At the recent 2013 Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, Epic Games released the Unreal Engine 4 "Infiltrator" demo, running 100% in-engine in real time, showing off UE4's high-end rendering features as well as their latest tools. Why is this a big deal? As anyone who has had to render any animation or effects knows, rendering is often the most time consuming and frustrating part of the whole process. This demo shows us dynamic effects and complex shaders all being displayed in real time. No  rendering needed. What you are seeing is the cutting edge of computer graphics technology… and Epic's Unreal Engine is not alone.

ForgeLight is the name of the core engine Sony Online Entertainment built within PlanetSide 2. ForgeLight was created from the ground up to support the complex environments, fast-paced combat and showcases the beauty, depth and fluidity in this next-gen MMO. ForgeLight creates a realistic gameplay experience and allows a large amount of players to interact at one time. Rather than the dozens to hundreds of players allowed in most FPS games, the ForgeLight engine can handle literally thousands at once, all on screen an interacting with each other. New ground is being broken on the character animation front as well.

Activision showed off its current character animation tools. While this is Research and development footage and not gameplay, it does hint at what is going to be possible withthe tools being developed at various studios.

Compare these current examples of computer graphics to where things were 30 years ago. The amount of progress in the field of real time computer graphics is staggering, and is only looking to improve as our consoles and PCs get more and more powerful.