At GDC 2023, Epic Games held a State of Unreal event, where the company unveiled the latest updates for Unreal Engine. We got a fresh look at some new tools coming soon to creators, as well as how some of these tools are being used in upcoming games like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2.
If you missed the livestream, here’s a quick roundup of everything announced during the 2023 State of Unreal event.
Unreal Editor For Fortnite allows players to develop their own games inside the popular Battle Royale
Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) is a new add-on available for the PC version of Fortnite. As Epic Games notes, the application works side-by-side with Fortnite’s existing creative toolset and is to be used for “designing, developing, and publishing games and experiences directly into Fortnite.” UEFN also includes a new scripting language called “Verse,” which Epic notes is a “powerful customization capabilities such as manipulating or chaining together devices and the ability to easily create new game logic.”
The Unreal Editor for Fortnite is available now on the Epic Games Store as a public beta.
Ninja Theory is Using MetaHuman Animator to push the “boundaries of realtime facial animation”
We already knew that Ninja Theory is hard at work on Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. And during today’s State of Unreal presentation, we got to see a sneak peek at how the developer is taking advantage of the new tools provided by Unreal Engine, and how it is using MetaHuman Animator to provide realistic facial animations on the its characters.
MetaHuman Animator will allow creators to use an iPhone or a stereo helmet-mounted camera to “reproduce any facial performance as high-fidelity animation” on MetaHuman characters. Epic touts that this new feature will allow creators to “capture the individuality, realism, and fidelity of your actor’s performance, and transfer every detail and nuance onto any MetaHuman to bring them to life in Unreal Engine.”
Epic Demos and Details New Features Coming to Unreal Engine 5.2
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and Unreal Engine head Nick Penwarden shared new information on Unreal Engine 5.2. The company teamed up with EV manufacturer Rivian to create the stunning Electric Dreams demo to demonstrate some new things developers can do.
Unreal Engine 5.2 will roll out new features, most notably, Substrate, a new method that will offer those using Unreal Engine 5 “more control over the look and feel of objects used in real-time applications,” including games.
More interestingly, Epic notes that Unreal Engine 5.2 will introduce the Procedural Content Generation Framework (PCG) during the State of Unreal Presentation. Epic claims that these new in-editor and run-time PCG tools will allow artists to “define rules and parameters to quickly populate expansive, highly detailed spaces” faster and more efficiently.
Everything Else from State of Unreal 2023
Epic announced it was consolidating its digital asset stores into one huge marketplace that will launch later this year. Called Fab, this new store will provide available assets in the Unreal Engine Marketplace, Quixel Bridge, Artstation Marketplace, and Sketchfab.
The company also announced “Creator Economy 2.0,” which is launching alongside UEFN to allow those that use the Fortnire Island creators to receive more money based on how much engagement their published content receives. Additionally, Epic pledged that 40 percent of the game’s net revenues would be put back into a pool for creators.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.