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EPIC Games Shows Off Unreal Engine 4.23 Physics, Destruction System "Chaos" at GDC 2019

Not all news coming from EPIC covers its EPIC Games Store - though according to the relative attention they've been garnering with the constant scooping up of PC timed exclusives, perhaps it should. This piece of news, alas, covers the company's unreal Engine, which has been one of the hallmarks in games development for a while now, being used for a number of disparate games such as the gears of War games, or even a relatively obscure, Xbox 360 exclusive title, Lost Odyssey. At GDC 2019, EPIC showcased version 4.23 of its Unreal Engine, with particular attention to its improved destruction and physics engine, which they've aptly named "Chaos".

AMD Showcases FreeSync 2 HDR Technology With Oasis Demo

AMD is looking to further push the adoption of FreeSync with the release of FreeSync 2 HDR Technology. The primary goal of the new standard is to take what FreeSync already offered including wide variable refresh rates and low framerate compensation and to pair that with HDR for a truly immersive experience. To show off what FreeSync 2 can do while also pushing for broader adoption has resulted in AMD creating their new Oasis Demo. Following the familiar principle that seeing is believing, AMD will be looking to compare their FreeSync 2 monitors against their non-HDR counterparts with this new demo at retail locations. This will allow consumers to see the difference for themselves in a way static images and youtube videos cannot convey. The Demo itself has been built using Unreal Engine 4 and has full support for HDR10 and FreeSync 2 HDR transport protocols. When it comes to settings the demo packs numerous options including FPS limits with various presets or custom options, vertical sync on/off, FreeSync on/off, Content modes, etc. You can view AMD's overview of the Demo in the video below.

Unreal Engine Gets a Host of Real-Time Raytracing Features

Epic Games wants a slice of next-generation NVIDIA GameWorks titles that are bound to leverage the RTX feature-set of its hardware. The latest version of Unreal Engine 4, released as a preview-build, comes with a host of real-time ray-tracing features. In its change-log for Unreal Engine 4.22 Preview, Epic describes its real-time ray-tracing feature to be a "low level layer on top of UE DirectX 12 that provides support for DXR and allows creating and using ray tracing shaders (ray generation shaders, hit shaders, etc) to add ray tracing effects."

The hardware being reference here are the RT cores found in NVIDIA's "Turing RTX" GPUs. At the high-level, Unreal Engine 4 will support close to two dozen features that leverage DXR, including a denoiser for shadows, reflections, and ambient occlusion; rectangular area lights, soft shadows, ray-traced reflections and AO, real-time global illumination, translucency, triangular meshes, and path-tracing. We could see Unreal Engine 4.22 get "stable" towards the end of 2019, to enable DXR-ready games of 2020.

NVIDIA Recreates Lunar Landing with RTX Technology and Ray Tracing

NVIDIA has released an exquisite lunar landing recreation powered by their RTX technology, bringing a fresh coat of paint to their previous iteration of the video. The new version goes to great lengths to showcase exactly what ray tracing is all about: those little, graphics-card-accelerated rays of light interact perfectly with objects and their physical qualities. This means reflections, ambient occlusion, shadows, and the entire graphics reality - no longer effects - that ensues.

Developed under Unreal Engine 4 with a ray-tracing capable graphics path, this is a serious showcase of actual physically-accurate lighting, and NVIDIA, of course, took the opportunity to throw in a time-travel joke for how good their RTX graphics cards are in rendering reality. Can't really blame the green company, though.

HaptX Announces Development Kit Release for Its Haptic Feedback VR Gloves

HaptX today announced that they're opening availability of development kits for their HaptX haptic feedback VR Gloves. The development kits include a pair of HaptX gloves - each featuring 130 tactile actuators that provide realistic touch across the hand and fingertips, with full tactile displacement of objects, size, and weight feedback. Built with HaptX's patented microfluidic technology, HaptX Gloves also deliver powerful force feedback and industry-leading motion tracking with sub-millimeter precision.

The HaptX gloves and accompanying software are already supported in unity and Unreal Engine 4 - two of the most widespread games development engines - which should allow for increased chances of market integration towards VR experiences. Bringing the physical to the visual is the motto here, and there's a world of potential to be achieved.

CCP Games Developing Highly Anticipated New Games Exclusively with Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4

CCP games, the company behind the deep and uniquely player-driven spaceship MMO game EVE Online, has confirmed that Unreal Engine 4 is the exclusive development tool for all of CCP Games' currently unannounced projects. CCP's commitment to Unreal stems from the engine's stability, quick prototyping and the solid cross-platform support for both established and new hardware.

CCP's development teams globally are taking advantage of the powerful and easy-to-use functionality of UE4, from fluid integration of third-party systems with plug-ins and modules to improved networking and cross-platform support. CCP's game developers have jumped on board the exclusive use of UE4, specifically its Unreal Editor that leads the way in terms of lighting and rendering solutions, world composition, landscape sculpting and Blueprint prototyping.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Goes Mobile

After being crowned as Steam's third best-selling game ever, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is on its way to conquer the mobile world. Developed by LightSpeed & Quantum Studio and published by Chinese tech giant Tencent, PUBG Mobile has been soft launched in Canada. The game is now available for download at the Google Play Store. PUBG Mobile stays true to the PC version. It was developed on the Unreal Engine 4 and supports features that include 7.1 surround sound and in-game voice chat. For the time being, only the original Erangel map is in the mobile version. The minimum requirements consist of a smartphone with Android 5.1.1 and 2 GB of RAM. Although there is no mention of a minimum processor requirement, the developer states that the game is supported on more than 500 Android devices.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Speeds its Way Into Steam Early Access This Summer

Assetto Corsa Competizione, the new official game of the Blancpain GT series, named after world-renowned Swiss watch manufacture Blancpain and organized by SRO Motorsports Group, will be speeding onto Steam Early Access this summer from Kunos Simulazioni and 505 Games. Featuring an extraordinary level of simulation quality that allows players to experience the unique atmosphere of this GT3 Series, players can compete against official drivers, teams, accessing all cars and circuits with the highest level of accuracy and attention to detail.

Taking full advantage of Unreal Engine 4, Assetto Corsa Competizione will ensure the highest quality rendering with photorealistic weather conditions and graphics to reach a new standard in driving realism and immersion racing. Players will experience highspeed torque as they get behind the wheel of luxurious speedsters including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and many other prestigious GT cars reproduced with an outstanding level of detail. Motion capture technology is used to create the animations of mechanics and drivers in an even more realistic fashion and guarantee a high level of player engagement during races, pit stops and driver changes.

NVIDIA Releases VRWorks Audio and 360 Video SDKs at GTC

Further planting its roots on the VR SDK and development field, NVIDIA has just announced availability of two more SDK packages, for their VRWorks Audio and 360 Video suites. Now a part of NVIDIA's VRWorks suite of VR solutions, the VRWorks Audio SDK provides real-time ray tracing of audio in virtual environments, and is supported in Epic's Unreal Engine 4 (here's hoping this solution, or other solutions similar to it, address the problem of today's game audio.) The VRWorks 360 Video SDK, on the other hand, may be less interesting for graphics enthusiasts, in that it addresses the complex challenge of real-time video stitching.

Traditional VR audio ( and gaming audio, for that matter) provide an accurate 3D position of the audio source within a virtual environment. However, as it is handled today, sound is processed with little regard to anything else but the location of the source. With VRWorks Audio, NVIDIA brings to the table considerations for the dimensions and material properties of the physical environment, helping to create a truly immersive environment by modeling sound propagation phenomena such as reflection, refraction and diffraction. This is to be done in real time, at a GPU level. This work leverages NVIDIA's OptiX ray-tracing technology, which allows VRWorks Audio to trace the path of sound in real time, delivering physically accurate audio that reflects the size, shape and material properties of the virtual environment.

NVIDIA Demonstrates GameWorks Flow Tech Under DirectX 12

NVIDIA Flow, was previously announced by the company in 2016's GDC as the new GameWorks implementation for combustible fluid, fire and smoke simulation (superseding NVIDIA's Turbulence and FlameWorks.) It makes use of an adaptive sparse voxel grid for maximum flexibility with the least memory impact, being optimized for use of Volume Tiled Resources when available. With this technology being implemented on the Unreal Engine 4 soon, the company is now looking to increase developer awareness of the tool by showcasing its capabilities.

In the video below, the company is showing off its DirectX 12 implementation of the technology, which showcases gas combustion that results into real-time simulation of fire and smoke in the air.

NVIDIA Frees PhysX Source Code

After Epic's Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 game engines went "free,"with their source-codes put up by their makes for anyone to inspect freely, NVIDIA decided to join the bandwagon of showering game developers with technical empowerment, by putting up the entire source-code of PhysX 3.3.3, including its cloth and destruction physics code, on GitHub. The move to put up free-code of PhysX appears to be linked to the liberation of Unreal Engine 4 code.

NVIDIA PhysX is the principal physics component of Unreal-driven game titles for several years now. There's a catch, though. NVIDIA is only freeing CPU-based implementation of PhysX, and not its GPU-accelerated one, which leverages NVIDIA's proprietary CUDA GPU compute technology. There should still be plenty for game devs and students in the field, to chew on. In another interesting development, the PhysX SDK has been expanded from its traditionally Windows roots to cover more platforms, namely OS X, Linux, and Android. Find instructions on how to get your hands on the code, at the source link.

Take Unreal Engine 4 Elemental Tech Demo for a Spin

Wish you could run one of those awesome Unreal Engine 4 tech demos on your own hardware instead of watching its lossy, pixellated video-grabs on YouTube? Well, now you can. Epic's "Elemental" tech demo for Unreal Engine 4 cropped up on the web, and we wasted no time in re-hosting it for you. The demo doesn't appear to be a public release, but something developers put together for demos to be run by Epic and its partners, only. To begin with, it doesn't come with an installer. You have to extract its files into a folder, and manually edit its settings INI file to specify resolution, window behaviour, and other settings. You then have to install VC++ 2013 runtime if you don't already have it (the redistributables are included in the archive), and then run the demo from the relevant batch file. Unreal included both 32-bit and 64-bit executables. When you're done drooling rainbows at the demo, only an Alt+F4 closes the thing down (there's no in-demo UI). There's no internal benchmark, and you're left to use third-party frame-rate loggers. These little issues aside, the demo sure makes Unreal Engine 4 look promising. We also added a collection of five other tech-demos for your viewing pleasure.
DOWNLOAD: Unreal Engine 4 Elemental Demo (RAR archive) | Unreal Engine 4 Five Tech Demos

Unreal Engine 4 PC Exclusive: Fortnite

Epic Games' Fortnite will be the company's first game to take advantage of Unreal Engine 4. Debuted at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, the cartoony action title is being described as "a co-op sandbox survival game," with building at the core of the game. "Everything you find allows you to build and improve your structure," producer Tanya Jessen told an audience at a Comic-Con panel. Given that no current console can run Unreal Engine 4, the game will be exclusive to PC. According to The Verge, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski told the audience: "This is a PC designed game, shipping exclusively on the PC."

Fortnite will be available in 2013.
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