Epic Games’ Unreal Engine version 4.9 has just been released! According to an announcement on the Unreal Blog, UE 4.9 boasts 129 improvements from the Unreal Engine GitHub developer community.
Among the new features are a slew of mobile enhancements. As mobile gaming has risen in popularity, so has development of mobile games. Tweaks include better HTML5 rendering, Android OpenGL ES 3.1 support, and asynch audio decompression. NVIDIA made headlines with the announcement of AndroidWorks, a set of tools to aid developers in creating mobile apps. UE 4.9 includes AndroidWorks, a nice touch. Freemium titles like Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans rely on the free-to-play model. Accordingly, release 4.9 improved iOS in-app purchasing, accommodating freemium devs.
As gaming visuals become a higher priority evidenced by releases like Infinity Blade. As such, UE 4.9 delivers dynamic point lights and dynamic character shadows for increased realism. Another huge trend in gaming is virtual reality. UE 4 introduced VR support, and 4.9 adds fixes and improvements, most significantly the addition of motion control compatibility. VR presents an immersive experience, and motion controls further enhance the mesmerizing capabilities of virtual reality.
With the debut of Windows 10 came DirectX 12, and UE 4.9 brings "experimental" DX12 support. While it’s an available feature, it’s considered in the early stages of development. Several field-of-view enhancements have been implemented, such as full scene particle collision with mesh distance fields, and hierarchical level-of-detail (HLOD) clustering and fast preview. HLOD was new in UE 4.8, and 4.9 builds upon HLOD, with fast preview, enabling rapid HLOD iteration builds.
Check out the full details of Unreal Engine 4.9 over on the Unreal Engine Blog.