Today Epic announced that throughout 2019 they will be launching a large set of cross-platform game services built originally with Fortnite. These services, built across 7 platforms and tested with over 200 million players will be free for all developers and open to all engines, platforms, and stores. All services will also be operated in a privacy-friendly, GPDR-compliant manner.
The service will launch with a C SDK providing access to the online services along with Unreal Engine and Unity integrations.
Services will include:
Cross-Platform Login, Friends, Presence, Profile, and Entitlements (coming Q2-Q3 2019 to PC, other platforms throughout 2019): Provides the core functionality for persistently recognizing players across multiple sessions and devices; identifying friends; and managing free and paid item entitlements. This will support all 7 major platforms (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch) to the full extent each platform allows per-title.
PC/Mac Overlay API (coming Q3 2019): Provides a user interface for login, friends, and other features in a game-agnostic, engine-agnostic way.
Cross-Platform Voice Comms (coming Q3 2019 to all platforms): Epic is building a new in-game voice communications service supporting all platforms, all stores, and all engines, which will be available for free. (For developers needing an immediately-available voice solution, check out Discord, Vivox, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, and Mumble.)
Cross-Platform Parties and Matchmaking (coming Q3-4 2019 to all platforms)
Cross-Platform Data Storage, Cloud-Saved Games (coming Q2 2019)
Cross-Platform Achievements and Trophies (coming Q3 2019)
Learn more from the Epic blog.
Organizers of the 19th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the premier accolades for peer recognition celebrating the industry’s top games, studios and developers, will be honoring esteemed writer and director Amy Hennig with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 6:30pm at the San Francisco Moscone Center during the 2019 Game Developers Conference, and in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival (IGF). The ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2019 pass-holders.
Over the course of more than three decades, Amy has established a multifaceted career in game development, starting with development on the Atari 7800 up to the modern PlayStation 4 platform. Amy’s expertise is as deep as it is varied, with professional experience as a digital artist, animator, game designer and especially in the last two decades, as a writer and director of acclaimed adventure titles with strong narrative and character elements.
Serving as the creative director and writer of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted game series, her contributions helped that series become one of the most acclaimed and beloved in the modern gaming era. Before that, Amy served as writer and director of the groundbreaking Soul Reaver / Legacy of Kain series at Crystal Dynamics during her more than eight year tenure with the company. Amy has earned countless accolades for her writing from prestigious organizations including the WGA Videogame Writing Awards and BAFTA, the latter of which also rewarded Amy with a Special Award in recognition for her contribution to the video game industry.
“Amy Hennig is a powerful figure in the game world; her work exemplifies what good game narrative can be, with pathos, humor, suspense and energy. She is truly one of the most influential developers in the games industry,” said Katie Stern, general manager of the Game Developers Conference. “These past accomplishments are just milestones in a career that we’ll be following for years to come, but for one night at the GDCAs, we’ll reflect on the hard work and artistry that makes game developers like Amy the heart of the industry.”
Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award recipients include Tim Schafer, Tim Sweeney, Shigeru Miyamoto, Warren Spector, John Carmack, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, Sid Meier, Ken Kutaragi, Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Peter Molyneux, among others.
The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Special Awards Jury, which includes notable game industry leaders such as Chris Charla (ID@Xbox), Laine Nooney (New York University), Brian Reynolds (Big Huge Games), Brandon Sheffield (Necrosoft Games) and Mare Sheppard (Metanet Software).
For more information about the 19th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, visit: http://www.gamechoiceawards.com/. For more details on the Game Developers Conference, please visit the GDC’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Official photos are available via the Official GDC Flickr account: www.flickr.com/photos/officialgdc/. Both the Game Developers Choice Awards and IGF ceremonies are available to attend for all GDC 2019 pass-holders.
Lightact has created a new UE4 sample project showcasing Niagara awesome VFX.
The project is called Stranger Rings and is available for free on the Lightact website together with a detailed tutorial giving step-by-step instructions on how to use it. It uses Lightact's computer vision capabilities together with UE4's real-time rendering.
Learn more about it here.
Today Epic Games announced its new online store pioneering an 88/12% revenue split in favor of developers. The store will launch soon with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, and will open up more broadly to additional games and other open platforms throughout 2019.
The Epic Games store is open to games developed with any game engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and other engines. For games made with Unreal Engine, Epic will waive all engine royalties on revenue generated through the store.
A unique feature of the Epic Games store is the Support-A-Creator program that connects developers with over 10,000 creators, such as YouTube video makers and Twitch streamers. The Support-A-Creator program rewards creators for bringing exposure to game developers. For more details on the program, visit https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/news/support-a-creator-faq.
"As a developer ourselves, we have always wanted a platform with great economics that connects us directly with our players," said Epic Games founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney. "Thanks to the success of Fortnite, we now have this and are ready to share it with other developers."
More details on upcoming game releases will be revealed at The Game Awards this Thursday, December 6th. Stay tuned to epicgames.com for more information.
Do you know who is the most listened to musician on Youtube, perhaps the whole internet? No, not Bieber, Beyonce or that catchy Dispacito thing. No, it's Kevin Macleod. You may not know the name, but go to his website incompetech.com and you will find nearly every background tune from every vlog or amateur video, and plenty of professional ads, too. Very simply, Kevin lets people use his vast library of compositions for their projects, royalty free, and that may have made him one of the biggest assets to amateur creatives since, well, Youtube.
My thought was, could that be extended to other things? We have royalty free models and code floating around, and game engines and graphics software are moving into open source or amateur-friendly EULAs bit by bit. I want to try to provide something similar for the story side of things. Plenty creative people seem to look for writers to write stories for their games, comics, whathaveyou. Why not do it like Macleod and create a story universe for people to freely use?
So I created Embassy of Time... a few years ago. Yeah, life ain't easy, and things take time. But I recently finished the second draft of the first (free) big story, one that stretches across time and space, and across genres, from spy thriller to occult cyberpunk to historical intrigue and more. Hint: It's about time travel.
While I work on the next major draft, the second one is currently here. It's a story about how a young girl in a small town gets entangled in a war across time and space, and the second draft is close enough to the final story that I feel like reaching out to other creatives about it. Need a background story for your historical RTS? Have Embassy factions duke it out and focus on your programming rather than scouting for affordable writers. Got a space horror FPS style you want, but need a backdrop for it? The first chapter is set at the destruction of Earth as dark forces descend on the galaxy. Need a story setting for spies to chase a McGuffin in a mystery game? There's... well, you get the idea.
This is something I have never seen really attempted before. Shared writing universes, yes, but I am designing this universe and its stories specifically to help new creatives have something to build on (which, btw, includes writers; people can write stories based on this, if they want). If you want a free and deep background story for your game or other project, one that ties it subtly (or not so subtly!) to a bigger, (hopefully soon) recognizable story universe, let me know, I will work with you and learn what I can do to suit the third draft even better to people's needs.
NVIDIA has announced a christmas present with the release of PhysX SDK 4.0 later this month, open sourced under the 3-clause BSD license. The big technical change in the physics engine appears to be the temporal Gauss-Seidel solver, enabling faster and more robust handling of contact points and constraints.
For full details, please see https://news.developer.nvidia.com/announcing-physx-sdk-4-0-an-open-source-physics-engine/
RenderDoc 1.2 has been released. The new release of the open source graphics debugger adds support for a number of new features, including:
Improvements to shader edit and replace
Geometry/tessellation output on Vulkan
Persistent python API with access to all UI functions
Support for Oculus VR end of frame markers
Support for a number of Vulkan extensions
View the full feature and bug list at the RenderDoc release page on Github: https://github.com/baldurk/renderdoc/releases/tag/v1.2
Do you have experience working on mobile games? GameDev.net needs your input on this survey for Improbable as they look to develop their mobile offering. For your help we'll give you one free month of GDNet+ and we're giving away twenty $25 Amazon Gift Cards.
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Learn about Improbable
We're featuring an interview with Improbable about their SpatialOS GDK for Unity launch. Click here to view it.
Haven't heard about SpatialOS? Learn more about it here.
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After over 5000 game developers participated in last year’s event, the 3rd edition of the yearly community-sponsored Christmas event for Unity game developers organized by Unity Asset Store publisher Devdog has attracted over 50 sponsors providing a combined 1000+ prizes, upping the prize-pool from last year’s $35,000 to over $3000,000.
Throughout the event-period, participants will have a daily chance at grabbing one of the game development tools up for grabs, and as a bonus this year, every participant will receive a copy of VisualDesignCafe’s popular Nested Prefabs Unity-tool too.
The Christmas event starts Dec. 1st and runs until Dec. 25th, each day seeing more and more presents added to the daily gift pool.
Among the many sponsors of the Christmas event are industry powers such as Nordic Game Jam, PocketGamer Connects, and a whole sleeve of the best-selling Unity Asset Store publishers, with GameAnalytics acting as a promotion partner.
“We’re proud to see over 55 industry partners come together to give the game developers who make the games we all love to play a chance at winning an early Christmas present,” said Devdog co-founder, Sune Thorsen.
The Devdog Unity Christmas Calendar event is free to participate in and available now. To learn more, visit http://christmas.devdog.io.
I've just released Grease Pencil for Unity, a scene and object annotation tool.
You can use it to plan out levels, create stand-in art, leave notes for level designers and a whole bunch of stuff I haven't even thought of yet.
Create one or more Grease Pencil canvases per gameObject.
Each canvas can have multiple layers with different rendering options
Process your strokes with experimental tools like Smooth, Tighten and Optimize
Grease Pencil will even render in your game scene and can be used as final artwork.
Because canvases are attached to gameObjects, Grease Pencil is compatible with prefabs.
Get Grease Pencil here
v1.1 (PREVIEW) - Added modifier stack with Smooth, Tighten, Optimize, Normalize, Sketch and Connect modifiers, more to come.
Scatter objects along grease pencil strokes
Edit / Sculpt strokes
Variable stroke width
Grease Pencil to Geometry: create vines, pipes, hoses, viper pits. (Combine with scatter for cool effects)
Post-stroke modifiers (smooth, tighten, noise)
Stroke processors (lazy mouse, coil, etc.)
Non-destructive layer modifiers (smooth, tighten, optimize, noise, etc.)
Draw in UI space, ie. draw UI elements (including 9-slice like support), make UI wireframes, etc.
Text support - Instead of writing type and premade (or custom!) glyphs will be baked down to grease pencil strokes.
Textured Strokes - Stretch a texture along each stroke
Run-time drawing and saving
Let me know what you think.
Le Sound supports Creative Commons license content creation by introducing AudioTexture Free which allows using Freesound database with a built-in browser.
AudioTexture Free is the free version of AudioTexture plugin which loads and processes contents from Freesound. A dedicated browser interface has been designed for an integrated workflow to use Freesound content with AudioTexture. You can search with filter/sorting criteria and preview right in the browser. The browser displays the most essential information about the sounds and allows double-click to directly load into AudioTexture synthesizer. AudioTexture Free will accelerate your workflow to create more content.
SoLoud audio engine 2018119 has been released, and available at http://soloud-audio.com
SoLoud is an easy to use, free, portable c/c++ audio engine for games.
First release after 2 year burnout hiatus
FLAC, MP3 and various wav file formats through dr_flac, dr_mp3 and dr_wav
Split SDL and SDL2 dll backends due to SDL2 doing stupid things unless told not to
Removed modplug, added libmodplug dll interface
Loop point support for all audio sources
Wav files can now load from raw data
Many new small examples
Piano demo now has padsynth
Sanity test: over 200 tests to check if changes break playback
playBackground helper interface to play audio without panning
countAudioSource call to see how many instances of an audio source are playing
PS Vita homebrew platform support
Wave shaper, robotize filters
Added more options to speech synth playback
Removed many dynamic allocations
Switched FFT implementations (again)
Countless bug fixes and tweaks
Today, Allegorithmic announces Substance Painter’s third update of 2018, including a complete overhaul of the engine that has helped make the texturing tool an industry leader. From large-scale VFX scenes to high-quality mobile projects, the Substance Painter Fall Update improves performance across the board while simultaneously lowering the hardware requirements for all users.
In order to handle large amounts of data without a drop in performance - an increasingly common requirement for VFX professionals and anyone working with massive scenes - the Substance Painter engine has been rewritten to incorporate Sparse Virtual Textures (SVT), a method of simulating large textures using less texture memory. The new memory and management system will allow for up to 300 tiles running at once, moving Substance Painter one step closer to its inevitable goal of unlimited UV tiles support. And while the new engine can easily handle massive scenes, projects of all sizes will benefit from an immediate increase in speed and ease of use.
The Fall Update also brings with it new tools for mobile users, including a 2D viewport exporter designed to increase the possibilities for mobile games. High-quality PBR shaders can now be baked into a single high-resolution texture, before final exportation into an artist’s game engine of choice. Using dithering, artists will also be able to remove artifact or banding issues in their 8-bit exports, ensuring solid normal maps up and down the creation process.
“Our goal isn’t just to have the best features, it’s to make sure our users have the best experience – even if that means completely rewriting an engine that has served us well for years,” said Allegorithmic founder and CEO Sebastien Deguy. “Hardware should never be a limiting factor, so Substance Painter helps them do more with less.”
The Substance Painter Fall Update also introduces a host of user-requested additions, beginning with an updated Baked Lighting filter, capable of presenting environment maps that are near-perfect copies of a PBR shader. Environmental maps can now be rotated horizontally and vertically, and artists no longer have to manually account for painted details on the normal and height channels. New anisotropic patterns have also been added to help create anisotropic patterns.
Additional feature sets include:
Mipmapping – Textures now use mip-maps to avoid flickering on noisy surfaces.
New Anisotropic Shader – New anisotropic highlights can help create realistic hair, satin, brushed metal, and glossy reflections using native Iray support.
New Temporal Anti-Aliasing – New anti-aliasing methods ensure smooth edges at all times; automatic smoothing of dithering effects caused by sub-surface scattering or transparency shaders.
Updated Clearcoat Shader – Adds control over coating thickness and roughness; Iray parity with new MDL shader automatically applied when selected.
Symmetry and Layer Stack Improvements
Deactivating Multiple Layers – Multiple layers can be clicked and dragged vertically through a stack; blending modes can be scrolled through by hand or mouse.
Enhanced Symmetry Tool – Introduces ability to move the axis freely using a 3D Gizmo or within the Symmetry panel; Symmetry plane now displays as an intersection.
Layer Stack UI and UX – New color swatch system allows for easy assignment and differentiation of folders and layers
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deal
Allegorithmic will also be participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with a sale aimed at new users. Beginning on Friday, November 23, first-time Substance users will receive a 33-percent discount on annual subscriptions, which includes Substance Painter, Substance Designer, the Substance Source material library and the upcoming AI-powered Substance Alchemist. The discount will last until November 26, making it an ideal gift for friends and family interested in digital design.
The new update to Substance Painter is available today. Following the 30-day trial period, individual users will be able to subscribe to the Substance Indie or Pro plans. Substance Painter is also available for individual-license purchase, which includes 12 months of maintenance. Excluding the Black Friday deal, Subscriptions to Substance Indie cost $19.90/month; Pro plans cost $99.90/month. Enterprise and education pricing is available upon request. Students and teachers can request a license at no cost.
Genifect 2.0 OpenFX plugin has been released by Dual Heights Software.
New in 2.0 is the Materialized Bevel filter which creates bevel and lighting effects for texts and symbols. Using MatCap textures you can create advanced and realistic lighting effects on 2D-text and logos to make it look like it was made out of gold, copper or any other material that you can find a MatCap texture for on the Internet.
Genifect is an OpenFX plugin that works with the major compositing software for video and animation including Nuke, DaVinci Resolve/Fusion, Vegas Pro and Natron to name a few.
Visit the official Genifect page to learn more: https://www.dualheights.se/genifect/
TactxStudios just finished posting a series of three tutorials that uses the development of a traditional peg game (Peg Solitaire) to highlight an approach for game development — using sequential builds. Each build is a fully executable project – allowing the developer to build, bundle onto targeted platforms and execute. Hardly an ‘Agile’ process, but what I’d term a ‘blocking and tackling’ plan for rapid game development. The three tutorials focus on:
BUILD I: – In support of this initial build, the tutorial outlines the general concept of the game, to include, defining the target audience, setting targets for overall simplicity/difficulty, defining game play and win objectives. Integral to Build I will be the collection of initial graphic assets, to include backgrounds for both the splashscreens and gameplay, logos for the developer and game title, level selection panel and level buttons, game object sprites and animations.
BUILD II: – During this second tutorial, we expand on Build I – adding a fully functional Level 1 of gameplay. During the tutorial for Build II, we add the full set of game objects (tabletop, pegs and pegholes), expand the controller to accommodate game setup, routines to handle player actions for moving the pegs, jumping other pegs and also removing the jumped peg from the gameboard. Additionally, during this build we’ll include procedures to accommodate several unique game conditions: (a) error-prone actions, such as multiple clicks on a peg – or – selecting an invalid jump move, (b ) selecting a jump path when multiple jump options are available and (c ) determining if there are still any potential moves that the user can make – if not, ending the game.
BUILD III: –The last tutorial adds new play levels to the game – focused on different geometries – each of which will be more challenging to the player.
Please take a look – I think you’ll find it an interesting project. Here’s the URL’s to the three parts:
E1 - Opening SplashScreen and Level Selection Panel
E2 - A Full Game focused on a Single Level -- a 10 location triangle
E3 - The Final Four Level Peg Puzzle Game
Mike Acton from Unity shared the slides from his Unite LA talk on LOD and Culling Systems that Scale, where he described the method used for culling and HLOD for the MegaCity demo.
Labelled as a talk about what he "didn't do", Acton lists 7 points about how he went about with the optimizations.
View the full twitter thread:
Presentation as a PDF: culling.pdf
Excitement is gathering for the 4th edition of VRX 2018 in San Francisco this December 6-7. As always, the organizers have brought together a stellar line-up of many of the world’s biggest companies and investors across industry, entertainment and tech to cut through the hype and get to the heart of what’s really happening in XR.
You can see the full line-up on the VRX website. But the focus of VRX is not just the content – it’s also the people who attend and the networking the event provides. This year will see 800 top-tier XR business leaders in attendance over the two days.
Here’s a snapshot of who’ll be there:
Game, film and content studios: The VOID, Paramount, Skydance Interactive, Survios, Digital Domain, GREE, Dave & Busters, Felix & Paul, Sansar, Cloudhead Games, Vreal, Penrose Studios, MediaMonks, Dreamscape Immersive, Fake Production Oy, Nomadic, nDreams, Zerolight, REWIND, Happy Finish, HBO
Hardware and software providers: Oculus, HTC, Google, Samsung, Qualcomm, AMD, Unity, HP, Bose, Tobii, Talespin, Almalence, Intervoke, Siemens, LG, Flex, Adobe, Varjo, Intuitive Surgical, Neurable, Ultrahaptics, Ubiquity6, Microsoft
Enterprises and brands across multiple verticals: Gensler, Nationwide, ExxonMobil, Merck, Audi, Nestle, Israel Aerospace, General Motors, Allergan, DHL, Ball Aerospace, Jacobs, CDM Smith, Siemens Energy, Lowe’s, GE Power, HDR, Korea Electric Power Corporation, Applied Materials, State Farm Insurance, United Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, BASF, Honda
Analysts, media and financiers: Deloitte, Comcast Ventures, SuperData, Digi-Capital, Fortune, Techcrunch, Road to VR, Capital Group, Vive X, Boston Consulting, Boost VC, HP Tech Ventures, Headlight Investments, TDPI Ventures, Maveron
The organizers have also included the job titles of those attending from these companies here: http://events.vr-intelligence.com/vrx/conference-attendees.php
GameDev.net has a discount for you to use, to get 15% off tickets to the event. Just enter the code GDN15 when you register here:https://events.vr-intelligence.com/vrx/register.php .
A Unity Asset for customizable lowpoly weapons and shields.
- Full Version: http://u3d.as/1hvG
- Free Version: http://u3d.as/1jZV
You can get the character model used in the video here (for FREE!): http://u3d.as/1kP7
From PixelFest 2018 Developer Day!
David Hernly is a long-time indie game developer focused on a combination of hardware control systems and starship simulations. He's the creator of Starship Horizons, which has been making the convention rounds for 5 years. Most recently, David has taken the underlying Starship Horizons hardware control engine and re-skinned it for escape rooms all over the country via Mythric Mystery Master.
The mobile editor for Voxyc, a voxel-focused open-source game engine in development, can now edit 3D scenes on Android. Right in the app, you can create voxel chunks and combine them with models and sprites. You can import files right from the menu and then assign textures, move and resize them with a few button presses. All imported objects can be animated with Lua scripts. The resulting scenes can be used in games created with Voxyc, but since the project is open-source, export to other formats and engines can be and are expected to be developed.
The app is one of the first that allows level creation on the go. You can work wherever inspiration strikes. Any dull moment can now be used productively, which is important for small indie teams that lack resources or work after-hours or on weekends. Using your device's camera to make textures and inserting them right into the scene is also convenient. The app is aimed at people who work on games independently and, perhaps after having already spent hours at their desk job, do not wish to be tied down to a chair and monitor. I find that using the app on a tablet is most convenient.
Although the engine and the editor have come a long way in the last year, at this time, I am the only developer on the project. The editor and the engine are still missing some essential features, and I am looking for developers with whom I can share code. The codebase is cross-platform C++ and target platforms are Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, OpenVR, GearVR, Daydream and others.
Voxyc editor for Android on Google Play
Engine source code on GitHub
Gamedev project link
Epic Games announced the latest recipients of Unreal Dev Grants, a $5 million fund supporting developers working with Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). This new round awards $800,000 to more than 30 individuals and teams, with no restrictions or obligations to Epic Games. As with previous rounds, these recipients illustrate the wide variety of use cases for UE4, including independent games, interactive visualizations, virtual reality surgical simulators and online learning resources.
“The Unreal Dev Grants program has a simple goal: to help talented developers succeed by letting them focus more on their project and less on their bills,” said Chance Ivey, Partnership Manager at Epic Games. “We’re continually amazed by the range of applications built with UE4 and the potential of so many of these projects; this round includes standouts such as Sojourn by Tierceron, Crab Rave by Noisestorm, and VR Cataract Simulator by Surgical Mind. Congrats to all of these folks for their vision and persistence!”
The latest round of Unreal Dev Grants recipients includes:
TOOL / PLUGIN: Anomotion Motion Composer and Anomotion BIK – Website
Anomotion maintains two animation solutions for UE4: Motion Composure, a task-based motion planner which automatically generates precise motion sequences from unstructured animation data; and BIK, an inverse-kinematics system that can model various joint types and define custom constraints for VR avatars, virtual humans and creatures. Anomotion's solutions have practical applications, from film previs to architectural visualizations. For industrial simulation and shared virtual environments, for example, Anomotion's technology can be used to populate interactive, adaptive training environments with task-directed virtual characters.
FILM / CINEMA / VR: Awake: Episode One by Start VR – Trailer
Created by Start VR, Awake: Episode One is an interactive cinematic virtual reality experience for HTC Vive and Vive Pro. Awake: Episode One, which uses the latest volumetric capture techniques to bring real-life human performances into VR, officially premiered at SXSW and has been touring the festival circuit ever since. It’s coming soon to Steam.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Black Iris by Hexa Game Studio – Closed Gameplay
From Brazilian indie team Hexa Game Studio, Black Iris is an action RPG that takes inspiration from the Dark Souls series of games and Bloodborne. Black Iris in development for PC and console.
INDEPENDENT GAME / AR: BOT-NET by Calvin Labs – Website
BOT-NET is a game that turns physical space into a first-person battlefield using a mobile device’s AR features. Massive robots fight while the player engages in ground combat with smaller robots. BOT-NET is available in the App Store.
FILM / CINEMA: Cine Tracer by Matt Workman – Steam
Developed by Matt Workman of Cinematography Database, Cine Tracer is a photorealistic cinematography simulator in which the player operates real world-based cameras, sets up lights, and directs talent within UE4 environments. Matt frequently livestreams Cine Tracer development at https://www.twitch.tv/cinegamedev. Creatives can use Cine Tool to communicate lighting, cameras and storyboarding, and it’s available in Early Access on Steam.
INDEPENDENT GAME - Close to the Sun by Storm in a Teacup – Gameplay Trailer
Developed by Rome-based Storm in a Teacup, Close to the Sun is a first-person horror game that takes place in an alternate version of history in the 1890s aboard a mysterious ship complex created by Nikola Tesla where things are not as they seem. With numerous indie game accolades already under its belt, Close to the Sun is coming to PC and console in 2019.
TOOL / PLUGIN: coreDS Unreal by ds.tools – Website
coreDS Unreal facilitates the easy deployment of support for high-level architecture (HLA) and distributed interactive systems (DIS) in UE4 games and applications. Users can integrate once and support HLA and DIS without any modifications to coreDS Unreal, which provides an extensive feature set that eases the integration process, allowing for reduced implementation time, flexibility and highly customizable simulation behavior.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Farm Folks by Overgrown – Trailer
Farm Folks is a successfully crowdfunded farming simulator game with a nod to the classic Harvest Moon series. Players can explore Softshoal Island, grow crops, raise livestock, build relationships and more – all the while uncovering the island’s mysteries. Farm Folks, coming to PC, is available for pre-order on Crytivo.
AR / VR: The Hydrous presents: Immerse – Website
Jason McGuigan and his team at Horizon Productions have been on the bleeding edge of XR for several years, with a library of AR and VR projects built with UE4 under their belt. A pre-release version of Immerse took stage at the recent Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn gathering in Malta presented by Dr. Erika Woolsey, the CEO of the Hydrous. The Hydrous’ mission is to create open access oceans by bringing conservation education to the masses. Horizon also presented a high-fidelity VR art gallery created in Unreal Engine that featured almost 100 paintings by some of the world’s leading digital artists.
INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Jupiter & Mars by Tigertron – Trailer
Jupiter & Mars is an underwater adventure game for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR with a powerful message around climate change set in a shocking, future world inspired by ecological events happening now. The player controls Jupiter, a dolphin with enhanced echolocation powers, traveling around the world with AI companion Mars to disable the man-made machinery disrupting marine life, while solving puzzles and encountering magnificent creatures along the way.
INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Kaisuo by USC Games – Trailer
Kaisuo is a VR puzzle game in which players use fine motor dexterity to solve enigmatic Chinese puzzle boxes and unlock surreal, extraordinary spaces. Originally founded as an undergraduate student project named Lantern (now the name of the development team) at the University of Southern California, Kaisuo has been showcased at events such as the USC Games Expo and Indiecade @ E3, and is in development through the USC Bridge incubator program for full release on the Oculus and Steam stores.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Koral by Pantumaca Barcelona – Steam
Developed by Carlos Coronado, one of Barcelona’s leading UE4 experts, this beautiful PC game takes players on a dive through the underwater world where they play as the current on a mission to revive coral reefs. Solving puzzles heals the reefs and replenishes the ocean’s magic.
FINE ARTS / VR: The Kremer Collection Virtual Museum – Website
Designed by architect Johan van Lierop, Founder of Architales and Principal at Studio Libeskind, the Kremer Museum features 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings from the Kremer Collection and is accessible through Viveport, Steam and Oculus.
FINE ARTS / VR: Lemieux Pilon 4D Art – Website
The renowned duo of Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon (4D Art) are creating an immersive museum art piece for virtual reality using UE4.
INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Mini World VR by Scaena Studios – Video
From Korea’s award-winning Chung Ang University 3D VR Lab, Scaena Studios’ Mini World VR is an immersive storytelling experience featuring elaborate hand-animated characters, game-based elements and intuitive interactivity. A cross between a game and a film, Mini World VR can be experienced from the perspective of both player and audience.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Mowin’ & Throwin’ by House Pixel Games – Steam
Available via Steam Early Access, Mowin' & Throwin' is a two vs. two local multiplayer game featuring lawn-obsessed garden gnomes who drive riding mowers. Each hilarity-ensuing match is a constant tug-of-war as players work with teammates to mow their lawn while attempting to sabotage the other team's lawn. Victory goes to the team with the least amount of grass on their turf when time ends.
TOOL / PLUGIN: Optim by Theia Interactive – Website
Currently in alpha, the Optim plugin applies an accelerated workflow methodology to Unreal Engine's Datasmith suite of tools and services for enterprise markets. Leveraging the efficiency of Datasmith and the power of Python, artists and designers can use Optim to visualize and customize their Datasmith import process for further optimization.
INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Planetrism VR by Planetrism Team – Gameplay
The future of humankind leads to the distant stars in this VR and PC adventure developed by Finnish duo Kimmo Kaunela and Mike Laaksonen. In Planetrism, players follow the opportunity of a lifetime to lead colonization on an uncharted planet, encountering untold mysteries while building a future for generations to come.
ARCHITECTURE / VR: Real Estate in VR by REinVR – Website
The real estate technology team at REInVR is focused on using UE4 to build advanced immersive consumer buying experiences using digital humans, AI and VR.
FILM / CINEMA: The Abyss by Kemal Günel – Video
This real-time short film depicts an ominous scenario aboard a desolate spaceship. Built using Kemal’s assets that are available on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, the project is also the basis for his popular UE4 Lighting tutorial series, which has 35 videos and counting.
INDEPENDENT GAME: The Cycle by YAGER - Alpha Gameplay
Currently in Closed Alpha, The Cycle is the latest FPS game from Berlin-based YAGER. Up to 20 players go head to head to fulfill contracts during matches about 20 minutes in length. The Cycle is planned for PC release in early 2019 with support for consoles to follow.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Risk One’s Neck by Royce Games – Trailer
Developed by Korean indie team Royce Games for PC and consoles, Risk One's Neck is a vintage arcade-style beat 'em up game set in a brutal, realistic urban environment. An homage to the Capcom arcade fighters of the 1980s, Risk One’s Neck channels thrilling gameplay for players of all skill levels.
LEARNING RESOURCE: Russian UE4 Lessons and Community - Website and YouTube
This incredible volunteer-driven resource for the Russian development community has been in operation since the public launch of UE4 in 2014. Featuring translations of exhaustive release notes for dozens of major engine updates, along with hundreds of localized tutorials -- all created independently, and freely shared online -- the group has well over 50,000 members across their networks, which also include popular Unreal Engine Discord and VK channels.
INDEPENDENT GAME: S.O.N by RedG Studios – Trailer
S.O.N is a modern-day psychological survival horror game in which a father searches for his son who has gone missing deep in the Pennsylvania forest, better known as South Of Nowhere. In a world where fear takes control and the past is never erased, questions linger around what demons will be faced to get back a loved ones. S.O.N is coming to PlayStation 4.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Spellbreak by Proletariat Inc. – Trailer
With talent from game studios such as Harmonix, Turbine and Insomniac, Proletariat is bringing a magical twist to battle royale. Currently in pre-alpha on PC, Spellbreak puts a new spin on the genre with its fantasy art style and powerful magic spells that can be explosive when used in combat.
FILM / CINEMA: Robots’ Design Academy by Eric Liu – Blog - Video
A student film by Eric Liu, this 12-minute cinematic highlights the art of the possible when a single person sets out to do something wonderful. Powered by the drive and passion to create something spectacular, Eric created a wordless tale about creativity and daring to be different. It follows a robot student learning to design after most of humanity has become extinct from some unknown apocalypse. Dismayed by the institution’s insistence on strictly copying human creations perfectly, the droid protagonist sets out to design something bold and unique with the help of a newfound human pal.
TOOL / PLUGIN: Tools and Plugins by VR Professionals – Video - Website
Russia-based VR Professionals are on a mission to create more affordable and accessible “out of the box” solutions for VR training and education using UE4. Having identified a desire for UE4 apps to be more deeply integrated into enterprise ecosystems, e.g., SQL databases, analytics, reports, LMS and CRM systems, VR Professionals are developing UE4 tools and plugins to help organizations streamline their use of B2B apps faster and with lower costs.
FILM / CINEMA: Music Videos by Noisestorm – Video – SoundCloud
Irish music producer and artist Noisestorm uses UE4 to create incredibly striking videos to accompany his musical tracks, which are often associated with trap, drum and bass, electro and dubstep. Now with nearly 8.5 million views, Crab Rave features thousands of CG crabs gathering after a tropical storm to dance it out. Noisestorm’s latest release, Breakout (feat. Foreign Beggars), depicts a tactical prison break with intense firefights, massive explosions, a high energy helicopter chase and an amazing sniper shot.
FILM / CINEMA: Unannounced project by Kite & Lightning - Video
The recipient of the 2018 SIGGRAPH Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity Award at the recent Real-Time Live! showcase, Kite & Lightning wowed audiences with the presentation “Democratizing Mocap: Real-Time Full Performance Motion Capture with an iPhone X, Xsens, IKINEMA and Unreal Engine.” This Unreal Dev Grant is given in support of new breakthroughs in live performance-driven entertainment.
FILM / CINEMA: Unannounced project by 3rd World Studios - Website
3rd World Studios is the Pakistan-based creator of the first animated feature length film rendered entirely in UE4, Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor, which was released in February to critical acclaim. This Unreal Dev Grant is meant to accelerate 3rd World’s future film projects.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Unbound: Worlds Apart by Alien Pixel Studios – Trailer
Unbound: Worlds Apart is an atmospheric 2D puzzle platformer in which the player can conjure magic portals to travel between different realities and learn more about a catastrophe that has ravaged his world. Inside certain portals, the physical properties of the character or world elements can change, offering new gameplay possibilities. A dark fairy tale with a cartoonish style, Unbound: Worlds Apart is planned for release on PC and Nintendo Switch in 2019.
TOOL / PLUGIN: VR Cataract Simulator by Surgical Mind – Video
Surgical Mind, a branch of Korea-based Mania Mind, is developing a cutting-edge VR simulator for cataract surgery to enabling medical residents to better hone their skills before getting near an eye. Their team maintains that VR simulation training improves performance, minimizes risk and provides greater detail around potential scenarios more efficiently than expensive physical simulators.
To learn more about Unreal Dev Grants and to apply, visit: http://unrealengine.com/unrealdevgrants
Epic Games today released Unreal Engine 4.21 to bring developers greater efficiency, performance, and stability for any project on any platform. With this latest release, it's easier for users to work smarter, create faster, and produce world-class results with Unreal Engine.
Unreal Engine 4.21 builds upon proven tools for creativity and efficiency, adding even more mobile optimizations to both Android and iOS, up to 60% speed increases when cooking content, and more power and flexibility in the industry-leading Niagara effects toolset for real-time VFX. In addition, the new production-ready Replication Graph plugin enables developers to build multiplayer experiences at a scale previously impossible, and Pixel Streaming allows users to stream interactive content directly to remote devices with no compromises on rendering quality.
Updates in Unreal Studio 4.21 also offer new capabilities and enhanced productivity for users in the enterprise space, including architecture, manufacturing, product design, and other areas of professional visualization. Unreal Studio's Datasmith workflow toolkit now includes support for Autodesk Revit, and enhanced material translation for Autodesk 3ds Max, all enabling more efficient design review and iteration.
Key features across Unreal Engine 4.21 include:
Replication Graph: The Replication Graph plugin, which is now production-ready, makes it possible to customize network replication in order to build large-scale multiplayer games that would not be viable with traditional replication strategies.
Niagara Enhancements: The Niagara VFX feature set continues to grow, with substantial quality of life improvements and Nintendo Switch support added in Unreal Engine 4.21.
Sequencer Improvements: New capabilities within Sequencer allow users to record incoming video feeds to disk as OpenEXR frames and create a track in Sequencer, with the ability to edit and scrub the track as usual. This enables users to synchronize video with CG assets and play them back together from the timeline.
Pixel Streaming (Early Access): With the new Pixel Streaming feature, users can author interactive experiences such as product configurations or training applications, host them on a cloud-based GPU or local server, and stream them to remove devices via web browser without the need for additional software or porting.
Mobile Optimizations: The mobile development process gets even better thanks to all of the mobile optimizations that were developed for Fortnite's initial release on Android, in addition to all of the iOS improvements from Epic's ongoing updates. With the help of Samsung, Unreal Engine 4.21 includes all of the Vulkan engineering and optimization work that was done to help ship Fortnite on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and is 100% feature compatible with OpenGL ES 3.1.
Much Faster Cook Times: With the release of 4.21, the cooking process has been optimized, resulting in up to a 60% speed increase in cook times. Low-level code avoids performing unnecessary file system operations, and cooker timers have been streamlined.
Gauntlet Automation Framework (Early access): The new Gauntlet automation framework enables developers to automate the process of deploying builds to devices, running one or more clients and or/servers, and processing the results. Gauntlet scripts can automatically profile points of interest, validate gameplay logic, check return values from backend APIs, and more! Gauntlet has been battle tested for months in the process of optimizing Fortnite, and is a key part of ensuring it runs smoothly on all platforms.
Animation System Optimizations and Improvements: Unreal Engines animation system continues to build on best-in-class features thanks to new workflow improvements, better surfacing of information, new tools, and more.
Blackmagic Video Card Support: Unreal Engine 4.21 also adds support for Blackmagic video I/O cards for those working in film and broadcast. Creatives in the space can now choose between Blackmagic and AJA Video Systems, the two most popular options for professional video I/O.
Improved Media I/O: Unreal Engine 4.21 now supports 10-bit video I/O, audio I/O, 4K, and Ultra HD output over SDI, as well as legacy interlaced and PsF HD formats, enabling greater color accuracy and integration of some legacy formats still in use by large broadcasters.
Windows Mixed Reality: Unreal Engine 4.21 natively supports the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform and headsets, such as the HP Mixed Reality headset and the Samsung HMD Odyssey headset.
Magic Leap Improvements: Unreal Engine 4.21 supports all the features needed to develop complete applications on Magic Leap's Lumin-based devices -- rendering, controller support, gesture recognition, audio input/output, media, and more.
Oculus Avatars: The Oculus Avatar SDK includes an Unreal package to assist developers in implementing first-person hand presence for the Rift and Touch controllers. The package includes avatar hand and body assets that are viewable by other users in social applications.
Datasmith for Revit (Unreal Studio): Unreal Studio's Datasmith workflow toolkit for streamlining the transfer of CAD data into Unreal Engine now includes support for Autodesk Revit. Supported elements include materials, metadata, hierarchy, geometric instancing, lights, and cameras.
Multi-User Viewer Project Template (Unreal Studio): A new project template for Unreal Studio 4.21 enables multiple users to connect in a real-time environment via desktop or VR, facilitating interactive, collaborative design reviews across any work site.
Accelerated Automation with Jacketing and Defeaturing (Unreal Studio): Jacketing automatically identifies meshes and polygons that have a high probability of being hidden from view and lets users hide, remove, or move them to another layer; this command is also available through Python so that Unreal Studio users can integrate this step into automated preparation workflows. Defeaturing automatically removes unnecessary detail (e.g. blind holes, protrusions) from mechanical models to reduce polygon count and boost performance.
Enhanced 3ds Max Material Translation (Unreal Studio): There is now support for most commonly used 3ds Max maps, improving visual fidelity and reducing rework. Those in the free Unreal Studio beta can now translate 3ds Max material graphs to Unreal graphs when exporting, making materials easier to understand and work with. Users can also leverage improvements in BRDF matching from V-Ray materials, especially metal and glass.
DWG and Alias Wire Import (Unreal Studio): Datasmith now supports DWG and Alias Wire file types, enabling designers to import more 3D data directly from Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Alias.
For a full feature list and additional details, please visit: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-21-released
Jean Simonet is an indie developer who moved away from the AAA space in 2013 after delivering Skyrim and realizing that Fallout 4 just had him doing more of the same. Jean challenged himself and succeeded.
In this talk, Jean runs a counterstrike on every piece of indie gaming advice you've ever been told.