Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
The Reality Engine is a true next-generation toolset for developing games for the next generation, where near-photorealism will be expected, and the growing demands on artists must be met with more efficient pipelines and tools that can make the most of your time and resources to meet demanding schedules.
- Built with DirectX 9.0 from ground-up to take full advantage of cutting edge technology developments, while fully scalable to DirectX7/8 generation hardware.
- Per-Pixel Lighting and shading with support for PS3.0, PS2.X, PS2.0 and PS1.1. Shading includes dynamic projection mapping, normal mapping, Phong specularity, per-pixel reflection mapping, refractions, virtual displacement (parallax) mapping, animated textures, mix/detail shaders, fabric, anisotropic scattering, water, and other configurable pixel & vertex shaders.
- Precomputed Radiance Transfer (aka “Realtime Radiosity”) support, allowing for Real-Time Subsurface Scattering and Soft Shadowing.
- Unified dynamic world lighting and shadowing, including day/night cycles. Heavily optimized for maximum performance in huge, complex scenes.
- Hierarchical Per-pixel Occlusion Culling. No more portals, zones, vis-gen waiting times, or manual occluders! Occlusion is fully automatic, fast, and accurate to the pixel.
- High-Dynamic Range Rendering Using Floating-Point buffers, allowing for Tone Mapping, Exposure Adaption, and Blue Shift, for camera/eye perceptual rendering.
- Image Post-Processing (stackable) including Depth of Field, Night Vision, Motion Blur, Light Blooms, Volumetric Lighting, and non-photorealistic rendering.
- Open-ended world structure places no limits on environmental design, with full artist-driven and procedural Level-Of-Detail support, with LoD PRT.
- Modular rendering, input, & sound components via ‘plugin’ DLL architecture for cross-platform compatibility.
- Total integration with popular commercial 3D editors (Max, Maya) allows artists to create environments, view & configure shaders and lighting with realtime viewport feedback, and implement powerful Python-driven or C#-driven scripts.
- Powerful fully “What You See Is What You Get” Scene Editor running on Reality.
- Includes material library, entity library, shader configuration, physics setup, entity setup, rendering setup, sky configuration, redundancy-filtered PRT lighting compiler, all with realtime visualization as lights and meshes are moved around the scene.
- No compile times. Click “Play” to instantly switch between edit mode and in-game action!
- Visual placement and editing of gameplay objects such as players, NPC’s, inventory items, AI path nodes, and light sources — with a full realtime view of their appearance, including 100% dynamic shadowing. Includes a data-driven property editing framework, allowing level designers to easily customize any game object, and programmers to expose new customizable properties to designers via script.
- License includes full source to editor and full rights to distribute editor with your game to allow mod-makers and enthusiasts to breathe new life into your title.
- Plug-ins for 3D Studio Max and Maya to bring models into Reality with mesh topology, multi-channel mapping coordinates, smoothing groups, material names, skeleton structure, and skeletal animation data.
- Advanced high-performance physics engine for efficient constraint resolution of thousands of rigid bodies, supporting multi-primitive, arbritrary joint linkages, stacking, breakage, and particle physics.
- Ragdoll character animation, allowing you to mix physics with animations for dynamic effects such as character damage.
- Integrated physics editing inside of Reality Builder, supporting creation of optimized collision primitives for models and skeletal animated meshes; constraint editing; and interactive physics simulation and tweaking in-editor.
- Fully integrated support for physics-based vehicles, including player control, AI, and networking.
- Character Normal Mapping & Spherical Harmonics, with skeleton-based, multi-weighted-bone vertex shader animation.
- Characters can contain any number of arbritrary pixel & vertex shaders on multiple materials
- Export tools for 3D Studio Max, Maya for bringing weighted meshes, skeletons, and animation sequences into the engine.
- Full integration with .NET scripting languages, allowing programmers and artists to write fully debuggable, IDE-integrated code in your favourite language, from C#, C++/CLI, to VB.NET without the need for a compiler
- Cross-platform support through Mono Compiler
- Python support, as an alternative or addition to .NET support, ensuring maximum choice and compatibility
- Core engine is fully standardized object-oriented C++ with an extremely high level of inline documentation
- DirectX Compatibility with Xbox 360, and modular rendering and platform components allow for support of other consoles such as PS3
- Optimized Client/Server-Authoritative networking incorporating latency prediction & adaptive data degradation
- Includes Voice Communication.
- Scalable, high-performance networking component to power Linux or Windows dedicated servers.
- Intelligent pathfinding, both predetermined and dynamic with obstacle avoidance
- Decision-making based on adaptive state machines.
- Reactions to stimuli such as sight and sound
- Completely written in Reality Script, easy to extend to any custom behaviors
- Optimized for high performance. AI is run on Server, events replicated to Clients.