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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Unreal Engine 5 Tech Demo

Unreal showed off its new engine tech for next-gen console use and all I can say is wow. Not only does this demo show a breathtaking use of visual and sounds with Unreal Engine 5, but the implications that this new tech could have in the game industry is super exciting. Before we go on for those of you wondering what an engine is it is not the kind you use in your car, a game engine like Unreal 5 is what the game is made in. Any game you play runs on some sort of game engine that allows the game to well work down to the smallest game object like grass to the way the game reacts to your movements.

With the new engine, Unreal unveiled we got to see what the future of gaming will be like through the use of two new systems one called Lumen and the other Nanite. Lumen is a new illumination system used to light the game, while Nanite is a new type of micro polygon tool in English it is what makes objects for the game. Now here is where things get interesting not only does Unreal 5 allow you to use a range of new ways to light up an area in a game but you can take an object in a game that you would normally have to have two separate models one for cut scenes and one for gameplay and just use one.

Let me explain because while this sounds simple it’s not for an example let’s use Call Of Duty when you go to pick up a gun off the floor the model you see on the floor is not the same as the one you use in your hands. This is mainly due to how much a game can render at once without causing a game to lose frames or crash. So, a game artist would have to create two different models one that is highly detailed for you to see when the gun is in your hand and the other being the gun you would see on the floor that is way less detailed. With Unreal Engine 5, they are saying you no longer have to do that because the engine can handle having the one highly detail model in the game. In the tech demo you see one highly detail statue and then 500 of that same model, the amount of triangles ( think of them as atoms that make up an object) that it takes to build that is insane and with that level of detail. The engine can handle all of it at once not only would this cut so much crunch time away (hopefully) for a game artist but it would allow them to be even more detail with what they are creating.

With Lumen it changes so much about how we use lighting in games because it is an instant reaction. You can see in the demo at times where objects react to the character holding the ball of light. This basically erases the need to wait for light mapping using a UV map when creating the game because there isn’t a difference between the game and what you see when designing. A UV map is what is used to map the light effects on a model so you can see what it will look like in a game, what Unreal 5 does is eliminate the need to use UV maps when you can just move the light around as you design to properly place it.

Now, this tech could help change how Indie devs make games because it gives them access to resources you would only find at a AAA studio. Which’s means we could see so many more insanely great looking games from Indie teams because it could, in theory, take fewer people to make a game. While this may change people’s jobs at a given studio it all in all should truly help devs from any studio create great looking games that sound, look, and play so much smoother. The ranges of games we could see all across the board are going to be really interesting I am personally excited to see what Unreal Engine 5 can do and what this all means for the next generation in gaming.

Currently Playing: Mafia 2

For the full tech demo take a look below! Enjoy!

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