I’m still under NDA, and I can’t post any screens just yet, but rest assured that the engine is vastly improved from what UDK was, in terms of both usability and performance. Epic has a number of videos available online, so you can see what the workflow is like.
You can also see what more of us are saying about it in this forum thread, at Epic’s UDK forums.
First rule of Unreal Engine 4 is, you do not talk about it. So as I progress more and have some screens to show, I’ll post them on here. Programming is no longer done in UnrealScript (damn, I wrote that book on programming for the Unreal Engine 3, too…..) so it’s all C++. That’s why I’ve been trying to get up to speed on C++ as of late.
Unreal Kismet is being evolved to a far more powerful system. Epic claims that you will be able to create a mod entirely using the updated visual scripting system. The next generation of Kismet now allows for scripting of object behaviors, as well as the previous functionality for levels. It includes a system for visual debugging, as well as a template system referred to as blueprint, for placing of objects with pre-defined behaviors in the world.
For those wishing to customize further, programmers can click on a property and edit the C++ code directly, with no rebuild time required.
In the past, gameplay code existed in UnrealScript. UnrealScript is the scripting language which forms the core of current community mods, and much of the gameplay code of all previous Unreal Engine titles.
However, UnrealScript is being removed.
In its place, the engine will be 100% C++, and highly optimized. DLLs will still be supported on PC, but this is a significant change for almost every Unreal developer operating today, whether hobbyist or professional. This may have some very interesting ramifications in their development community.