Unreal Engine 4.10 What’s New
Welcome to Unreal Engine 4.10! This release is packed with a number of great new features, but our main focus has been to increase engine stability and fix outstanding issues. Hundreds of reported bugs have been bashed, many new quality of life improvements were added, and virtually every supported platform has received updates.
Unreal Engine is designed for incredible VR experiences, and every release it gets better. Epic’s “Bullet Train” VR demo is powered by new features in this version, with new rendering optimizations designed specifically for head mounted displays.
Mobile gets a nice upgrade in this release too, with new scalability features and support for refraction.
Last but not least, great news for programmers: You can now use Visual Studio 2015 for development on Windows. And on Mac, we’ve revamped our Xcode projects to allow you to work more efficiently. We’ve also refreshed our target platforms with support for latest SDKs.
New: Refraction Effects for Mobile
Refraction effects are now fully supported on mobile platforms. Your existing shaders with refraction will automatically work on mobile devices in this release — no extra steps are required!
- Enabled on iPhone 5S and above and Android devices such as Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6
- It can be enabled on other devices by setting the r.RefractionQuality render variable in their corresponding Device Profile
New: Optimized VR Rendering
Your VR games get faster in this release, thanks to new rendering optimizations specifically for head mounted displays. We’ve implemented a new “Hidden and Visible Mesh optimization” to reduce the GPU overhead of VR rendering.
Bullet Train VR Demo, by Epic Games
These two optimizations ensure that we do not spend GPU time working on pixels that will not be displayed in the actual device, because of lens distortions. The hidden area mesh works as a prepass, where we take a mesh that represents the area hidden from view, and reject everything behind the mesh. Next, for the post-processing stage, we use the inverse of that mesh, which represents the visible pixels, and then only run post processing on those. By using these two techniques, you get “free” performance! On “Bullet Train,” we saw about 0.25 ms total savings on the PC, where the total frame time is only 11ms. On console platforms you can expect to see much larger performance gains!
New: Visual Studio 2015 Support
Unreal Engine has been updated to Visual Studio 2015 on Windows platform!
Visual Studio 2015 includes many new improvements that should help your workflow, including support for new modern C++ language features like uniform initializers and delegating constructors. The new compiler is also very standards-compliant and will detect more errors in your code.
You can download the free Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition right here. For other versions, head over to the Visual Studio web site. Unreal Engine supports Visual Studio 2015 Community, Professional, Enterprise as well as Express for Desktop (with some limitations.)
Important: The launcher distribution of the engine now requires Visual Studio 2015 with C++ support enabled. Please upgrade your team now! If you use the New Project wizard inside Unreal Engine, we’ll help you get Visual Studio 2015 downloaded and installed.
Important: The Visual Studio 2015 installer does not install C++ by default when installing manually. Make sure to choose “Custom” when prompted, then expand the Programming Languages section, and check Visual C++.
When compiling your project the first time, be on the lookout for new compiler errors reported because the new C++ compiler is more strict. Microsoft has posted this document with examples of changes that could affect your code.
If you need to continue using Visual Studio 2013, you’ll need to compile the engine yourself from the GitHub source code. The primary reason for not supporting Visual Studio 2013 in the launcher distribution is because the additional precompiled binaries, debug symbols and static libraries for both versions of the compiler would have significantly increased the engine size and caused project setup to be more complicated on Windows. We’ll be fully retiring support for Visual Studio 2013 in an upcoming release.
New: Mobile Material Quality
The new Material Quality system allows your game to easily scale all the way down to low end devices, without sacrificing quality on more modern devices!
You can now generate Low, Medium and High quality versions of shaders for all materials! With each tier, you can selectively disable rendering features to increase performance on low end devices. UE4 will automatically detect a good default quality level for many popular devices.
Galaxy S6 Edge (High quality materials)
- High material quality automatically selected
- Specular reflections, roughness, metals, normal maps and directional lighting
Galaxy S III (Material quality scaled down)
- Material quality automatically scaled for optimal performance
- Specular reflections, variation in roughness, metals, normal maps and directional lighting are disabled
New: UE4 Platform Updates and SDKs
Every release of UE4 contains improvements for supported platforms along with updated support for latest platform SDKs
Platform highlights in this release:
- Oculus Rift updated to support 0.8 SDK Beta
- Oculus Mobile SDK updated to support 0.6.2
- Xbox One was updated to the August XDK and now compiles using Visual Studio 2015
- Playstation 4 was updated to SDK 3.00 (with Playstation VR support!)
- iOS support was updated to SDK 9.0
- Mac OS X was updated to SDK 10.11 (El Capitan)
- Xcode support was updated for Version 7
- Android now supports Marshmallow (6.0)
- Ongoing fixes to Linux/SteamOS, and minor improvements in lower level functionality.
New: Landscape Mirror Tool
Using the new Mirror Tool you can easily make symmetrical landscapes. This is really useful for competitive two-team landscape levels!
- Mirrors the heightmap, material layers and landscape grass
- Mirror in either direction over the X or Y axis
New: Low-latency VR Motion Controllers
We’ve updated Motion Controller Components to now do a late-update right before we begin rendering. You can see the difference between a late-updated and a non-late-updated component’s position and rotation below. The screenshot was taken during a normal speed, side-to-side arm motion.
This is the same technique that we use to reduce latency with head mounted displays. We now update Motion Controller Component positions twice per frame: once during the input tick, and once again right before we render. That means that controls will feel more responsive, and better reflect what the player is doing in the real world. This feature is enabled by default.
New: Automatic Blueprint Node Arrangement
We’ve added a comprehensive set of layout routines for fast automatic organization of Blueprint graphs.
Just right click on selected nodes and choose “Alignment” to automatically arrange those nodes.
Here’s what you can do with this feature:
- Aligning the selected nodes based on their bounds (Top/Middle/Bottom, Left/Center/Right).
- Distributing the selected nodes along a horizontal/vertical axis.
- Straightening connections between the selected nodes.
- Straightening a specific link connected to a particular pin.
New: Web Browser UI on Android
Android now supports Web Browser widgets created either in a Widget Blueprint or in C++ using Slate code. This can be used to display content hosted anywhere on the web, for example a news messages to your users or help text.
- On Android, the platform’s native web control is used so there is no increase in the executable size.
- Web Browser widgets will be supported on iOS in a future release.
New: Gamepad Features for Android
Multiple gamepads are now supported for Android along with identifying some common controller types and mappings.
The following Android controllers are automatically detected. Others will fall back to generic mappings.
Other new features for Android controllers:
- Mappings are now detected automatically based on the name of the controller device
- Multiple controllers are now supported simultaneously
- We now handle both Z/RZ and RX/RY mappings of axes to right joystick
- Left Trigger / Brake and Right Trigger / Gas axes now work properly
- X/Y Hat now maps to directional pad button events
Quick note about supporting more than one controller at the same time: Pressing a button on an unassigned gamepad will now associate the device ID with the first unassigned controller ID. Gamepad to controller ID assignments may also be queried or cleared with three new Blueprint nodes:
New: Xcode Project Overhaul
We’ve greatly improved how Xcode projects are generated for your game! You’ll now have access to Xcode’s live issues and “Fix It” features, and indexing is much faster. Plus it’s way easier to switch between build configurations!
Instead of a single project containing multiple targets we now have a workspace consisting of multiple projects, one per target. You now open UE4.xcworkspace instead of UE4.xcodeproj in Xcode. Each project in the workspace creates a single scheme that’s used to build various UE4 targets. What is being built and run is determined by active configuration and platform.
You’ll no longer have to worry about which executable to run. Xcode will automatically choose the correct app when you switch build configurations. Please note that changing the active configuration does not update the Executable drop down in the scheme editor, that’s a known issue with Xcode. It will, however, use the correct app when you run from Xcode.
Even though StrategyGame.app is shown, the StrategyGameEditor.app will be launched!
Project indexing should now be faster and more accurate. Additionally, live issues are displayed and Xcode’s Fix-it system works now:
New: Mobile Provisioning Profile Selector
Users are now able to explicitly select a mobile provision and certificate in the iOS Project Settings. Previously, a “best match” provision and certificate were used (and highlighted in green, as seen below). Now, there are check boxes next to them which will allow a particular provision or certificate to be used instead of the best match. If no items are selected, the green ones will be used.
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