Video: Unreal Engine 4 is epic

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Epic showcased its next-gen Unreal Engine 4 at the close of E3 2012 in Los Angeles. Sure, we've seen some impressive demos at the show, but UE4 is certainly up there with the best of them. 

During the presentation, Epic senior technical artist Alan Willard spent some time explaining various aspects of the engine and what gamers can expect from future titles powered by UE4.

As can be seen in the video, the demo is quite breathtaking, complete with realistic lighting and particle effects.

"[Epic founder Tim Sweeney] started looking into different programming languages and where the whitepapers were going," Willard told Engadget, describing the evolution of Unreal Engine 4. "Stuff that wasn't necessarily being used for development yet, but trying to envision where hardware was starting to go and starting to make deep-level tech decisions."

"Moore's Law is a great baseline," Willard explained. "You can just rely on things to double every couple of years or so. Some of it extrapolation, some of it is watching the wind blow and seeing that the costs of processors are dropping greatly. And we see whether Nvidia is going to have something ready in time for [console makers] to start developing new hardware. It's a strategic decision, and all of development is guess work at some point. But a lot of it experience with the industry and knowing how strategic decisions are made - not only internally, but how other companies make them, and trying to follow that."

Epic also showcased a second next-gen graphics project powered by Unreal Engine 4, which appears to be more cinematic than explanatory.