July 2012 Unreal Development Kit
So, I disappeared for a while. Sorry about that. A lot has happened since January; I moved twice, got a new job as a Software Designer (although not for games), and lost my server to a storm. The last point, however, makes me glad for the latest update to UDK.
The latest release of UDK includes seamless integration with Perforce version management. You may recall that previously I had recommended using Subversion as a versioning repository. I actually switched in December of last year to Perforce. I did this for a few reasons; first, because Perforce is free to use for up to a team of 20, so I didn’t incur any more charges than I would have if I continued using Subversion. Second, I ran into an issue with one of my Subversion repositories when transitioning between Subversion 1.6 and 1.7, which cost me a lot of time and effort. While the community for Subversion is great, the time it took me to resolve this was far too costly. The nice thing about Perforce is that it is is commercial software, so you have technical support available. Finally, Perforce has all of the features that I really need in one package, and few that I don’t, and it integrates with all of my tools.
So, now that I’m settled into my new home, I’m working on rebuilding my server. Once everything is up and running again, I’ll be upgrading UDK to July, and integrating it with Perforce.
Note: Don’t get me wrong, Subversion is a wonderful product and has a great community; what happened to me was likely due to my inexperience. I don’t recommend switching versioning tools lightly; investigate your options and make sure everything works before you make a decision.
Normal Map Improvements
The creation of normal maps in UDK has been improved in this beta as well. Normal maps, if you are unfamiliar, are like secondary textures for items that can provide increased detail, shading, and apparent depth to your models and objects.
This improvement allows UDK to server fewer polygons on an object than previously, while increasing the appearance of the object. This is good!
There are a number of other tweaks to the beta as well:
- Override INI settings from the command line
- Improvements to the Unreal Editor
- Integration with nVidia OpenAutomate
- Additional support for Mobile/iOS output
Go get it!
The July 2012 beta for UDK is available at www.udk.com.
I’m planning to start running news related to new releases of various engines (like UDK and CryEngine), tools, and other useful products for developers. Let me know what you are interested in!