If you’ve played any games in the last three decades or so, chances are you passed the Oodle logo above at some point.
If you’re not familiar with what that means, though, Oodle is a family of compression solutions devised by RAD Game Tools (also known for other game-specific software such as the massively popular Bink Video codec and the Telemetry performance visualization system). It comprises the following systems:
- Oodle Data Compression provides the fastest and highest ratio compressors for game data. There’s a perfect Oodle compressor for every need.
- Oodle Texture dramatically reduces the size of block-compressed BC1-BC7 textures for GPUs. Oodle Texture RDO can reduce texture file sizes by up to 50%!
- Oodle Network Compression can compress UDP or TCP packets like nothing else, saving bandwidth for players and servers.
- Oodle Lossless Image Compression is an algorithm that achieves very high compression ratios with incredibly fast decompression, much smaller and faster to load than PNG.
RAD Game Tools got acquired by Epic Games in early January, which clearly hinted at Epic’s plans to add these technologies to the Unreal Engine. That day has finally come, as an early integration for Oodle Data, Network, and Texture Compression is available for free as part of Unreal Engine 4.27’s internal development branch (which game developers will find on GitHub).
As Epic mentioned alongside the acquisition announcement, nothing is going to change for existing Oodle licensees, whose workflow will remain as is. However, any Unreal Engine 4.27 user will now be able to just turn the tech on and see how it works.
This is just the latest in a series of bids made by Epic to reinforce Unreal Engine’s position in the market. The technologies developed by newly acquired companies 3Lateral, Agog Labs, CubicMotion and Quixel have all been already integrated and we’re already seeing their work in the highly ambitious MetaHuman Creator project. Earlier this month, Epic also acquired leading photogrammetry developer Capturing Reality, whose RealityCapture software will soon be incorporated into the Unreal Engine ecosystem.