Unreal Engine 5.2 Introduces Procedural Content Generation for Fast Creation of Large Game Worlds

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Image: Unreal Engine

Epic Games has announced that Unreal Engine 5.2 is now available for download. This new version of Epic’s next-generation game engine is headlined by two new features, with one being Procedural Content Generation, which remains in early testing as an “experimental” feature but promises to allow developers to create large worlds fast and efficiently as part of its framework, including both in-editor tools and a runtime component. Unreal Engine 5.2 also introduces Substrate, a new feature that, according to a comparison shot of a virtual Rivian EV that Epic Games shared, enables a greater range of surface appearances. Existing Unreal Engine users can download Unreal Engine 5.2 from the Epic Games launcher, while first-time users can find the download link on unrealengine.com.

Unreal Engine 5.2 Features

  • Procedural Content Generation framework
  • Substrate
  • Enhanced virtual production toolset
  • Apple Silicon support
  • New ML Deformer sample

From an Unreal Engine post:

Unreal Engine 5.2 offers an early look at a Procedural Content Generation framework (PCG) that can be used directly inside Unreal Engine without relying on external packages. The framework includes both in-editor tools and a runtime component.

The PCG tools enable you to define rules and parameters to populate large scenes with Unreal Engine assets of your choice, making the process of creating large worlds fast and efficient.

The runtime component means that the system can run inside a game or other real-time application, so that the world can react to gameplay or geometry changes. The PCG tools can also be used for linear content requiring substantial numbers of assets, such as large architectural projects or film scenes.

This is an Experimental feature that will be further developed over future releases.

This release also introduces Substrate, a new way of authoring materials that gives you more control over the look and feel of objects used in real-time applications, such as games, and for linear content creation.

When enabled, it replaces the fixed suite of shading models with a more expressive and modular multi-lobe framework that provides a greater range of surface appearances and a wider parameter space from which to work. It is especially powerful for describing layered looks, for example “liquid on metal” or “dust on clear coat.”

To test out Substrate, you can enable it in the project settings. As an Experimental feature, we do not recommend using it for production work; we welcome feedback to continue to refine its functionality.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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