2019 Unreal* Open Day—Intel to Create a Game Development Ecosystem along with Unreal Engine*

The annual Unreal* Open Day was held in Shanghai, China between May 8 and 9, 2019. Hosted by Epic Games* China, it is the technology-sharing event of the largest scale and strongest lineup for Unreal Engine* developers. The activity has been attracting widespread attention in the industry for many years.

During this event, Intel brought three games, Ran: Lost Islands*, Bright Memory, and Auto Chess*, to the exhibition area to introduce how Intel can help game developers improve game performance and optimize user experience. In addition, Intel introduced the Intel® Game Developer Program and its developer support program, which helps game developers develop and launch games more efficiently through technical guidance, marketing, and software and hardware support.

In addition to the rich booth experience, Jeff Rous, Intel senior engineer, also gave a special presentation titled, Making Chaos faster: a peek behind the curtain, where he analyzed the utility of the Intel SPMD Program Compiler (ISPC) in Unreal Engine's latest physical destruction system, Chaos, and shared with the audience how the addition of Intel® technology can make Chaos faster and more powerful.

The Unreal* Open Day Unreal Engine* Technology Fest

In his opening speech, Wu Hao, General Manager of Epic Games of Greater China, shared the development history of Unreal Open Day (UOD) since its inception five years ago. The number of UOD participants has jumped from the initial 300 to 2,000, while the composition of participants has also evolved from being just developers to include many non-developer participants. This represents a growing crowd of people interested in or using the Unreal Engine, and the diversity of the groups of people interested in the technology of Unreal Engine is also growing. In addition to Wu Hao, and representing many experts and technical leaders at Epic Games, Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney also delivered a speech and introduced the latest technological innovations of Unreal Engine, and the development and plans of Epic Games in China.

The experts gave engaging technical presentations on topics including graphics technology analysis, game development and optimization study cases, application of graphics technology in the industry, graphics industry trends, and so on, which reflected how the graphics technology ecosystem is becoming increasingly active. Unreal* Open Day provides updates to China game developers including:

Event schedule
Figure 1. Unreal* Open Day.

  • The popularity and constant improvements of smartphones have led to great changes in the ecosystem of the entire game industry, and the number of gamers has surged from 100 million in 2000 to 2 billion this year.
  • In response to the trend of games becoming more social, cross-platform, and having faster development iterations, Unreal Engine has developed additional tools and provided Epic Games with new online services and stores.
  • In 2019, Unreal Engine will launch the Epic Friends system, a new online service that is capable of accommodating 250 million players and supporting 10 million simultaneous players on seven platforms around the world.
  • The next generation Unreal Engine can achieve even higher levels of rendering and will change the way games are developed. Moreover, the next version will include the Unreal Engine's latest physical destruction system, Chaos.

The 2019 Annual Awards Ceremony was held during the event to award the best independent work, the best enterprise application, and the most anticipated work. The award for the best independent work went to Qu Tu* by Metronomik, the best enterprise application went to Flying to the Moon* by CCTV, and the most anticipated game award went to Dragon Fantasy* by Zulong Entertainment.

Intel Works with Epic Games* to Assist Game Development in China

Intel booth
Figure 2. Intel booth.

Thanks to the ever-growing community of Chinese gamers and the increase in their spending power, the Chinese game industry has maintained rapid growth in recent years, and a large number of high-quality games have been created. In order to help Chinese game developers develop high-quality games more efficiently, Intel and Epic Games provided technical assistance as well as optimization and marketing services to help the game industry flourish.

Ran: Lost Islands*

Group of attendees playing game
Figure 3. Players experience Ran: Lost Islands*.

Game introduction: Ran: Lost Islands is a survival action game that combines elements of adventure, survival and battle. The players play as state powers of the Middle Ages and search for gold coins and magic treasures on a mysterious island while fighting battles. Only those who beat the others and survive to the end can board ships and escape with all the wealth.

Graphics and game performance: In terms of game and graphics performance, Ran: Lost Islands is optimized for multicore CPUs, and provides different levels of game effects such as fabric, destruction, and particle effects for CPUs with different levels of performance. Tim Sweeny was mesmerized by the amazing scenes of the game, and watched the game at the booth. He also talked with the game developers and Intel supporting engineers, and discussed how the Unreal Engine and Intel technology can help game developers.

Auto Chess*

Auto Chess poster
Figure 4. Auto Chess* poster.

Game introduction: Auto Chess* was jointly created by Dragonest Games, Giant Bird Studio, and IMBA Media, and is a competitive chess-type game. In the game, eight players start in different locations and earn gold from battles, and by grabbing the pieces in the shared card pool, which are used to match with and evolve their own pieces. As the army grows, the chess pieces automatically engage enemy pieces.

Graphics and game performance: The PC version of Auto Chess was created with Unreal Engine 4 and features a monstrous fantasy continent. The game is optimized for multicore and multithread Intel® Core™ processors and its performance has been upgraded on the latest Intel CPU platform. Currently, the game is still in the development stages, and the exclusive trailer for the beta version was displayed at the Intel booth, which attracted a lot of attention and questions from fans. Everyone is looking forward to this hit online PC game.

Bright Memory

Event attendee plays game
Figure 5. Player experiences Bright Memory.

Game introduction: Bright Memory is an action shooting game developed by FYQD-Studio and developed based on Unreal Engine* 4. The narrative of the game is presented in a linear process and is about the adventure of a supernatural science research team member, Shuya. Bright Memory is different from traditional FPS gameplay in that the game adds a motion combo mechanism to the shooting. Players can use different combo styles to use a set of gorgeous combos, and there is also a real-time scoring mechanism in the game.

Graphics and game performance: Thanks to the open source nature of Unreal Engine 4, FYQD-Studio was able to develop the game efficiently and at low cost. At the same time, with the addition of Intel technology, the quality of the game graphics was guaranteed, and users can play the game on most PC platforms with a smooth experience. Most of the art in the game was made using PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) , and by using Intel multicore and multithread technology for targeted optimization, the features of Unreal Engine 4 were fully utilized while the overall costs were also reduced.

The Intel® Game Dev Program Creates an Active Gaming Community

During this edition of UOD, Intel introduced the Intel® Game Dev Program via video promotion and live presentations. Not only will you get the most basic technical support through this program, but also achieve more market exposure opportunities. It also plays an important role in game design, game development, marketing, and other aspects.

The Intel Game Dev Program is designed to serve game developers at all levels, from indie game developers to large game studios, helping them to optimize game performance and enhance user experience. On one hand, Intel's technical team can help developers optimize game performance to get as many games as possible to run at 30 to 60 frames per second on the integrated graphics from Intel®, and to meet the basic needs of smooth gameplay. On the other hand, Intel supports game developers by utilizing hardware performance sufficiently, and providing powerful graphics adjustment options. As for smaller games with simple graphics, Intel platforms can sufficiently satisfy game performance requirements. For developers of games that require higher game performance and higher graphics performance, Intel also provides options for powerful multicore and multithreading processing. For example, better particle effects and physical damage effects can be achieved to realize better performance and user experience at the same time, which promotes the development of high-quality games.

By following the Intel Game Dev program, you can learn more about technical training and development tutorials, tools, and kits, or the development experience of other game development programs based on Intel platforms, learn how to better plan and design your own games, and receive better technical guidance and software and hardware tool support. The Intel Game Dev Program can also help game developers to fully explore or create multiple online and offline exposure opportunities, establish industry influence for game products, and focus on target customers, thus achieving both an increase in the quality and popularity of the game.

ISPC Reveals the Secret Behind Chaos

During UOD's technology sharing session, Jeff Rous, Intel senior engineer, along with two other Epic Games technicians gave a special presentation on Chaos. After the Epic Games engineers introduced the performance of Chaos, Jeff shared how Intel provided technical support during the design process, and how the single-program multi-data (SPMD) program compiler played an important role in Chaos. Making Chaos faster: a peek behind the curtain.

Jeff Rous gives a presentation
Figure 6. Jeff Rous gives a presentation.

Chaos is a real-time physical destruction system in the Unreal Engine. Compared to the existing toolset, Chaos can help users create more complex real-time destruction effects. In addition to making breaks inside the engine, there are dynamic strain assessments and next generation collisions.

  • The C++ language used in the Chaos system does not perform well in single-instruction multiple data stream (SIMD) applications, but the integration of the ISPC enables the performance of the Chaos system to be improved by about three times in key areas.
  • ISPC is a kernel-based SPMD programming language. It is compiled into a scalar code kernel with multiple instance combinations for SIMD or single instruction multiple thread (SIMT) vector computing architectures, enabling vectorized assembly code to be generated in a simple and efficient way.
  • Developers can write ISPC once and compile it to a large number of vectorized instruction sets (such as Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 (SSE4), Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions (Intel® AVX), and Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel® AVX2)). If the developer is compiling multiple instruction sets, there is an automatic detection mechanism that selects the correct function based on the user's CPU. When the new instruction set is used there is no need to update the internal functions, and it only needs to be recompiled.
  • In the Chaos system, ISPC is suitable for intensive computational binding workloads such as physical cross-testing, fabric, or CPU vertex conversion. ISPC plays a particularly significant role when there is no data dependency between operations or when combined with the Parallel.For batch scheme.

Promoting Development of China's Game Industry

The 2019 Unreal Open Day not only demonstrated the amazing innovations that Unreal Engine brings to the game industry and other graphics-related industries, but also shared the technical practices of the Unreal Engine. Intel and Epic Games continue to expand their in-depth cooperation in the field of game development to provide greater support for Chinese game developers, and to create an ecosystem of continuous expansion and optimization!

More technical sharing, success stories, and other content will continue to be uploaded to the Intel® Developer Zone. Following the website or WeChat account allows you to get first-hand information and collaborate with developers and enthusiasts around the world.

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