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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Game Engines

Game Engines

A game engine is a software platform which is used to develop computer games. It a software framework designed for the creation and development of video gamesDevelopers use them to create games for consoles, mobile devices and personal computers. The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine  for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detectionsoundscriptinganimationartificial intelligencenetworking, streaming, memory management, threading, localization support, and a scene graph

Typical games engines include : Unreal, Unity, Crytec, rage, quake, foss, gamebryo etc.

All this is taken from :

Unreal Engine 3 was takes advantage of fully programmable shader hardware (in DirectX 9 terms, it required shader model 3.0). All lighting calculations were done per-pixel, instead of per-vertex. On the rendering side, Unreal Engine 3 also provided support for a gamma-correct high-dynamic range renderer. UE3 expected that content was authored in both high- and low-resolution version and baked normal maps for run-time; a major difference to previous generations where the game content was modeled directly (since normal mapping is a per-pixel operation and almost all the dynamic lighting in UE1 and 2 was calculated per-vertex using a Gouraud Shading technique)

The third generation of the Unreal Engine is designed for DirectX (versions 9-11 for Windows, Windows RT and Xbox 360), as well as systems using OpenGL, including the OS X, iOS, Android, Stage 3D for Adobe Flash Player 11, andJavaScript/WebGL for HTML5 Web Browsers.[29] Initially, Unreal Engine 3 only supported Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 platforms, while Android and iOS were added later in 2010 (with Infinity Blade being the first iOS title and Dungeon Defenders the first Android title). OS Xsupport was added in 2011.[30] Its renderer supports many advanced techniques including HDRR, per-pixel lighting, and dynamic shadows. It also builds on the tools available in previous versions. In October 2011, the engine was ported to support Adobe Flash Player 11 through the Stage 3D hardware-accelerated APIs. Epic has used this version of the engine for their in-house games. Aggressive licensing of this iteration has garnered a great deal of support from many prominent licensees. Epic has announced that Unreal Engine 3 runs on both Windows 8 and Windows RT.[31] The first released console game using Unreal Engine 3 was Gears of War and the first released PC game was RoboBlitz.

Unreal 4: HD and C++ added

One of the major features planned for UE4 was real-time global illumination using voxel cone tracing, eliminating pre-computed lighting.[77] However, this feature has been replaced with a similar but less computationally-expensive algorithm prior to release for all platforms including the PC because of performance concerns on next-generation consoles.[78] UE4 also includes new developer features to reduce iteration time, and allows updating of C++code while the engine is running. The new "Blueprint" visual scripting system (a successor to UE3's "Kismet"[79]) allows for rapid development of game logic without using C++, and includes live debugging.[80][81] The result is reduced iteration time, and less of a divide between technical artists, designers, and programmers.[82]

Unity 4[edit]

Unity 4.0 was officially released on November 13, 2012. Major new features include new 'Mecanim' animation system, DirectX 11 support and real-time shadows on mobile platforms.[28]

With the release of Unity 4.0, the company announced a shift towards a release cycle which would see versions be released with fewer features but at a faster rate.[29] As such, subsequent releases in the 4.X line delivered new features as follows:

Unity 5[edit]

Unity 5.0 was released for free on March 3, 2015, adding the much anticipated real-time global illumination based on the Geomerics Enlighten technology. Other major changes include physically-based shaders,HDR sky-boxes, reflection probes, a new audio mixer with effects and enhanced animator workflows.

Unity's Cloud Build system was introduced (for $25/month for non-pro users) as well as 'Game Performance Reporting' and the beta 'Game Analytics' (also $25/month for non-pro users) which logs players usage and performance on released games, something that many developers found hard to implement in Unity 4.x. Previously, a game developer needed to code support for player logging directly into their game engine.

Smaller additions include: A 64-bit editor to handle large projects, iOS 64-bit support, new deferred rendering, graphics command buffers, improved linear lighting, HDR, skybox and cubemap workflows, improved job scheduling system, a new 'CPU Timeline Profiler' lets you see and investigate multicore usage, improved NavMesh pathfinding system, intth.

Up until Unity 5.0 the engine was using a fairly outdated version of Nvidia's PhysX physics middleware. Unity 5.0 included version 3.3, which is standard among Triple-A games.

Unity 5.0 brings support for Windows, OS X, Unity Webplayer, Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8, Tizen, WebGL, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS line,[15][16][17] Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive[30] and Gear VR.

CryEngine 3

On March 11, 2009, the German/Turkish game studio Crytek announced that it would introduce CryEngine 3 at the 2009 Game Developers Conference, held from March 25 to March 27. The new engine was being developed for use on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. As for the PC platform, the engine is said to support development in DirectX 9, 10, and 11.[18][19] As of June 1, 2009, it was announced that Crysis 2 would be developed by Crytek on their brand new engine.[20] CryEngine 3 was released on October 14, 2009.[21]

On March 1, 2010, a new tech demo of the engine was released for the i3D 2010 symposium, which demonstrates 'Cascaded Light Propagation Volumes for Real Time Indirect Illumination'.[22] On June 11, 2011, theAustralian Defence Force revealed that Navy personnel would train on a virtual landing helicopter dock ship made using the CryEngine 3 software.[23] As of July 1, 2011, the Mod SDK version of CryEngine 3 specifically to create custom maps, mods and content for Crysis 2 is available on Crytek's website. Crytek also released a free-to-use version of the CryEngine for non-commercial game development. It was released as of August 17, 2011 under the name CRYENGINE® Free SDK.[24][25]

Crytek announced on September 9, 2011 that they would be using CryEngine 3 to bring the original Crysis to consoles.[26] It was released for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on October 4, 2011.[27]


On August 21, 2013, Crytek rebranded CryEngine (starting from version 3.6.0) to simply "CRYENGINE", and announced that their next CryEngine would not be advertised with a version number. The reason for this decision was the fact that this new engine bears almost no similarity to previous CryEngine versions. However, the development kits available to licensees still use version numbers.[28] The new CryEngine version adds support for Linux[29][30] and consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U.[31] Subsequent appearances at events have also featured the use of CryEngine on virtual reality systems, at GDC 2015 Crytek brought a demonstration 'Back To Dinosaur Island' to the event to showcase such.[32]

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