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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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19,310



At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple unveiled Metal, an API designed to improve game performance on iOS. Epic Games took the stage during the event to show off Epic Zen Garden, a game built using the Unreal 4 Engine and the Metal API.

The game, which was designed to show off the impressive graphic enhancement features possible with Metal, demonstrated an expansive world with a fully interactive environment. Users could touch a tree to send a cascade of leaves and cherry blossoms swirling to the ground or interact with a group of koi fish.

epiczengarden.jpg
As of today, Epic Zen Garden is available for download, letting users see some of the things that will be possible in iOS games in the near future. The game supports a resolution of 1440 x 1080 at 30fps, and can display 3,500 butterflies at once. One of the major features of Metal is that it allows for more draw calls, letting a huge number of objects be displayed on the screen.
Epic Zen Garden is a beautiful graphical environment showcasing the power of iOS 8, developed by Epic Games with Unreal Engine 4. Tap to navigate this interactive oasis brimming unmatched detail on mobile. Swipe the Sakura tree to make thousands of cherry blossoms swirl in the air, graze the koi pond to summon leagues of fish, and rake the sand with your finger to create subtle designs. Touch the well to bring throngs of butterflies out of hiding.
More information on how Metal works, Epic Zen Garden and the Unreal Engine 4 can be seen in the video below.

Epic Zen Garden can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

(Thanks, Eli!)

Article Link: 'Epic Zen Garden' Metal Demo Shown Off at WWDC Now Available for Download
 

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
Compatibility:
Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

so which is it?
 

tgi

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2012
1,327
320
Can anyone explain in one or two lines what Metal is exactly? The first I heard of it was at the iPhone6/6plus keynote.
 

taptic

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2012
1,341
437
California
Can anyone explain in one or two lines what Metal is exactly? The first I heard of it was at the iPhone6/6plus keynote.

As far as I understood, which was little, the game has to go through less work to take advantage of the full potential of the chip.


Darn... No iPad mini support. :(
 

Lordskelic

macrumors regular
Nov 3, 2010
115
0
Texas
Makes me think of Epic Citidel which came out back when the iPhone 4 was the big thing. I believe it was showing off Unreal Engine 3 at the time.
 

nikko1423

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2012
47
48
I know Metal basically helps better games to be formed, but can someone explain "more draw calls"? Thanks!
 

Epiphron

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2010
234
10
Can anyone explain in one or two lines what Metal is exactly? The first I heard of it was at the iPhone6/6plus keynote.

It's a low level graphics API that devs can use. It's supposedly much more efficient than OpenGL (or other higher level) graphics API since there's less overhead and completely native
 

melb00m

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2011
192
68
Compatibility:
Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

so which is it?

It requires the A7, so it's iPhone 5s and up. "optimized for iPhone 5" was introduced to indicate that the App is optimized for a 4" screen during the iPhone 4s to 5 transition. I think this information will be removed soon, and the wording is really misleading.
 

darkfiber

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
821
42
Columbus, OH USA
Compatibility:
Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

so which is it?

I agree that is confusing. I think they added the "This app is optimized for iPhone 5" back when the iPhone 5 came out with the new 1136×640 screen resolution. So if an app supports that resolution then it gets that comment.
 

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,891
522
I thought it was implemented on the iOS side of things, so anything that can use iOS 8 can use metal??

I think anything can use metal, but this specific demo is very graphics intensive so it only runs on 5s or higher, or iPad air or higher. Apple lists the specs on the app store page, it would be nice to add to the article.
 

teslo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2014
929
599
whatever. i don't play my games with any less than 4,000 butterflies.
 

bushido

Suspended
Mar 26, 2008
8,070
2,754
Germany
I agree that is confusing. I think they added the "This app is optimized for iPhone 5" back when the iPhone 5 came out with the new 1136×640 screen resolution. So if an app supports that resolution then it gets that comment.

It requires the A7, so it's iPhone 5s and up. "optimized for iPhone 5" was introduced to indicate that the App is optimized for a 4" screen during the iPhone 4s to 5 transition. I think this information will be removed soon, and the wording is really misleading.

ah okay got it thanks, this line should really go away

On my iPhone 5 it opens to the logo screen and then crashes every time.

iPhone 5 isnt supported apparently
 

Yakibomb

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2014
413
60
Cape Town
I think anything can use metal, but this specific demo is very graphics intensive so it only runs on 5s or higher, or iPad air or higher. Apple lists the specs on the app store page, it would be nice to add to the article.
Thats more or less what I thought, thanks for clearing it up
 
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