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Epic Releases March 2011 UDK Beta, 'Samaritan' Real-Time Demo

Epic Releases March 2011 UDK Beta, 'Samaritan' Real-Time Demo

March 9, 2011 | By Kris Graft

March 9, 2011 | By Kris Graft
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Following private presentations at Game Developers Conference 2011 last week, Epic Games has released an impressive tech demo of the latest version of Unreal Engine 3, and detailed new Unreal Development Kit features.

The real-time demo, dubbed "Samaritan," shows off a highly-detailed hero in a Blade Runner-esque world who fights off enemies with the help of flesh that turns into a rock-like material.

Cary, NC-based Epic said new technical features used in the demo are available in the March 2011 UDK Beta, available now. UDK is the free edition of Unreal Engine 3, and now includes DirectX 11 support, Nvidia Apex physics technology and other new features.

Epic also detailed DirectX features that are in the March build of UDK, including tessellation and displacement, geometry shaders, multisampled textures and shader Model 5.

High-end rendering features now shipping with UDK include (as detailed in an Epic statement):

- Image-based reflections that allow surfaces of any shape to reflect an approximate version of scenes, with varying glossiness across surfaces, anisotropic HDR highlights and anti-aliasing;

- Subsurface scattering (SSS) that simulates the light that scatters inside semi-translucent materials, making character skin come alive;

- Anti-aliased masked materials that super sample the edges of masked and alpha-tested materials, making character hair more look realistic than ever before;

- Deferred rendering with MSAA support;

- Bokeh depth of field providing close to film-quality DOF, with artist-controllable Bokeh; and

- High-quality dynamic shadows from many lights on the environment, such as shadows for point lights and other light sources.


Epic recently raised the royalty-free threshold of commercial UDK-developed games from $5,000 in revenues to $50,000, meaning developers now don't have to pay Epic's 25 percent in royalties until total revenues exceed $50,000.

Last year, Epic also announced availability of an iOS version of UE3, used in the App Store hit Infinity Blade, developed by Epic subsidiary studio Chair Entertainment. Epic is also developing an Android version of the engine. The studio said its UE3 licensees are working on games for iOS, Android, Sony's Next Generation Portable, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Mac.


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