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Epic's plans for tvOS?

Inevitably someone had to ask, so I guess its me. Watching the event today we’ve now seen the new tvOS and the ability to bring our games to the AppleTV. Be nice to get an idea of Epic’s plans for this and any idea of a roadmap for support in Unreal, which I am guessing isn’t a huge leap?

Would love to know this also ^^

Just bumping this with another response. I’d also like to know. Seeing more platforms for UE4 would be great. From listening to Epics’ managers speak at events I know to-date Epic has purposely targeted the more powerful/modern/AAA-like platforms and purposely left older/less powerful platforms out of its lineup (like Nintendo systems); but I would really really like to see them add on just a couple more platforms and tvOS would be perfect in my opinion.

The specs inside it are at least as powerful as last generation iOS devices, which Unreal already targets, so I would hesitate to lump it into “low end hardware”. Sure it is no XBone or PS4, but it has a dual core A8 chip in it. Compare that to the single core A8 in the iPad Mini 4, and the iPad Air’s single core A7 chip. Not entirely sure where it compares to the single core A8X of the iPad Air 2. I’m betting its stronger than the iPad Air 2.

Plus, TvOS is just a modified version of iOS, right? It seems like it shouldn’t be too far out of their way to add support for it.

AFAIK, tvOS is very similar to iOS, except for the difference in App Stores.
Its got specs that we are familiar with, for an iOS device, so developing for tvOS shouldn’t be that big a deal.

I looked into their controller API and they have exposed variables which are very similar to UE4.
So if you are developing a game intended for any regular/Mi-fi controller based PC game, you are good to go to the tvOS too.

tvOS also uses Metal and UE4 supports Metal integration out of the box.
Now, for absolute integration of tvOS API into UE4, is something that even i’d like to know from UE4.
Considering the fact that the tvOS API was made public just yesterday, we shouldn’t be expecting too much too early.

Unity already has a beta version being tested by some developers and will probably make support available for it shortly after the device is out. That Crossy Road game they demoed was made with Unity. It was just made public but companies with a stake, especially companies like Unity Technologies and Epic Games should have been told a while ago.

But you are right, it shouldn’t be too far a deviation from iOS so hopefully not that much work to add support for. I know there are some gotchas like a more heavy reliance on streaming, as strangely apps are not allowed any local storage. They must use iCloud for that. You will also want to take advantage of App Thinning and on demand loading as you have a 200mb app limit.

Came to ask about it myself, discovered much discussion already. Seems like good bang for buck from Epic’s point of view. Would love to be able to push my games to tvOS too :slight_smile:

The major roadblock IMO is getting support for iOS9 on-demand resources in. Apps made for tvOS cannot be larger than 200MBs and any additional content must be downloaded through the on-demand API, so if you have a game larger than that limit you’ll need to setup your loading points correctly.

Wasn’t aware of the 200 Mb limit. Good that you guys pointed it out.
It’s going to be challenging to setup this sort of stuff.

Can anyone from UE4 point out any status or POV on the tvOS?

Another issue that needs to be sorted is that apps are not allowed to use local storage at all on the tvOS: they must use iCloud.

Well I had already stated both those issues :slight_smile: Yes these are things that would need to be there, but presumably Epic is updating iOS support for iOS9 including app-thinning? And does Unreal not already support iCloud? If not it should. While these things are vital for tvOS they aren’t unique to it, and really should be there for iOS as well anyway.

Streaming content and iCloud are already supported to some extent, so it doesn’t sound like that’ll get in the way too much :slight_smile:

We have support for it in a branch. That said, it’s old support, so, the final version of Xcode/tvOS doesn’t “just work”. I am actively working on getting the branch up to date with recent code, and fixing up all of the API/Xcode things. We have enabled the ODS (On Demand Streaming) code… although it hasn’t gone through extensive testing or anything yet.

FWIW, I have it compiling and linking now, and am working on the packaging up the .ipa stuff now.

It’s unlikely to make 4.10, however. The changes are likely going to be too much/too late by the time it’s all cleaned up and ready for use.
Josh

Josh

Josh, is there any chance you could push a preview of UE4 with tvOS support to those who own the Apple tvOS Developer Preview kit?

Good to hear it’s being worked on! BTW, is the ODS for the tvOS the same as the iOS9 ODS that was talked about when iOS9 was announced or is it something else?

Hey Josh, Thank You.

It’s the one they announced with iOS9.

Tag your content, slice it dice it, thin it.

//

Also, as far as other questions were concerned - you’re supposed to use CloudKit which is fundamentally different to iCloud as you can access CloudKit platform agnostic outside the Apple World. Only small amounts of data can get saved to iClouds Key/Value store (up to 1mb).

So you can build your game across a wide array of platforms and retain access to your saved states via CloudKit.

One thing, not often enough tales about - you MUST make your game 100% compatible with the AppleTV remote.
You can offer additional support for an external controller, but out of the box the game must be fully playable utilising the remote Apple provides the customer with.

And so far I haven’t seen anything that indicates you can incorporate iAd into your games, which may or may not translate into a general ban of ad networks. Just keep that in mind before you fill your excel sheet with super awesome ad impression stats. It’s a typical Apple issue - if it’s not explicitly encouraged it’s often implicitly disallowed.

Since many (of you) provide leaderboards via (different) web technology - tvOS provides NO web !!!view!!! support whatsoever. NO.Support.What.So.Ever.
You can feed data from the web into your game, obviously, but you can’t just pull up a Safari View Controller for formatting & display.

I’ll have my devKit early next week - if there’s anything any of you wants to get tested, let me know, I’ll try to fit it in.

Is this a public branch? I can only see https://github.com/EpicGames/UnrealEngine/tree/4.10 , no tvOS.

I’ve played around with SceneKit on my Apple TV Developer Kit, but UE4 would obviously be even better :slight_smile:

I just got my Apple TV devkit and would like to know if there are already options to use Unreal Engine for TV OS development? any progress?