What technologies are used in game development?
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UNREAL ENGINE: ALL ABOUT EPIC GAMES GAME ENGINE Unreal Engine (UE) is a powerful game engine developed by Epic Games. It is one of the most well-known development platforms in the world of video games, virtual and augmented reality. As a result, it is the main competitor to Crytek’s CryEngine and Unity Technologies ‘ Unity.
A game engine is a platform that provides programs and tools for creating and customizing a game. At present, there are several of them on the market. Unreal Engine is therefore one of them, and is one of the most popular of the moment. It owes its popularity to its ability to adapt to many platforms, but not only. It also offers extensive customization, and allows you to create high-quality AAA games. Here’s everything you need to know about the tool. Unreal Engine: the origins of the platform
Before we see the real capabilities of Unreal Engine, it is interesting to learn more about its origins and evolution. For the record, Epic Games engineers developed the game engine to create its very first Unreal game. As they developed each generation of the game series, they added more and more features to the platform, which improved its performance.
In short, the first version of the game engine was born with the game Unreal in 1998. At the time, it simply allowed the content of the latter to be replaced with custom content. It also offered the ability to change the behavior of non-playable characters or NPCs using UnrealScript.
A little later, Epic Games added online multiplayer features to UE to develop the online game Unreal Tournament. In 2002, the development platform began to undergo an impressive evolution. From there, she then benefited from a system of particles and static meshing tools. There is also the Matinee cinematic and animation editor and a physics engine. Many novelties over the years
Over the years, Unreal Engine has continued to evolve. During the development of Unreal II : The Awakening, Epic Games, among other things, integrated an animation system. The game engine also received an overall improvement.
The third version of EU was launched in 2006. It was the famous Gears of War franchise that pushed the studio to develop it. UE3 has enjoyed impressive technological advances and capabilities, including mainly the Kismet visual scripting system, which has made it the most popular UE engine.
It was only later in 2014 that Epic Games launched UE4. The biggest change he has made is the replacement of Kismet with the new Blueprint concept. We also know now that the studio revealed UE5 last year, and the platform is currently already available in early access. Focus on the main components of Unreal Engine 4.
To allow developers to create and customize a game, Unreal Engine has several components that work together. These are primarily publishers and tools that allow them to organize and manipulate their resources in order to develop the gameplay of their game. So here are these famous components.
The sound engine
As the name suggests, the sound engine allows of course to have sound effects and music in a game. The built-in sound files thus serve to add realism and create atmosphere in the game.
In Unreal Engine 4, there are two types of resources for the various sounds. Then there are the Sound Wave and the Sound Cue.
The physics engine
To deliver ultra-realistic results, UE4 uses Nvidia’s PhysX engine. Thanks to this physics engine, developers have the opportunity to better focus on creating their game.
Indeed, they will not have to waste their time making the different objects interact correctly with the game world.
The graphic engine
The graphics engine takes care of the management of everything that is visible on the screen. That of Unreal Engine 4 is able to ensure realistic and high quality graphics for any game.
Light is an important component in creating a game. It can be used in different ways. For example, it can be used to draw a player’s attention to certain objects in the game. It is also possible to use it to create the atmosphere of a given scene.
Unreal Engine 4 offers a basic set of lights. There are Sky Light, Spot Light, Point Light and Directional Light. Post-treatment effects
Post-processing effects are used to improve the overall quality of the scene. UE4 therefore makes available to developers a good and wide selection of these famous effects.
Thanks to the latter, therefore, bright objects become very bright, and dark objects become very dark, for example. Post-processing effects of UE4 include antialiasing, color calibration and many more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be seen as a kind of human-created intelligence to mimic real life. It thus makes it possible to give the various objects a ” brain “.
In the video game world, AI is therefore used to allow players to interact with NPCs. Unreal Engine 4 gives developers the ability to customize and improve the AI of NPCs in their game.
What about the powerful Unreal Engine editors ?
Just like its components, Unreal Engine editors are just as important in creating and customizing a game. That is why it is also essential to discover them.
To allow developers to create a game, the game engine makes available to them a number of publishers. Unreal Editor is thus the startup editor of the platform. It can be considered as the main editor for accessing other subsystems, such as Blueprint and Material.
Unreal Editor has a visual interface consisting of several windows. These allow users to import, edit, organize, and add interactions or behaviors to their game resources. For this, they do not need to modify the code.
The Material Editor
Materials and shaders give different objects a unique texture and color. Thanks to this editor, developers have better control over the appearance of the latter.
Note that UE4 uses physics-based shading, resulting in superior results.
The Cascade particle system
Unreal Engine’s particle system offers good capabilities for creating particle effects. When creating the effects of elements, such as fire, sparks and smoke, you have the ability to focus on the texture, color and size of each particle.
The particles interact with each other in order to mimic the actual behavior of particle effects. The Persona animation system
With this UE4 animation system, developers have the opportunity to control the animation of the skeleton and mesh of the skeleton of a given character. The same applies to its sockets.
It can be used to preview the animation of any character. It can also be used in the configuration of a merge animation between various keyframes.
The Sound Cue Editor
This UE4 editor allows you to control the sounds and music in a game. These are played following cues known as ” Sound Cues “.
The Sound Cue Editor of course offers the possibility to play, stop or repeat the various sounds and music.
The Matinee Editor
This is a set of tools for creating movies and cinematic scenes. The short clips thus designed can, for example, be used to tell a story before the start of a game.
It can also be used to present the beginning of a level.
The Blueprint visual scripting system
UE4 is of course the first game engine to use this famous revolutionary visual scripting system. Blueprint therefore gives developers the opportunity to extend the functionality of the code with a visual scripting language.
In other words, they do not need to compile or write code to create, customize and organize the behavior and interaction of different objects in a game. Even people who know nothing about programming can create and prototype a level quickly while manipulating the gameplay.
The next platform is Unity
UNITY: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE POWERFUL Unity GAME ENGINE is a real-time development platform developed by Unity Technologies. Although it is one of the most prevalent game engines in the video game, VR and AR industry, it is still unknown to many. Here is everything you need to know about the famous platform.
We often come across the term Unity at the launch of different VR and non-VR games. And yet, many users still do not know what it is. In fact, it is a powerful 2D / 3D cross-platform game engine used by many developers to create and energize their various titles. Here is everything you need to know about this essential tool in the world of video games and the world of VR and AR. Unity: what is it concretely ?
Unity is a development platform that absolutely must be known by everyone who is interested in video game development. Used by many developers, this game engine is indeed powerful. In addition, it is very easy to use and free, in any case until the user starts to earn a lot of money.
This is a real ready-made professional tool, which is why a number of well-known large studios resort to it. Among the titles developed using the platform are, among others, Beat Saber, Pokémon Go, Jurassic World Alive, Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders and many more.
Note that the tool can also be used by independent developers. With a little creativity, these can even compete with the big video game companies. It is especially interesting for developers targeting the Android platform.
A 2D / 3D cross-platform game engine capable of almost anything
As a cross-platform game engine, Unity is able to provide the majority of the built-in features that developers need most to run a game. These include 3D rendering, physics and collision detection.
In other words, by using the tool, developers will not have to create a new physics engine from scratch every time they start a new project. And the best thing is that the platform provides them with a well-stocked asset store. They then have the opportunity to upload their different creations and share them.
Of course, they can also find a lot of elements that can be useful for creating new games. This will allow them to focus on the essentials : creating a fun and unique experience. An EDI or integrated development environment
In addition to being a 2D / 3D game engine, Unity is also an integrated development environment or IDE. It thus brings together in a single GUI or graphical interface various development tools frequently used by developers.
The platform therefore makes available to them a visual editor offering them the possibility to simply drag and drop different elements in scenes. They can then manipulate them as they see fit.
In addition to this, the game engine offers a long list of other useful tools and features. There is, for example, the function to navigate through the various folders of a given project. There is also the one that allows the creation of animations via a timeline tool.
What language does Unity use?
The main thing to know is that it is possible to do a lot of things with Unity without having to handle a large amount of code. By mastering programming, more options are available. The platform offers great flexibility, so you can change almost anything.
In any case, the C # language is worth learning. In addition to being user-friendly for beginners, it is widely used in the video game industry. It also has a lot in common with other common languages, such as Java and C.
In short, it is more interesting to start learning Unity with this famous language.
What about the competitors of the game engine ? Of course, Unity is not the only cross-platform game engine available for video game development. On the contrary, it faces stiff competition. Its main opponents are Cryengine and Unreal Engine.
Nevertheless, the development tool is a certain step ahead of the latter, especially in terms of mobile development. Indeed, we must not forget that it does not only allow the development of 3D games, but also 2D games. This is also the reason why it is one of the tools most used by the majority of titles available on the Google Play Store.
Since we are dealing with a cross-platform tool, it also makes it easy to develop games for iOS devices, PCs, and even for game consoles. It also offers excellent VR support. It is especially ideal for those who are interested in creating games for HTC Vive or Oculus Rift VR PC headsets.
Unity : what its competitors have more than it does
Although the game engine is a must in the field of mobile development, unfortunately it is not capable of providing incredible graphics, like Cryengine or Unreal Engine.
For major AAA development studios that want to provide players with the best graphics possible, it makes more sense to opt for the latter.
It is hoped, however, that the various updates to the platform will help it catch up.
Download Unity : how to do it ?
There is nothing difficult about downloading Unity. To do this, just go to the official download page of the tool (https://unity3d.com/get-unity/download). By accessing this page, it is possible to download Unity Hub. It is a download manager for managing different versions of the platform. The same applies to the various additional features that may be needed. For this, it is necessary to create a user profile.
After downloading Unity Hub, you can select the latest version to download. For installation, simply follow the simple steps indicated by the installer.
However, for the case of Android developers, they should think about checking the support for the Android version and the tools OpenJDK and Android SDK & NDK. These are indeed indispensable to them. Note that it is possible to download the Java SDK and Android SDK manually. Projects can also be opened directly via Unity Hub.
The main windows to know once the tool is installed
At the first launch of the development platform, we come across a number of options, icons and windows. At first, it may be that one gets lost easily by seeing them. That is why it is important to know the main windows of the tool well.
When launching the game engine, we find by default the Hierarchy window on the far left. It gives access to a long list of GameObjects from the scene, GameObjects being elements included in the developed game.
In other words, the window therefore groups the different elements that are inserted into the scene. This helps to quickly locate and select any aspect of the game to change its properties.
We are dealing here with the largest window that is in the middle of the platform interface. As the name suggests, it is in this window that we create a scene for his game.
This is where we drag, drop, reduce and enlarge the various GameObjects. Note that it is possible to change the way we interact with the scene and the latter by using the icons located at the top left of the tool. One can, for example, use the hand to drag the view.
This window is usually hidden behind the Scene window. Nevertheless, it can be displayed automatically in the foreground by simply pressing the “play” button. This is located in the center of the game engine interface.
The Game view allows you to see the scene of the developed game. In short, it is in this window that the latter is launched when tested.
The Asset Store of the development platform gives of course access to the various “assets” developed by the community. One can thus use the store to find some.
By downloading them directly from the game engine, they will be automatically added to its project.
The Inspector window is located at the far right of the platform interface, and therefore opposite the Hierarchy window. It provides the ability to view and modify the properties of any selected GameObject.
This can change the position or size of the latter, for example. We can even add “components”, such as colliders or the C #script.
This window is located at the very bottom of the game engine interface. It displays all the assets used during the development of a game. It is then a real file explorer.
It is also in this window that we create C # scripts before selecting them and opening them in the platform. It is even possible to drag and drop 3D files, among other things, in case you want to use them in the game.
The console window lets Unity users know if there are any errors or alerts in their code. It also keeps them informed in case the configuration of the platform presents problems that need to be resolved.
Creating your first VR project in Unity: the steps to follow
Now that we know pretty much everything about the cross-platform game engine, it’s high time to embark on the creation of its first VR project.
But first of all, you should know that there are generally two types of VR for developers and consumers. So there is the mobile VR (3 degrees of freedom) and the Room Scale VR (6 degrees of freedom).
For mobile VR, the main VR headsets compatible are Google Daydream, Merge VR, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. When it comes to devices compatible with the Room Scale VR, there are mainly PC VR Rift headsets from Oculus and HTC Vive.
Steps to create a VR project for PC VR headsets
For the case of developing a game for PC VR headsets, we must first create a new project in Unity. We must then download the SDK (Software Development Kit) adapted to what we want to create.
To get the Oculus SDK, we must then go to https://developer.oculus.com/downloads/unity. To have the Google VR SDK, you have to go on https://developers.google.com/vr/develop/unity/get-started-android or on https://github.com/googlevr/gvr-unity-sdk/releases.
Now we have to start by creating simple 3D objects in the scene before creating a build. The next step is adding the device you intend to use.
Overview of the basic concept of the immersive stage
There are a number of basic rules to follow in order to successfully develop games for PC VR headsets with Unity.
Thus, it is important to create a plan, barriers, floor and walls to help players prevent the effects of motion sickness.
It’s also essential to make sure players are body conscious in the VR environment.
Creating a VR scene
The first thing to do, of course, is to create a new scene and then insert into it .OBJ or .FBX. Next, you have to create a 3D avatar representing the player, and scale the 3D objects according to the approximate size of the real world.
Now it’s time to apply texture to various objects and colliders to static objects, including floor and wall. The next step is the creation of a Prefabs folder in which one can drag the prefabricated 3D models after they are created.
We must now create the VR environment, then a user interface (UI) that can be a 3D text or a World-Space Canvas. It remains after that to focus a background or 360 ° video and audio for the VR experience. Do not forget to make sure that the player can access all interactive objects.
Then goes Shadow PC
SHADOW PC: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CLOUD Shadow PC GAMING PLATFORM is currently gaining traction in the gaming world. Operating for almost two years already, it offers players full access to an extensive library of streaming games. Here is everything you need to know about this app.
Cloud gaming services are starting to occupy an important place in the world of video games. Gaming giants Nvidia and Sony are already in the race, while Microsoft and Google are preparing to join them. And now, a still little-known French company named Blade is also launching there by offering its cloud computing service that it named Shadow. Here’s everything you need to know about this Rolls Royce of streaming video games.
Shadow PC: what is it concretely ? So Shadow PC is a cloud computing service that gives gamers virtual access to a PC in the cloud. The application thus broadcasts the latter on any device. This dematerialized computer is of course accessible via the Internet.
In order to be able to launch the most resource-intensive PC games, this machine is ultra powerful. Running on Windows 10, it allows you to enjoy the ultimate video game experience.
This famous PC benefits from the following basic specifications : eight-threaded Intel Xeon processor, 12 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD. It is also equipped with an Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card. Players can of course have access to an even more powerful PC by opting for the more expensive formulas. These are to be discovered below.
When playing streaming video games on Shadow PC, you always have access to the full processing power of the high-end virtual PC. For this, Blade divides its servers in order to provide all the power to each player.
No matter how many players, so the performance does not change. As for the 256 GB SSD for the basic configuration, many may think that this is insufficient, especially for playing recent AAA games.
They are not entirely wrong, but Blade has already thought about everything. In fact, the application is able to download new games at a speed of 1 GB per second. This is significantly faster compared to a home internet connection. In short, the cloud computing service remains reliable, as long as one has of course a good connection.
Can we then enjoy Shadow PC anywhere ?
It is not enough to have a good internet connection to play streaming video games on Shadow PC. It is indeed good to know that, at the moment, the application is still only available in eight different countries.
There are, of course, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United States. It is worth pointing out that for the latter in particular, the service previously operated in only a few states.
Nevertheless, Blade recently announced a new pricing plan, and then plans to expand the service in the other remaining states. Note that the service will operate there in “Exploration mode”.
Shadow PC: which devices are compatible ? One of the main advantages of Shadow PC is that it can run on almost any device. It can support PCs, Macs, mobile devices running Android and iOS, and even Ubuntu.
The local hardware requirements of the application are therefore virtually zero. It focuses more on the operating system. For the executor, it is then just essential to make sure that his device is up to date at the software level.
Shadow therefore supports Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 64-bit, macOS 10.10 or later, iOS 11.0 or later, Android 7.0 or later and Ubuntu 18.04. Note that it is possible to switch between different devices in just a few seconds. The player can switch from a phone to a laptop, for example, and pick up where he left off.
What about the necessary internet connection ?
Unlike devices, Shadow PC has some requirements at the internet connection level. In fact, it is essential that the player has an FTTB or FTTH broadband connection.
It is possible that the service will work with an ADSL broadband connection, but this is not really recommended. The main thing is that the speed of the connection does not drop below 15 Mbps. To enjoy a better experience, it must even go beyond 25 Mbps.
Note that Shadow works equally well with wired connections as with WiFi. However, WiFi is more advisable to reduce latency.
What about latency ?
Speaking of latency, you should know that this is one of the points that interest gamers the most in terms of streaming video games. Fortunately, Shadow PC generally has no input lag or latency concerns.
However, there may be frame rate issues when playing a game on the app. According to Blade, the likely cause of these worries is the remoteness of the server closest to the user.
Also, the experience may vary slightly from one player to another depending on the internet connection they use and their infrastructure. However, it must be admitted that the service still works quite well. Note that it is even able to run games with 4K resolution at 60 Hz. But the performance is much better with 1080p resolution at 144 Hz.
About the game library Since we are talking about cloud computing here and not just cloud gaming, the player can customize their Windows experience as they see fit. After customization, they can download their favorite PC gaming platform, whether it’s original, Uplay, Steam or Epic Games Store.
Of course, he can play directly the games he has on his various accounts on Shadow. To play new games, just buy them on the same platforms as usual.
Thanks to such a feature, the player is thus entitled to a vast library of games on his ultra powerful PC in the cloud. It is good to clarify that for mobile devices, Blade offers a Shadow application to download and install in it for it to be operational. Also, one can use the different controllers to play, namely a DualShock 4, an Xbox One controller, etc., as long as they are compatible with his device.
All about the subscription price for Shadow PC
With the takeover of Blade by hubiC (more information on this later), the price list has changed, in order to propose an offer more adapted to the new ambitions. The key word here is simplification. The three previous plans disappear to make way for one. More Shadow Boost, Ultra and Infinite. The new offer is called Shadow. It costs 29.99 euros per month, and is non-binding. It is therefore possible to cancel it at any time. This new pricing will be effective from June 25, 2021.
As for people subscribed to the Ultra and Infinite service, they will be able to keep their subscription. Prices will also change. They will be 44.99 euros and 54.99 euros respectively. Apart from these people, these two subscriptions will no longer be available for sale. However, the Shadow team specifies that add-ons will be available to improve the performance of the new unique offer. This is, for example, additional storage space. OVHcloud founder Octave Klaba agrees with Blade and Shadow Despite its success, Blade failed to achieve profitability with Shadow. On the verge of bankruptcy, the company had to look for an acquirer for its Cloud Gaming service to survive.
The Paris Commercial Court finally chose OVHcloud founder Octave Klaba and his investment fund Jezby Ventures to take over the torch.
Several interested potential purchasers had also submitted their proposals. Other candidates include Scaleway, the other French cloud giant.
The firm had teamed up with Blade’s CTO, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, to formulate an offer. Selected by the Commercial Court, Octave Klaba has made the choice to keep all the workforce of the company with the exception of Kempf.
Founded in 1999, OVH is the French leader in web hosting, but now also and above all Cloud Computing. Ambitious, the firm has set itself the goal of competing with global cloud leaders such as AWS, Google or Microsoft.
The acquisition of Blade and Shadow could allow him to score points on the battlefield. Cloud Gaming is a burgeoning technology, which could become one of the leading consumer applications of cloud computing.
The GAFAM have understood this, and are also very interested in it. Google has launched its Stadia platform, Microsoft has also just launched an Xbox Gaming Cloud, and Amazon has announced its Luna service.
For its part, Octave Klaba has an ambition: to create “ the best Cloud Gaming service in the world “. This bet seems bold, but the entrepreneur says he is confident thanks to a talented team and a budget with no real limit.
To convince the Commercial Court, Jezby Ventures unveiled its plan: buy the servers that Blade failed to pay, and sell them to OVHcloud. The parent company will then take care of renting the servers again to Blade for the Shadow service.
The studio we apply for the creation is Facebook AR Studios
Facebook AR Studio, the platform for creating masks and other augmented reality content for the social network’s mobile application, is now open to all. In order to democratize augmented reality, Facebook offers all developers the ability to create AR content.
At the beginning of 2017, Facebook announced its desire to allow a handful of handpicked developers to create augmented reality features for the camera integrated into its application. For example, HBO has created a mask that allows fans of its Game of Thrones series to dress up as the Night King. Similarly, Star Wars has created an AR mask that allows users to disguise themselves as Kylo Ren the villain of the new trilogy.
Facebook AR Studios: the platform is now open to everyone In December 2017, Facebook offers everyone the possibility to create their own augmented reality mask for the application, or other AR content. All developers can now create augmented reality content for the Facebook camera with the Camera Effects Platform.
In addition to masks, it will be possible, for example, to project virtual elements such as small animals or visual effects on the real environment through the smartphone’s camera. For ordinary users, this decision of Facebook will simply allow the appearance of a large number of filters in augmented reality and other visual effects.
Facebook AR Studios: Mark Zuckerberg wants to compete with Snapchat With this feature, Facebook is of course trying to compete with Snapchat, but not only. The CEO of the firm, Mark Zuckerberg, believes that augmented reality will one day become a technology used on a daily basis by the general public.
This is why the company is trying to democratize this technology in order to position itself as a pioneer in the market. Facebook is also developing its own augmented reality glasses, comparable to Google Glass or Apple’s future AR glasses.
However, augmented reality is still far from entering the mores. This is why this type of light and fun features are presented as a solution to gradually accustom the general public to the possibilities offered by this technology.
Facebook AR Studios aims to democratize augmented reality
Facebook is not alone in this quest. Apple also offers its ARKit development kit to create AR content for the iPhone, and Google offers its ARCore kit for Android smartphones. Snapchat is also among the heralds of augmented reality.
To try to convince developers to embark on the adventure, Facebook reminds them that its social network is used by nearly two billion users. In addition, Facebook has the advantage of being available on all smartphones.
Developers who create masks for the application therefore do not have to choose between the iPhone community and that of Android. It remains to be seen whether developers will be convinced by this speech, and especially whether users will be interested in these augmented reality features. The AR Studios platform is now available to all users.