Unreal Engine 3.0 on iPhone GDC Impressions

My first session at GDC 2010 was "Bringing Unreal Engine 3 to iPhone" and I was excited to hear all about Epic Games' plans for the iPhone, iPod touch and the like. What I got, however, was a programming-heavy talk about the challenges with bringing the technology, made in C++, to the iPhone, which uses Objective-C and Xcode.

It won't be much use to you all filtered through my brain--I've only dabbled in programming. The most interesting bit I took away was that the were able to put the engine onto the iPhone 3GS (required) 90% intact as C++ code. The remaining 10% is the platform-specific Objective-C that interacts with the engine.

The engine was shown briefly running on an iPhone 3GS and it looked great. It doesn't run at 30fps yet, but using some creative shader techniques, Epic was able to preserve much of the look of UE3 while shrinking it down to Apple's latest and greatest iPhone.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 9, 2010 4:02 PM

    The most important, and most overlooked, aspect imo is battery life. It's a great tech demo and proof of the hardware's ability, but what good is it if a UE3 iPhone game drains the whole battery in an hour?

    • reply
      March 9, 2010 4:11 PM

      Then just make that what the game is about. :)

      • reply
        March 9, 2010 5:09 PM

        Yeah, a gameplay mechanic. Beat the final boss in one hour... OR YOUR IPHONE TURNS OFF!

    • reply
      March 9, 2010 4:17 PM

      if only the device could tap the raw energy emanating from iphone user's sense of smug superiority

    • reply
      March 9, 2010 5:13 PM

      Unless someone somehow develops an FPS control scheme that works well on the iPhone, the appeal of any FPS won't see too long, regardless of how well it looks.

      • reply
        March 9, 2010 6:00 PM

        Who says it has to be an FPS? UE3 is used on a wide range of genres.

        • reply
          March 9, 2010 8:17 PM

          To give it a good controls scheme it still needs plastic buttons. Till then only touch style games are going to be fun on it... I don't see rotating the iphone to play a race car game much fun.

    • reply
      March 10, 2010 6:33 AM

      If battery is an issue, then it's not gonna be a 3d game with realtime lightning and whatnot. Performance and battery consumption are directly related.

Hello, Meet Lola