Epic Games has pushed out a major upgrade to their flagship Unreal Engine 4 today. But what's interesting is the motivation behind the upgrade, with the company saying it was necessary to ensure their upcoming MOBA, Paragon, could run at a stable 60fps on PC and PS4.
The announcement was made via a lengthy blog post this morning, and those that have downloaded the Epic Launcher will be able to install UE4 4.11 now. But while there is a laundry list of benefits for developers and the games using UE4, the one game that gets the most billing is Epic's own MOBA, Paragon.
According to the post, the technical demands of Paragon — 10 animating heroes and over 120 minions on the screen at once, along with all of the effects and textures — were so great that Epic had to further optimise their engine. "A major effort for us over the last several months has been optimizing UE4 in order to get our next game, Paragon, running at 60fps on PC and PlayStation 4."
The post doesn't say what the difference in graphics quality between the PC and PS4 builds is like, although we'll find out more when Paragon's open beta launches on both platforms later this year.
Epic's also improved shaders for skin, models and eyes that should take games even closer and closer to photorealistic graphics. Have a look at the slightly bloodshot whites of the eyes.
And the pores and uneven skin tone is getting pretty damn good too:
The list of all the additions and optimisations is immense; it's far, far too long to reproduce here, so hop on over to Epic's website.
But I'll leave you with one last note that's worth paying attention to. Buried a fair way down in the post is the news that Microsoft has enabled experimental DirectX 12 support for Xbox One, and devs working with UE4 can enable support for this by changing bBuildForD3D12 to true in the BaseEngine.ini file. Here's the rest of the steps:
Set bBuildForD3D12 to true in the XboxOneRuntimeSettings section of BaseEngine.ini Set D3D12_ROOT_SIGNATURE to 1 in XboxOneShaderCompiler.cpp Comment out the use of GetSamplePosition in PostProcessSelectionOutline.usf (not supported on Xbox One yet) Rebuild and restart!
It's odd that they're not making more of a thing about it, but perhaps the support is just a little too experimental at this stage. It'll be fun to see what benefits come out of it, though.