Unreal Engine 4: Free to Download and Great for ArchViz!

Yesterday Epic games announced that the latest version of their Unreal game engine would be free to download. This announcement came at the start week long Game Development Conference 2015 taking place this week in San Francisco. This is great news for indie game developers as it means there is now a second option alongside the Unity game engine which had already been free to download for several years. Even if you are a student or just curious about game development now is a great time to start out and give it a try.

As you can see from their ‘sizzle reel’ the graphical capabilities of the engine are fantastic, and this has made it very attractive for real-time architectural visualisation. This is demonstrated brilliantly in Dereau Benoît’s brilliant ‘Unreal Paris’:

Another great example of the lighting capabilities in particular is the following test by French artist Koola.

Finally take a look at German firm Xoio’s great looking ‘Berlin Flat’:

With ready support for Oculus Rift and Leap Motion the engine is really promising. In order to encourage new users Unreal are even offering development grants of between $5,000 and $50,000. Although I have a number of projects coming up I can’t wait to start experimenting with the engine to see how the workflow compares with Unity. If you are as curious as me why not go ahead and check out Unreal Engine 4 and let me know how it goes. For their part Unity are promising big news later today at GDC. I’ll keep you posted.

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