Epic Games continues to expand and update its Unreal Engine technology, this time securing a key partnership with UI maestros Scaleform.
The deal will see Unreal Engine 3 bundled with Scaleform GFx, a major Flash-based user interface tool, at no additional cost.
Announcing the partnership at the Epic Games Japan launch event in Tokyo, the company also revealed it will use Scaleform technology for UI in its own games, including Gears of War 3.
The deal is not exclusive – Scaleform’s UI tools remain integrated in numerous other engines, such as Gamebryo LightSpeed.
Scaleform Gfx is used to produce high-quality user-interface designs, adopting hardware-accelerated Adobe Flash-based scalable vector graphics and video.
The middleware is said to be fully integrated into the Unreal Engine 3’s graphical rendering system, and is promised to allow artists to create “scalable data-driven Flash UI elements for videos, menuing systems, overlays, HUDs and animated textures directly on 3D objects.”
Scaleform, based in Maryland USA, claims that GFx 3 can effectively communicate with the Unreal Editor, UnrealScript, Unreal Kismet, packaging, threading, and also the Unreal Gemini renderer.
“At Epic, we pride ourselves on delivering best-of-breed graphics, performance, and an unrivaled toolset with our Unreal Engine,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games.
He added, “Scaleform GFx is the clear leader in user interface design for casual and triple-A games alike with its unmatched versatility, performance enhancing features and new 3Di technology, making it a ‘must-have’ for our upcoming titles, and a tremendous added value for all Unreal licensees. We've also been long time admirers of the Scaleform team and the superior technology that they’ve been providing to game developers for many years, and even more impressed with their upcoming roadmap of feature improvements. We’re thrilled to have GFx bundled with the Unreal Engine for many years to come.”