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Breaking news, tips, announcements, and other interesting things worth knowing.

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Nick Pfisterer

Epic Games has formally announced its plans for GDC 2024, and there is a lot to look forward to if you are planning to attend the conference:

  • The State of Unreal keynote kicks things off on March 20 at 9:30 AM PDT
  • 3 days of tech talks and sponsored sessions
  • A booth packed with swag, snacks, demos, and more

You can view all the details and tech talk schedules here.

Additionally, Epic Games is collaborating with ArtStation to host a community showcase at their booth. If you want your work to be included, head to ArtStation and fill out the submission form by February 25, 2024.

Unreal Engine at GDC 2024
Image: Epic Games
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Nick Pfisterer

It's that time of month again! All of the assets below are free to download from the Unreal Marketplace for the month of February. I recommend grabbing everything, even if you don't need it — you might someday.

Replicated Building System

Atlas Studio

Get it now →

Stylized Modular Crystal Mine

Scale 3D

Get it now →

Fantasy Interior Environment

Leartes Studios

Get it now →

Stats & Achievements Integration

Artur

Get it now →

Advanced CRT TV - VCR - VHS Effects

CemTezcan

Get it now →
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Nick Pfisterer

Epic Games has just announced plans for six Unreal Fest events around the world in 2024. Starting in May, the conference is coming to the Gold Coast, Prague, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

Preliminary details for the lineup, including opportunities to speak at the Gold Coast and Prague conferences, can be found here.

Unreal Fest 2024 announced
Gold Coast, Queensland. Image: Epic Games
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Nick Pfisterer

In response to an X post by UEFN developer Warforge, Tim Sweeney stated that Verse is not coming to Unreal Engine 5 in 2024. Perhaps more intriguing, Tim also offered a rare glimpse into his vision for Unreal Engine 6.

For now, it seems, Tim will be ready to increase the version number when UE5 supports not only Verse, but the ability to more readily contribute to an ecosystem of Fortnite-like experiences, ushered in by new standards and technologies as yet seen.

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Nick Pfisterer

It's that time of month again! All of the assets below are free to download from the Unreal Marketplace for the month of January. I recommend grabbing everything, even if you don't need it — you might someday.

Clouds & Skies

Leeyo Atelier

Get it now →

Gathering Resources - Advanced System

sizzoNNz

Get it now →

Ithris Cemetery

Rasmus Bagner

Get it now →

Line of Sight Dynamic Mesh

BarushColi

Get it now →

Fantasy Bundle Environment Kit 3 in 1

Denys Rutkovskyi

Get it now →
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Nick Pfisterer

The 2023 Epic MegaJam winners were announced during the Inside Unreal livestream on November 30 – VOD available here. Since the list was not published elsewhere following the stream, and Epic is on holiday break until January 7, 2024, here is a list of all the winners along with links (or UEFN island codes) to their projects.

Best Overall - UE

Best Overall - UEFN

  • 1st place - Time Heist (Island Code: 9430-2471-5714)
  • 2nd place - The Oregon Trek (Island Code: 7356-5730-2460)
  • 3rd place - Rail Riders (Can someone help me find the island code for this one?)

Best Overall - Student

Modifiers

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Nick Pfisterer

Your wallet isn't safe yet: Epic is closing out 2023 with the Marketplace Holiday Sale. Over 24,000 assets are up to 70% off until December 31, 2023 11:59 PM EST.

Browse the sale

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Nick Pfisterer

Microsoft has reported four vulnerabilities in Perforce Helix Server, a popular version control system in the game industry – and one many of you probably use at work.

It's worth reading the article if you're interested in the nature of the vulnerabilities, their severity, and how they were discovered. Otherwise, just make sure your Perforce admin updates Perforce Server to version 2023.1/2513900 as soon as possible to patch the vulnerabilities. You can download the latest version here.

Hat tip to @mastercoms over on our Discord server.

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Nick Pfisterer

It's that time of month again! All of the assets below are free to download from the Unreal Marketplace for the month of December. I recommend grabbing everything, even if you don't need it — you might someday.

LUSH: Stylized Environment Set

PolyPeak 3D

Get this for free →

Modular Victorian Gouse

ZhenyaChistovsky

Get this for free →

Greek Island

Scale 3D

Get this for free →

Easy Combo Buffering

BP Systems

Get this for free →

Procedural NPC Crowds V2

Komodobit Games

Get this for free →
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Nick Pfisterer

It's that time of month again! All of the assets below are free to download from the Unreal Marketplace for the month of November. I recommend grabbing everything, even if you don't need it — you might someday.

Modular Gothic/Fantasy Environment

Stormcrow Studios

Get this for free →

Low Poly Town

PolyArt3D

Get this for free →

Grocery Store Props Collection

JessyStorm's Assets

Get this for free →

Survivors Roguelike - Multiplayer Game Template

Monster Tooth Studios

Get this for free →

Defender: Animated Dialogue System

Game Dev Voyager

Get this for free →
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Nick Pfisterer

The Epic v. Google trial started this morning, and The Verge liveblogging it right here if you want to follow the proceedings.

In 2020, Epic Games filed civil antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google, arguing that their respective iOS and Android app stores were unlawful monopolies. Epic v. Apple already had its day in court, and now, more than 3 years later, Epic v. Google has finally gone to trial.

The outcome of this trial may have significant implications for the future of Android. If Epic has their way, Google will make it easier to use third-party app stores, sideload apps, and use non-Google payment processors, which would open the door to many new options for Unreal developers who publish on Android.

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Nick Pfisterer

Today, Epic Games is launching the Epic First Run program they announced back in August. At the same time, they announced another, similar program – Now On Epic – that incentivizes developers to bring their back catalogs to the Epic Games Store. Both programs are opt-in and offer ways to temporarily boost your revenue share from 88% to 100%. Here's a brief rundown of how they both work.

Epic First Run

  • Earn 100% revenue share for 6 months in exchange for Epic Games Store exclusivity
  • Open to developers and publishers with eligible products launching on or after October 16, 2023
  • Participating developers must launch exclusively on Epic Games Store and remain exclusive for 6 months
  • Revenue share returns to 88%/12% when the exclusivity period ends

Now On Epic

  • Earn 100% revenue share for 6 months in exchange for bringing your back catalog to Epic Games Store
  • Open to developers and publishers with eligible products launched on another third-party PC storefront or subscription service before October 31, 2023
  • Eligible products will receive 100% revenue share for their first 6 months on the Epic Games Store
  • Revenue share returns to 88%/12% after 6 months
  • If you have three or more eligible products, you must bring at least three of them to Epic Games Store
  • If you have less than three, you must bring all of them
  • You must enroll before December 31, 2024
  • All eligible products must be released on the Epic Games Store before June 30, 2025
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Nick Pfisterer

Did you miss Unreal Fest 2023? You can now watch the opening session along with livestream recordings from all 3 days of the conference. For now, the livestreams are only grouped by day. So, for example, if you want to watch a session that was streamed on day 1, you have to find which of the 3 livestreams it was part of and seek to the session you want in the video.

Epic will eventually release separate recordings of nearly all the sessions from the event, including the ones that were not livestreamed.

View the opening session and livestream recordings

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Nick Pfisterer

The Steamworks team have published a great video about how game visibility works on Steam, narrated by Erik Peterson from the Steam business team. Erik walks through all the different ways Steam chooses what games to show to players, including a break down of which sections of the store are curated vs. algorithmic/personalized.

Highly recommended for anyone who has published or wants to publish a game on Steam; especially independent developers who are working on publishing their first game.

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Nick Pfisterer

It's that time of month again! All of the assets below are free to download from the Unreal Marketplace for the month of October. I recommend grabbing everything, even if you don't need it — you might someday.

Dreamscape Nature : Tower - Stylized Open World Environment

Polyart Studio

Get this asset for free →

Deep Elder Caves

Alexander Sychov

Get this asset for free →

Gladiator Arena Environment Kit

Denys Rutkovskyi

Get this asset for free →

EP Master Materials

A-Mod Studio

Get this asset for free →

NPC Optimizator - Automatic optimize NPC for your game

Space Raccoon Game Studio

Get this asset for free →
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Nick Pfisterer

Epic has added a new "Forward Looking" tab to their Unreal Engine public roadmap. The tab looks to be a way for them to share tentative plans for features they are working on without committing to a specific version or ship date. The tab features a prominent disclaimer:

This board reflects some of our current Unreal Engine development paths and we intend to update it regularly. This is not a commitment on which release or date any features could ship. All plans are tentative and subject to change without notice.

There's a lot of interesting stuff here, like a next-generation terrain solution, UMG style sheets, and a design overhaul for the conten browser.

Take a look for yourself. Worth bookmarking!

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Nick Pfisterer

Update: Unfortunately, this event has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. Once we confirm a new date and time, we will let you all know. Apologies for the late notice.

We're collaborating with Epic Games to bring you another Community Q&A! This time our guests will be Snowcastle Games, an independent game studio from Oslo, Norway. They will be talking about their experience in the industry, working in art and design, and how they transitioned to Unreal Engine in their day-to-day workflows.

Bring your questions tomorrow at 9:00 AM Pacific Time in our Discord server.

See you there!

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Nick Pfisterer

The 2023 Epic MegaJam theme is... ANTIQUATED FUTURE

Reminders:

  • Register for the jam right here
  • Hang out with other participants on our Discord server (join the #challenges channel and look for the pinned Epic MegaJam 2023 thread)
  • Have fun, and good luck!
2023 Epic MegaJam theme announcement
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Nick Pfisterer

Come join us for a surprise Epic Office Hours on our Discord server!

To help you prepare for the Epic MegaJam, some UE evangelists will be hanging out with us here, talking about how to get started with Unreal, and doing Q&A for you all. All you have to do is join the server and click the green Join Now button at the top of the app. It should take you straight to the event.

Hope to see you there!

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Nick Pfisterer

Unreal Engine 5.3 is out! You can download it now on the Epic Games Launcher and GitHub. As usual, this release contains a laundry list of new features and improvements. Some highlights:

  • Multi-process cooking
  • Virtual Shadow Maps are now production ready
  • Cinematic-quality volumetric rendering (experimental)
  • Orthographic rendering (experimental)
  • In-engine skeletal editor (experimental)
  • Enhancements to Nanite, Lumen, Temporal Super Resolution, and much more

Here are some useful links while you wait for it to download.

Unreal Engine 5.3 released
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Nick Pfisterer

Epic is celebrating 9 years of the Unreal Marketplace with a big sale. Damn. Can you believe it's been around for that long? Anyway, the sale ends September 4, 2023 8:59 PM Pacific Time, so don't miss out on the deals.

Browse the sale