When the developers of Unreal Engine ship an update, they mean business. Version 4.9 was released late yesterday and its changelog is remarkably lengthy. Seriously, it's 36,950 words long and has 74 images, about a third of which are animated. It's basically the War And Peace of changelogs.
There are far too many things in this update to cover here, so game developers might want to check out the changelog in all its monumental glory. However, the list of Android-related items is a little more tenable and might be interesting to those who don't make a living (or hobby) out of building games.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a racing game with unique controls, a chess game for kids, and a gorgeous God of War ripoff. Without further ado:
Touch Racing 2
Racing games on mobile devices always have to wrestle with touch controls.
While you wait anxiously for the next installment of The Room, why not take a look at a darker and somewhat more action-oriented first-person puzzler? Hellraid: The Escape has just made the trip over from iOS, and it's got some impressive graphics powered by the Unreal Engine. Also, lots and lots of gruesome deaths.
Imagine if the little robot guys from Batteries Not Included had their own videogame. Now imagine if that video game was produced in the current framework of indie games, which seem to favor the dark and somewhat creepy atmosphere of a Lorne Lanning title. Now you've got Unmechanical, a 2D platformer with Unreal 3D graphics that has just been published to the Google Play Store. You can pick it up for $3 with no in-app purchases.
Unmechanical is yet another expatriate from the desktop gaming world of Steam, though it has made a few stops on consoles and iOS before arriving here.
Unless you absolutely despise games, you've probably noticed Unreal Engine is sort of a rock star among game development platforms. Not only is it capable of rendering some profoundly gorgeous graphics, it can do so on virtually every major desktop and mobile operating system available. Today, Epic Games is releasing Unreal Engine 4.4 with some new tools for building animation and behavior models, additional rendering features, improved support for Android and iOS, and even some free stuff in the content marketplace.
Among the featured items of the update, Epic is touting two new editors. The first is Unreal Motion Graphics (UMG), an interactive editor that integrates with Blueprints to allow developers to more easily construct events and animations, then preview them in real-time.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got not one but two action-RPGs and an adapted board game. Without further ado:
What's this? An anime-style action-RPG with full 3D visuals and movement? Indeed, Brandnew Boy (which I suppose is a better title than "Cliché Amnesiac Anime Savior") seems like a surprisingly polished little brawler built on the Unreal engine, with enough energetic style to tide over the most ardent console gamer.
After explaining why the GPU in the just announced Tegra K1 was awesome from an architectural standpoint, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang went on to reveal that Epic Games would be bringing Unreal Engine 4 to mobile devices via the Tegra K1. Nvidia is keen on getting game developers to include improved graphics for Tegra devices, but Unreal Engine 4 support could take Tegra gaming to a whole new level.
Today, Autodesk announced Maya LT, a streamlined 3D modeling tool targeted at independent and mobile game developers. The maker of AutoCAD and 3ds Max is looking to make a splash with developers by introducing a lower-cost version of its Maya software, but still keeping it equipped with powerful animation tools, including a skeleton generator with the capability to calculate inverse kinematics (using Autodesk HumanIK), and a viewport preview system to visualize models as they would appear in game with full lighting and texture effects. Just watching the video makes the software look like a lot of fun to play with, which seems like an important quality when building games.
Just two days ago I decried the relative lack of innovation in mobile gaming, and after climbing EPOCH's surprisingly steep difficulty curve, I get to eat humble pie. This cover-based shooter from Android newcomer Uppercut Games blew me away with its original control scheme and immersive graphics. It's not flawless, but its combination of mobile-friendly gameplay and and impressive presentation should make every action gamer (and developer) sit up and take notice.
The shooting is fast and twitchy. The battle system requires skill, timing, and strategy to master. And best of all, EPOCH is a triple-A action game that never once had me wishing for my controller.
Cylons. The Terminator. Gort. Johnny 5. Science fiction seems more than a little obsessed with the idea of murderous automatons, and with good reason: it works. Newcomer developer Uppercut Games has taken the trope to mobile gaming with EPOCH, a post-apocalyptic shooter that does away with the humans altogether (to make room for more robots). The Unreal Engine powers this graphical beast, and it's available for $4.99 for all devices - or at least the ones that can handle it.
The gameplay is a curious mix of the cover-based, over-the-shoulder shooting that's become so common in the console world and reactive, gesture-driven combat, a la Infinity Blade.