Epic Games to Show Major Unreal Engine 3 Upgrades at GDC 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CARY, N.C. (March 16, 2009) Epic Games, Inc., invites interested parties to visit its booth (ES-144 in the expo suite section of Moscone Center's West Hall) next week at the Game Developers Conference, where the latest Unreal Engine 3 engine features will be demonstrated alongside free advanced training sessions for existing users, the introduction of an integrated MMOG back-end environment, and closed door presentations for its prospective customers, evaluators, licensees, members of its Integrated Partners Program and the media.

What’s New in Unreal Engine 3

Find out why top developers and publishers use Unreal Engine 3 to power their games for PC, Xbox 360® and PLAYSTATION®3. Epic will showcase the most recent upgrades to the Unreal Engine in a private theater within its expo suite, ES 144, located in the West Hall.

Unreal Lightmass, a new global illumination solver, will be shown for the first time at GDC. Unreal Lightmass produces high-quality static lighting with next-generation effects, such as: soft shadows with accurate penumbrae; diffuse and specular interreflection; and color bleeding. Furthermore, Epic's new Swarm distributed computing framework enables lighting to be generated up to 10 times faster. The new lighting features are bundled with Unreal Engine 3 and benefit all current and future engine licensees. Like all of Epic’s engine features, Unreal Lightmass is available at no additional cost to licensees.

A new content browser and search engine, powered by a back-end database, enables designers to find game assets near-instantly among large amounts of source content. With thumbnail previews, support for content tagging, and asset collection management, the Unreal Content Browser frees artists from the need to manually open files to look for game assets.

“We looked at how easy it was to search the net with Google, and find photos on Flickr, and redesigned Unreal Engine 3's content searching and tagging along those lines,” said Tim Sweeney, chief executive officer and technical director of Epic Games.“The result was a productivity boon for artists and designers.”

To power the online community features of Gears of War 2, Epic developed a scalable statistics and data management back end. Now available as a general feature of Unreal Engine 3, the Unreal Master Control Program (MCP) is a high-reliability online service architecture supporting announcements, settings management, online population tracking, and data collection for hardware, profile, and game stats. Unreal MCP includes a set of tools for visualizing gameplay, including such features as heat maps displaying regions of player activity within a level.

"Battle-tested by over 6.8 million hours of online player time, Unreal MCP seriously ups the ante for game engines," says Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. "The online infrastructure required for a modern, triple-A game represents man-years of work, and all of this is now included in Unreal Engine 3."

In addition, Epic Games China will share details regarding its integrated, massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) backend solution for Unreal Engine 3.

Licensees of the Unreal Engine can take advantage of free training sessions on topics including game optimization, content and programming tips, rendering, animation, physics and visuals, as well as workflows for the Unreal Editor, level design and tools at GDC.

Hours for Epic’s booth are the same as expo hours: Wednesday, March 25, 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m., Thursday, March 26, 10:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m., and Friday, March 27, 10:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. Demos will run on the half hour each day of the show, and appointments are not required.

Those wishing to individually meet with Epic should email Mark Rein, mark.rein@epicgames.com, and specify three possible meeting times, the number of people planning to attend, and whether those individuals would like to see a technology demonstration, chat with Epic business representatives, speak with Epic technical representatives or see to other matters. Availability may be limited, so please respond early. Those unable to confirm an appointment in advance are invited to drop by, and Epic will do its best to accommodate visitors.

Epic Press Sessions and Media Availability

Epic will host two GDC media briefings, which will take place on Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m. in Epic’s expo suite (ES 144, West Hall). Limited space is available, so journalists are encouraged to book places in advance by emailing Dana Cowley, dana.cowley@epicgames.com, with contact details for each attendee, publication and preferred date. Each 45-60 minute briefing will consist of demos, short talks by Epic spokespeople and question and answer sessions.

GDC Speaker Sessions Featuring Epic

Key members of Epic’s development team will contribute to the following GDC speaker sessions:

Matt Tonks, gameplay programmer, Epic Games, will speak during a panel entitled“2008 Postmortems: Spore, Gears of War 2, and BioShock” as part of the AI Summit. The session will be held Monday, March 23, 2:00-3:00 p.m., in West Hall Room 2018. Attendees will learn what innovations were unique to each title, how risks were managed, what went right, and what went wrong.

“An American engine in Tokyo: The collaboration of Epic Games and Square Enix for The Last Remnant,” moderated by game consultant and developer Mark Cerny, will include Dr. Michael Capps, president, Epic Games; Robert Gray, technical consultant, Square Enix; Hiroshi Takai, director, The Last Remnant, Square Enix; and Daniel Vogel, lead engine programmer, Epic Games. This general session for all attendees will address how to overcome technical language barriers, contrasting expectations, and time zone challenges associated with international business. Anyone providing or using international support will benefit from this panel, which will be held Wednesday, March 25, 4:00-5:00 p.m., in North Hall Room 132.

Chris Wells, senior character artist, Epic Games, will present“Inside the Gears of War 2 Character Modeling Pipeline,” an intermediate-level lecture that will provide an overview of the Gears of War 2 character modeling pipeline in addition to lessons learned during the making of Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3. This talk will be held Wednesday, March 25, 4:00-5:00 p.m., in West Hall Room 3006. Attendees will gain insight into how Epic overcomes the challenges of implementing new visual elements in its games without sacrificing quality.

“Behind the Scenes: The Gears of War 2 Cinematic Pipeline” will be presented by Tanya Jessen, senior associate producer, Epic Games, and Greg Mitchell, digital cinematographer, Epic Games. This intermediate-level lecture, to be held Thursday, March 26, 9:00-10:00 a.m., in North Hall Room 131, is intended for cinematic directors, cinematic and technical artists, as well as producers and managers involved in the production process. Attendees will learn about the proven techniques that helped ship the cinematics for Gears of War 2.

“He Who Ships, Wins: Producing Gears of War 2” by Rod Fergusson, executive producer, Epic Games, will highlight best practices for shipping a major holiday release within 24 months. The lecture will be held Thursday, March 26, 4:30-5:30 p.m., in West Hall Room 2007. Though given from a production perspective, this lecture is intended for anyone who’s interested in developing great games on time. Attendees will learn processes and techniques that can potentially be applied to their own game productions.

Chris Mielke, art production manager, Epic Games, will speak during the“Visual Arts SIG” roundtable, which is open to all skill levels and will be held Thursday, March 26, 4:30-5:30 p.m., in North Hall Room 112. This session will help shape and define the group’s goals, and identify ways to build the game artists’ community.

“Rendering Techniques in Gears of War 2” will be presented by Niklas Smedberg, senior programmer, Epic Games and Daniel Wright, engine programmer, Epic Games. This advanced-level lecture, to be held Friday, March 27, 2:30-3:30 p.m., in West Hall Room 2007, is geared toward intermediate graphics programmers and technical artists with some knowledge of current console hardware. Audience members will gain insight into the rendering technology behind new effects in Gears of War 2.

About Unreal Engine 3

The award-winning Unreal Engine is known for cutting-edge graphics and its best-of-breed toolset. Unreal Engine 3 maintains those features while adding massive world support, multi-processor support, next-generation console optimizations, and one of the most mature tool pipelines in the industry. Unreal Engine 3's new toolset is designed specifically to accelerate developers' productivity for ultra-complex, next-generation content. Additional information on Unreal Engine can be obtained through the Unreal Technology Web site at www.unrealtechnology.com.

About Epic Games

Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its "Unreal" series, most recently shipping "Unreal Tournament 3" for PC, PLAYSTATION®3 and Xbox 360®. Epic's breakthrough game, "Gears of War," sold 5 million copies and won over 30 Game of the Year awards. "Gears of War 2" was released on Nov. 7, 2008, and sold over 2 million units in its first weekend at retail. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 is the three-time consecutive winner of Game Developer magazine's Best Engine Front Line Award and this year's Hall of Fame inductee. Additional information about Epic can be obtained through the Epic Games Web site at www.epicgames.com.

Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Unreal, Unreal Engine, and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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PRESS CONTACT

Dana Cowley

Sr. Public Relations Manager

Epic Games, Inc.

+1 919 447 4515

dana.cowley@epicgames.com


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