Bouncy Sprites And Surface Tackiness: Unreal 4 Engine

The Unreal 4 Engine is something you’ll be seeing a lot of in the next few years. All platforms, all devices, and probably even some high-end running shoes, will have its distinct shouldery shininess running away in the background. It will be the puppet master, pulling the strings of RPGs and FPSes and FPSeseseses. Frankly, it deserves some recognition, which is why Epic have been showing off its hidden secrets in a series of videos. Funnily enough, I was the last person on RPS to post one of these, and it’s a trend I’m happy to continue: the new video shows how some of the background of The Infiltrator demo was created, and I’ve embedded both below.

First, familiarise yourself with The Infiltrator. It’s a pretty fun bit of Machinima that was rendered in “real-time”, as opposed to those lying Pixar movies.

Now I know what you were thinking. You were wondering “But how did they make those particles so lively?”, weren’t you? I spotted that, too: the play of each individual embers as they danced across the metallic structure of the world. It was quite the thing, and the answer to that question, as well as queries about water and “lit translucency” lies here. Enjoy.


  1. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Natty Dread.

  2. Didden says:

    This is a Ridley Scott level of smoke and lighting. No bad thing :)

    • bstard says:

      Is that the ‘Teedeedeedeetadadada Roma Victor’ smoke type or the ‘Oh crap also the little kid is a lepper’ smoke?

  3. Text_Fish says:

    Worst super-villain-corporation ever. One little power-cut and all their tanks die, taking the factory out at the same time.

    • Cinek says:

      Tell that to death star designers. Here it’s at least just one factory, not an entire man-made moon.

    • cannonballsimp says:

      On the contrary, this just proves that they are upholding a great tradition of supervillainy! :)

  4. roberthdylan says:

    Game engines are fascinating, and the untold hours put into their development breathtaking. Yet the exponential level of graphical fidelity / RealismTM they’re able to generate (realtime!) seems to grow in inverse proportion to the actual complexity and interest of the games that use such engines.

    • Teovald says:

      It may be because games that fully use highly detailed engines tend to be of AAA category : they have an enormous budget. Sadly it also means that they are not going to take any risk and are going to stick with what has worked before for 95% of their choices.

    • ChromeBallz says:

      This is actually something UE4 might be able to help with. They focused a lot on making the workflow a lot smoother, so you don’t need to bake lighting and build geometry for a few hours at a time just to see the change of moving a little box around in your level, they wanted to get closer to a WYSIWYG editor.

      When you don’t need to spend so much time on the technical details of the engine, making the actual game becomes a lot easier :)

      • Marmalade Man says:

        That’s not how imagination works. People don’t make Metaldirt Spacegunner 6 and Magicsword Orckiller VII because they are too busy baking lightmaps, they do it because they have no original ideas.

        • BarneyL says:

          This is probably true but there are others who are too busy having original ideas to spend it baking lightmaps and end up sticking to retro pixel art rather than what they really want.

        • TimorousBeastie says:

          Like hell they don’t. Most designers have a ton of ideas that they’re sitting on that they’ll likely never get the chance to make because games are expensive as all hell to make and between development costs, engine rev share and distribution rev share, the people with the money want to ensure you play it safe so they can recoup their investment.

  5. SominiTheCommenter says:

    “Real-Time”, as long as you triple-SLI 3 Titans…

    • Cognitect says:

      The Infiltrator demo was optimized to run on a single GTX 680.

  6. Shockeh says:

    Just because it’s so overwrought in Unreal, I’d like to see a much more colourful, brighter demo to see how that performs. It’s undoubtedly pretty, but that entire demo was ‘Dark, Gritty Brown/Grey’ with occasional sparks of colour, and I’d be more interested to see innovation on style, like a Mirror’s Edge ‘If Apple takes over the world’ look, or even an attempt to make something that looks cel-shaded.

    I wonder how much focus has been on development with the newer console hardware – We can expect their limitations to be ‘our’ (As PC Gamers) limitations for the next 5-10 years, so any issues they hit for either platform we can expect to cascade and we’ll see the same levels of fidelity on the PC.

    • KillahMate says:

      You mean like Fortnite? That’s an in-house Epic game made on Unreal Engine 4, in fact it’s probably the first UE4 game that’s going to come out. Lots of colours everywhere, along with all that pretty lighting that UE4 does so well.

  7. Shadowcat says:

    I’m confused. Haven’t games been using UE4 for years now?

    • ChromeBallz says:

      They’ve been using UE3, not UE4. The new engine should be released some time in 2014 together with one or two games (Fortnite for example).

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    This, like most tech demos, looks very impressive, but when will we get a game that looks as impressive or even reminding us of the level of graphics we saw in said tech demo. A cyberpunk action game or RPG in UE4, e.g. Deus Ex, would be great, but I don’t know if the other aspects of the game would be as impressive and great. Like Teovald said, any game that uses UE4 to show off its power would probably be made by a large company making an AAA game and therefore taking no risks whatsoever -> dull, been-there-done-that games. Oh well, time will tell if interesting games will make use of this or other fancy game engines.

    • Erinduck says:

      I don’t think you understand the point of a tech demo.

      • Don Reba says:

        Pretty sure the point of a tech demo is to demonstrate a technology. And when one actually get to use the technology and it does not look like advertised, one justifiably feels having been lied to.

    • Stardreamer says:

      I’m still waiting for a game of this quality, and this first appeared around 2006…

      Game Industry Fail.

    • Talon2000uk says:

      You can have breadth or you can have depth. You can’t have both at the moment. Using all your memory and processing power to render a small room in hyper fidelity would look amazing. But walk into the next room and you spend the next 5 minutes loading, ok this is over simplified but you get the idea.. Want to know the biggest block to hyper real gaming. Hard disk drives.

      Until we have the ability to stream gigabytes of data per second in real time from our hard drive the games we get are going to be limited in fidelity no mater how good our graphics cards are.

  9. Correa says:

    Was it just me that thought it looked really better when they turned off the Bloom and Lens flare? They should have switched them off and leave the sprites on to see how that looked as well.

  10. XhomeB says:

    Looks nice, can’t wait for Epic to once again give its PC fanbase the middle finger and deliver another Xbox exclusive.

    By the way, why isn’t Gears of War PC a Steamworks-enabled game yet? Boy, would it help boost the player base, the multiplayer mode was really fun.

  11. Armante says:

    Cyan will be using the UE4 engine to run their new game Obduction (recently successful on Kickstarter and now on link to and accepting Paypal for futher fundraising) and I’m very much looking forward to having this engine tech put to use on creating alien worlds you can explore at your own leisure, rather than run-and-gun through a game world while following man-buttocks and ‘press x to duck’ instructions.

    • dE says:

      press x to duck

      aka the Facebook Profile Game for adolescent kids with insecurities.

  12. DrollRemark says:

    In the distant future, there will be only inadequate lighting for the conditions.

    • dE says:

      It’s cause of the carbon footprint, I tell ya.
      The deactivating of the plant with one button press too. It’s the new EU guideline. A technical instrument consuming power must be able to be deactivated from any place at a any time. It must deactivate everything at once. Also it must have at least a 2.8cm rounded surface with a three eyed smilie sticker on it. Also you need to dance around it in circles and shout “weebaahoobadoo”.

  13. ColonelClaw says:

    I must say I’m really looking forward to following my objective down a long corridor with this new engine

  14. SuicideKing says:

    Um…isn’t this the same demo that’s been out since CES and/or E3?

    EDIT: Yup, this is extremely old now.

    Haven’t seen the second one though.

  15. RProxyOnly says:

    I don’t see the point of U4, I have a very nice PC.. I want an engine that will stretch that pc, not a catch all engine that’ll run on any device.

    High end suffers yet again.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      I’m crazy for not giving a fuck about a company’s profit margin or workload when it interferes with me getting my percieved money’s worth or a product that I feel suits my expensive hardware over the generic low speced devices it’s being hobbled for?.. Yeah sure mate, stroll on.

      From my point of view, you’re crazy for denying I have a point.. Welcome to the opinionated internet.

  16. Greggh says:


  17. vai0 says: