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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Believe it or not, this game has continued development for the last two years! Membrane has gone through some vast changes, and now sees consistent, if not very fast, asset production. So what has been happening?

Engine Changes:

Membrane started off in Unreal Engine 3. I created a simple, yet functional "Doom Style" AI, Implementing weapons, enemies, and other assets. All in all, it was easy to use... at first. Once I started seriously working on the levels, I found level creation to be a bit too cumbersome. I even wrote a program that converts levels from my level editor of choice, but constantly re-baking the lighting every time I made a change became a slog. The final straw was when I tried to make a secret exploding wall that is indistinguishable from the surrounding solid walls - you could see a "lighting seam" no matter what. UE3 was meant for mapping with modular models, and that didn't jive with the free form abstract levels I wanted to make. So I started looking at other options.

GZDoom was what I settled on. It's perfect for an old school game, because it is an old school game engine, while supporting more modern features. And with the release of GLOOME it's also commercially viable.

Concept Changes:

The initial Setting was on earth, with human and alien weapons, and a basic premise of fighting off an invasion.

It's been done.

Membrane has gone completely Alien. Waking up in an underground laboratory, the hero finds himself a result of horrific experimentation. He must traverse alien worlds, master unique weapons, collect powers, and travel through the galaxy to find his way back home.

Getting rid of recognizable earth levels allow for more abstract designs, as well as no realistic human weapons allows for much more creativity in the design and function.

In addition, Membrane is sort of a "Metroidvania Lite," wherein you will find powers / upgrades that allow you to reach previously inaccessible areas within the current level.

It's Practically a Game:

Well, a short one. Loads of textures have been created, as well as models, fonts, the entire UI, sound effects, and scripts. The goal is to have a stand alone playable demo as soon as possible. Here is the short list before that can happen:

  • Model, Texture, and Animate the player model.
  • Record All the Player sound effects.
  • Record sound effects for two monsters.
  • Model, Texture Armor Pickups.
  • Create End Screen, Credit Screen.
  • Two or so more Level Textures.

Screenshot Doom 20150803 223119

Screenshot Doom 20150716 220639

Screenshot Doom 20150716 220404

Screenshot Doom 20150716 220309

Screenshot Doom 20150716 215920

Screenshot Doom 20150716 220603


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Unreal Engine 3 is a complete game development framework for next-generation consoles and DirectX9-equipped PCs, providing the vast array of core technologies, content creation tools, and support infrastructure required by top game developers.
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Post comment Comments  (120 - 130 of 136)
doublethink Dec 2 2008 says:

This is such a 360 leaning engine, but I still love it anyway.


+1 vote     reply to comment
AlCool Dec 9 2008 replied:

Hell no, its a PC engine. Wanna know why? Modding.

Every one of the games released for Xbox has also come for PC. Also most are for the PS3 as well which also supports mods made on the PC.

0 votes     reply to comment
EpicFailGuy8999 Jan 29 2009 replied:

Totally why the majority of UT3 mods are mediocre compared to the older UEs. UT3 is like the retarded brother of all the Unreal games, mediocre and casual.

-1 votes     reply to comment
InfernoX347 Aug 29 2008 says:

I dislike the Unreal 3 engine for it's lack of AA support and horrible texture streaming. However it does do facial detail very well.

+3 votes     reply to comment
MrBCut Aug 11 2008 says:

Whether gamers, developer, publishers, or haters like it or not, you have to take your hat off to Epic for allowing such incredible sophistication be available to Indie developers and modders like us!

Let us all bow.

+2 votes     reply to comment
bfrheostat Aug 3 2008 says:

Dynamic Liquids system are really gorgeous!!! This technology will be used on Gears of War 2.

+3 votes     reply to comment
frayshot Jul 20 2008 says:

how do i start creating mods.

+2 votes     reply to comment
machette Jun 22 2008 says:

ahh i cant acesse it when i bought ut3 from steam!! someone explain why i cant use it!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
ShadowedByGuilt May 19 2008 says:

Eh, Bioshock is a fantastic game, so is Unreal Tournament but the Unreal Engine is screwed in a number of ways. For example,
Texture Pop Ups- While playing Bioshock I can't even begin to count how many times I had to wait for the correct texture detail level to popup. And how many times I harvested the little sister(don't judge me) and didn't even get to see the orange spots on the slug he rips out of her! Just a little black smudge. It is screwed in some Unreal ways, lol. Source pwns...

0 votes     reply to comment
Gikon Jul 1 2008 replied:

That just means your computer sucks, I never got those problems.

+1 vote     reply to comment
BunnyKinx May 26 2008 replied:

ok ok ok... texture popups...

I do know what your talking about. BUT! 2 months ago a built a new computer and them problems vanished. ALSO if you put the graphic detail of bioshock into the source engine you would be running at 1fps. thats not a dig at the source engine. thats just to explain why the texture popup has been added to the unreal engine.

All in all source and unreal engine are both great engines but both have pros and cons. I think we can all forget about the cryengine2 for now and let source and unreal fight it out. source has loads more fans then unreal but unreal has the intergrated partner progam.

Also just a final comment. they dont need to turn on the texture popup. its just better on your graphics card. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
five_damned_dollarz Dec 20 2007 says:

Uhh, who linked Bioshock to this? Bioshock is a heavily modified Unreal 2.5 Engine game, not Unreal 3 Engine...

0 votes     reply to comment
five_damned_dollarz Dec 20 2007 replied:

My bad, I revoke that last comment :P

+4 votes     reply to comment
Wiweeyum Oct 1 2008 replied:

Haha! That makes me funny inside!

+1 vote     reply to comment
MourningGlory Feb 7 2008 replied:


+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released 2007
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