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Unreal Development Kit - August Beta Available NOW

by Rainier on Aug. 13, 2010 @ 1:35 p.m. PDT

Epic Games launched the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), a free edition of Unreal Engine 3, providing the community access to the toolset like never before, and has now released an updated version.

Get the Unreal Development Kit August 2010 Beta off WP (820mb)

UDK is available to anyone interested in using 3D game engine technology, from game developers to students, hobbyists to researchers, and creators of architectural walkthroughs to digital filmmakers. Use of UDK is free for all schools and students, and anyone can release free UDK-powered games.

Extensive UDK technical documentation is available at the Unreal Developer Network, and community members can share ideas, show off projects and learn from UDK developers like Psyonix and The Prometheus Team.

3D Buzz will soon release dozens of free video tutorials specific to UDK to complement the company’s existing Unreal Engine 3 video training modules. Over 100 Unreal Technology videos are viewable at the 3D Buzz web site free of charge.

Individuals and companies wishing to develop software for commercial purposes should refer to licensing terms. Commercial terms have been structured to make it easy for independent developers, start-up firms and seasoned professionals to use UDK with minimal financial barrier from concept to deployment.

Are you working on something you want the world to see? Display your work in the Project Show-Off forums.

Don’t forget, you can now purchase a commercial UDK license over the web. It’s easy and secure.

This month’s beta release includes many upgrades, including:

  • New Reference Tree tool
  • New Package Revert tool
  • Additional FBX import/export support
  • Improvements to Gamecaster virtual camera support
  • Motion blur and depth of field (DOF) enhancements

Here’s the full list of improvements in detail:

Reference Tree Tool
  • - Easily find how objects are being referenced with the new Reference Tree tool.
    • o Shows all of the actors and other objects that are referencing the selected asset
    • o Lists the reference chains for a specific asset
  • -

New Package Revert Tool

Other New Stuff
  • -Integrated June FBX drop, which includes additional import/export support
  • -Physical Material Masks for material instances now available in-editor
    • o Enables users to apply two physical materials to different parts of a graphical material
  • -First round of bigger improvements to motion blur and depth of field (DOF)
    • o Enhancements unify code, improve performance and yield smoother results
    • o Further quality improvements will follow
  • -Drag and drop prefab support
  • -Press Alt+X in the editor to toggle fullscreen
  • -Added Gamecaster Matinee recording enhancements
  • -Movable decal actors can now project on fracture static mesh components
  • -Added 'Save All Writable Packages' button to editor toolbar
  • - Added mesh UV display to the AnimSet viewer (click View -> Show UVs)
  • - Memory size is now displayed in Content Browser tool tips for loaded assets
  • - Improved VisualizeTexture console command to be more useful
  • - When importing from a terrain, it now automatically generates a UMaterial from the TerrainLayerSetups using TerrainLayerWeight and TerrainLayerCoords material expressions
  • - Fixed script compiler crashes when using '%' in some cases
  • - Normal maps can now be used for rendering simple light maps
    • o Enable the new 'Use Normal Maps for Simple Lighting' option in World Properties
    • o This allows Lightmass to bake bump maps into simple light maps

UDN Pages



Additional notes, code samples and more are available at the Unreal Developer Network (UDN):

UDK includes:

  • The Unreal Editor toolset, complete with fully integrated game editing environment.
  • Unreal Gemini multithreaded rendering system with support for all modern rendering and shading techniques, advanced lighting and shadowing, ambient occlusion and a powerful material system for creating complex shaders on the fly.
  • Unreal Lightmass global illumination solver for high-quality static lighting.
  • Unreal PhAT visual physics modeling tool with state-of-the-art physics system powered by NVIDIA PhysX.
  • Unreal Kismet, an advanced visual scripting solution that facilitates rapid prototyping of ideas and gameplay mechanics.
  • AnimSet Viewer and AnimTree Editor, which give animators precise control over every muscle and bone movement.
  • Unreal Matinee, which includes movie director-class tools for creating in-game cut scenes and gorgeous cinematics.
  • UnrealScript, a fully integrated, high-level object-oriented programming language.
  • Unreal Cascade particle effects system for implementing explosions, fog, fire and smoke. Module-based system gives real-time previews of visual effects.
  • Terrain building tool for placing and customizing vegetation, structures and countless in-game points of interest.
  • Audio control through UnrealEd's visual Sound Cue Editor, plus support for major audio compression schemes; 3D sound positioning, spatialization and attenuation; multi-channel playback, and much more. Built-in Internet and LAN networking support for up to 64 players.
  • Integrations with leading game development middleware including NVIDIA PhysX, SpeedTree, FaceFX and Bink Video.
Included Content:

UDK ships with "UT Demo," which is demo content from "Unreal Tournament 3" consisting of four maps: Deck, Necropolis, Sanctuary, and Sandstorm; with deathmatch, team deathmatch, and vehicle capture the flag gametypes. Assets include one robot character, three weapons and four vehicles.

In "UT Demo," blood, gore and human opponents have been removed. Levels have been enhanced to showcase recent upgrades to UE3 technology. See for comparison screenshots.

The "Unreal Tournament 3" Unreal Editor is widely used for learning UE3, and now UDK provides all of its game creation tools in addition to high-level engine features developed since the game?s release. "UT Demo" is an excellent starting point to explore UDK?s capabilities, especially for those looking to develop their own first-person shooter experience.

System requirements

  • Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista
  • 2.0+ GHz processor
  • 2 GB system RAM
  • SM3-compatible video card
  • 3 GB Free hard drive space
Recommended for Content Development:
  • Windows Vista 64 SP2
  • 2.0+ GHz multi-core processor
  • 8 GB System RAM
  • NVIDIA 8000 series or higher graphics card
  • Plenty of HDD space
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