Unreal Development Kit Updated With Steamworks

By Alice O'Connor, May 25, 2010 9:40am PDT The latest version of the Unreal Development Kit--Epic's free, standalone version of Unreal Engine 3--can be found in a 762MB download from FileShack, with changes including the promised support for Scaleform interfaces and Valve's Steamworks.

Epic notes that "Steam now handles friends, matchmaking and server browsing in the UDK," the same systems that are used in Valve's Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead.

New features--Scaleform and exponential height fog.

Other new features include support for Scaleform's Flash-based user interfaces, attractive new light shafts and fog, performance improvements, tweaks and fixes. The full changelog for the May 2010 Unreal Development Kit beta follows below.

Scaleform GFx

  • Scaleform is now supported in UnrealEd and in-game! (watch video)
  • Supports
    • UI screens
    • Dynamic interaction via UnrealScript or Kismet
    • SWFs playing into dynamic render targets
  • GFx version of UDK HUD, scoreboard and pause menu now fully functional
  • Added example Adobe Flash Studio files to UDKGame/Flash/example/...
    • Controller input setup for GFx movies
    • Basic scene using Scaleform CLIK components to create a UI
    • Files
  • New GFx import path
    •  Textures used by SWF movies imported from original art
    •  Current import path is not final; subject to change!
    • More details.
  • Started implementing localization for GFx menus
  • Additional documentation.

Steam

  • Steam is now the default OnlineSubsystem for UDKGame Win32
  • Steam now handles friends, matchmaking and server browsing in the UDK

Light Shafts

  • Point Lights are now supported
  • Added Bloom Threshold and BloomTint properties
  • Documentation.

Exponential Height Fog

  • New kind of global fog with density that decreases with height
  • Never creates a hard line (unlike standard fog); supports one layer
  • Can specify both "towards the light" and "away from the light" colors
  • Rendering cost similar to two layers of constant density height fog
  • Can now use different colors for the hemisphere facing the light and vice versa

Color Grading Blending

  • Can now blend between different color LUTs on different post process volumes!
  • Documentation.

Editor

  • UDK now supports running 64-bit binaries for the editor
  • Added 'search by object' type to Kismet
  • New mesh emitter camera facing option: "Apply Particle Rotation As Spin"
  • Editor now shows up in system tray while starting up (and Alt+Tab works!)
  • Can now capture content browser thumbnails from PIE viewports
  • Added ability to tint editor icons similar to Point Lights
  • PNGs can now be imported as textures; RGB and RGBA formats are supported
  • Viewports
    • New Alt+F/G/H/J shortcuts to switch between viewport types
    • Greatly reduced the time it takes for volume visibility updates

Installer

  • Now being localized for
    • INT - English
    • FRA - French
    • ITA - Italian
    • DEU - German
    • ESN - European Spanish
    • ESM - Latin American Spanish
    • RUS - Russian
    • HUN - Hungarian
    • CZE - Czech
    • SLO - Slovakian
    • POL - Polish
    • JPN - Japanese
    • CHN - Simplified Chinese
    • KOR - Korean

Editor Fixes

  • Materials can no longer be placed as decals unless the decal usage flag is set
  • Fixed fog volumes being created when dropping materials sometimes
  • Fixed support for non-standard languages

FBX Importer

  • Added support for rigid animation!
  • FBX import settings are now remembered between sessions
  • Importer will detect the type of asset to import by peeking at the FBX file
  • New import option to override naming of imported assets
  • Textures can now be imported (with or without a material being created)
  • The FBX import dialog has been improved
  • Updated to the latest FBX SDK (2011.2)
  • Can now re-import skeletal meshes from FBX files
  • Fixed smoothing group warning dialog spam on mesh import

UDKGame

  • Scaleform / UI
    • Added (prototype) Scaleform-based front end and HUD to UDKGame
    • Added GFx example content to ExampleMap
    • Scaleform implementations of HUD, Pause Menu, Scoreboard
  • Code clean-up
    • Moved UT-specific functionality from Weapon to UTWeapon.
    • Moved HUDIcons and HUDCoords properties from UDKVehicleBase to UTVehicle
    • Cleaned up UDK default engine.inis down to two
    • Moved DeathTime from UDKPawn to UTPawn
    • Removed unused UDKPawn property LookYaw
    • Removed PlayFiringSound() call from Weapon.FireAmmunition() (not implemented for any game except UTGame)
    • Moved bio death material effect system from UDKPawn to UTPawn
  • Enabled tone mapping and color grading support to UDK
    •  Enabled by default now so all scenes will receive contrast-enhancing tone mapping
  • Misc
    •  Changed input handling of controller demo to not recurse, therefore stopping the CLIK button from swallowing the GAMEPAD_A event
    • Spawn player as spectator if ?causeevent=flythrough is passed on the commandline
    •  Set bFixedPlayerStart=true, bForceRespawn=true, and bQuickStat=true if ?causeevent=flythrough is passed on the commandline

Swarm

  • Fixed several issues related to version numbers and matching Agents to Jobs
  • Change usage of "localhost" to using the localhost IP address (127.0.0.1) instead

Gameplay Profiler

  • Replacing old UE2 ueScriptProfiler
  • Adds ability to drill into actor and component tick
  • Documentation.

Attachment Editor

  • Draw bone/socket label on connector for actors attached to skeletal meshes
  • Allow nodes to be manually moved around
  • Allow attachments to be made in a more 'Kismet like' way

NavMesh

  • Lots of runtime navmesh optimizations (mostly related to dynamic submesh builds)
    • Huge speed gains

AnimSet Viewer

  • Added copy and paste animations to the AnimSet browser
  • New options for calculating Bone Break
    • Default: Both meshes have to influence to use rigid
    • Auto Detect Rigid: Detects rigid when soft body misses the weight
    • Alternate weight preferred: Second weight has more priority
  • Added "Delete selected bone weighting" option
  • "Toggle Mesh Weights" option
    • Displayed if there is a valid set of weights for the current LOD
    • Otherwise, the option is disabled
  • Added info to display chunks/sections when swapping vertex weights

Max Quality Mode

  • Added MaxQualityMode option for taking high-resolution screenshots
  • Increases texture res and shadow quality regardless of performance

Property Multi-Select and Cut-Paste

  • Control-Click on properties to add to selection
  • Control-C, Control-V or right click to copy and paste!

Lighting Changes

  • Improved unbuilt lighting performance
  • Changed bUseBooleanEnvironmentShadowing to default to TRUE for best performance
    • Light environments will not receive dynamic shadows from the static environment unless bUseBooleanEnvironmentShadowing is changed back to false!
  • Primitives with bShadowIndirectOnly=true no longer cast dynamic shadows
  • Added bForceNoPrecomputedLighting to WorldInfo, allowing maps with fully dynamic lighting to skip time-consuming light building during a full rebuild
  • Hid light environment settings that are rarely used, edge cases, or only set by gameplay code to simplify the interface

Scene Capture Optimizations

  • 'Max View Distance Override': Set a culling distance for objects rendered into the reflection
  • 'Skip Update If Owner Occluded': Skip rendering to the scene capture entirely if it's not going to be visible
  • 'Skip Rendering Depth Prepass': Controls whether a depth prepass is performed when rendering the scene capture
  • Capture will be culled if last-bound time of the render target texture is more than a second ago

Rendering

  • Added map check warning for large shadow casters unless they have bAcceptsDynamicDominantLightShadows=false
  • New mesh emitter camera facing option: bApplyParticleRotationAsSpin
  • Changed bRenderAsVelocity to default to TRUE for RadialBlurComponents as they are much faster to render this way
  • Mesh area lights now affect dynamic objects!
    • UE3 creates a spotlight at the center of the emissive area which is applied to dynamic objects
  • Added a new volume type: LightmassCharacterIndirectDetailVolume
    • Lightmass generates higher density indirect character lighting samples inside these volumes
    • Useful for sections where characters are not over static ground, e.g., elevators
  • Using down-sampled scene texture for depth of field, bloom and motion blur  Documentation.

Warnings

  • Exporting TGAs is temporarily broken and results in weird interlaced images

Upcoming changes (as of the next UDK build)

  • SM2 support will be removed

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