Epic games is known these days for Xbox titles such as Gears of War, however it’s sometimes easy to forget they were also one of the all-time greats in the PC arena. The Unreal series pushed the boundaries of competitive multiplayer, and even PC hardware well ahead of anything else of its day. A few select titles such as the original Gears of War and Bulletstorm made their way to the PC, however the controls just didn’t transfer well to the mouse and keyboard. Those longing for the good ole days of Epic PC exclusives finally have something to look forward to, with Design Director Cliff Bleszinski confirming the existence of a PC only title to panel attendees at PAX East.
The Unreal Engine 3 has been at the heart of several of the biggest games of the last few years. Titles include Gears of War, Bioshock, and Borderlands. Now Epic Games is announcing the release of a free non-commercial version of the Unreal Development Kit, powered by Unreal 3.
The dev kit is available for download right this very minute at the official site. This isn’t some stripped down version of the engine either. According to Epic, “UDK contains all the most recently added features and technological enhancements, including many that have yet to be seen in an Unreal Engine game. Furthermore, Epic Games will release ongoing, upgraded builds of UDK for free.”
The UDK can be used to create mods for existing games, as well as standalone products. San Diego based Psyonix Studios used the UDK to create a proof of concept game in two months with only two individuals. The game is called Whizzle, and it’s actually pretty neat for what is essentially a tech demo. It’s always nice to see companies giving something away for free.
The gaming industry is, currently, on the forefront of media. There's nothing else like it -- nothing else endowed with its far-reaching potential. Gaming is the future, so I guess it makes sense that gamers' gazes are aimed unflinchingly forward, never braking for the past -- or even the present. Our news always involves what's "Coming this holiday season" and our real-life heroes, when not piecing together the latest triple-A titles, rack their brains over how tomorrow's games will work. Why can't we stop for a breather every once in a while?
But no, our breakneck pace continues today. We'll rest when we're dead or when we practice what we preach. Into the crystal ball I've gazed, and I've seen things, man -- things like Unreal Engine 4, PC gaming's death, and, ack, Cammie Dunaway! Consider this crystal ball retired!