Epic Games has released another build of its acclaimed Unreal Engine Development Kit and the reason why we're informing you is because this specific beta has iOS support built-in. Yes, the tech that powered Epic Citadel [Free] and Infinity Blade [$5.99] is now available to us plebs and game developers alike via this official portal.

We're not tech magicians or cybernetic voodoo priests, so we aren't going to be coding an iOS game or two in the near future, however, you can if you'd like with this specific release, provided it's a non-commercial or educational product. (If you'd like to license it for commercial use, the legal mumbo jumbo of the stuff is available here).

For most of you this probably means nothing. But what if I said there's some cool and fun stuff tucked into this build? Oh, are you a bit more interested? Great, let me share this with you real fast: in addition to adding content streaming functionality and advanced lighting and shadowing junk, this build of UDK iOS offers users the full source and content of Epic Citadel AND an extra castle.

Also, there's a neat proof of concept iOS dual-stick shooter in this build starring Jazz Jackrabbit. Jazz was the star of the PC classic Jazz Jackrabbit, which was originally created by Epic Games in 1994. He hasn't been seen since 2002... until today!

And just so we're clear, we're about 99.9 percent sure this doesn't mean a new Jazz game is happening. It's just, again, a neat little addition to a very important release by Epic Games.

[via Kotaku]

  • fanste

    Im sorry, could you repeat that thing about the EXTRA castle??? I hope this comes in an update!!

  • JCGaga

    The irony is that you need a windows computer to make iOS games with the iDevice optimized engine.

    • tsharpfilm

      Lol. Some of the software used to make 3D games like 3D Studio Max is Windows only too, which kind of sucks. I think Maya is still crossplatform though.

      • http://twitter.com/housewarmer mark mcdonald

        Yup, Maya is OS X native. 3D Studio is one of the few big 3d apps that is PC only.

      • Amazed

        If you can afford an artist and $3500 3ds max license, I think a $1200 machine to run it is not going to be a problem...

  • Wander

    Wow, I remember Jazz Jackrabbit, loved that game :D I had no idea it was made by Epic, a port to iOS would be insta-buy.

    • http://twitter.com/Alienmario Alienmario

      same here

  • Borgqueenx

    someone needs to compile the new epic citadel and the jazz jackrabbit demo and put it on the app store for free.

  • TheTheory

    The word Unreal always makes me think of the original Unreal Tournament. That game was awesome--still blows away any of the Halos in terms of maps, weapons, and characters. A part of me would love the see UT hit the ios.. though the game fared poorly from the transfer from computer to console...and the ios sadly has less ability to input than the console does.

  • Chubbaz

    So, how does the work then ? Make art content / gameplay in UDK on PC, then it exports some sort of package that must be compiled through xcode on a MAC ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522928581 Paul Downs

      I'm not sure but I've downloaded the devkit to find out. :P I think you've pretty much guessed the process though as the dev kit is a 1GB exe installer. :/

  • Aguest

    u need to be an ios dev to sign the .ipa file. also jazz jackrabbit is a simple minigore clone and a tutorial, not the 2d platform game from the 90's.

    u can download the video tutoril (and kit) here: http://atomicgamer.com/files/89168/unreal-development-kit-udk-jazz-jackrabbit-ios-tutorial-video-wmv

  • Amazed

    25% royalty for using the engine is quite steep, although it is the most advanced engine on the platform. so you're at 70% after apple, 45% after unreal, and about 31% after taxes, so out of $1000 in sales you get to keep $310, that's a lot of fees!

    • TheTheory

      definitely a lot of fees, though the numbers probably break down fairly similarly for packaged products... after all, if you buy a game at Gamestop, they probably keep about 50% of the ~$60, the distributor gets a piece of the remaining, and there are taxes.

      Plus, most people playing a game on iOS paid for the app from Apple... there are probably some pirates out there, but the majority playing are payers. Unlike with console games where there is a huge used game business where developers see $0 of those re-sales. So while a start-up iOS developer won't be thrilled with all ~$310 out of $1000, I would see it as more lucrative than a packaged product.

      • Amazed

        the numbers are not even close. you are comparing a $60 game to a $10 app? i dont have hard piracy rates for consoles and pc, but for pc I would guess they are 50-90%. i DO have hard numbers of a top 10 ios game, and the piracy rate is 73%, so dont even think for one second piracy doesn't effect the quality of games that can be made on ios.

      • Matt

        do you have the source for the 73% piracy of a top 10 iOS game please?

    • guest

      the other thing you have to consider is the face there is no up front costs, like there is with unity. If I'm an indie, is it better to spend 3k on Unity, but never have to pay royalties, or pay nothing, and be stuck with royalties. Most people don't have the capital to go the unity route.

      • Amazed

        at this level of quality 3k is a drop in the bucket, seriously if your deciding factor is 3k your game isn't going to compete. its a question of eye candy if you ask me, the amount of money and talent required to make the unreal engine shine + the licensing costs is a huge expense. vs if you go with unity and you aren't able to create the level of visuals, you can concentrate on game play.

    • Nori Silverrage

      I don't think your numbers are all that accurate because of the way accounting works. So you are at $700 (70%) after apple. But then it would be 25% of that number because that is your actual sales since Apple takes the 30% right off the top. So then you are at $525 out of $1000. Taxes would vary but it would come off of $525 and depending on how you have your company setup your taxed amount will vary significantly.
      But yeah it does definitely suck.

    • Tyler

      Yep, this is basically the reason I would consider Unity over UDK. Unity may have a steep license fee but its a one-time fee so if your game is good enough, you will make it back anyway.. with UDK your are screwed every sale.

  • Tcrowns

    Very developer friendly, You need a PC to develop for iOS and also need a Mac to be able to then submit your app to the app store. Either you need a PC and a Mac or a Mac with bootcamp and also buy a Windows license which would allow you to develop for iOS on a Mac using Bootcamp in Windows to export an iOS app to submit to Apple on Mac OS, WTF.

    A Mac UDK would make much more sense for iOS developers.

  • DocBush

    Try Shiva3D, much cheaper and there are no royalti when license it. They offer 50% holiday sale. Very good engine, with tons of tools and several platform included for the same ONE price.
    Unreal is the past, forget it. I've developed 2 games with the use of it, not designed for the iDevices, it's only a hack over the original unreal core.