Sweeney Talks Unreal Engine 3 and UT 3 Technology
Count this as an obscure article – at least for we American readers – but Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, talked with German PG Games Hardware magazine a few weeks back about some of the enhancements in the Unreal Engine, DirectX 10 support and the upcoming Unreal Tournament 3. Sweeney also mentioned how Gears of War’s development has influenced the Unreal sequel:
PCGH: Are there any things you learned while developing Gears of War for next gen consoles that you can now benefit from when finalizing UT 3 for the PC?
Tim Sweeney: The Gears of War experience on Xbox 360 taught us to optimize for multi-core, and to improve the low-level performance of the key engine systems. This has carried over very well to PC. The division of UE3′s rendering and gameplay into separate threads, implemented originally for 360, has brought even more significant gains on PC where there is a more heavyweight hardware abstraction layer in DirectX, hence more CPU time spent in rendering relative to gameplay.
Also, the 360 work we did resulted in an engine that also runs well on low-end and mid-range PCs. This is very important for games today; the high-end PC gaming market alone is not big enough to support next-generation games with budgets in the $10-20M range. You need to run on ordinary mass-market PCs as well. In reading PC gaming websites, one might get the impression that everyone owns a dual-core PC with a pair of $600 GPUs in SLI configuration, but the reality is very different. More than 80% of PCs sold today are still single-core, and have very low-end DirectX9 graphics capabilities. Unreal Engine 3 supports those configurations well.
There really isn’t a lot of solid info but the Gears of War and Unreal Engine information is at least interesting for hardware minded folks.