Epic Games has released Unreal Engine 4.2 to the public (well, you have to buy a license in order to get your hands on it but yeah, it’s available to all those who do so). This new version of its latest game engine comes with official support for Microsoft’s older OS, Windows XP. In addition, this new version packs a new sample game from an offroad tech demo.
Here are the key features of Unreal Engine 4.2. For the full list of changes we strongly suggest visiting the official website. Since the changelog is huge, we’ve included below only those we found interesting:
MAJOR NEW FEATURES
NEW: SAMPLE VEHICLE GAME
Vehicles are now fully supported in Unreal Engine! This sample game features an off-road vehicle and a looping track within a desert setting. Race across sand dunes, rocky cliffs and ancient ruins, and try to beat your best time!
- Out of the box support for 4WD, FWD, and RWD drive trains.
- The default drive train simulation assumes 4 wheels; however it will work with any number of wheels.
- As many gears as you desire.
- Automatic and semi-manual transmissions.
- And it is all completely exposed to Blueprints!
NEW: WINDOWS XP SUPPORT (PREVIEW)
Developers working out of GitHub now have the ability to deploy your project to Windows XP.
- To enable this, set WindowsPlatform.SupportWindowsXP to true in UnrealBuildTool, and edit your project’s settings to enable OpenGL shader support.
- When running on Windows XP, OpenGL is automatically used instead of DirectX 11 for rendering
- This feature is early in development and will be improved over time.
UNREAL ENGINE LAUNCHER
- New: Unreal Engine Launcher Installer is now localized into Korean and Japanese.
- New: Unreal Engine desktop and start menu shortcuts now have a proper, localized, tooltip description.
- New: The Unreal Engine Launcher Installer will now inform users installing on Windows 7 if they do not have SP1 installed.
- New: You can find links to lots of content documentation and other info all located in the lower right of the launcher.
- New: Mouse over any of your content and you can choose to uninstall or verify.
- Improved Startup speeds.
- We’ve modified how and when the launcher calls for content data to improve start-up time.
- Fixed the launcher so it will no longer restart the UE4 download process from the beginning if it was closed during the “Installing” phase.
- Fixed a number of localization bugs for Korean and Japanese.
- Fixed the Launcher so it should now always restart after self-updating on Mac.
- Fixed a number of inconsistencies with downloads and content in Offline mode.
- Fixed a problem with the installer failing for Win8 and Win 8.1.
- Fixed the launcher to check for not of enough disk space.
- Fixed an issue where you could not choose a download location on Win 8.1 due to default UAC permissions.
- Fixed the right-click .uproject options not working on Windows.
- Fixed the launcher becoming unresponsive when updating from 1.1.0-2054669 to 1.2.0-2064046 with UE_4.1 and all 4.1 samples downloaded.
- Fixed opening a project from the Launcher so it will no longer skip the update process.
- Fixed the launcher so that sample content that has changed project names will now be able to be opened through the launcher.
- New: Added r.RenderTargetPool.Events to visualize Render Target Pool usage over a frame
- New: Sky lights with Static Mobility can now be baked and are now supported and work on mobile.
- New: Added r.AmbientOcclusionSampleSetQuality cvar now it can be used with larger radius and less levels.
- New: Added support for taking orbit offset in to account when generating particle spawn and death events.
- New: We now show instruction counts for mobile lightmapped shaders without distance field shadows in the material editor.
- New: Added show flags to disable directional/point/spot light contributions
- New: Added r.OptimizeForUAVPerformance for performance tests.
- Updated the Directional Light selection process for exponential fog inscattering to use the first light configured as “IsUsedAsAtmosphereSunlight“.
- Updated Point Attractors so they can now filter motion along axes.
- Updated Mesh particle CPU rendering to optimize them for ES2.
- Changed tangent space calculations to better match xNormal.
- Improved game console auto completion to be more like editor.
- Optimized and improved Screen Space Ambient Occlusion using dither noise and fewer samples.
- Updated allocated and free GBufferTargets to now allow reuse on demand, however you still need to release them earlier than post processing if possible.
- Updated OpenGL 4 support:
- Re-enabling redix sort on OpenGL
- Depth bounds test
- Optimized Render Target usage and optimized out a pass for Tile Deferred Lighting, one less consumer for Light Accumulation.
- Renamed some Light Propagation Volume properties to be clearer.
- Changed SSAO Occlusion default settings to have less haloing.
- Changed Particle Lights to now work with Camera Offset module.
- Changed Particle parameter distributions to now work with the Color Over Life module for GPU emitters.
- Changed hand-written shaders using the static keyword on variables to now also be declared as const on their declaration.
- This is required to reduce complexity in the cross-compiler, and any non-constant issue can be done via alternate methods.
- Fixed reflections to now work on subsurface scattering materials.
- Fixed shadercomplexity view mode.
- Fixed shadow artifacts with very small objects.
- Fixed crash on startup with new shaders, RHIClear was used in resource init.
- Fixed Splitscreen ReflectionEnv rendering.
- Fixed rendering when reflectionenv is disabled.
- Fixed SSR being applied in SM4 path.
- Fixed blending bug with layered reflection captures.
- Fixed optimization that got disabled for LPV to be working as before if LPV is off (faster shadow map rendering).
- Fixed a bug where all light probes used for applying precomputed GI on characters were half bright