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What is Unreal engine 4 ?

The Unreal Engine is a game engine developed by Epic Games, first showcased in the 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal. Although primarily developed for first-person shooters, it has been successfully used in a variety of other genres, including stealthMMORPGs, and other RPGs. With its code written in C++, the Unreal Engine features a high degree of portability and is a tool used by many game developers today.

One of the major features planned for UE4 was real-time global illumination using voxel cone tracing, eliminating pre-computed lighting. However, this feature has been replaced with a similar but less computationally-expensive algorithm prior to release for all platforms including the PC because of performance concerns on next-generation consoles. UE4 also includes new developer features to reduce iteration time, and allows updating of C++ code while

the engine is running. The new “Blueprint” visual scripting system (a successor to UE3’s “Kismet”) allows for rapid development of game logic without using C++, and includes live debugging. The result is reduced iteration time, and less of a divide between technical artists, designers, and programmers.

And now Unreal engine is free.

Building a Computer for Development

If you are considering building a powerful machine for UE4 development for around $2500, here is a spec we recommend:

  • Intel Core i7 4930K processor
  • Intel X79 chipset motherboard
  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • Nvidia GTX 770 video card

The 4930K is a great cost / CPU power trade-off for compiling the engine and running the editor.

We have found SSDs to be the best user experience, and with the advent of the Samsung Evo series even large amounts of SSD storage have become attainable.

Copious amounts of RAM is the single biggest contributor to a smooth user experience. While the editor and engine don’t use 32 GByte, having the memory available for the disk cache is a boon, especially as a programmer compiling the full engine. We found going above 32 GByte resulting in diminishing returns.