Epic’s Mark Rein was on hand at GDC last week, chatting about Unreal Engine 3, some of the games created with it, and some of the winners from the Make Something Unreal contest.
Turns out, there will plenty of games shown off at E3 created with the engine, and he is very pleased that not only the larger developers are using it, but thanks to the release of the Unreal Development Kit, consumers are as well.
“We’re going to get to see the Transformers game Activision is making, Disney’s new Tron game – we’re always really excited to go to events like E3 to see games like Arkham Asylum, which was a great game, and things of that nature,” he told VG247, “so E3′s a lot of fun for us.
“We are constantly updating our Engine, constantly adding cool new features and improvements. We are constantly improving the technology, we just don’t stand still.”
Back in November, Epic released the Unreal Development Kit toolset for free, which saw 50K downloads during its first week of availability. As of last week, it had been downloaded over 150K times.
“That’s pretty impressive,” said Rein. “I mean, it’s just a development kit. It’s not like it’s a game.
“Plus, the Make Something Unreal contest had thousands of entries, and the quality of the top five and ten, and some of the other games was just spectacular. It caught me by surprise, not because of the engine, but because technology marches on and it takes more and more skill to make a game as we get better and better technology.
“Plus, users expectations go up and they want something more immersive and more realistic – they just want a better experience every year. You can’t just make the same game you did five years ago and think users are gonna think that’s okay.
“So, I expected we’d get a few entries and it would be hard for some of these consumer types to build something that’s competitive with retail games.
“I was wrong. I mean, The Ball, The Haunted, Prometheus, and a whole bunch of the others were just fantastic and very high quality games. I am very proud of that, and now a bunch of these are going to use the UDK and ship them as stand-alone games, and hopefully these guys will make some money from them.
“And I love the games where you can’t tell it’s [developed with] Unreal. I just saw a prototype today that someone showed me that blew me away and you could not tell. Borderlands is another example, that didn’t look anything like Unreal, and it’s one of my favorite games from last year. You’ll love it.
“So, I think that a variety of games that are going to be made with UDK and Unreal 3 is just mind blowing.”