If nothing else, the Oculus Rift looks like a great tool for getting a face full of atmospheric alien worlds. And what world could be more alien than the underwater portion of our own? It's got it all: violence, oppressive tension, gross tentacle monsters. And that's not even counting whatever the hell is going on with Anglerfish. Recognising the strange delights that lurk in the depths, a team of UK students are building a Rift supported under-the-sea exploration game, called UnderCurrent.
Unreal Development Kit
Epic are throwing their weight behind the Oculus Rift with a VR-tuned custom version of their Unreal Development Kit, Develop report. It'll be distributed with Rift headsets and offered free to Unreal Engine 3 licensees next month. A VR-enabled version of the Unreal Engine 3 Citadel tech demo will be included, so users can push their faces into that finely tessellated stonework with REAL TIME PHYSICAL NECK BENDING.
You might have heard that “It’s never been easier to make a game.” And it’s true. But how do you actually make one? What do you make it ‘in’? How much does it cost? How long does it take? Can you sell what you make, and do you owe anyone any royalties? Do you need to learn a programming language?
I don’t know, but I do know a lot of indie games. And lots of them are made with tools and suites that claim to be beginner friendly. So for each of the most popular tools, I found an indie developer who had made something cool with it, and asked them what it’s like to work with.
Epic will be showing off Unreal Engine 4 behind closed doors at GDC next week. This time last year Epic showed off the impressive Unreal Engine Samaritan demo above. That demo was running on a souped up super-PC running several GTX580s in parallel, so we're unlikely to see that sort of carefully choreographed loveliness running in the next engine. Still, given how much has been gradually added to Unreal 3 over the years, the new build must be making quite a leap to justify sticking a 4 on the end.
Yesterday, Epic rounded off the two day Unreal University event in London, offering a day of free seminars to students and enthusiasts looking to make new games using the free Unreal Development Kit. We sat down with with technical artist and level designer Alan Willard and Epic's European territory manager, Mike Gamble for a chat about the popularity of the UDK among fledgeling developers, and how it stacks up against popular competitors like Valve's Source SDK. Their verdict: Source is "long in the tooth."
Epic have announced a ten-times increase on the royalty cap for games created with the Unreal Development Kit. The free software kit is powerful enough to let anyone create a game using Unreal Engine 3. Before now, games earning profits of more than $5,000 would have to make royalty payments to Epic. The royalty cap now stands at $50,000, making it easier for new developers to get started.