16 Aug 2014

Nex Gen Game Engines

Nex gen means hope. The hope for better gameplay, storyline and destruction. And gamers are not easily satisfied. Every engine has its own way of creating the ultimate gaming experience. Here are a few.

(PS This is not a comparison)

Unreal Engine 4 (Unreal)

The fourth edition of UE features voxel – cone tracing for lighting. In most of the games, a scene’s lighting is pre-computed and dynamic lighting occurs only when objects are hit with a direct light source. UE4 uses realistic global illumination. Depending upon the type of object (diffuse or specular) the colour, amount and the way of light bouncing off it will change as well. The Unreal Engine sports a fully deferred renderer which supports deferred detailing in the environment and lighting – in real-time. UE4 now supports GPU particles which enables millions of particles to be produced, maintained and do complex simulations like fire, ice and magic effects in a scene. The volumetric particle system interacts with direct and indirect light – emit as well as absorb light. The engine also has subsurface scattering which determines the amount of light that can pass through a material, enabling more realistic objects to be rendered.

And they have some goodies for the developers too. Two modes in the engine – ‘Immersive’ where you can interact with the environment you created as a player and ‘Editor’ where you get dockable panels to manipulate objects and their properties. Switching between the modes is instantaneous. Adding to these, there is a ‘simulate’ mode where you are in the game, but you won’t get to control the player entity. And there is a new event flow graph called – Blueprint where you can see how the events are triggered and debug them.


UE4 Features Demo

UE4 Elemental Demo

CryENGINE (4th Generation) (CryTek)

Cyrtek has improved every aspect of their previous release – from visuals, character animations, and physics to scalability. The visuals are rendered using Physically Based Shading (PBS) model which simulates the interaction between light and objects using real world physics. It aids in creating a natural and believable environment. The robust vegetation system allows for massive amount of vegetation to accurately render real world physics down to individual leaves – making them interactive to players, dynamic objects, explosions and more. The physics engine can reflect real life vegetation, water simulation and destruction. CryENGINE supports DX11 hardware tessellation for creating refined meshes and Pixel Accurate Displacement Mapping (PADM) for rendering massively detailed geometry without excessive amount of triangles.

For developers the character animation tools has dedicated character editor, individualization system and improved motion warping. The Sandbox grants developers complete control over their game features with flow graph, material editor and dedicated tools for vegetation, vehicles creation and inbuilt performance analysis tools. Also, CryENGINE has added Linux support.

Ryse son of rome

Official website

GDC 2014 Demo

Snowdrop (Ubisoft)

The Snowdrop engine from Ubisoft is a ‘node-based scripting system’, which connects every object and action in the game together. Anything happening in one half of the game will trigger events all over the system. The focus is on detailing and dynamic effects. In-game features include day and night cycle, volumetric lighting, global illumination and procedural destruction which enhances the precision of destruction of objects. There are no pre-baked destructions. They react dynamically to physical forces. The indoor and outdoor lighting is inspired from film production techniques. Dynamic material shading allows the game environment to respond to climate changes enhancing the experience.

For the developers, Snowdrop will be something similar to Lego®. Every component is available in the editor and you just need to combine them to create a believable experience. Like UE4, Snowdrop also supports previewing the game while in the editor.

The Division gameplay

The Division demo

1 hour of gameplay

Snowdrop developer diary


Fox Engine

The Fox Engine is an in-house product from Kojima Productions. It is a cross-platform engine popularized by Konami. The Fox Engine debut was in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2014. The engine focuses on photo-realism with dynamic lighting. It also features day and night cycle and environmental dynamics like dust and rain. It is capable of reflecting these dynamics without distorting the scenes.


Fox Engine GDC 2013 Demo

Time for an upgrade of your console/gpu ? Or have you pre-ordered the titles already? 😉