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Download: Unreal Development Kit April 2011 Beta

The Unreal Development Kit (UDK) beta, a free-to-use version of the Unreal Engine 3 development tools, has been updated with the latest updates and improvements. The April 2011 update includes a number of improvements and optimizations. For a full list of changes, visit the official website.

Download Unreal Development Kit April 2011 Beta (1.32 GB)
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Unreal Engine 3 trailer shows off new features for 2011


This is a trailer that is not particularly designed for consumers. Rather, it's a showcase of all the fancy fresh features in the 2011 update to Unreal Engine 3. While most of the terminology goes straight over our heads, the trailer is quite stunning looking. Beautiful shadows, excellent textures, and details such as finely-done hair all leap out at us. So while it might not be interesting to try and learn all the technical jargon backing the new engine iteration, it's definitely pleasing to look at all of it in action.

Download Unreal Engine 3 2011 Features Trailer
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Check out all Unreal Engine 3 downloads

New Hawken in-game trailer still impresses us

A couple of weeks ago, a UDK-based mech shooter called Hawken came on our radar, impressing us with its detailed art design. Now the game's developers at Adhesive Games have released yet another trailer that shows off more of the actual gameplay and, well, we are still impressed.

As you can see from the above footage, the game is played mostly in first person and the combo of gameplay, art design, sound and more truly make this title look like it took millions to make rather than a small team in just nine months. We suspect that Adhesive Games is getting a lot of publishing offers.

Primal Carnage scares us with new screenshots

Primal Carnage switched over to the UDK engine months ago and since then the upcoming humans-versus-dinos first person shooter has never looked better. The team at developer Lukewarm Media have released some new screenshots of the game to prove that point.

The shots come from the build of the game that the team brought with them to show off Primal Carnage for the first time in public at the PAX East 2011 event in Boston earlier this month. The build let folks who stopped by the EGVA booth a chance to play a human going up against a T-Rex. As you can see in the above shot, the dino is ready to chow down. There's still no word on an exact release date for the game. You can check out a trailer that shows Primal Carnage's display at PAX East 2011 after the jump:

Sanctum beta now available via pre-order; full game out April 15

As promised on Wednesday, the sci-fi mix of first person shooter and tower defense game Sanctum is now available for pre-order via Steam. The game from indie developer Coffee Stain Studios was first released as a free stand alone UDK-based game but will now be a full Unreal Engine 3-based title. You can purchase the game for $14.99 or get a two pack bundle for $24.99.

From now until the game's release on April 15, the prices for both Sanctum and the Sanctum two-pack are 10 percent off. Also players who pre-order the title will get instant access to the game's beta version.

UDK-based free alpha version of A.R.C. Squadron released

Game developer Psyonix has worked to help out other developers on big AAA games (including this year's titles Bulletstorm and Homefront) but it also makes games on its own. When Epic launched its UDK free game tools in 2009, Psyonix used it to make the free game demo Whizzle.

Now Psyonix is getting into the business of releasing very early versions of upcoming games for free in hopes that the team can get feedback from the community. Company head Dave Hagewood states in a recent update, "We may not be able to entirely self-fund and release full games right away but we may be able to release partial games '"while they are in development". The team has done just that with this week's release of A.R.C. Squadron, a sci-fi themed air combat action game with a bit of a Warhawk vibe

The game is being offered via a game client download/update program which you can get from the developer's web site. There's no matchmaking software yet so you have to manually type in the IP address to connect to a multiplayer server that's running the game (Psyonix has one at 70.166.15.133). It also recommends playing it with a gamepad.

Former UDK game Sanctum to get full commercial release Thursday

Back in June 2010 Big Download posted an interview with the head of Coffee Stain Studios about Sanctum, its mix of the shooter and tower defense game genres. The team built a stand alone demo of the game using Epic Games' free UDK tools. Today Epic and Coffee Stain Studios announced that Sanctum will debut as a full stand alone commerical game on Steam.

The game will debut in a beta version on Thursday with the final version due to be released on April 15. In addition Epic announced today that Coffee Stain Studios has signed a five year agreement to use Epic's full Unreal Engine 3 technology which will be used by the commercial version of Sanctum as well as other projects.

[Via email press release]

Download Sanctum UDK Demo (323 MB)

Age of Chivalry becomes Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

In 2010 the mod team behind the Source Engine-based multiplayer mod Age of Chivalry announced plans to launch a commercial version of the game using Epic' UDK tools. Last month (and unnoticed by us until now) the team announced that they have changed the name of the commercial game to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare (perhaps as a wink to a successful "modern" themed shooter series).

Along with the name change comes a new web site with lots of info about the Middle Ages-themed game along with an actual name for the game's development team: Torn Banner Studios. The team has also released a trailer showing some brief in-game footage which you can check out after the jump. There's no word on when Chivalry: Medieval Warfare will be released.

Execute revealed

execute
It seems every week another small game development team pops up with a new title that's using Epic Games' free UDK tools. This week we spotted yet another such game with some unique sounding features. It's a sci-fi themed game called Execute that has elements of a side-scroller, strategy and adventure games.

Created by a team of students, the game's premise is that you are a professor creating weapons against his will. He wants to escape and created a new generation warrior that he directly controls that will basically solve puzzles and handle combat against enemies for him. This generates into gameplay where the player has to pre-program the warrior with moves that are then executed by the warrior, similar to a turn-based strategy game. The warrior must solve puzzles and deal with foes in the same manner.

Apparently the goal of the student development team is to release a test version at some point and then keep developing the game with new levels "for fun". You can check out a gameplay trailer for Execute after the jump:

Crytek planning to release UDK-like version of CryEngine 3

cryengine 3
With Crysis 2's release planned for next week, developer Crytek will also show off the first game that will use its CryEngine 3 game development tools. Now Develop has posted word that small indie game developers will soon be able to gain access to a version of CryEngine 3 on the cheap and perhaps for nothing at all.

According to Crytek co-founder Anvi Yerli, "The barriers for entry will be very low, and perhaps [it will be distributed] for free." Details and a release date for this CryEngine 3 Lite SDK have yet to be announced. It seems resonable to speculate that such a release could be similar to what Epic Games did when it released its UDK tools in 2009. The UDK tools, offered for free, allow game developers to make stand alone titles using most of the features of Epic's Unreal Engine 3 with the exception of direct access to the engine's source code.
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