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The transformation from one to five Why did the Unreal Engine reach the top of the industry?

Unreal past and future are not “unreal”

Epic Games officially held a press conference on May 13, 2020 and officially released the latest generation of Unreal Engine-Unreal Engine 5 (Unreal Engine 5).

Through a 9-minute demonstration, Epic Games completed a beautiful publicity offensive before the major game manufacturers. The Lumen full dynamic global illumination solution included in Unreal 5 and the Nanite virtual micro-polygon geometry technology are not only addictive, but also praised by many manufacturers including Microsoft.

Brother Phil Spencer didn’t even go through the program, just started blowing

Although we may not be able to fully understand the true strength of Unreal 5 in the past two years, there is a trend that is obvious-Epic Games is leading a new wave of game development technology upgrades.

In addition to feeling the strength of Unreal 5, this conference can not help but remind people of the hardship Epic Games has experienced since developing the Unreal Engine. Below we will start from the first generation and review the wonderful history of Unreal Engine standing out from the vast number of engines.

Step into the pinnacle

The first generation of Unreal Engine was developed by Epic founder Tim Sweeney. Epic Games, founded by Tim himself, used this engine to make the well-known first-person shooter “Unreal”.

The original Unreal Engine was designed to create a high-quality shooting game, as evidenced by the excellent results of Unreal. Whether it’s graphics or game mechanics, the quality of Unreal is not inferior to Valve’s half-life, Half-Life.

Compared with the “Half Life” (left) and “Unreal” (right) developed by the Origin Engine during the same period, it is only slightly inferior

As a water test, the first generation of Unreal can be seen as an engine designed by Epic Games for developing its own games. At that time, Tim Sweeney did not expect that this engine would be favored by many third-party developers, and even more Its fifth-generation product can bring a whole new dimension to game development.

Although the original Unreal Engine has not yet manifested its uniqueness, the game of “Unreal” has successfully made this engine break out of the industry. Many defects did not completely cover its highlights. Some engines started to be used after the engine was launched. At that time, Ion Storm used this engine to create the classic role-playing game “Deus Ex”.

Epic Games, who has tasted the sweetness from Unreal, continued the design idea of ​​the main shooting game of the first generation engine when making the second generation Unreal Engine. The development of “Unreal 2” can be regarded as one of the main driving forces for Epic Games to develop the second generation engine. .

The success of the first and second generations of “Unreal” and “Breakout” has created a great momentum for the Unreal Engine. The name “Unreal” has gradually emerged in the industry and attracted the attention of Ubisoft. “Cell Division”, ” Cell Division: Tomorrow Pandora was born from this.

If the first and second generations of Unreal Engine have not made the name “Unreal” resound in the industry, then the three generations of Unreal Engine have completely rewritten this situation.

The third generation of Unreal Engine first appeared in 2004. This engine not only inherited the advantages of the previous two generations of engines, but also sublimated again on the basis of the previous one. And other functions, everything has become easier to use, and the picture of the game has also been greatly improved in essence. For developers, the third-generation Unreal Engine represents two words-practical.

It is worth mentioning that Epic Games also opened the Unreal 3 engine developer kit for free in 2009. The free opening of the development kit provides great convenience for small-scale developers or individual developers. Since then, the audience of Unreal 3 has further expanded, and Unreal Engine has turned into a golden presence for players and developers.

Unreal 3 is not only famous for its functionality and ease of use, but its strong game lineup is also one of the reasons for its strength. In addition to Epic’s own Unreal Tournament 3, third-party classics such as “War Machine”, “Cell Division: Double Spy”, “Mass Effect”, “Bioshock”, “Batman: Arkham” series, etc. Both are made in Unreal 3. The third generation of this world has allowed Unreal Engine to be thoroughly recognized by the game world. Spanning two generations is enough to show its powerful function.

“Gears of War” is one of the representative games of Unreal 3

“Batman: Arkham Knight” is built by Unreal 3.5, its effect is not weak in the name of the next generation

Compared with the huge improvement of Unreal 2 to Unreal 3, the innovation of Unreal 4 seems nothing special. However, after the official official release of the fourth-generation Unreal Engine, there are still many third-party manufacturers that recognize and use this engine, and these manufacturers have also produced many masterpieces based on this, such as the “Dragon Quest” of Square Enix. “XI”, “War Machine 4” by The Coalition Studio, “Yoshi’s Handcrafted World” by Nintendo, etc.

In addition, Epic Games’ own “Fortress Night” is also built by Unreal 4, its gameplay and social are both excellent, bringing a lot of happy time to players around the world.

Numerous designs of Fortnite reflect the power of Unreal 4, and Travis Scott concert is one of the most successful online events in recent years

After years of accumulation, Epic Games finally built Unreal into an easy-to-use engine with a complete game tool chain set, which makes Unreal Engine the first choice for many developers to make games. At this point, the status of Unreal Engine in the game world is finally determined. Although it can’t be regarded as the world, it can also be called the king of one side.

Unreal 5 that shocked the industry

The announcement of Unreal 5 is undoubtedly a blockbuster for the gaming industry. Judging only from the technical demonstrations and instructions currently released by Epic Games, the black technology value burst table seems to be the best explanation for this engine.

Compared to the demo of Unreal 4 on PS4 (top), the demo of Unreal 5 on PS5 (bottom) is more than one level higher

Lumen’s full dynamic global illumination solution allows game developers to no longer need to bake lightmaps when making games, while Nanite virtual micro-polygon geometry technology allows developers to eliminate the need for low-level, LOD (Level of Details), multiple levels of detail ).

Overall, Unreal 5 will not only bring players extremely powerful game screens, but also save developers a lot of development time. Especially for small and medium-sized studios, the use of Unreal 5 will be able to present a better game screen while taking into account the game development time.

Nearly unlimited geometry, more than 16 billion triangles on the same screen in the presentation, plus full dynamic and global illumination, everything in Unreal 5 looks so beautiful and incredible, not to mention that this is still the reality of PS5. Machine demonstration, this engine that shocked the industry seems to be worthy of everyone’s expectations.

However, before seeing the official release of the first game created by Unreal 5, Epic Games’ current content is ultimately only publicity. In the end, what kind of performance can this engine have? Can it really lead a new wave of game development technology upgrades? Need to wait and see …

Author: GTH91
Source: TGBUS
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