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Epic using Unreal to strengthen PC games market

Epic using Unreal to strengthen PC games market

Epic says that it uses Unreal modding competitions to find new talent and strengthen the PC games market.

Epic president Mike Capps has said that the company is using modding competitions like the recent Make Something Unreal Contest to locate new talent and strengthen the PC games market as a whole through the Unreal Engine.

The Make Something Unreal contest challenged modders to create something unique with the Unreal Engine 3. The winner was the team behind The Haunted mod, who took home $50k USD in prize money, plus commercial engine licenses.

"Many of our folks were hired right out of the mod community," said Capps in an interview with GI.biz. "Watching the PC games market dip meant that the mod community was dipping as well - it's harder to get people to make a mod for a game when you don't have two million units out there."

"That's scary for us, because that's our next generation of game developers, and it's not likely to be the guys who made a Match-3 game in their basement and tried to throw it up on iPhone," he said. "It's more likely that the people we're going to hire are the ones that made 3D models for characters in a game engine - those are the ones we need for the kind of games we do."

Capps isn't poo-pooing on the iPhone too much though and says that Epic has certainly been interested in the platform - enough to do some Unreal iPhone tech demos anyway -, but says that there are no plans right now for iPhone development.

Instead, a comment from Epic's Mark Rein to Kotaku reveals that the company is focused more on making an Unreal Engine 4 that will function with massively-multiple core systems, which Epic believes will define the future of the PC market.

"Unreal Engine 4 is designed for the day we get massively multi-core processors," Rein said.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

22 Comments

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tron 23rd February 2010, 11:07 Quote
"Unreal Engine 4 is designed for the day we get massively multi-core processors," Rein said.

This sounds exciting, indeed :)
javaman 23rd February 2010, 11:09 Quote
TBH I kinda like being able to play everything at high res on a £400 PC lol. If it looks good tho and plays well ill be happy either way.
Hustler 23rd February 2010, 11:11 Quote
Just having an Unreal engine that lets me have Anti Aliasing on ATI hardware would be nice........
Centy-face 23rd February 2010, 11:12 Quote
Well the competition brought 1 excellent PC developer into the industry in Tripwire so it's a fair assumtion that they care about the PC despite the early failings of the Unreal 3 engine and UT3. I think also making the engine free or with a percentage commercial arrangement is also a testament to this.

I hope that the team behind the fantastic Haunted can go commercial with it.
eddtox 23rd February 2010, 11:45 Quote
Am I the only one who takes issue with the "massively multi-core processors" part of this? Do we really need 16 processing cores and 4 graphics cards in a Personal Computer? Should we?

One downside of this hardware revolution is that some developers are getting sloppy IMO, and not optimizing their code as much as they could. The result is media players that struggle on a 1GHz, 1GB RAM, 32M on-board graphics system. Don't get me wrong, I love the cool new things that are being done with software at the moment, but I dread the day when we will need to move on from our core 2 duo's because iTunes takes 2 minutes to load and stutters when playing. Just because I have 4GB of RAM it doesn't make it ok for notepad to take up 3GB!
CardJoe 23rd February 2010, 11:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Am I the only one who takes issue with the "massively multi-core processors" part of this? Do we really need 16 processing cores and 4 graphics cards in a Personal Computer? Should we?

One downside of this hardware revolution is that some developers are getting sloppy IMO, and not optimizing their code as much as they could. The result is media players that struggle on a 1GHz, 1GB RAM, 32M on-board graphics system. Don't get me wrong, I love the cool new things that are being done with software at the moment, but I dread the day when we will need to move on from our core 2 duo's because iTunes takes 2 minutes to load and stutters when playing. Just because I have 4GB of RAM it doesn't make it ok for notepad to take up 3GB!
Pete J 23rd February 2010, 11:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Am I the only one who takes issue with the "massively multi-core processors" part of this? Do we really need 16 processing cores and 4 graphics cards in a Personal Computer? Should we?

If you went back a few years, people would say exactly the same sort of things about your current PC. I'll agree with you on sloppy coding though, though some people still optimise well (take Dead Space for example).
Deadpool46 23rd February 2010, 12:10 Quote
I'm sorry, that's not how I read the article, "locate new talent and strengthen the PC games market".

Surely they just want the mod community to continue so they can hire developers for their console games. When was the last PC game from Epic? Where is GOW 2 or Shadow Complex?

If there is a dip in the PC games market maybe they shouldn't call their customers pirates (http://www.everyjoe.com/articles/cliffyb-says-gears-of-war-2-not-coming-to-pc-calls-savvy-pc-gamers-%E2%80%9Cpirates%E2%80%9D-81/) and start supporting the platform by releasing some games on it.
Unknownsock 23rd February 2010, 12:36 Quote
Fair enough but we need some updates to the engine, such as Hor+ behaviour and native AA.
[PUNK] crompers 23rd February 2010, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadpool46
I'm sorry, that's not how I read the article, "locate new talent and strengthen the PC games market".

Surely they just want the mod community to continue so they can hire developers for their console games. When was the last PC game from Epic? Where is GOW 2 or Shadow Complex?

If there is a dip in the PC games market maybe they shouldn't call their customers pirates (http://www.everyjoe.com/articles/cliffyb-says-gears-of-war-2-not-coming-to-pc-calls-savvy-pc-gamers-%E2%80%9Cpirates%E2%80%9D-81/) and start supporting the platform by releasing some games on it.

QFT

when i first started reading this i was thinking wtf? epic have shown numerous times in the recent past that they have nothing but sneering contempt for pc gamers, now all of a sudden they're heading the charge in the modding community? cliffy b must be sat in an office somewhere trying to think up his next reason to piss us off after all this love
gavomatic57 23rd February 2010, 13:52 Quote
Anyone remember Epic's last comment about PC gaming...we're all pirates apparently.

Bit of a U-turn here!
eddtox 23rd February 2010, 13:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete J
If you went back a few years, people would say exactly the same sort of things about your current PC. I'll agree with you on sloppy coding though, though some people still optimise well (take Dead Space for example).

I'm sorry if my post sounded like "640K is all anyone will ever need", that wasn't the point I was trying to make. My point is that, unless there is a good reason why your application needs 2GB of RAM, it should not take up 2GB of RAM.

I remember playing videos and mp3's with full-screen visualisation in Winamp3 on a first-gen P4@1.4GHz with 128MB RAM and a 32MB TNT something-or-the-other graphics card. It was beautifully smooth, didn't stutter at all, the library was responsive even with 3000+ songs and it took less than 5 seconds to start. What is it that modern media players do over and above that to justify taking 10s+ to start on a modern, mid-range system with multiple cores and GBs of RAM?
SchizoFrog 23rd February 2010, 14:46 Quote
[QUOTE=]"Unreal Engine 4 is designed for the day we get massively multi-core processors," Rein said.[/QUOTE]

Well let me ask, is Rein referring to CPUs or GPUs?

We already have 4 physical core CPUs that can run 8 threads and the next step up is due anytime soon. We also have GPUs with hundreds of processing cores (nVidia) or thousands of processing cores (ATi) depending on the architecture. Not to mention the multicore CELL processors within a PS3, so what exactly is the definition of 'massively'?

So they believe they (Epic) will develope a monster of a games engine and then hobble it like a 96 year old lady with arthritis on sleeping tablets just so they can make and release a game that runs what ever the console hardware of the time is, despite the PC intentions.

What a load of bull... Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz.
MSHunter 23rd February 2010, 14:54 Quote
The bad coding is a problem especially for people like me who often play the same game for a couple of months and prefer to listen
to their own music collection then the game sound tracks. I:E: have Winamp or WMedia playing in the background. But nothing compares to Office programmers. Since when does Text document editing need more then a few megabytes of memory and more then 200 MHz cpu? Its just texts for gods sake. My ancient Nokia can handle text with spell check and bold/Italic/underline and does not even come close to 1GHz.
UncertainGod 23rd February 2010, 15:10 Quote
Quite frankly if the treatment EPIC have handed out over the past couple of years is looking after the PC market we would be much better off with that kind of help. UE3 is a terrible engine as a whole product, yes it did some clever things but it also took massive steps backwards in other fields. If epic want to concentrate on massively multicore then can they please **** off to the console field and leave behind the people who know how to code efficiently.
erratum1 23rd February 2010, 15:45 Quote
Hmm so they want to keep pc gaming popular because of the modding comunity...as someone already said "so where is gears of war 2, eh Epic ??"
Quote:
I remember playing videos and mp3's with full-screen visualisation in Winamp3 on a first-gen P4@1.4GHz with 128MB RAM and a 32MB TNT something-or-the-other graphics card. It was beautifully smooth, didn't stutter at all, the library was responsive even with 3000+ songs and it took less than 5 seconds to start. What is it that modern media players do over and above that to justify taking 10s+ to start on a modern, mid-range system with multiple cores and GBs of RAM?

I can play high def 1920x1080 videos without a hitch on a very moderate win 7 system.
DiegoAAC 23rd February 2010, 17:48 Quote
What Rein mean to say was: "Unreal Engine 4 is designed for the day when Intel pay us to release 2 games that only work on Larrabee and then jump ship to consoles"
wafflesomd 23rd February 2010, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Am I the only one who takes issue with the "massively multi-core processors" part of this? Do we really need 16 processing cores and 4 graphics cards in a Personal Computer? Should we?

One downside of this hardware revolution is that some developers are getting sloppy IMO, and not optimizing their code as much as they could. The result is media players that struggle on a 1GHz, 1GB RAM, 32M on-board graphics system. Don't get me wrong, I love the cool new things that are being done with software at the moment, but I dread the day when we will need to move on from our core 2 duo's because iTunes takes 2 minutes to load and stutters when playing. Just because I have 4GB of RAM it doesn't make it ok for notepad to take up 3GB!

+1
knuck 23rd February 2010, 18:46 Quote
And yet, as much as I hate the guy and the company for being traitors, I still got slightly excited when I saw "Unreal Engine 4", hoping for a (real) UT game to come out ... I'm a beat up wife and Epic is my basterd of a husband
Mentai 24th February 2010, 04:54 Quote
Epic strengthening the PC market? I'll believe it when I see it. I predict an engine to coincide with new consoles (5 years from now), with PC support just so they can sell it to devs who want to develop on PC too. Epic won't release another PC game.
_Metal_Guitar_ 25th February 2010, 15:44 Quote
I wish people that play games on consoles could see they're missing out on a third of the fun. Nothing like getting a big box full of components just aching to be built, overclocked and benched to hell. Consoles...the kings of mediocrity.
knuck 3rd March 2010, 02:29 Quote
reported, don't bother doing it too
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