GDC State of Unreal 2024

The GDC annual State of Unreal just ended, with Epic Games summarizing the biggest new features coming to Unreal Engine, UEFN and more. First talk about Unreal Engine 5.4, which is available in preview download right now from the Epic Launcher.

Skydance’s presentation featured Nanite Tessellation and volumetric rendering, which are shipping in Unreal Engine 5.4 Preview 1, available now. 

Animation is a major focus of 5.4, which introduces Motion Matching, a simple and efficient way to animate characters in games. Later this year we will also release a free sample learning project that includes over 500 AAA animations created from high-end motion capture data with the locomotion and traversal dataset used in the keynote demo. In addition, thanks to extensive battletesting in LEGO Fortnite development, you can now fully animate your game using Control Rig and Sequencer with no round tripping between applications.

There were several announcements for UEFN creators as well:

It’s been a year since we launched Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) and Creator Economy 2.0 at GDC 2023. Since then, creators have published more than 80,000 UEFN islands, and Epic has paid more than $320M to creators in the first year of engagement payouts. 

We introduced and previewed several new features on the UEFN 2024 roadmap, and announced that creators using UEFN can now easily create and animate MetaHumans as non-playable characters (NPCs) for their Fortnite islands using MetaHuman Creator and MetaHuman Animator.

We are also making more gaming IP from Epic widely available for Fortnite creators. Creators can now use new creative devices and race track templates to build Rocket Racing islands in Fortnite, including a Rocket Racing Vehicle Spawner device for spawning vehicles and two brand-new templates for making their own tracks. Additionally, in May we’ll be adding Fall Guys assets, animations and Fall Guys beans to UEFN so creators can build their own frantic obstacle courses, all inside Fortnite.

We want to find more opportunities for creators to not only use Epic’s IP but also a range of licensed IP. We’re excited that the LEGO Group is the first partner to bring its brand assets to Fortnite creators.

They also announced that the Epic Game Store will be coming to mobile, specifically Android and iOS by the end of the year:

Finally, we shared more about our plans to bring the Epic Games Store (EGS) to mobile later this year. EGS will become the first ever game-focused, multi-platform store, and will work across Android, iOS, PC, and macOS. Mobile developers will benefit from the same fair terms on EGS for PC: 88/12 revenue share and the same programs you can leverage to keep 100% of revenue using your own payments for in-app purchases, Epic First Run, and Now On Epic. More on this soon!

Key Links

State of Unreal Roundup: Unreal Engine 5.4, MetaHumans in UEFN, and LEGO® Elements for Fortnite Creators

All the big news from the State of Unreal at GDC ‘24 – Unreal Engine

We have summarized the entire hour+ long event into an under 10 minute video focusing entirely on announcements of interest to game developers.

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