Games Master - - Do It Yourself! -

The Un­real en­gine, a be­he­moth that has been used to make many of the big­gest games ever, has been around for decades, and it has a proud his­tory of fu­elling waves of graph­i­cally im­pres­sive ti­tles. Now Epic Games has made the fourth it­er­a­tion of Un­real free. The same en­gine used to make the likes of Gears Of War 4 or In­jus­tice 2 is now in the hands of in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ers. It’s not as preva­lent as Unity among indies, but it’s ar­guably far more ro­bust. Like Unity, Un­real will re­quire you to start cod­ing to get any­where; there are few pre-built game func­tions to help you start. There is, how­ever, the Blueprints sys­tem, which of­fers a vis­ual way to script and map out your game. It still doesn’t al­low you to make some­thing with­out cod­ing, but it might help make it eas­ier to keep track of ev­ery­thing in your project and see how it all works to­gether. It’s cer­tainly more help­ful than dig­ging through pages and pages of code to see what’s what.

There also are a num­ber of what are essen­tially tem­plates that can pro­vide things such as the ba­sic setup for a third-per­son game, giv­ing you an al­ready-an­i­mated model so you can drop a ba­sic player avatar into your game to get you started. That’s only relevant for cer­tain kinds of games, but if your project does align with it then Un­real will get you off to a good start, tak­ing care of a few ba­sics – though you’ll ul­ti­mately need to take it the rest of the way on your own.

It also has many lav­ish graph­i­cal fea­tures avail­able. It’s rel­a­tively easy to make some­thing that is im­me­di­ately quite visu­ally strik­ing. Looks aren’t ev­ery­thing, but they’re nice to have, eh? There’s a great pipe­line for im­ple­ment­ing art, which makes things much sim­pler with great re­sults.

The whole en­gine is also open source, so is con­stantly be­ing im­proved by the com­mu­nity in con­junc­tion with Epic Games. With time more func­tion­al­ity is be­ing added but it’s also be­ing made eas­ier to use. There are plug-ins and as­sets now avail­able which might help you get started mak­ing that plat­former or ac­tion game you’ve got filed in your head.

This isn’t the eas­i­est en­gine to learn but it will al­low you to give your games the look of a large-bud­get pro­duc­tion on a mil­lionth of the bud­get. If you’ve an am­bi­tious project and a lot of drive, then this could be the right en­gine for you.

Ninja The­ory’s Hell­blade uses the Un­real en­gine to de­liver block­buster graph­ics on a small bud­get. Un­real has long been a sta­ple of triple-A ti­tles, but now in­die projects can take ad­van­tage of its ca­pa­bil­ity. Made in un­real gears of war 4 the wit­ness fi­nal fan­tasy 7 re­make hell­blade: senua’s sac­ri­fice

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