AI to Neigh About: Magic AI Trots Out Horse Intelligence

Magic AI is galloping into the internet of horses arena. The Seattle-based startup, an angel-funded team of five, has been developing AI for stable managers and riders to monitor the health and security of horses from video feeds. Image recognition has been a boon to agriculture businesses, including those in the cattle industry. Magic AI Read article >

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Epic Games Announces over $800K in Unreal Dev Grants

Today Epic Games announced the latest recipients of Unreal Dev Grants, a $5 million fund supporting developers working with Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). This new round awards $800,000 to more than 30 individuals and teams, with no restrictions or obligations to Epic Games. As with previous rounds, these recipients illustrate the wide variety of use cases for UE4, including independent games, interactive visualizations, virtual reality surgical simulators and online learning resources.

“The Unreal Dev Grants program has a simple goal: to help talented developers succeed by letting them focus more on their project and less on their bills,” said Chance Ivey, Partnership Manager at Epic Games. “We’re continually amazed by the range of applications built with UE4 and the potential of so many of these projects; this round includes standouts such as Sojourn by Tierceron, Crab Rave by Noisestorm, and VR Cataract Training Solution by Surgical Mind. Congrats to all of these folks for their vision and persistence!”

The latest round of Unreal Dev Grants recipients includes:

FILM / CINEMA: 100 Flowers of God (working title) by 3rd World StudiosWebsite 
3rd World Studios is the Pakistan-based creator of the first animated feature-length film rendered entirely in UE4, Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor, which was released in February to critical acclaim. This Unreal Dev Grant is meant to accelerate 3rd World’s future film projects.

TOOL / PLUGIN: Anomotion Motion Composer and Anomotion BIKWebsite
Anomotion maintains two animation solutions for UE4: Motion Composer, a task-based motion planner which automatically generates precise motion sequences from unstructured animation data; and BIK, an inverse-kinematics system that can model various joint types and define custom constraints for VR avatars, virtual humans and creatures. Anomotion’s solutions have practical applications, from film previs to architectural visualizations. For industrial simulation and shared virtual environments, for example, Anomotion’s technology can be used to populate interactive, adaptive training environments with task-directed virtual characters.

FILM / CINEMA / VR: Awake: Episode One by Start VRTrailer 
Created by Start VR, Awake: Episode One is an interactive cinematic virtual reality experience for HTC Vive and Vive Pro. Awake: Episode One, which uses the latest volumetric capture techniques to bring real-life human performances into VR, officially premiered at SXSW and has been touring the festival circuit ever since. It’s coming soon to Steam.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Black Iris by Hexa Game Studio Website
From Brazilian indie team Hexa Game Studio, Black Iris is an action RPG that takes inspiration from the Dark Souls series of games and Bloodborne. Black Iris in development for PC and console. 

INDEPENDENT GAME / AR: BOT-NET by Calvin LabsWebsite
BOT-NET is a game that turns physical space into a first-person battlefield using a mobile device’s AR features. Massive robots fight while the player engages in ground combat with smaller robots. BOT-NET is available in the App Store.

FILM / CINEMA: Cine Tracer by Matt WorkmanSteam
Developed by Matt Workman of Cinematography Database, Cine Tracer is a realistic cinematography simulator in which the player operates real world-based cameras, sets up lights, and directs talent within UE4 environments. Matt frequently livestreams Cine Tracer development at https://www.twitch.tv/cinegamedev. Creatives can use Cine Tracer to communicate lighting, cameras and storyboarding, and it’s available in Early Access on Steam.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Close to the Sun by Storm in a TeacupWebsite
Developed by Rome-based Storm in a Teacup, Close to the Sun is a first-person horror game that takes place in an alternate version of history in the 1890s aboard a mysterious ship complex created by Nikola Tesla where things are not as they seem. With numerous indie game accolades already under its belt, Close to the Sun is coming to PC and console in 2019.

TOOL / PLUGIN: coreDS Unreal by ds.toolsWebsite 
coreDS Unreal facilitates integration of both High-Level Architecture (HLA) and Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) in UE4 games and applications. Users can integrate once and support HLA and DIS without any other modifications to their UE4 application. coreDS Unreal provides an extensive feature set that eases the integration process, allowing for reduced implementation time, flexibility and highly customizable simulation behavior.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Farm Folks by OvergrownTrailer
Farm Folks is a successfully crowdfunded farming simulator game with a nod to the classic Harvest Moon series. Players can explore Softshoal Island, grow crops, raise livestock, build relationships and more – all the while uncovering the island’s mysteries. Farm Folks, coming to PC, is available for pre-order on Crytivo.

INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Jupiter & Mars by Tigertron Website
Jupiter & Mars is an underwater adventure game for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR with a powerful message around climate change set in a shocking, future world inspired by ecological events happening now. The player controls Jupiter, a dolphin with enhanced echolocation powers, traveling around the world with AI companion Mars to disable the man-made machinery disrupting marine life, while solving puzzles and encountering magnificent creatures along the way. 

INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Kaisuo by USC GamesTrailer
Kaisuo is a VR puzzle game in which players use fine motor dexterity to solve enigmatic Chinese puzzle boxes and unlock surreal, extraordinary spaces. Originally founded as an undergraduate student project named Lantern (now the name of the development team) at the University of Southern California, Kaisuo has been showcased at events such as the USC Games Expo and Indiecade @ E3, and is in development through the USC Bridge incubator program for full release on the Oculus and Steam stores.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Koral by Pantumaca BarcelonaSteam 
Developed by Carlos Coronado, one of Barcelona’s leading UE4 experts, this beautiful PC game takes players on a dive through the underwater world where they play as the current on a mission to revive coral reefs. Solving puzzles heals the reefs and replenishes the ocean’s magic. In addition, Carlos’ new training materials on going from zero to expert in UE4 have marked Udemy’s most successful launch of a Spanish game development course in the site’s history.

FINE ARTS / VR: Lemieux Pilon 4D ArtWebsite
The renowned duo of Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon (4D Art) are creating an immersive museum art piece for virtual reality using UE4. 

INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Mini World VR by Scaena StudiosWebsite
From Korea’s award-winning Chung Ang University 3D VR Lab, Scaena Studios’ Mini World VR is an immersive storytelling experience featuring elaborate hand-animated characters, game-based elements and intuitive interactivity. A cross between a game and a film, Mini World VR can be experienced from the perspective of both player and audience.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Mowin’ & Throwin’ by House Pixel GamesSteam
Available via Steam Early Access, Mowin’ & Throwin’ is a local multiplayer mashup of Bomberman meets Splatoon with a dash of Overcooked. Players control lawn gnomes in a race to wreck their opponent’s yard while keeping their own pristine. Victory goes to the best looking lawn! Mowin’ & Throwin’ is coming to party game collections for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2019.

FILM / CINEMA: Music Videos by Noisestorm – SoundCloud
Irish music producer and artist Noisestorm uses UE4 to create incredibly striking videos to accompany his musical tracks, which are often associated with trap, drum and bass, electro and dubstep. Now with nearly 10 million views, Crab Rave features thousands of CG crabs gathering after a tropical storm to dance it out. Noisestorm’s latest release, Breakout (feat. Foreign Beggars), depicts a tactical prison break with intense firefights, massive explosions, a high-energy helicopter chase and an amazing sniper shot. 

TOOL / PLUGIN: Optim by Theia InteractiveWebsite
Currently in alpha, the Optim plugin applies an accelerated workflow methodology to Unreal Engine’s Datasmith suite of tools and services for enterprise markets. Leveraging the efficiency of Datasmith and the power of Python, artists and designers can use Optim to visualize and customize their Datasmith import process for further optimization.

INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Planetrism VR by Planetrism TeamGameplay
The future of humankind leads to the distant stars in this VR and PC adventure developed by Finnish duo Kimmo Kaunela and Mike Laaksonen. In Planetrism, players follow the opportunity of a lifetime to lead colonization on an uncharted planet, encountering untold mysteries while building a future for generations to come.

ARCHITECTURE / VR: Real Estate in Virtual Reality by REinVRWebsite
The real estate technology team at REinVR is focused on using UE4 to build advanced immersive consumer buying experiences using digital humans, AI and VR.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Risk One’s Neck by Royce GamesWebsite
Developed by Korean indie team Royce Games for PC and consoles, Risk One’s Neck is a vintage arcade-style beat ’em up game set in a brutal, realistic urban environment. An homage to the Capcom arcade fighters of the 1980s, Risk One’s Neck channels thrilling gameplay for players of all skill levels.

FILM / CINEMA: Robots’ Design Academy by Eric Liu Blog
A student film by Eric Liu, this 12-minute cinematic highlights the art of the possible when a single person sets out to do something wonderful. Powered by the drive and passion to create something spectacular, Eric created a wordless tale about creativity and daring to be different. It follows a robot student learning to design after most of humanity has become extinct from some unknown apocalypse. Dismayed by the institution’s insistence on strictly copying human creations perfectly, the droid protagonist sets out to design something bold and unique with the help of a newfound human pal.

LEARNING RESOURCE: Russian UE4 Lessons and CommunityWebsite YouTube 
This incredible volunteer-driven resource for the Russian development community has been in operation since the public launch of UE4 in 2014. Featuring translations of exhaustive release notes for dozens of major engine updates, along with hundreds of localized tutorials — all created independently, and freely shared online — the group has well over 50,000 members across their networks, which also include popular Unreal Engine Discord and VK channels.

INDEPENDENT GAME: S.O.N by RedG StudiosWebsite 
S.O.N is a modern-day psychological survival horror game in which a father searches for his son who has gone missing deep in the Pennsylvania forest, better known as South Of Nowhere. In a world where fear takes control and the past is never erased, questions linger around what demons will be faced to get back a loved ones. S.O.N is coming to PlayStation 4.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Spellbreak by Proletariat Inc. –  Website
With talent from game studios such as Harmonix, Turbine and Insomniac, Proletariat is bringing a magical twist to battle royale. Currently in pre-alpha on PC, Spellbreak puts a new spin on the genre with its fantasy art style and powerful magic spells that can be explosive when used in combat.

FILM / CINEMA: The Abyss by Kemal GünelVideo
This real-time short film depicts an ominous scenario aboard a desolate spaceship. Built using Kemal’s assets that are available on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, the project is also the basis for his popular UE4 Lighting tutorial series, which has 35 videos and counting.

INDEPENDENT GAME: The Cycle by YAGERWebsite
Currently in Closed Alpha, The Cycle is the latest FPS game from Berlin-based YAGER. Up to 20 players go head to head to fulfill contracts during matches about 20 minutes in length. The Cycle is planned for PC release in early 2019 with support for consoles to follow.

AR / VR: The Hydrous presents: ImmerseWebsite
Jason McGuigan and his team at Horizon Productions have been on the bleeding edge of XR for several years, with a library of AR and VR projects built with UE4 under their belt. A pre-release version of Immerse took the stage at the recent Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn gathering in Malta presented by Dr. Erika Woolsey, CEO of the Hydrous. The Hydrous’ mission is to create open access oceans by bringing conservation education to the masses. Horizon also presented a high-fidelity VR art gallery created in Unreal Engine that featured almost 100 paintings by some of the world’s leading digital artists.

FINE ARTS / VR: The Kremer Collection Virtual MuseumWebsite
Designed by architect Johan van Lierop, Founder of Architales and Principal at Studio Libeskind, the Kremer Museum features 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings from the Kremer Collection and is accessible through Viveport, Steam and Oculus. 

TOOL / PLUGIN: Tools and Plugins by VR ProfessionalsVideoWebsite
Russia-based VR Professionals are on a mission to create more affordable and accessible “out of the box” solutions for VR training and education using UE4. Having identified a desire for UE4 apps to be more deeply integrated into enterprise ecosystems, e.g., SQL databases, analytics, reports, LMS and CRM systems, VR Professionals are developing UE4 tools and plugins to help organizations streamline their use of B2B apps faster and with lower costs. 
 

FILM / CINEMA: Unannounced project by Kite & LightningWebsite
The recipient of the 2018 SIGGRAPH Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity Award at the recent Real-Time Live! showcase, Kite & Lightning wowed audiences with the presentation “Democratizing Mocap: Real-Time Full Performance Motion Capture with an iPhone X, Xsens, IKINEMA and Unreal Engine.” This Unreal Dev Grant is given in support of new breakthroughs in live performance-driven entertainment.

INDEPENDENT GAME: Unbound: Worlds Apart by Alien Pixel StudiosSteam
Unbound: Worlds Apart is an atmospheric 2D puzzle platformer in which the player can conjure magic portals to travel between different realities and learn more about a catastrophe that has ravaged his world. Inside certain portals, the physical properties of the character or world elements can change, offering new gameplay possibilities. A dark fairy tale with a cartoonish style, Unbound: Worlds Apart is planned for release on PC and consoles in 2020.

TOOL / PLUGIN:  VR Cataract Training Solution by Surgical MindVideo 
Surgical Mind, a branch of Korea-based Mania Mind, is developing a cutting-edge VR simulator for cataract surgery to enable medical residents to better hone their skills before getting near an eye. Their team maintains that VR simulation training improves performance, minimizes risk and provides greater detail around potential scenarios more efficiently than expensive physical simulators.  

To learn more about Unreal Dev Grants and to apply, visit: http://unrealengine.com/unrealdevgrants
 

Unreal Engine 4.21 Released

What’s New

Unreal Engine 4.21 continues our relentless pursuit of greater efficiency, performance, and stability for every project on any platform. We made it easier to work smarter and create faster because we want your imagination to be the only limit when using our tools. And we battle-tested the engine on every platform until it met our developers’ high standards so your project will shine once it is ready for the masses.

We are always looking for ways to streamline everyday tasks so developers can focus on creating meaningful, exciting, and engaging experiences. Our industry-leading Niagara effects toolset is now even more powerful and easier to use, enabling you to dream up the next generation of real-time visual effects. You can build multiplayer experiences on a scale not previously possible using the now production-ready Replication Graph functionality. Iterate faster thanks to optimizations with up to a 60% speed increase when cooking content, run automated tests to find issues using the new Gauntlet automation framework, and speed up your day-to-day workflows with usability improvements to the Animation system, Blueprint Visual Scripting, Sequencer, and more.

We strive to make it possible for your creations to be enjoyed as you intended by everyone, everywhere regardless of the form factor they choose. Building on the previous release, we have added even more optimizations developed for Fortnite on Android and iOS to further improve the process for developing for mobile devices. Available in Early Access, Pixel Streaming opens a whole new avenue to deploy apps in a web browser with no barrier to entry and no compromise on rendering quality. We have also improved support for Linux as well as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality devices.

In addition to all of the updates from Epic, this release includes 121 improvements submitted by the incredible community of Unreal Engine developers on GitHub! Thanks to each of these contributors to Unreal Engine 4.21:

Aaron Franke (aaronfranke), Adam Rehn (adamrehn), Adrian Courrèges (acourreges), aladenberger, Alan Liu (PicaroonX), Cengiz Terzibas (yaakuro), Cerwi, Chris Conway (Koderz), cmp-, Damianno19, Deep Silver Dambuster Studios (DSDambuster), Dorgon Chang (dorgonman), DSCriErr, Dzuelu, Eliot (BillEliot), Erik Dubbelboer (erikdubbelboer), fieldsJacksonG, Franco Pulido (francoap), Frank Stähr (phisigma), George Erfesoglou (nonlin), Hao Wang (haowang1013), Henri Hyyryläinen (hhyyrylainen), Homer D Xing (homerhsing), IlinAleksey, Jacob Nelson (JacobNelsonGames), Jerry Richards (r2d2Proton), Jesse Fish (erebuswolf), Josef Gluyas (Josef-CL), Joshua Harrington (thejhnz), Kalle Hämäläinen (kallehamalainen), KelbyG, Layla (aylaylay), LizardThief, Lucas Wall (lucaswall), Mai Lavelle (maiself), malavon, Marat Radchenko (slonopotamus), Marat Yakupov (moadib), Marco Antonio Alvarez (surakin), Markus Breyer (pluranium), marshal-it, Martin Gerhardy (mgerhardy), Mathias Hübscher (user37337), Michael Kösel (TheCodez), Morva Kristóf (KristofMorva), Muhammad A. Moniem (mamoniem), Nick Edwards (nedwardsnae), nrd2001, Oliver (oliverzx), phoenxin, projectgheist, Rene Rivera (grafikrobot), Rick Yorgason (Skrapion), Riley Labrecque (rlabrecque), Sahil Dhanju (Vatyx), Sam Bonifacio (Acren), scahp, Sébastien Rombauts (SRombauts), Tom Kneiphof (tomix1024), Troy Tavis (ttavis), Truthkey, UristMcRainmaker, Wiktor Lawski (wlawski), yhase7, Zeno Ahn (zenoengine)

Major Features

Niagara Platform Support and Usability Improvements

In our continuing effort to provide industry-leading effects tools, Niagara has received an expanded feature set, substantial quality of life improvements, and Niagara effects are now supported on Nintendo Switch!

GPU-Only Texture Sampling in Niagara

You can now sample a 2D texture or a pseudo-volume 2D texture in your particle scripts! Create amazing effects such as rendering the scene’s depth, color and normal information using a Scene Capture Actor and use that to reconstruct the environment within a Niagara particle system with the particles’ potential and kinetic energy visualized as emissive light.

Check out the Niagara level in the Content Examples project to see how this feature works!

Niagara Skeletal Mesh Data Interface Improvements

There are new functions you can use in the Skeletal Mesh Data Interface enabling direct sampling of a Skeletal Mesh’s vertex data as well as access to specific Bones or Sockets on the Skeletal Mesh.

Ribbon Particle Performance Improvements

Ribbons now generate the ribbon geometry on the GPU instead of the CPU, improving overall performance.

GPU Simulation Support in Niagara

GPU simulation of Niagara effects is now supported on all non-mobile platforms.

Simplified System and Emitter Creation

Niagara now includes friendly dialogs that make creating systems and emitters easier than ever! You can create new emitters and systems from a curated set of templates to speed up development and ensure best practices.

 

 

 

 

 

Pendulum Constraint

This constraint solves with physics forces, optional spring drivers, and includes potential energy calculation. You can now create exciting, dynamic effects such as spawning particles with inherited velocity if the energy exceeds a specified threshold:

Module Additions and Improvements

  • Generate and receive death events
  • Now factoring mass into multiple modules
  • New SampleSkeletalMeshSkeleton, SampleSkeletalMeshSurface, SkeletalMeshSkeletonLocation and SkeletalMeshSurfaceLocation modules to complement enhancements to the Skeletal Mesh Data Interface
  • New AddVelocityInCone module
  • New Force modules: FindKineticAndPotentialEnergy, GravityForce, SpringForce and multiple usability tweaks to other forces
  • New KillParticlesInVolume module
  • New SpriteRotatationRate module
  • New RecreateCameraProjection module for using render targets and camera transforms to turn scene captures into deformable particle systems
  • New modules for sampling textures: SamplePseudoVolumeTexture, SampleTexture, SubUV_TextureSample, and WorldAlignedTextureSample
  • New utility modules for temporal interpolation and frame counters
  • Many new dynamic inputs and functions

New: Replication Graph

The Replication Graph Plugin makes it possible to customize network replication in order to build large-scale multiplayer games that would not be viable with traditional replication strategies. For example, Epic’s own Fortnite Battle Royale starts each match with 100 players and roughly 50,000 replicated actors. If each replicated actor were to determine whether or not it should update across each client connection, the impact on the server’s CPU performance would be prohibitive.

The Replication Graph Plugin solves this problem by offering an alternate strategy geared specifically for high-volume multiplayer games. This works by assigning actors to Replication Nodes, which store precalculated information that clients can use to retrieve lists of actors that need to be updated, saving the CPU of recalculating the same data for many clients on every frame. In addition to the standard nodes that ship with the Engine, developers can write their own nodes to fit the specific needs of actors within their games.

New: Optimizations for Shipping on Mobile Platforms

The mobile development process gets even better thanks to all of the mobile optimizations that were developed for Fortnite’s initial release on Android, in addition to all of the iOS improvements from our ongoing updates!

Improved Vulkan Support on Android

With the help of Samsung, Unreal Engine 4.21 includes all of the Vulkan engineering and optimization work that was done to help ship Fortnite on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and is 100% feature compatible with OpenGL ES 3.1. Projects that utilize Vulkan can run up to 20% faster than the same project that uses OpenGL ES.

Config Rules System for Android

The Android Config Rules system can now be used to help catch issues very early in a project start up process. This tool allows for quickly checking for device support and providing either a warning or error dialog to the user if there are issues discovered, such as an out of date driver or unsupported GPU. Any variables set may be queried later in C++ with FAndroidMisc::GetConfigRulesVariable(TEXT(“variablename”)).

To use this system, a configrules.txt rules file is optionally placed in your project’s Build/Android directory and UPL is used to add a Gradle task to use the ConfigRulesTool to compress and optionally encrypt it during packaging the APK. More details can be found in the engine documentation.

Program Binary Cache for Android

The Program Binary cache can be used to help improve Shader loading performance and also reduce hitching due to Shader loading on Android devices. The Program Binary cache works by generating optimized binary representations of Shader programs on the device which are used when loading shaders during subsequent runs. Loading Shader programs from optimized binaries can also dramatically decrease Shader loading times. The Program Binary cache must be used in conjunction with the Shader Pipeline cache tool as it will populate the Program Binary cache during the initial run of your application. To enable the Program Binary cache in your project, you will need to add the following command to your AndroidEngine.ini or Device Profile.

  • r.ProgramBinaryCache.Enable=1

Note: Some devices do not support the required program binary extension, such devices will fallback to the previous behavior.

Emulated Uniform Buffers on Android

You can now use Emulated Uniform Buffers for projects that target the OpenGL ES3.1 feature level, significantly reducing memory usage and improving rendering performance depending on your application complexity. Emulated Uniform Buffers have also been optimized to help reduce the size of the data that needs to be transferred to the GPU when your project is being packaged. To enable Emulated Uniform Buffers when using the OpenGL ES3.1 feature level, add the following line to your project’s DefaultEngine.ini under [/Script/Engine.RendererSettings]:

[/Script/Engine.RendererSettings]
OpenGL.UseEmulatedUBs=1

CPU Thread Affinity Control on Android

The ConfigRules system can register whether or not to use a supplied little core affinity mask. If enabled, the following threads will use little cores which improves battery life and evens out performance since they won’t switch between big and little cores causing possible hitches: render, pool, taskgraph, stats, taskgraph background, async loading. For details on how to set this up, see the Config Rules documentation.

Improved GPU Particle Simulation Performance on Mobile

Mobile particle effects that utilize the GPU for particle simulation have been significantly improved. You now have the option of reducing the memory usage for GPU particle simulation by limiting the maximum number of simulated particles that can be used. By default the maximum number of GPU particles that can be simultaneously simulated is set to around one million particles which will use around 32 MB of memory. You can adjust the maximum number of particles to use by adding the following code to your project’s DefaultEngine.ini under [/Script/Engine.RendererSettings]:

[/Script/Engine.RendererSettings]
fx.GPUSimulationTextureSizeX=512
fx.GPUSimulationTextureSizeY=512
  • Setting the value from 512 to 256 will reduce the memory footprint to around 8 MB.
  • The SimulationTextureSize size has to be a power of 2.
  • These improvements are especially apparent on devices that use the ARM Mali GPU.

Dithered LOD Transitions

Dithered LOD transitions are now supported on mobile platforms. When enabled, objects with Materials that have Dithered LOD transitions option enabled will now fade from one Level Of Detail (LOD) to another in an almost seamless manner. By default support for Dithered LOD transitions is disabled for mobile platforms. To enable it, go to Project Settings > Rendering > Mobile and then check the Allow Dithered LOD Transitions option.

Note: Materials that have Dithered LOD transitions enabled will be rendered as Masked Materials. This could have a negative performance impact on mobile platforms. We recommend enabling this effect only on Masked Materials.

New: Cooker Performance

The cooking process has been optimized resulting in up to 60% reductions in cook times! Low-level code now avoids performing unnecessary file system operations, and cooker timers have been streamlined. Handling of unsolicited Assets (with regard to Asset dependencies) has also been refactored to scale better. These changes are most pronounced on larger projects (projects with more than 100,000 Assets).

New: Pixel Streaming (Early Access)

Run a packaged Unreal Engine application on a desktop PC in the cloud, and stream the viewport directly to any modern web browser on any platform! Get the highest-quality rendering in lightweight apps, even on mobile devices, with zero download, zero install.

A viewport rendered by Unreal Engine, embedded within a web UI. Images and models courtesy of McLaren.

You can broadcast a single game session to multiple viewers by simply sharing a link, or send each connecting user to their own separate game session.

The web page that hosts the Engine viewport automatically sends keyboard, mouse and touch events back to the Engine. You can also customize the page with your own HTML5 UIs, using custom JavaScript events to trigger and respond to gameplay events over the wire.

For details, see Pixel Streaming .

New: Animation System Optimizations and Improvements

The Animation System continues to build on its best-in-class features thanks to new workflow improvements, better surfacing of information, new tools, and more!

Animation Compression Updates

Animation Compression times are significantly reduced by using a whitelist of optimal codecs to avoid trying permutations that are unlikely to be selected which greatly reduces the number of codecs we attempt to compress with. On multicore systems, most of the codecs now evaluate in parallel during automatic compression, further reducing the time it takes to compress an animation sequence.

The following updates were made to the Animation Compression Stat Dialog window:

  • Fixed bugs that would cause dialog to show incorrect results
  • Added compression time stat
  • Added number of compressed animations
  • Added tracking for animation with largest average error
  • Added tracking of worst 10 items instead of just worse
  • Better labeling on dialog
  • Pass through FBoneData array more instead of recalculating

Please see Compression for more information.

Animation Notify Improvements

New Animation Notifies have been added that enable you to manage the state of dynamics and cloth simulations. We have also updated Notify add/replace menus to use class pickers for better searching of BP and native notifies. To add a Notify, right-click on a Notifies track, then under Add Notify, select the type of Notify you wish to add.

Please see Animation Notifications (Notifies) for more information.

Maintain Original Scale of Root Motion

Added Use Normalized Root Motion Scale option to maintain the original scale of Root Motion. This option is on by default and is the functionality that existed prior to this Engine release. Choosing to disable this option will now use the final blended animation instead.

Please see Enabling Root Motion for more information.

Added Caching and Autocomplete for “Sync Marker” Names

When creating Sync Markers, you can now access any Sync Markers assigned to the Skeleton from the Existing Sync Markers menu option. Entering text into the search box will also filter out Sync Markers based on your text entry.

Animation Sequence Framerate

The framerate of Animation Sequences is now displayed in the Animation Tools viewport and Content Browser tooltip.

Enable Auto Blend Out on Anim Montages

Anim Montages now have the option to enable or disable Auto Blend Out. This option is enabled by default, however you can disable it which won’t auto blend out the Montage and will keep the last pose.

Please see Montage Properties for more information.

CCDIK Skeletal Control Node

Use the new CCDIK (Cyclic Coordinate Descent Inverse Kinematics) Skeletal Control Node for a lightweight, IK algorithm suited for real-time calculation of relatively short IK chains, such as shoulder to fingertip.

Please see CCDIK Skeletal Control Node for more information.

Set Master Pose Component Force Update

The Set Master Pose Component function has a second input pin called Force Update that can be used to skip updating all runtime info if that info is the same as the Master Component or force the updating of the runtime info. This only applies to the registration process as that can be serialized, at which point it will need to refresh all runtime data.

Please see Master Pose Component for more information.

Miscellaneous Improvements and Updates

  • Live Animation Blueprint Recompilation is now non-experimental
  • Local Space is now the default Coordinate Space for Animation Editors
  • A notification is now displayed in the Animation Tools viewport when a min LOD is being applied.

New: Gauntlet Automation Framework (Early Access)

The new early access Gauntlet automation framework enables you to automate the process of deploying builds to devices, running one or more clients and or/servers, and processing the results.

You can create Gauntlet scripts that automatically profile points of interest, validate gameplay logic, check return values from backend APIs, and more! Gauntlet has been battle tested for months in the process of optimizing Fortnite and is a key part of ensuring it runs smoothly on all platforms.

Gauntlet provides new profiling helpers that can record critical performance values between two points in time in order to track missed-Vsyncs, hitches, CPU Time, GPU Time, RHI Time, Draw Calls and more. Gauntlet also provides helper functions to gather these from logs so you can generate warnings, store them in databases, or create trend lines. All of the info captured during the test is available to be output into reports any way you want.

An example of a simple report is shown below:

Each Gauntlet test is a C# script that expresses a simple configuration for your test – how many clients, how many servers, and what parameters to pass. Gauntlet takes care of allocating machines from a pool, deploying and running builds, checking for common errors such as crashes, asserts, or timeouts, and collecting log files and other artifacts.

New: Submix Envelope Follower

Users of the new Unreal Audio Engine can now set an Envelope Follower Delegate on their Submixes allowing amplitude analysis of individual channels for that submix. This will help users power visualizations and Blueprint Events based on the amplitude characteristics of their Submixed audio.

New: Filter Sound Submix Effect

Users of the new Unreal Audio Engine now have the option of adding a multimode filter to their Submixes allowing dynamic filter effects on a single Submix.

 

New: Sound Submix Effect Reverb Dry Level

The Submix Effect Reverb in the new Unreal Audio Engine now supports Parallel Wet and Dry Levels allowing users to dial in specific Wet/Dry ratios making the Effect usable as an Insert-Style Effect as well as a Send-Style Effect.

New: Optimizations to Source Effect API

The Source Effect API in the new Unreal Audio Engine has been optimized to process a full buffer of audio rather than frame-by-frame. This will allow Source Effects to process more efficiently than before.

New: Linux Defaults to Vulkan Renderer

Linux now uses Vulkan as the default renderer when available. In the event the API cannot be initialized, the Engine will fall back OpenGL without notification.

From the Project Settings, you can use the Target RHIs to add or disable a particular RHI or use command line switches -vulkan and -opengl4 to disable the fallback.

New: Linux Media Player

You can now use the bundled WebMMedia plugin to play back .webm VPX8/9 videos on Linux platforms.

New: Linux Crash Report Client GUI

We’ve added support for the Crash Reporter GUI on Linux so you can help us continue to improve support for Linux platforms. Please submit reports when they occur, even repeated ones! It helps our engineers assess the frequency and learn what circumstances cause the crash to happen.

New: Professional Video I/O Improvements (Early Access)

We continue to make it easier to get video feeds into and out of the Unreal Editor over professional quality SDI video cards. You can now work with the same Unreal Engine Project across multiple computers with different hardware setups, without changing any configuration settings in the Project.

Create a MediaProfile on each machine, and set it up to handle the video card and formats that you need to use on that computer. You can also override the Project’s timecode and genlock sources from the same panel:

When you combine the Media Profile with the new Proxy Media Source and Proxy Media Output Asset types, you can automatically redirect input and output channels between the Project’s media content and the settings in your Media Profile. When you switch to a different Media Profile — for example, on a different computer with a different media card or different wiring setup — the input and output channels from that machine’s hardware are automatically routed through the proxies so that you don’t have to change any content in your Project.

For details, see Using Media Profiles and Proxies .

In addition, this release adds:

  • A dockable Timecode Provider panel (Window > Developer Tools > Timecode Provider) that shows the Unreal Engine’s current timecode and the source that timecode is coming from:
  • Support for 10-bit input, audio I/O and interlaced/PsF inputs.
  • A new Blackmagic Media Player Plugin that supports SDI cards from Blackmagic Design. See the Blackmagic Video I/O Quick Start .

Note: The AJA Media Player and Blackmagic Media Player Plugins are now available through the Marketplace tab in the Epic Games Launcher, instead of being installed automatically with the Unreal Engine. Their source is freely available on GitHub , to give other developers a model of how to develop video I/O plugins on top of the Engine’s Media Core APIs.

New: Geographically Accurate Sun Positioning (Early Access)

In the real world, the sun’s position in the sky depends on the latitude and longitude of the viewer, the date, and the time of day. You can now use the same mathematical equations to govern the sun’s position in your Unreal Engine Level.

This is particularly effective any time you need to simulate the real-world lighting conditions for a specific place on the Earth, such as for a major architectural or construction project. However, this can also be useful for any Level that you want to exhibit realistic sun movements and positioning based on global position and time of day.

For details, see Geographically Accurate Sun Positioning .

New: Static Mesh Processing

We have added several new Static Mesh processing options inside the Unreal Editor. You can now save memory by removing unnecessary UV mappings from your Static Meshes.

In addition, using Python and Blueprint scripts that you run inside the Unreal Editor, you can now:

New: Blueprint Usability Improvements

The Blueprint Graph editor now features “Quick Jump” navigation enhancing the existing bookmark feature by enabling users to save their current location and zoom level in the Blueprint Editor with CTRL + [0-9]. They can then quickly return to that graph at that location and zoom level by pressing SHIFT + [0-9] whenever the Blueprint editor window is open, even when working in a different Blueprint Asset. “Quick Jump” bookmarks persist across Editor sessions, and are local to the user/machine.

Users now have the ability to insert pins before or after a target pin for Sequence nodes via the context menu, rather than only being able to add them onto the end.

Monolithic engine header file exclusion from nativized Blueprint class C++ code is now available as a Project Setting. This can help to reduce the overall code size of the monolithic game EXE file, if code size is an issue. The option can be found at Project Settings->Packaging in the “Advanced” section under the “Blueprint Nativization Method” option. This option is disabled by default to maintain compatibility with existing objects.

New: Improvements to HTML5 Templates

HTML5 projects now use separate HTML, JavaScript, and CSS templates replacing the previous monolithic template file! Custom template files are also supported on a per-project basis:

Copy:

.../Engine/Build/HTML5/GameX.*.template

To:

[project]/Build/HTML5/.

The build process will automatically pick the project’s path or otherwise fallback to the Engine’s version.

This is based on GitHub PR#4780.

New: HTML5 README Files Updated

The HTML5 README file has been split up into multiple README files based on category:

  • Building UE4 HTML5
    • Get Source Files
    • Compiling Support Programs
    • Compiling UE4 Editor
    • Run UE4 Editor
    • Package The Project For HTML5
    • Test The HTML5 Packaged Project
  • Debugging UE4 HTML5
    • How To Dump The Stack And Print From Cpp
    • BugHunting GLSL
  • Emscripten and UE4
    • EMSDK
    • Emscripten toolchain and Thirdparty libraries
    • UE4 C# scripts
    • Test Build, Checking In, and CIS

New: Improved IPv6 Support

Support for IPv4 and IPv6 has been merged into a single socket subsystem, where previously support for each protocol was isolated to a specific subsystem. This allows platforms that used one of the BSD subsystems to support both IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time, and do it transparently to the calling code.

New: DDoS Detection and Mitigation

DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks typically hinder game servers by flooding them with so many packets, that they are unable to process all of the packets without locking up and/or drowning out other players’ packets, causing players to time out or to suffer severe packet loss which hinders gameplay.

Typically these attacks use spoofed UDP packets, where the source IP is unverifiable. This optional DDoS detection focuses specifically on this situation, detecting/mitigating DDoS attacks based on configurable thresholds of spoofed UDP packets, which do not originate from an existing, known client connection. This is not a guarantee that servers will be safe from all attacks, since it’s still possible that a heavy attack can overwhelm the hardware or OS running the server.

New: Physics Interface Updates

The Physics Interface has been refactored to support an increased ownership of physics objects at the high level. As a consequence of these changes, we have deprecated the Async Scene which was only recommended for use with APEX Destruction. You can still achieve the same visual results using the Sync Scene.

As a result of these changes, much of the physics related C++ code API has changed. Functionally the API is the same and you should be able to use it very similarly to how you currently use it. We’ve made changes to the Physics Interface with the goal of a) reorganizing dependencies into one controlled place, and b) creating a common model for physics interactions when interacting with Unreal.

Please see 4.21 Physics Technical Notes for more information.

New: Pipeline State Object (PSO) Caching

We now support Pipeline State Object (PSO) Caching on Metal (iOS/Mac), DX12 and Vulkan platforms. PSO caching helps reduce any hitches your project might encounter when a Material requires a new Shader to be compiled. PSO Caching creates a list of all the needed Shaders that are required by the Materials which is then used to help speed up the compiling process of these Shaders when they are first encountered by your project. PSO Caching can be enabled in the Project Settings > Packaging section.

To find out more information about how to setup and use PSO caching in your UE4 project, make sure to check out the PSO Caching documents.

New: Physical Lighting Units Updates

We have improved the workflow and usability for Physical Lighting Units based on feedback provided by the community. As part of these updates, the following changes have been made:

  • All light types now display their units type next to the Intensity value.
  • Directional Lights are now displayed in LUX with increased intensity range.
  • Sky Light intensity is now displayed in cd/m2 with increased intensity range.
  • Post Process Auto-Exposure settings can be expressed in EV-100 for an extended range of scene luminance. This can be enabled via Project Settings.
  • The Pixel Inspector can now display pre-exposure for Scene Color. This can be enabled via Project Settings.
  • HDR (Eye Adaptation) Visualization has been refactored in the following ways:
    • HDR Analysis picture-in-picture display over the current scene view allowing adjustments with instant feedback.
    • Visualization is now expressed in EV100.
    • Pixel Inspector-like feedback has been removed.

For additional information, see Physical Lighting Units .

New: Sequencer Event Track

The Sequencer Event Track has been completely refactored so that Events are now more tightly coupled to Blueprint graphs which makes it a much more familiar user-experience and more robust. By utilizing Blueprints and Interfaces, this offers better control and stability compared to the previous implementation which used struct payloads and anonymous named events.

Please see Event Track Overview and Calling Events through Sequencer for more information.

New: Geometry Cache Track (Experimental)

The new (and experimental) Geometry Cache Track allows you to scrub through a Geometry Cache and render it out with frame accuracy.

Please see Using the Geometry Cache Track for more information.

New: Sequencer Audio Bakedown (Early Access)

You can now bake down the audio into a Master Audio Submix from the Render Movie Settings window. The process of baking audio occurs in a separate render pass and exports the audio in the sequence to a single file when you render a movie.

Please see Render Movie Settings for more information.

New: Sequencer Guide Marks

You can now lay down vertical guide marks on the timeline to use for snapping or identifying key points in your timeline.

Please see Using Frame Markers in Sequencer for more information.

New: Windows Mixed Reality Support

Unreal Engine 4 now natively supports the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform and headsets, such as the HP Mixed Reality headset and the Samsung HMD Odyssey headset. To use our native WMR support, you must be on the April 2018 Windows 10 update or later, and have a supported headset. For more information on how to get up and running, see Windows Mixed Reality Development .

 

 

Image courtesy of HP

New: Magic Leap Qualified Developer Release Support

Unreal Engine 4 now supports all the features needed to develop complete applications on Magic Leap’s Lumin-based devices. We support rendering, controller support, gesture recognition, audio input/output, media, and more. For more information on how to be become a developer, please check out https://www.magicleap.com/ .

New: Oculus Avatars

The Oculus Avatar SDK includes an Unreal package to assist developers in implementing first-person hand presence for the Rift and Touch controllers. The package includes avatar hand and body assets that are viewable by other users in social applications. The first-person hand models and third-person hand and body models supported by the Avatar SDK automatically pull the avatar configuration choices the user has made in Oculus Home to provide a consistent sense of identity across applications. For more information, see the Avatar SDK Developer Guide .

New: Round Robin Occlusions

Unreal Engine 4 now supports Round Robin Occlusions. With the newly added vr.RoundRobinOcclusion flag enabled, stereoscopic frames will kick off occlusion queries for one eye per frame using an alternating scheme (i.e. odd frames only kick off queries for the left eye, and even frames only kick off queries for the right). This approach cuts the number of occlusion draw calls per frame by half. In some situations, this improves performance significantly.

New: Platform SDK Upgrades

In every release, we update the Engine to support the latest SDK releases from platform partners.

 

 

  • IDE Version the Build farm compiles against
    • Visual Studio: Visual Studio 2017 v15.6.3 toolchain (14.13.26128) and Windows 10 SDK (10.0.12699.0)
      • Minimum supported versions
        • Visual Studio 2017 v15.6
        • Visual Studio 2015 Update 3
    • Xcode: Xcode 9.4
  • Android:
    • Android NDK r14b (New CodeWorks for Android 1r7u1 installer will replace previous CodeWorks on Windows and Mac; Linux will use 1r6u1 plus modifications)
  • HTML5: Emscripten 1.37.19
  • Linux “SDK” (cross-toolchain):
    • v12_clang-6.0.1-centos7
  • Lumin: 0.16.0
  • Steam: 1.39
  • SteamVR: 1.39
  • Oculus Runtime: 1.28
  • Switch:
    • SDK 5.3.0 + optional NEX 4.4.2 (Firmware 5.0.0-4.0)
    • SDK 6.4.0 + optional NEX 4.6.2 (Firmware 6.0.0-5.0)
    • Supported IDE: Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio 2015
  • PS4:
    • 6.008.001
    • Firmware Version 6.008.021
    • Supported IDE: Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio 2015
  • Xbox One:
    • XDK: June 2018 QFE-4
    • Firmware Version: June 2018 (version 10.0.17134.4056)
    • Supported IDE: Visual Studio 2017
  • macOS: SDK 10.14
  • iOS: SDK 12
  • tvOS: SDK 12
To view the full list of release notes, visit our forum or documentation pages.

How ARK: Survival Evolved Made the Move to Mobile

When Studio Wildcard announced that ARK: Survival Evolved would be coming to mobile platforms earlier this year, the news stunned the video game industry. Considering the graphically-intensive open-world game takes full advantage of high-end PCs and modern consoles, how could it possibly run on significantly less powerful smartphones? 

To turn this monumental task into a reality, the publisher enlisted the help of War Drum Studios, a seasoned developer who’s worked on acclaimed mobile games that include Bully, Grand Theft Auto, and Auralux. The recent release of the mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved sets a stunning example for how developers can port AAA console-quality titles to mobile devices.

The mobile version of the action-adventure survival game offers an equally thrilling experience as its PC and console counterparts. Available across iOS and Android, it features a massive island, over 80 dinosaurs, and the same crafting and building mechanics from the established game. While many mobile ports of AAA games offer watered-down mechanics, players of the mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved largely get the same great experience. This certainly isn’t a heavily trimmed-down version of the base game. To see how War Drum Studios accomplished this colossal task, we interviewed CEO Thomas Williamson and Community Manager Jordan Kleeman to learn how they were able to port such a gargantuan title to the smallest of platforms using Unreal Engine 4

Uncompromised quality

One of the main goals that War Drum Studios set out for itself was to faithfully recreate the desktop version for phones and to maintain its high-graphical pedigree in the process, but even they questioned whether they would have to make significant compromises. “Early on, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to support the aquatic and flying creatures,” they told us. Fortunately, they were able to engineer a solution.

While War Drum Studio did tweak some elements of the mobile version to run optimally on phones, they assert that the game is very similar to its desktop counterpart. The developer elaborated that the port was based on the PC’s Early Access 2017 build, “We feature all 50 square kilometers of the island and its surrounding body of water with only a few caves omitted. We removed the boss fights due to size constraints, but we’ve got over 80 different creatures in addition to all of the engrams from the original PC release.” 

Whether you’ve played the mobile version of ARK or have just seen snippets of its gameplay, you know that it looks visually amazing. It raises the bar for how good games on phones can look. Like the desktop version, it features vast draw distances, an immersive day-to-night cycle, and great water and fire effects. The development team is impressively squeezing every ounce of performance from mobile processors. 

How did War Drum Studios get the mobile version looking so good? The developer credits UE4 for much of the help, “Unreal Engine 4 enthusiasts will be very happy to know that 95 percent of this happened just in the editor! This is not too hard if you are working with a complete game that already has an established look and feel, it’s just a lot of asset work.” To keep frame rates smooth, War Drum Studios employed a few intelligent performance-saving measures. “First we created about 20-30 simple materials that replicated the general look of each type of asset (dinosaur skin, beach sand, building materials). Then we re-parented all of the MICs in the game to these new materials and tweaked values,” they added, “New assets entirely consisted of some detailing textures we sampled on top of diffuse textures to get away with a lower texture resolution. That’s where most of our memory savings came from, along with determining which high-level features just wouldn’t fit in memory, such as the bosses.” The developer reiterated how integral UE4 was in the porting process and stated, “It would have taken twice as much time without the Unreal toolset.”

The mobile version is all the more impressive when you consider that it was predominately ported by just 13 people working on the title for a little over a year. “We handle everything in-house: from programming and art, to QA and community management. Studio Wildcard helped us build promotional content, plan the launch, and get our server infrastructure off the ground. By title, we have five programmers, three artists, three QA, and two community managers, but every single person here wears all the other hats in some regard. You have to have that in a small team.”

Team tactics

One benefit of such a scrappy studio using UE4 is that they can quickly iterate to push updates. “Due to our small team size, we’re quite agile and can implement changes rather quickly. For example, we can have a discussion with community members about a new feature on Wednesday, implement it on Thursday, QA it on Friday, and our players are downloading it in an update on their devices by Monday,” the developer exclaimed.

One of the reasons why the port was able to come together so quickly and efficiently was due to UE4’s Blueprints system, which allows non-programmers to code in an easy-to-understand visual-scripting way. “There is no better interface to have between all of the team members. Programmers, artists, and our QA department were able to work with Blueprint graphs and fix bugs and work together,” the developer remarked, adding, “It’s a great common language because it’s so easy to pick up. Because everyone was able to work with Blueprints, user interfaces, gameplay features, and other new content came together very quickly.” 

Mobile evolved

The seasoned developer had a lot of great things to say about UE4 as a mobile development platform, “Frankly, if you have a high-end game that you want to adapt to mobile, Unreal Engine 4 is far and away the best toolset. Things are simple to scale. Every aspect of the engine framework is tweakable. Integration of third party services, if it hasn’t been done already, is trivial.” The company expanded upon how working with UE4 serves as a beneficial long-term investment, “It’s a proven commodity. If you are an independent game developer breaking into the industry, consider this: if a big studio is looking to hire someone or a team for a project, which engine can you sell your experience on? With Unreal Engine 4, you get all the selling points. It’s known to scale well, is used by all the biggest names, and it gives you access to and experience with bleeding-edge technology.”

Even though they had a competent team and the tools to excel, the company still faced challenges along the way. At the onset, the developer questioned whether faithfully recreating the massive and graphically lush world of ARK: Survival Evolved on significantly less powerful mobile devices would be possible without major sacrifices. “Early on, [our build] only ran on the highest-end devices and took up much more memory than we had available,” the developer explained. An easy way out would have been to scrap a ton of features, which was a direction the team flirted with. “We almost didn’t include underwater exploration, but [publisher] Wildcard encouraged us by giving us a few extra months to work on the problem,” the developer stated. The studio was able to engineer a solution that changed how the mobile version streams in level content to solve this issue.  

Optimizing controls from the PC version’s keyboard-and-mouse setup so that gameplay would feel natural on a smartphone’s touch screen was another obstacle for the studio. Luckily, the developer had an esteemed history of porting AAA console games over to mobile platforms and had the experience to tackle this issue. War Drum attributes iteration as the key to their success here, “Our design philosophy stems from one specific mantra: avoid making the player have to know where their thumbs are as much as possible. You end up wasting a lot of attention with a ton of virtual buttons that could be spent on the game experience otherwise,” they added, “You’ll notice this with ARK’s default control scheme. For 95 percent of your in-game actions, your thumb placement on the screen is unimportant to your next action.” The developer elegantly implemented many context-sensitive controls that are intuitive to a touch screen. For instance, while running, players will automatically jump over little hurdles in their way. They also added an undo button to help players finetune their builds. These quality-of-life tweaks make it feel like ARK was built from the ground up to be a mobile game. 

Despite having a large phone-based audience, War Drum Studios found that many players loved having complete control and designed the user interface to suit their needs. “For almost everything we tried to automate, we’ve added the option of a dedicated button, including an on-screen hot bar.” But the mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved isn’t just for hardcore players. The development team made tweaks to make the game more accessible, too. “We added feedback, such as meters to let you know how much time is left when cooking items or taming creatures. Many of the game’s timers for things like breeding and imprinting creatures have been reduced,” they stated. They also added a casual mode that prevents players from losing all of their equipment and blueprints when they die. This makes the experience much less intimidating for newcomers. In addition, the studio created a Pursuit system, which acts as a tutorial to ease new players into the game and helps veterans adapt to the new mobile control scheme. The Pursuit system provides additional focus and guidance to players as they journey across the game’s island.

Players will also be able to explore ARK’s vast world with numerous others online, as the mobile version supports crossplay between Android and iOS. The studio praised UE4 for being instrumental here, “Unreal Engine took us 95 percent of the way with compatibility between the platforms.” They added, “The engine design makes it very simple to integrate new systems such as metrics, ad services, and networking solutions with new modules. We’re very fortunate to have such a leg up with this project because of Unreal.”

The mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved represents a landmark title that changes the landscape of what mobile games can be. It proves that a small, scrappy team can produce a AAA-quality experience in a relatively short amount of time. You can download ARK: Survival Evolved for free on iTunes and Google Play today.

If you’re interested in creating your own game, download and explore Unreal Engine 4.20 for free now.

Keep on Rockin’: Startup Develops AI for Mapping Tunnels and Mineshafts

RockMass is digging a niche for itself in mining and tunnels. The Toronto-based startup is developing an NVIDIA AI-powered mapping platform that can help engineers assess tunnel stability in mines and construction. Today, geologists and engineers visually assess the risks of rock formations by standing five meters away from the rock as a safety precaution. Read article >

The post Keep on Rockin’: Startup Develops AI for Mapping Tunnels and Mineshafts appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

Kiwi Delivery Robots Tackle Student Snack Attacks

What’s not to like about food delivered by a cheery little robot in about 30 minutes. That’s the attraction of Kiwi Bot, a robot hatched by a Colombian team now in residence at the University of California, Berkeley’s Skydeck accelerator, which funds and mentors startups. The startup has rolled out 50 of its robots — Read article >

The post Kiwi Delivery Robots Tackle Student Snack Attacks appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

Learn How to Develop High-End Mobile Games with the Action RPG Sample Project

Recently shipping alongside Unreal Engine 4.20 is the Action Role Playing Game (Action RPG or ARPG) sample project. As the name suggests, Action RPG is a fast-paced, third-person hack-and-slash game that was built from the ground up to help developers learn more about how to use UE4 to develop high-end mobile games for both Android and iOS. 

Inside of the Action RPG sample project and accompanying documentation you will find a wide range of topics that any UE4 developer will find useful. Some of the topics that this sample covers are.

  • Utilizing C++ and Blueprints together in a UE4 project.
  • Setting up and using certain aspects of UE4’s Ability system.
  • How to support multiple platforms like Android, iOS, PC, Mac, and consoles.

Things to Consider:

  • Due to the complexity of UE4’s Ability system, ARPG only utilizes a small subsection of the available features.
  • Certain aspects of this project also require that you have a good understanding of how C++ works.

Related Links:

We hope you enjoy this sample project and we look forward to seeing the projects you develop!

Epic Games Announces $1 Million in Unreal Dev Grants

Epic Games has announced the recipients of its latest round of Unreal Dev Grants, with 37 teams and creators receiving a total of $1 million in no-strings-attached funding for games, tools, broadcast and beyond. The Unreal Dev Grants program was established in February 2015 as a $5 million fund for promising developers working with Unreal Engine 4; awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 with no restrictions or obligations to Epic Games. This latest round of Unreal Dev Grants underscores the variety of applications for Unreal Engine, with software plugins, VR games, AI-driven educational platforms, and healthcare tools all receiving financial assistance.

 
“The Unreal Dev Grants program was designed to give studios and other developers a boost to bring their promising working prototypes to market, and to give back to the wider Unreal developer community as they use the engine in interesting ways,” said Chance Ivey, Partnership Manager at Epic Games. “This new round is our biggest yet, and we are blown away by the potential of projects like Kara Education, an AI-driven online educational platform for kids with hearing difficulties; VStore, a VR tool for quick and portable early dementia screenings; and Anima, a robust crowd simulation plugin for Unreal that can be leveraged by any game designer or VFX artist working with Unreal. Congratulations to all of these recipients on their exciting work; we can’t wait to see what’s next!”
 
The new round of grant recipients includes:
 

 
Amid Evil by New Blood InteractiveSteam Page
In this 90s-inspired FPS adventure, players take on evil hordes with sacred magical weaponry and spells. Travel through seven distinct episodes to hone your skills against evil and reclaim your world.
 
Anima Plugin for UE4 by AXYZ DesignWebsite
anima© 3.0 by AXYZ Design is a robust crowd simulation plugin for Unreal Engine that helps architects, designers and visualization professionals to populate hundreds of 3D characters and bring them into Unreal Engine 4 scenes with just a few mouse clicks.
 

Atomic Heart by MundfishWebsite
Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter that takes players inside an alternate universe during the high noon of the Soviet Union. Follow a Soviet special agent to unlock thrilling secrets and show the Motherland what you’re made of.
 

Brief Battles by Juicy Cupcake Website
A hilarious platform fighter, Brief Battles uses underpants as a weapon. Players can choose from a variety of super-powered underpants and different game modes as they compete to see who has the mightiest buns.
 
Project “Caillou” (Working title) by AwacebVideoWebsite
Awaceb is a small indie team of two childhood friends from New Caledonia in the French territory of the Pacific. Project “Caillou” tells touching, poetic stories in an open, physics-based and dynamic 3D world.
 
Desolate Sands by Blacksmith StudiosWebsite
Desolate Sands is a VR puzzle game set in an ancient pyramid. The objective is to reach the bottom by leveraging nearby movable objects and levers to solve a series of complex puzzles.
 
ELLI by Bandana KidWebsite
In this puzzle platforming game, players travel as ancient time guardian Elli on a journey to recover the stolen sands of time.
 

 
Feri VinczeWebsite
Feri Vincze is a freelance 3D artist and videographer using Unreal Engine 4 to render elegant animated films such as “The Chest.”
 

Ghost by Sky Machine StudiosWebsite
Ghost is a sandbox stealth game set in a Victorian era world, where players seek to uncover the truth about Arthur Artorias’ past. In this game, light is the enemy – stay in the shadows and explore the darkness to survive.
 
Guntastic by Ludicrous GamesWebsite
Guntastic is an arcade-inspired game involving shooting and mayhem. Battle with up to four local or online players in fast-paced, one-shot one-kill, nonstop matches over continuously changing levels.
 

 
Headsnatchers by IguanabeeSteam Page
Headsnatchers is a multiplayer party game where players each try to keep their heads on their shoulders while trying to remove everyone else’s. Play across four different game modes in over 25 unique environments, each with different rules and attributes.
 
Hear No Evil by Rockodile GamesWebsite
Hear No Evil tells the story of humanity’s last remnants, who return to earth to fight for their future. This game is a visually spectacular top-down action shooter inspired by Alienation and Helldivers.
 

 
Hellbound by Saibot StudiosWebsite
Hellbound is a demonic first-person shooter game inspired by classic 90s games like DOOM and Quake created by an independent team of developers in Argentina.
 

 
Kara Education by Kara TechnologiesWebsite
Kara is an online education platform for children with hearing difficulties. The platform delivers educational material using an avatar, driven by Kara’s AI and machine learning algorithms and Unreal Engine.
 

 
Kine by Gwen FreySteam Page
Kine is a 3D puzzle game about three whimsical machines that aspire to be musicians. Players embark across a theatrically rendered cityscape and solve increasingly difficult 3D puzzles to help the machines form a band and catch their big break.
 

 
Little Devil Inside by NeostreamWebsite
Little Devil Inside is an engaging 3D action adventure RPG game where players are thrown into a surreal environment with elements that challenge their survival instincts. Explore, adapt, and fight to survive.
 

 
M.A.S.S Builder by Vermillion Digital Co., Ltd. – Facebook
M.A.S.S. Builder pits humans against invading aliens in the fight for the Earth. Players will build, customize and control the ultimate M.A.S.S. (Mechanical Assault Skeleton Suit) in an effort to save the world.
 

 
Midnight Ghost Hunt by MellowsoftWebsite
Midnight Ghost Hunt is a multiplayer hide-and-seek game that pits a team of Ghosts against a team of Ghost Hunters. The hunt begins at the stroke of midnight, and it’s a race against the clock to either stay hidden or uncover the ghosts.
 

 
NanoSpace by Synthetic SystemsSteam Page
Nanospace is a 3D platformer with elements of real-time strategy. Players take control of three “nano-mites” in levels full of riddles, monsters, inventory and more.
 
Neon Giant – Unannounced TitleWebsite
Neon Giant is a group of game veterans with a experience in some of the world’s biggest action game franchises. The studio is hard at work on its first title, set in a brand new cyberpunk world.
 
New Reality Co. – Unannounced ProjectWebsite
New Reality Co is a creative studio by Milica Zec and Winslow Porter, dedicated to synthesizing storytelling, art, and technology into groundbreaking and emotional projects. New Reality are the creators behind the award-winning Giant and Tree VR experiences, both of which are built with Unreal and previously benefitted from Unreal Dev Grants.
 
NotMyCar by NMC StudiosVideoWebsite
NotMyCar is a white-knuckle, lead-footed massive multiplayer vehicular combat battle royale game. Drop into the battleground and use cool weapons and abilities to fight your way through single-elimination combat and become the ultimate survivor. Customize your ride to make it a beast of a vehicle to take on anyone, anytime.
 

 
Oceanhorn 2 by Cornfox and Bros.Website
Oceanhorn 2, which was showcased in the Unreal Engine booth at GDC 2018, is the upcoming sequel to the action-adventure mobile game featuring exploration in a colorful world with items, puzzles and battles.
 

 
Origin Zero by Black Amber Digital – Website
Origin Zero is an episode-based, sci-fi animation project lovingly crafted by a small, dedicated team using Unreal Engine 4.
 

 
Paradise Lost by PolyAmorous  – Website
Paradise Lost is a non-linear narrative driven adventure game with meaningful, kinesthetic interactions dynamically changing both the environment and the story you are experiencing.
 

 
The Path of Calydra by FinalbossWebsite
The Path of Calydra is an 3D adventure platformer set in the fantastic world of Calygore. Explore as suburban teenager Matheus, who has been transported to Calygore and must rely on an unusual entity named Calydra to seek out four powerful crystals and return home.
 
Point Cloud Plugin by PhobozForum Post
The Point Cloud Plugin by Phoboz is a free plugin for Unreal Engine 4, developed to help with importing, processing and rendering of point clouds. It is currently in beta for Windows.
 

 
Raji: An Ancient Epic by Nodding Head GamesWebsite
Raji: An Ancient Epic is an action adventure game set in ancient India. Raji is a young girl chosen by the gods to stand against the demonic invasion of the human realm, saving her younger brother in the process.
 
Rocket Jockey by Burn Ward Games – Website
Rocket Jockey is a team-based game that plays like a cross between Rocket League and Super Smash Bros. Fly on top of modern jet engines with classic car chassis at break-neck speeds.
 

 
Scene Fusion by KinematicSoup TechnologiesWebsite
Scene Fusion for Unreal Engine makes real-time editor collaboration possible. Developers can build all sorts of content together in real time, resulting in significant time savings.
 
Second Order
Independent developer Second Order, creator of Claybook, is being recognized and awarded for contributing numerous fantastic rendering features and optimizations to Unreal Engine 4. This is the team’s second Unreal Dev Grant.
 

 
Session by Crea-ture StudiosWebsite
Inspired by the golden era skate culture of the late 90s and early 2000s, Session is an upcoming skateboarding game that is all about authenticity, creativity and the freedom of expression that skateboarding provides.
 

 
SMALLAND by EMBU GamesWebsite
With SMALLAND, the survival genre gets a tinier take that lets you appreciate the little things, or flee in terror of the little things. The slightest breeze can sweep your items or even your house away from you. The simplest rainfall can form puddles the size of lakes in a matter of minutes.
 

 
Solar Warden by Polar ZenithWebsite
Solar Warden is a six-degrees-of-freedom space shooter combined with an overarching campaign with real time strategy elements. Jump into your fighter and combat the silicoid menace up close, while you command and dispatch the Solar Warden fleet for reinforcements.
 

 
Someday You’ll Return by CBE SoftwareWebsite
Someday You’ll Return is a story-driven psychological horror game about a desperate search for a missing daughter deep in the woods where you swore you’d never return.
 
Twenty StudiosWebsite
Sweden’s Twenty Studios, together with SuperFly.tv and LeViteZer, is crafting intuitive open source software that brings the power of Unreal Engine 4 to live mixed reality production and video compositing pipelines.
 
VStore by VitaeVRWebsite
Vstore, which recently entered wide clinical trials, is a fully functioning virtual reality supermarket which offers a fast, accurate and portable method of screening for early indicators of dementia. Diagnosing dementia at the earliest possible stages is critical because that is when treatment is at its most effective.
 
To learn more about Unreal Dev Grants and to apply for a future award, visit: http://unrealengine.com/unrealdevgrants