February 14, 2019

Experience everything Unreal and more at GDC 2019

By Daniel Kayser

UPDATE: Get caught up on our news from GDC 2019 right here.

GDC 2019 is fast approaching and we’re inviting all developers to join us as we celebrate the amazing game development community! Learn about the latest features coming to UE4, connect with Epic and other developers, and play plenty of awesome games.

Save the date for “State of Unreal”, which will return to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, with tech talks following the address. Join Epic on the expo floor for all-new Unreal Engine tools demonstrations and learning sessions at South 349, and unwind at South 327, where you’ll find awesome games, tasty snacks, cold beer, fun giveaways, and even career opportunities.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect:
Epic Games: State of Unreal — Our annual opening session will be open to the media and all GDC attendees with an Expo Pass Plus or higher. See the latest advancements in Unreal Engine technology and learn what Epic is doing to help all developers be more successful from Epic's founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, CTO Kim Libreri, and special guests. Please note our presentation will once again take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard Street in San Francisco (adjacent to Moscone Center) on Wednesday, March 20 from 9:30-10:30AM PDT. The presentation will be livestreamed at /UnrealEngine on YouTube, Twitch or Facebook.
Unreal Engine Tech Talks — Join us on Wednesday, March 20 for a full day of programming with sessions running from 11AM through to 6PM PDT at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. These sessions will cover topics ranging from the future of physics and destruction in Unreal Engine to ray tracing and refactoring the mesh drawing pipeline in UE 4.22. More information about these sessions, which will also be livestreamed, is available below. 
Unreal on the Expo Floor — We will once again host a dedicated space on the GDC expo floor to showcase dozens of the most exciting new titles developed in UE4. Visit Moscone South 327 for opportunities to play a curated selection of indie and AAA games, meet developers, and connect with teams looking to hire Unreal Engine talent!
Unreal Engine Learning Theater — Visit Moscone South 349 during expo hours for an ongoing series of rotating presentations on topics including ray tracing, Niagara VFX, and animation. The full presentation roster is listed below.

Additional Talks by Epic  — GDC 2019 sessions offer an incredible range of UE4 educational opportunities by a variety of speakers including a ‘Technical Artist Bootcamp’ by Epic’s Ryan Brucks, ‘Killer Portfolio or Portfolio Killer’ Parts 1 & 2 with a panel of industry experts, and ‘Preventing Bugs: The Dark Matter of Early QA’ with Epic’s Chris Rando. Check below for details on these talks and more.

Epic Games Store: An Update and Q&A - The Epic Games store has launched with an 88% revenue share for developers and publishers. In this session, Epic will walk through the state of the storefront, discuss what to expect in the coming months, and answer questions from GDC attendees. Learn more here.

Unreal Engine GDC Education Summit — Epic is pleased to invite the education community to the annual GDC Unreal Engine Education Summit at 8:30-11:30AM PDT on Tuesday, March 19 at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. This free event for educators will feature many new learning resources for both games and non-game sectors. During the summit, we will present informational tech talks, reveal new initiatives and discuss successful curricula. You can register for the Unreal Engine GDC Education Summit and educator training sessions below:

Unreal Engine GDC Education Summit Registration

Educator training sessions:

Tools and Techniques for Teams: Collaboration in Unreal Engine 4  
Actions, Reactions, and Interactions: Gameplay Programming with Blueprints




Causing Chaos: The Future of Physics and Destruction in Unreal Engine
Get a first look at the future of physics and destruction in Unreal Engine as Epic walks through features that give content creators the tools they need to build highly interactive worlds that can be fractured, shattered, and demolished.

11:00AM - 12:00PM PDT | Speakers: Matthias Worch, Jim Van Allen, Michael Lentine

Refactoring the Mesh Drawing Pipeline for Unreal Engine 4.22 (WATCH NOW)
Gain a better understanding of how the renderer has been refactored to pave the way for future improvements in ray tracing efficiency and GPU driven rendering in Unreal Engine 4.22. Learn how these changes will impact project-specific engine modifications, the new auto-instancing functionality, and what it will mean for future development.

12:30PM - 1:30PM PDT | Speaker: Marcus Wassmer

Ray Tracing in Unreal Engine 4.22 (WATCH NOW)
Get an up-close look at the ray tracing functionality coming in Unreal Engine 4.22. Learn about the processes and techniques employed to bring cinematic-quality lighting to a real-time piece, developed in collaboration with a ‘soon-to-be-announced’ partner.

2:00PM - 3:00PM PDT | Speakers: Juan Canada, Patrick Kelly, Partner(s)

Unreal Engine’s Audio Rendering: Retrospectives and Case Study Analysis (WATCH NOW)
Learn about the Unreal Engine team’s development process for the new audio renderer, which includes balancing live Fortnite support and feature development, and maintaining backward compatibility, all while pushing forward on innovation and long-term vision. Hear the latest on feature prioritization and process, AB testing methodologies and techniques, and retrospectives on specific case studies. Preview new features coming in 4.22 and 4.23, along with a glimpse of the UE4 audio roadmap.

3:30PM - 4:30PM PDT | Speaker: Aaron McLeran

New Animation Features In Unreal Engine
Get a roundup of all the latest animation features built for Unreal Engine over the past year, including those created for Fortnite that have made their way back into the tools.

Learn how new features and upgrades have been battle-tested to improve animation quality, optimize runtime performance and reduce memory usage in order to support a hundred players on mobile and large crowds of enemies.

5:00PM - 6:00PM PDT | Speakers: James Golding, Laurent Delayen

LEARNING THEATER - Moscone South #349:



A Hands-on Look at Using Ray Tracing in Games with UE 4.22 (WATCH NOW)
As of Unreal Engine 4.22, Unreal’s renderer will support the new DXR API for real-time ray tracing. During this session you will see how to build a visually appealing environment using the new ray tracing features in UE4. Through practical examples we will show how to control ray tracing in your scenes, discuss benefits and drawbacks to real-time ray tracing, and cover tips on performance, all focused on helping you make a smooth start with this amazing new tech.

Speaker: Sjoerd De Jong
Wednesday, March 20 - 12:00PM, 2:30PM, 5:00PM PDT
Thursday, March 21 - 11:30AM, 2:00PM, 4:30PM PDT
Friday, March 22 - 11:30AM, 2:00PM PDT


Learning to Make Games with UE4 and Action RPG (WATCH NOW)
In this session, you will learn more about Epic's newest feature-packed example game project, Action RPG, a complete third-person hack-and-slash sample game that targets high-end mobile devices and showcases a massive variety of tools and systems. The project has been designed from the ground up as a teaching tool aimed at both new and seasoned Unreal developers alike. The session will cover its features, and how to use the project and documentation to implement a variety of sophisticated systems and techniques in your own game projects.

Speaker: Sam Dieter
Wednesday, March 20 - 11:00AM, 1:30PM, 4:00PM PDT
Thursday, March 21 - 10:30AM, 1:00PM, 3:30PM PDT
Friday, March 22 - 10:30AM, 1:00PM PDT


Enhancing Animation with Control Rig (WATCH NOW)
Control Rig is a highly flexible tool based on Blueprint that can be used to drive animation inside UE4. In this session, you will get a look at the Control Rig system and learn how to set up a Control Rig Blueprint to drive and animate a Skeletal Mesh, illustrate how Control Rigs can be driven through the Sequencer cinematic tool, and how you can blend to and from other animation states within an Animation Blueprint. 

Speaker: Wes Bunn
Wednesday, March 20 - 11:30AM, 2:00PM, 4:30PM PDT
Thursday, March 21 - 11:00AM, 1:30PM, 4:00PM PDT
Friday, March 22 - 11:00AM, 1:30PM PDT


Building Effects with Niagara and Blueprint (WATCH NOW)
Niagara is Unreal Engine’s powerful new VFX tool for authoring sophisticated real-time particle effects. In this session, you will see how to use this new tool in a practical example that combines Niagara with Unreal Engine's visual scripting language, Blueprint, to create a dynamically-generated, in-game high-end effect.

Speaker: Chris Murphy
Wednesday, March 20 - 12:30PM, 3:00PM, 5:30PM PDT
Thursday, March 21 - 12:00PM, 2:30PM, 5:00PM PDT
Friday, March 22 - 12:00PM, 2:30PM PDT


Order from Chaos - Destruction in UE4 (WATCH NOW)
Whether making a high-end AAA game or a small-team indie title, physics simulation and destruction can play a huge part in bringing your games to life. In this session you will see new tools and techniques for creating high-end, sophisticated physics and destruction effects in Unreal Engine. Learn how to use these tools to develop interactive worlds that can be fractured, scattered and destroyed.

Speaker: Alan Noon
Wednesday, March 20 - 10:30AM, 1:00PM, 3:30PM PDT
Thursday, March 21 - 10:00AM, 12:30PM, 3:00PM, 5:30PM PDT
Friday, March 22 - 10:00AM, 12:30PM PDT



Preventing Bugs: The Dark Matter of Early QA Day 1: Definition and Execution
Speaker: Chris Rando (Epic Games)

Preventing Bugs: The Dark Matter of Early QA Day 2: Communication
Speaker: Chris Rando (Epic Games)

Killer Portfolio or Portfolio Killer Part 1: Advice from Industry Artists
Speakers: Greg Foertsch (Independent), Alison Kelly (Alison Kelly Consulting), Wyeth Johnson (Epic Games), Moby Francke (Riot Games), Claire Hummel (Valve), Gavin Goulden (Insomniac Games)

Killer Portfolio or Portfolio Killer Part 2: Portfolio Reviews
Speakers: Greg Foertsch (Independent), Alison Kelly (Alison Kelly Consulting), Wyeth Johnson (Epic Games), Shawn Robertson (Ghost Story Games), Gavin Goulden (Insomniac Games), Darren Bacon (343 Industries), David Johnson (Undertone FX), Matthew Kean (Firaxis Games), Lisette Titre-Montgomery (Double Fine), Moby Francke (Riot Games), Peet Cooper (Riot Games), Claire Hummel (Valve), Dennis Moellers (Firaxis Games)

Scalability for All: Unreal Engine 4 on Intel (Presented by Epic Games and Intel)
Sponsor Speakers: Rolando Caloca (Epic Games), Jeff Rous (Intel Corp.)

Bringing Fortnite to Mobile with Vulkan and OpenGL ES (Presented by KHRONOS)
Sponsor Speakers: Jack Porter (Epic Games), Kostiantyn Drabeniuk (Samsung Electronics)

Technical Artist Bootcamp: Distance Fields and Shader Simulation Tricks
Speaker: Ryan Brucks (Epic Games)