Epic proves the versatility of its latest game engine with Tappy Chicken and Zen Garden for mobile devices

Unreal Diaries: UE4’s mobile versatility

Epic Games recently demonstrated its ability to touch both ends of the mobile gaming spectrum by utilising the studio’s latest technology and tools, which can power more than just the latest triple-A blockbusters.

First, the release of Tappy Chicken for iOS, Android and HTML5 shows off the engine’s ability to support lightweight, over-the-air deployment for mobile and the web. Built in UE4 Blueprint visual scripting by one artist over the course of a weekend, Tappy is a simple app that pays homage to the often cloned Flappy Bird.

The completely free download supports leaderboards, achievements and ad support, with the web client clocking in below 10 MB and the mobile footprint barely nudging 30 MB. The entirety of the app’s content is available to UE4 developers starting with June’s massive 4.2 release.


Pushing the very high-end of mobile is Zen Garden, a proof of concept demo first spotted on Apple’s stage during the recent WWDC keynote. Epic founder Tim Sweeney and platform team lead Josh Adams were there to provide the first real-time, public demo of the new Metal API for iOS in action.

Sweeney says: “Metal is a low-level rendering API, which means it provides the absolute minimum layer of software needed to support multiple versions of different graphics chips. It shields developers from
the very low-level implementation details. It replaces OpenGL ES, which is an ancient relic of the Silicon Graphics era.”

According to Sweeney, developers transitioning to Metal “will see an immediate, significant improvement in the number of objects and the complexity of the scenes they can build.” Epic’s R&D efforts will naturally transfer to UE4 devs targeting iOS 8 and up.

“It was developed over a period of time that allowed us to provide valuable feedback for both Epic and Apple on guiding the API’s authorisation efforts,” adds Sweeney. “It’s an example that developers can follow when looking at building high-end content that can run on these mobile devices now.”

For more information on these efforts, visit unrealengine.com, and view previous Twitch broadcasts at YouTube.com/UnrealEngine.

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