usher in the leap from simplistic 2D game experiences to world-class 3D gaming on the web."

The company claimed Flash 11 allows "1,000 times faster 2D and 3D graphics rendering performance over Flash Player 10," allowing for 60 frames per second, "console-quality" visuals on Mac OS, Windows and internet-enabled TVs.

"With UE3 and Flash, games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps, reaching an enormous user base," said Sweeney. "This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetize their games."

Adobe Gaming Solutions group product manager Emmy Huang called Flash 11 "the console of the web" in a statement on Tuesday. "Flash is delivering immersive gaming experiences across screens and we're thrilled to have Epic Games using Flash Player to deliver its blockbuster, premier 3D games on the web."

UE3 licensees will be able to access new Flash features, and more information is available at the engine's official website.

Gamasutra will have more from Epic on UE3 in the near future.



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Ian Bogost
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"…the leap from simplistic 2D game experiences to world-class 3D gaming on the web…"


Luis Guimaraes
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Yeah that sounded like marketing lines for kids. Fine, graphics are more powerful, but 2D is not the same as "simplistic", unless for semi-narratologist gamers, that mostly play a game for it's theme than for the gameplay: sports, modern shooters, gangster simulators... that's what's really simplistic.

Kale Menges
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Yeah... Rather condescending remark...

Rey Samonte
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Hehe...yeah, it's funny. Some people assume just because a game is 2D, it's much easier to make.

Carlo Delallana
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Here come the FPS and their subsequent clones....wait, didn't this happen already?

Christian McCrea
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Its a runner up to the worst game marketing sentence of all time, from the release of the Tribal Game Boy Advance SP

“We feel we have created a product in the Tribal Edition that reflects the sentiments of today’s youth – rebellion, attractiveness and spirituality. The new console allows gamers to express these emotions in a fun and interactive way, enabling them to communicate their individuality.”

Brendan Iribe
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This is an incredible step for both Epic and Adobe. Very very cool !

High res screenshots and more info here:

Michael Gribbin
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Does this mean I can use right click in the new flash player?

Or are we going to be playing some FPSes and holding down alt to do secondary fire?

Greg Back
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same complaint i had about the Unity flash export, and if this follows the same route, the answer is no. Also there is no mouse lock, which means effectively no FPSes.

Dan Porter
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Yea, I doubt right click is going to be accessible right away. Unless they plan on getting rid of the universal flash menu. There will probably be other restrictions, too.

I wonder whether they will restrict parts of the material editor the way they do for Mobile. Also... what kind of memory consumption are we talking about here? I can imagine the baseline for running Unreal on Flash would be pretty hefty before you even take into account fancy particle effects and lighting.

Franz Felsl
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... of course all platforms will be supporting Flash in the future. So we've go that going for us.

Chris Melby
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Actually yeah, they will ... At least the ones that will matter in the future.

Ian Uniacke
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This is a great partnership. Unity should be really concerned about this (I'm sure they aren't taking it lightly, of course).

Chris Melby
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They've already taken a similar route, but maybe this will put a fire under the seat;

William Johnson
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Damn it! I just want flash to die! Stop trying to be relevant so we can have an open and free web again!

On the flip does sound kind of cool.

Ian Uniacke
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I'm not sure what you mean William? How is Flash not creating an open and free web?

Chris Melby
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I'm with Ian, can you clarify William?

Open and free web again? That doesn't make any sense.

And don't you think it's a bit fascist to insist something should die?

William Johnson
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So with HTML, CSS, and Javascript, you can actually inspect elements of a web page and see how they were developed and see how they function. It allows people to share information on web development. Flash, does not allow that.

Like wise, the W3C, the people that define the world wide web standards, do not support it. Plug-ins in general are detrimental to an open web. They place barriers on the exchange of knowledge and distribution of content. And in the case of flash, are poorly optimized, so for example, it devours battery life because of it. That's one of the reasons why both Apple and Microsoft are dropping the flash from their newer OS's. Of course you can still install it later, but it won't be packaged in the OS.

A few other reasons why flash, and other plug ins are bad. They don't play nice with screen readers for the visually in pared. Despite what you may think, blind people can and do use the internet. You can't parce information to web bots, which can effect search results, because the content of a site is inside flash, it basically gets ignored.

Over all flash just a relic of a time when the web was made with crappy tables with no interactivity. We are beyond that now. Flash served its purpose.

Arthur Tam
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Unless I'm mistaken, most of the high end websites these days hide their juiciest bits in the stylesheets, meaning that whenever you pull up the source for one of those pages, you either end up with a long string of gibberish that takes ages to sort through, or seeing all sorts of references to files that you do not have access to, the whole of which occupies about a couple of pages and tells you almost nothing.

There are also ways to grab flash based features and then analyze their naked code, which is the primary reason why it is so easy for generic websites to snatch flash games and republish them on their website without crediting or paying any dues to the original creator. If you seem interested in that, perhaps you should look it up?

Either way, your newer HTML features are trying to supplant flash's functions, but who's to say they aren't already too late?

Glenn Sturgeon
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Seems as ios & MS push to abandon flash, support for it grows.