Epic is making it even easier for everyone and their grandmother to develop video games, showing off a slew of new features for their wildly popular Unreal Engine 3 at this year's Game Developers Conference.

Now that they've managed to license their engine to just about everyone in the gaming industry, Epic is ready to bring some exciting new features to the Unreal Engine 3, which they'll be showing off at GDC next week. Features like Unreal Lightmass, which coupled with their new Swarm distributed computing framework makes adding high-quality static lighting effects 10 times faster then before. How about a new content browser and search engine, freeing developers from having to manually hunt for game assets?

"We looked at how easy it was to search the net with Google, and find photos on Flickr, and redesigned Unreal Engine 3's content searching and tagging along those lines," said Tim Sweeney, chief executive officer and technical director of Epic Games. "The result was a productivity boon for artists and designers."


They've also got a couple nifty additions in store for online developers, including the addition of Gears of War 2 scalable statistics and data management back end in the form of the Unreal Master Control Program.

"Battle-tested by over 6.8 million hours of online player time, Unreal MCP seriously ups the ante for game engines," says Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. "The online infrastructure required for a modern, triple-A game represents man-years of work, and all of this is now included in Unreal Engine 3."

And for those developers who prefer their multiplayer to be massive, Epic China will be showing off their new integrated massively multiplayer online game backend solution, which should have MMO developers frothing at the mouth in joy.

In layman's terms, the Unreal Engine 3 is now even more attractive to game developers across all genres. Expect to see the logo popping up more and more with these new additions to one of the world's most popular engines.

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