SpatialOS for Unreal

SpatialOS for Unreal 2020.1

17 March 2020

Improved GDK maturity, new analytics pipeline and expanded hosting options with China region support.

Our goal with SpatialOS for Unreal is to provide the fastest way to create, launch, and operate a global multiplayer game with Unreal Engine. We aim to provide all the building blocks of a modern multiplayer game while preserving the native Unreal Engine workflows we love. 

Today, we are delighted to announce SpatialOS for Unreal 2020.1, a collection of product releases which move us forward towards this goal. 

This release introduces:

+ SpatialOS GDK for Unreal version 0.8.1: improved workflows and performance, built in collaboration with the team from Midwinter Entertainment working on Scavengers

+ The SpatialOS Analytics Pipeline: deploy our pre-built Analytics Pipeline to capture and persist JSON analytics events from any source 

+ The SpatialOS China Cloud Region [preview]: as we expand the hosting services integrated with SpatialOS, studios located in China can now deploy game instances to our new China cloud region

Please read on for more details and don’t hesitate to join us on our forums or on Discord to discuss your impressions!

SpatialOS GDK for Unreal version 0.8.1

We have released version 0.8.1 of the SpatialOS GDK for Unreal.  The GDK is our plugin that allows you to seamlessly integrate SpatialOS with Unreal Engine 4.

This version brings a wide range of improvements to performance, workflows, and stability. driven by day-to-day development and playtesting of games using the GDK. The most advanced of these titles is Scavengers, with Midwinter Entertainment now running regular public playtests on the GDK.

Scavengers
Midwinter Entertainment are developing Scavengers using version 0.8.1 of the SpatialOS GDK for Unreal

This release includes:

+ Unreal Engine 4.23.1 support

+ Improvements to the schema generation workflow in CI via a new commandlet

+ A new editor window for easily visualising Spatial logs

+ A new SpatialToggleMetricsDisplay toggle from the console in your Unreal server in order to view performance metrics

+ The ability to measure round-trip ping from a player controller to a game server

+ Improved network latency (by switching off Unreal’s default RPC-packing)

+ Support for Unreal Net Relevancy to decide which Actors need to be replicated to clients

The SpatialOS Analytics Pipeline

We are also delighted to announce the release of the SpatialOS Analytics Pipeline.

analytics pipeline

This is an open-source codebase that you can fully customise to your needs and self-host in your cloud account. 

You can use the Python-based Analytics Pipeline to capture and persist JSON analytics events that come from any games, online services or any other type of source that is connected to the internet.

At this early stage, the Analytics Pipeline is only supported on our technical partner Google Cloud’s platform.

New SpatialOS China Cloud Region [Preview]

Studios located in China can now deploy and host game instances in China.

This region is backed by infrastructure located in China, making it fully accessible, performant, and compliant for studios and players located in China. 

Access to the China region is available upon request and studios can then deploy to the region directly from GDK toolbar in the UE Editor. This new region is in a Preview Candidate stage: we are actively looking for studios to validate it with.

Helping games go global, faster

SpatialOS maintains features and abstractions across all regions and infrastructure providers. This means you don’t need to provision new hosting infrastructure to enter new regions, which enables you to de-risk and launch in new regions more easily. 

This process has been followed by Nostos, an open-world VR exploration game developed by Netease Games with networking provided by SpatialOS. Nostos is currently available to play on Steam following launch in the West in December 2019, and will soon be also available in China.

Nostos
Nostos by Netease Games, soon available globally

The launch of the new China Cloud Region is the first step of several we have planned that will increase the hosting options open to developers using SpatialOS. SpatialOS will soon also be integrated with zeuz’s hybrid bare metal and cloud service, following Improbable’s acquisition of the managed hosting specialists last month.

Access to the China Region is available to developers in China on request.

Coming up

We’re already hard at work on four big themes for our next release – 2020.2:

+ Improved performance: we're focusing on driving down latency, bandwidth, and CPU use so that you'll be able to run more efficiently

+ AI offloading (playtest-ready): our multiserver offloading architecture, which enables you to achieve greater player and NPC counts than a single Unreal server can achieve, will be validated for public playtests

+ iOS & Android support (development-ready): fully supported and documented workflows for developing and playtesting on iOS & Android.

+ Zoning (preview): increase game scale and complexity by assigning areas of a game world to dedicated Unreal server instances. 

Getting started

To summarise, this release introduces:

+ SpatialOS GDK for Unreal version 0.8.1: improved workflows and performance, built in collaboration with the team from Midwinter Entertainment working on Scavengers

+ The SpatialOS Analytics Pipeline: deploy our pre-built Analytics Pipeline to capture and persist JSON analytics events from any source 

+ The SpatialOS China Cloud Region [preview]: as we expand the hosting services integrated with SpatialOS, studios located in China can now deploy game instances to our new China cloud region

We can’t wait to hear your feedback on this release and to get working with you on your next game.