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Epic Happenings at E3 2013

imagesIt’s that time of year again! E3 has begun, and we’re in Los Angeles cheering on developers who are sharing new details about their upcoming games this week. In addition to talking with folks in our meeting room, LACC West Hall #501A, we’re revealing several cool new demos with our partners.

E3 attendees can stop by and see us at NVIDIA’s booth, South Hall #2323. Here we’re demonstrating the latest version of Epic Citadel running on the SHIELD. It’s the only place where you’ll see such advanced mobile content running on NVIDIA Tegra 4 graphics on the show floor.nvidia-shield_angle

We’re also unveiling the Unreal Engine 4 Infiltrator demo streaming from the PC to the SHIELD. You should totally check this out, so come to NVIDIA’s booth if you’re here, or watch facebook.com/UnrealEngine and @UnrealEngine for updates.

There’s more special news. You’ve probably seen or heard about the Oculus Rift, which is development hardware for games for the Oculus VR headset. You have to experience Oculus for yourself to understand how awesome it is. Just search YouTube for reaction videos and you’ll get the gist.

OculusRift1So what are we bringing to the table? Well, during his ‘Epic Friday’ spare time, our senior programmer Nick Whiting got the Unreal Engine 4 Elemental demo up and running on the Oculus Rift! From there our team worked closely with the Oculus guys to optimize the experience for VR and inject some memorable touches.

For the uninitiated, Epic Friday happens on the second Friday of each month here at Epic. It’s a day that gives employees the opportunity to pursue passion projects and work on anything they like. It’s helped bring clever features to our games and cool new capabilities to the engine.

Elemental is our first Unreal Engine 4 demo on the Oculus platform and we’re eager to see how people like it. Working together with the latest hardware and updated demo make a powerful combo, and it’s only the beginning of what’s to come.

nickIf you want to know how Nick brought Oculus support to Unreal Engine 4, check out his Gamasutra blog post. Also, if you’re an Oculus developer please try out the custom Unreal Development Kit if you haven’t done so already.

Folks visiting Oculus at E3 can also try flying, running and shooting as a virtual mech with Hawken, which is one of the best Unreal Engine 3 experiences on the Rift that we’ve tried to date.

On June 6 we welcomed NVIDIA and Oculus VR to the new Unreal Engine 4 Integrated Partners Program. This helps put their technologies in even more developers’ hands, and we can’t wait to see what our licensees build next. We are fortunate to work with such talented people and couldn’t be more excited to help kick off a new wave of games thanks to their support.

Here’s to a great E3!

Your friends at Epic

E3 Swag Bag Giveaway at Unreal Arcade

The crew over at Unreal Arcade are having a giveaway in honor of  E3 2013, happening this week in LA. You’ll have chances to win a Gears of War 3 Vault, a Razer Onza, Signed Noobz poster and a T-Shirt Bundle. Head over to Unreal Arcade for more information how to win.

UAGIVEAWAY

Baird’s Goggles for Your XBL Avatar!

Baird GogglesThere are still codes available to outfit your avatar with Baird’s goggles from Gears of War! On Facebook, watch and share the teaser, get the code, and enter it on Xbox LIVE to outfit your avatar with Baird’s goggles from Gears of War! http://xbx.lv/JZaGpi

Join in on the discussion at the new Gears of War: Judgment forum.

Don’t forget, if you’ll be at Comic-Con this week, you’ll be able to play Gears of War: Judgment at Nerd HQ. More information HERE.

Dale Harvey Cosplay: Queen Myrrah’s Helmet

Sculptor Dave Wilson and cosplayer Dale Harvey walk us through the process behind the helmet of the Queen Myrrah cosplay for Dale’s wife, Kim Harvey.

Queen Myrrah Cosplay Project

by David Wilson

Much like every other helmet I’ve sculpted I began by building up the larger shapes on a replica of my own head (made in plaster and fiberglass, to serve as a mannequin). Using soft clay I was able to quickly build up the general shape of Myrrah’s helmet, using concept art from Google as my main guide. It was not long before I had something resembling the helmet, and could begin to refine shapes and work on the symmetry of the piece.

Eventually I managed to get it to a stage where I was happy with it; everything was symmetrical and nicely laid out. From there I began the heavier detailing phase, cutting all the recesses into the piece and I began using the inside face of a broken car light as a texture stamp to portray the patterns seen in the varying recesses in the helmet. Safe to say, this was very time consuming!

After I managed to complete this section of the build I had to then go in and add all the circular details, which was probably the easiest part of the entire build. From there it was a quick wash with Isopropyl alcohol and a final smoothing and I moved on to mould making.

I masked off one side with clay, poured the silicone on that side making sure to get every detail, masked off the other side and poured that side. When I pulled the silicone off I had to slice along the ‘wings’ in order for them to come out, which presented the problem of tearing occurring, but with care it all worked out well.

Then it was on to the casting process, I use a special two part plastic mix that cures extremely quickly and is very good for roto-casting (more jargon). The end product of this (with some cleaning up of flashing and overflow) can be seen in the pictures. The casting was then boxed up and sent off to Dale, to await his wonderful paint job and lighting work!

-David Wilson (Aka, XxCALIBERxX or XxDaveyWaveyxX)

by Dale Harvey

Since David had done such a good job with my last request I had full faith that he was going to be able to pull off, what at first I just saw as a awesome gift for my wife. As soon as I started seeing his progress pics I got really excited as to how I would paint it, and what else I could do to make things really special for my wife, as she always takes care of me while I cosplay. Let’s let her get in on some of the fun!

Before David’s final cast arrived I started making my wife a few pieces of locust armor inspired by Queen Myrrah for her to wear at Pax East if she wanted. Just a few pieces of Thigh, Forearm, Belt, and Shoulder armor for her to able to slip in and out of quickly if she so desired. I got lucky and got all the pieces finished right before the helmet arrived, and when I pulled it out of the shipping box, all I can say was that it was lovely.

Like giddy little Kids, I quickly had my wife try her new haberdashery on, and found that we only needed to make a few adjustments to the sides, and the opening at the bottom. After a few hours of cutting, sanding, and fitting and refitting, we found the sweet spot where she could wear the helmet comfortably and have full range of motion with her head.

The next day I started to paint and color match the helmet, mixing a primer gray with a metallic gray spray paint that was supposed to have a “hammer” metal finish to use as the base, and then finding and using Jacuard paints to give me just the colors I wanted for her helmet.

I’ve been asked why I don’t do much weathering of my props, and the best answer I have is that I feel that over the course of time that they will be in used that they will get scratched, dinged, broken, fixed and repaired so many times that they will start to get that “weathered” look naturally.

While the paint was drying, I started working on the lighting, and wired four red LED lights to two coin batteries. I started planning a way to stow the batteries and wires in her helmet without them being affected by heat and sweat. To accomplish this I coated the exposed contact points with hot glue, and then glued the wires into the inside of the helmet. Problem solved for the moment. After the paint was completely dry, the LEDs installed and a thin layer of padding were added to the inside.

I want to give a huge thank you once again to David Wilson, as his raw cast of the Queen Myrrah helmet was the real star here, I’m just glad I was able to add something special to it and make it unique for my wife.
-Dale Harvey

Epic Gamer E3 Experiences

This year a few of our Epic Gamers got to attend E3 with Epic Games!  E3 is usually for press and industry people only, so this was a rare and fun opportunity for gamers to get hands-on with never-before-seen new games.  Tim Fangon (@arukun14) and Matt Arnold (@GearsGator) took a moment to share their E3 2012 experience with all of us!

Tim Fangon E3 2012 Epic GamerTim F:  “E3 2012 was my second expo, and the experience was no doubt, a blast. The expo was filled with excitement for the upcoming video games, titles, and opportunities for manufacturers to show off their new stuff. Aliens, Borderlands 2 and Gears: Judgment are just some of the games I had a chance to play. OverRun was great; I was able to finish a round for the team in about 1:22 with a Wretch slapping the opposing team’s generator.

While the games were awesome, the best part of E3 was meeting up with people. It was great to see Rod Fergusson, Quinn DelHoyo, and Dana Cowley again, just to name a few.  I met up with the GCON crew, who are obviously great people who show passion in the Gears franchise. I finally met Natalie (PixelK1tty), the one and only awesome cosplayer from Epic Games, and Maury Mountain, Senior Artist at Epic and got the chance to hang out at the Epic Games meeting room. I was able to have a quick chat with Maury, and have some time to try out the demo for the upcoming Infinity Blade: Dungeons.

Was the whole experience awesome? Yes, indeed it was.”

GearsGator Matt Arnold Epic Gamer E3 2012Matt A:  “My E3 2012 experience with the GearsCon crew was certainly a memorable one. From the very first time viewing the outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center to the last few rushed moments walking around the crowded show floor, this past Electronic Entertainment Expo was a blast. Although I was not able to play all of the games being shown off due to lengthy lines, I did receive the opportunity to get my hands on Gears of War: Judgment, Infinity Blade: Dungeons, Aliens: Colonial Marines and a few other exciting titles.

Playing as a Scout in the new Gears Judgment multiplayer mode, OverRun was thrilling and I am eager to play the full game when it is released next year. Beyond just taking in the engrossing sights and sounds of the impressive exhibition hall, making connections with numerous developers from Gearbox, Epic and 343, as well as other industry affiliates, was another aspect of the 3-day convention that I thoroughly enjoyed. My first E3 experience was excellent and I can’t wait until the next one! ”

Thank you to Tim and Matt for taking the time to share the E3 fun!  Check out these awesome photos of our Epic Gamers at the show: