Epic Games’ widely used Unreal Engine that powers countless graphics-rich games like the Infinity Blade trilogy was bumped to version 4.9 today. New features include better graphics in iPhone and iPad games, the ability to use remote push notifications, support for Apple’s CloudKit framework which provides authentication, databases and storage services to developers, and many other perks.
Unreal Engine 4.9 can be downloaded through the official website.
Other newsworthy improvements in Unreal Engine 4.9 include efficient dynamic shadows, movable lights and decals, improved In-App Purchase functionality and a bunch of other goodies, including the following:
- Dynamic modulated character shadows from directional lights.
- Dynamic point lights.
- Decals are now supported by the mobile renderer.
- Unreal Engine’s SteamVR plugin includes many major fixes to make it easier to use and more performant.
- Full scene particle collision with mesh distance fields.
- Motion controllers are now supported through a common abstraction layer.
- Hierarchical Level-of-Detail (HLOD) fast preview and clustering.
- Area shadows for stationary lights.
- Ambient occlusion material mask.
- Widget depth ordering.
- The new ArchVisCharacter plugin provides out-of-the-box controls appropriate for architectural visualization applications and character animations.
- Experimental DirectX 12 support on Windows 10.
The full list of features in Unreal Engine 4.9 is available at the official website.
Among the aforementioned enhancements, a new dynamic point lights feature on mobile devices is particularly impressive. As evidenced by the animated GIF embedded below, game developers can deploy this feature to enhance short-lived visual effects such as explosions, projectiles, particle effects and so forth.
Up to four dynamic point lights are supported on each object being illuminated, though dynamic shadows cast from point lights are not yet supported on mobile. It’s interesting that this edition of Unreal Engine integrates Flurry’s mobile analytics plugin for iOS.
Source: Unreal Engine