Epic recently launched Unreal Dev Grants to provide financial support to innovative projects being built with Unreal Engine 4.
Epic aims to hand out $5m in grants, and in March the company awarded nine teams with $139,000 of no-strings-attached funding to help bring their visions to life.
From ultra-realistic architectural visualisations to VR projects, beautiful shooters and beyond, take a look at the first incredible Unreal Dev Grants recipients:
A dozen graduate students from the University of Utah, known as Retro Yeti Games, have developed 404Sight as a statement about protecting net neutrality, blending gameplay elements from Mirror’s Edge, Robot Unicorn Attack and Wipeout.
Coming to PC, consoles and virtual reality, Adr1ft is a first-person experience that tells the story of an astronaut in peril. Awakened in the aftermath of a catastrophic event, low on oxygen and disoriented, Adr1ft challenges you to survive in a dangerous and unforgiving environment.
Built by three recent graduates from the University of Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, Consight allows you to view and control real-time architectural visualisations from an iPad interface. The students will benefit from a $15,000 grant as they work to bring this thesis project to market.
Dead Static Drive
Described by creator Mike Blackney as “Grand Theft Cthulu”, this ‘80s-themed driving horror game features striking, comic-book-styled visual design. It has been developed almost entirely by Blackney himself – with the help of some friends.
We highlighted Koola in the March issue of Develop, and this French artist was among the very first Unreal Dev Grants recipients. His masterful, hyper-realistic landscapes and architectural visualisations have inspired other developers to follow in his footsteps to push realism to its limits.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Nelo is that this gorgeous, gritty third-person shooter has been developed by only three people. The team at Magic and Mirrors has showcased some great character, enemy and location design – not to mention atmosphere.
Nuren: The New Renaissance
The world’s first virtual reality rock opera, Nuren is a stunning audio/visual experience designed and created by Jake Kaufman and Jessie Seely. The audio engineer and artist/voice actress team successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign in March, and coupled with their grant, they seem well on their way to delivering on this promising vision.
Planet Alpha 31
Developed by just two people at this point – Adrian Lazar and a contract sound designer – the Epic team has been consistently impressed by Planet Alpha 31. This immersive, story-driven puzzle-platformer takes place in a constantly-changing world – and what a beautiful world it is.
After switching engines to take advantage of Unreal Engine 4’s new subscription model, PixelBeam is on the verge of a Steam Greenlight campaign for its massively multiplayer FPS. The team is working hard to implement deep social and competitive game features, and a $10,000 Unreal Dev Grant will help them along the way.
Keep an eye on the Unreal Engine blog as Epic unveils more recipients of Unreal Dev Grants.