Every aspect of the Unreal Engine has been designed with ease of content creation and programming in mind, with the goal of putting as much power as possible in the hands of artists and designers to develop assets in a visual environment with minimal programmer assistance; and to give programmers a highly modular, scalable and extensible framework for building, testing, and shipping games in a wide range of genres.

Main Features

  • 64-bit color High Dynamic Range rendering pipeline. The gamma-correct, linear color space renderer provides for immaculate color precision while supporting a wide range of post processing effects such as light blooms, lenticular halos, and depth-of-field.
  • Support for all modern per-pixel lighting and rendering techniques including normal mapped, parameterized Phong lighting; custom artist controlled per material lighting models including anisotropic effects; virtual displacement mapping; light attenuation functions; pre-computed shadow masks; directional light maps; and pre-computed bump-granularity self-shadowing using spherical harmonic maps.
  • Advanced Dynamic Shadowing. Unreal Engine 3 provides full support for four shadowing techniques:
    • Dynamic stencil buffered shadow volumes supporting fully dynamic, moving light sources casting accurate shadows on all objects in the scene.
    • Dynamic characters casting dynamic soft shadows on the scene using shadow buffers. Shadow buffer filtering takes samples on a jittered disc that are rotated per-pixel to detect shadow penumbras. Dynamic branching is then used to refine shadow coverage in penumbra regions.
    • Ultra high quality and high performance pre-computed shadow masks allow offline processing of static light interactions, while retaining fully dynamic specular lighting and reflections.
    • Directional Light Mapping enables the static shadowing and diffuse normal-mapped lighting of an unlimited number of lights to be precomputed and stored into a single set of texture maps, enabling very large light counts in high-performance scenes.
  • All of the supported shadow techniques are visually compatible and may be mixed freely at the artist's discretion, and may be combined with colored attenuation functions enabling properly shadowed directional, spotlight, and projector lighting effects.
  • Volumetric environmental effects including height fog.
  • Full support for seamlessly interconnected indoor and outdoor environments with dynamic per-pixel lighting and shadowing supported everywhere.
  • UnrealKismet, our visual scripting system:
    • Gives artists and level designers virtually limitless control over how a level will play without touching a single line of code.
    • By connecting together simple events and actions created by programmers, everything from simple behaviours to complete gameplay prototypes can be assembled quickly.
    • UnrealKismet supports hierarchies of scripts for organizing very complex sequences into manageable units.
  • The Unreal Editor (UnrealEd) is a pure “What You See Is What You Get” content creation tool filling the void between XSI, 3D Studio Max and Maya, and shippable game content.
  • A powerful browser framework for finding, viewing, and organizing game assets of all types.
  • Visual placement and editing of gameplay objects such as players, NPCs, inventory items, AI path nodes, and light sources – with a full realtime view of their appearance, including 100% dynamic shadowing.
  • Includes a data-driven property editing framework, allowing level designers to easily customize any game object, and programmers to expose new customizable properties to designers via script.
  • Realtime terrain editing tools allowing artists to elevate terrain, paint alpha layers onto terrain to control layer blending and decoration layers, collision data, and displacement maps.
  • Visual Material Editor. By visually connecting the color, alpha and coordinate outputs of textures and programmer-defined material components, artists can create materials ranging from simple layered blends to extremely complex materials and dynamically interacting with scene lights.
  • Animation tool enables artists to import models, skeletons, and animations, and to tie them to in-game events such as sounds and script notifications.
  • In-editor “Play Here” button puts gameplay just one mouse click and a fraction of a second away. Here, you can test gameplay in-editor in one window while modifying objects and rearranging geometry in another.
  • Plug-ins for 3D Studio Max and Maya to bring models into the Unreal engine with mesh topology, mapping coordinates, smoothing groups, material names, skeleton structure, and skeletal animation data.
  • Fully integrated source control, so that artists and level designers can check out content packages, modify, and check in from within the editor.
  • All the other niceties you'd expect from a modern content editing tool: Multi-level undo/redo, drag-and-drop, copy-and-paste; customizable key and color configuration; viewport management.
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That infamous plot twist

If you played BioShock around its original 2007 release, you’ll remember the twist. Because it’s the sort of twist, as with Fight Club (it was him all along!), The Sixth Sense (he was dead all along!) and The Happening (I’ll never get those two hours back!) you never forget. A modern replay is actually only richer now you know it… and if you don’t, well, we envy you. Now you get to experience it for the first time.

Whether you’re new to BioShock or a fan of the franchise, you can now stream BioShock Remastered on NVIDIA SHIELD with a GeForce NOW membership ($7.99 a month and free to try out for one month). BioShock 2 Remastered is also available to purchase via GeForce NOW for 75% off its regular full price for a limited time, and comes with an additional free key to download the game on PC.

BIO 02


A little bit of politics

If there’s one thing we all agree on, it’s that gamers love nothing more than a good, hard examination of objectivism, capitalism and morality as laid down in Ayn Rand’s 1000-page 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged. You’re probably breathing hard just reading that.

And that’s exactly what BioShock’s instant classic of a story does. The early game went through various settings (including a spaceship and a lost WWII Nazi bunker) before slipping beneath the waves to a city inspired by New York’s art deco Rockefeller Center – and the statue of Atlas outside it.

BIO 04


BioShock’s utopian city of Rapture was built in 1946 by Andrew Ryan (an anagram of Ayn Rand), a character loosely based on the first US billionaire, noted philanthropist John D Rockefeller. Add in Atlas (who guides you via radio), plus the central tension to act either selfishly or for the good of others, and the links become clear. That’s because Rand (infamously dubbed ‘Big Sister’ by one critic…) says selfishness is a virtue, capitalism should run unchecked and that morally you should be driven purely by self-interest. The ruined Rapture of 1960, which you as mid-Atlantic air crash survivor Jack discover, is the result.

It’s clever stuff, and never dull thanks to these ideas being baked right into the entire world, from the very first brick of Rapture to the last Plasmid fireball. You can bake underwater, right? Anyway whatever.

BIO 06


That gorgeous undersea setting

It’s no coincidence that nitrogen narcosis, which causes everything from hallucinations and euphoria to death in deep-sea divers, is also known as ‘the rapture of the deep’. And it’s no coincidence that Rapture’s hallucinatory wonders are so beautiful – developer 2K Boston hired an artist and a programmer just to do water effects. The abyss only looks more stunning now, with updated water and particle effects, on modern systems.

BIO 03


Superpowers that beat all normal guns

With science running ‘unchecked by morality,’ Rapture’s citizens have access to Plasmids. These use a substance called Adam (extracted from sea slugs implanted in little girls) to genetically modify users to shoot fire, electricity, gravity-warping beams and more from their hands. They were supposed to be labor-saving, but funnily enough people started using them as weapons instead… how odd.

The best way to get more Adam is by ‘Harvesting’ the Little Sisters, though that incurs the wrath of their huge, diver-suited protectors, the Big Daddies. Excessive Adam use has the unfortunate side-effect of sending people crazy: most of those still alive in Rapture are Splicers. These are insane, hostile mutants with powers including teleportation, spider-like climbing and total electrical resistance. You need all your guns, mines and superpowers to convince them of your new economic and social model. Convince them dead.

BIO 05


Stealth, hacking and horror

BioShock is far from just run and gun. Rapture’s grandiose ruins are dark, the insanity of its remaining citizens is darker still and it’s a spooky, survival-horror kind of trip. The hub-like design and three-way fight (Splicers and Big Daddies can fight among themselves) perfectly suits the freedom of open-ended play – you can often choose to sneak past, to provoke fights among your enemies, or to hack security systems, robots, turrets and cameras to your advantage. You can set traps and use decoys. Or you can just blow the hell out of everything.

Alternative endings

Your treatment of the Little Sisters (save them and get some Adam, kill them and get more) changes the ending significantly. Will you be selfish and Randian, or philanthropic and – as Andrew Ryan would see it – weak? Your role in Rapture is not without consequence. Not at all…

BioShock and BioShock 2 are now available on NVIDIA SHIELD via GeForce NOW. A GeForce NOW membership is free to try out for one month, just $7.99 a month after that, with certain premium titles available to purchase separately including BioShock 2.

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 136)
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devmangekyou
devmangekyou

Can I make my game on this engine without getting charged if I decide to sell my game?

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huseynxan
huseynxan

yes, till u get 50 000 $ income, afterwards you will 25 cents of each dollar, so it is not such a big deal. if you get 100.000$ from your 1st game or at least 60.000$ it is O.K. to pay back something to EPIC.

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LordIheanacho
LordIheanacho

Long live Unreal Technology!

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asif_ridwan
asif_ridwan

Unreal Technology, Sure is the best of all. I love this game engine!

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asif_ridwan
asif_ridwan

An awesome engine. If someone could make Half Life 2 HD Remake Mod for any FPS game of Unreal Engine 3 (like Unreal Tournament 3), then it would be awesome.

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Jackie362
Jackie362

This engine better

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shipoopi
shipoopi

Is this the same thing as Unreal Development Kit (UDK)

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huseynxan
huseynxan

Yes. same, UE is licensed and ready to serve version of UDK

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