Unreal Engine 3 video strives to set the standard for future hardware platforms

GDC11: Epic astounds with new tech demo

Epic Games has used its private GDC press conference to demo a stunning Unreal Technology demo that Mark Rein described as ‘a love letter to hardware manufacturers’.

The ‘Samaritan’ video, with debuted just moments ago to a select group of gathered press, demonstrated what is achievable using cutting-edge hardware, the features of the current iteration of UE3, and some of the DirectX 11 UE3 features due in March 2011.

Focusing on cinematic intense visual effects as opposed to the procedural flexibility demonstrated in Epic’s previous tech videos, the highly impressive Samaritan movie showcased Unreal Engine 3’s artist driven features, including image-based reflection and improved bloom, along with Direct X 11 features such as sub surface scattering and dynamic tessalation and displacement.

"The whole idea behind this is to tell hardware developers and tell game developers this is what you should prepare for down the road," said Epic vice president Mark Rein.

"There needs to be mass market devices that can do this before too long."

While the demo was made by only three artists, one rigger, and a number of mocap artists, it did run on three graphics cards. However, Rein stated: "We suspect that with a little bit of optimisation this could even run on a single Ti500 card"

Later Rein joked: "Tim Sweeney said that if we did version numbers for Unreal Engine this would be version 3.971."

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