As we move through 2016, many large production companies who are active on different platforms have already adopted Unreal Engine 4 as their go-to tool for real-time rendering and project development. Let's take a quick look at the development teams who use Unreal Engine 4 in the Chinese market and their best creations.
The mobile games domain is undoubtedly the most sizzling Chinese market segment. For a team developing on mobile, they must consider the engine's performance and optimization levels on hand-held devices, as the difficulty in development will directly affect the team’s creation process. Unreal Engine 4 has made many improvements and modifications to support development for mobile platforms, allowing developers to optimize content as well as increase the operating efficiency for different devices.
As game companies go, Directive Games is still in its infancy. Its founding core team members hailed from CCP Games, EA DICE, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Tencent and other well-known game companies. They have extensive experience, having worked on many major productions, and now they are going to create original games for mobile platforms. Although mobile development, from hardware to software, differs from console and PC game development, the powerful performance and comprehensive built-in supporting tools from Unreal Engine 4 help to pave a solid foundation for the creation of AAA-quality mobile games.
The Machines is the first game by Directive Games, where players will level up their equipment in mining operations and battle their way through PVP to upgrade their resources. The game does not restrict itself to the limitations of the mobile hardware. From the precise and detailed graphics, to the particles and flame effects in the battles, as well as the intense pace within the game, The Machines has demonstrated its AAA quality to players.
The power of Unreal Engine 4 lies in its capability to adapt to different development scales and processes for different teams, regardless if it is a large team with dozens of people or a small team with only two or three members.
Wanderer 2: The Rebirth
The team from Wuwei Yiding Technology Co., Ltd. in Chengdu is a typical example of a small development team. At the beginning, there were only three people on the team. Not only did they need to resolve the different device optimization issues brought about by the various mobile platforms and different hardware devices, they also needed to ensure the quality of the game play, as well as precision and textures in the graphics. Thanks to the comprehensive supporting tools that Unreal Engine 4 provides, the creative team was able to focus more energy on planning and producing the game’s contents, as well as to make sure that the graphics flow smoothly and that there is a good fighting rhythm in the game.
Wanderer 2: The Rebirth is the latest game by Chengdu Wuwei Yiding Technology Co., Ltd. The fighting scenes flow fluidly and the game operates smoothly on mobile devices, while the unique damage mechanisms create interesting game play. Because of their tireless efforts to make their work stand out, the company successfully secured funding from the country's first developer sponsorship program for game engines, and this sponsorship helped tide the team over a difficult period. Riding on their outstanding work, the team has successfully received capital injection from venture capitalists, and is now growing steadily, and will soon have more new works to greet us.
The developer sponsorship program for game engines aims to support creative outstanding works developed using game technology, such as The Rebirth, by extending a helping hand to good developers.
Relics Of Gods 2
After Seasun Inc, a seasoned domestic game maker, embarked on mobile game development, it took the company years of painstaking research before it finally had a blockbuster that dazzled the crowd at the game exhibition in Cologne, Germany - Relics of Gods, which was developed using Unreal Engine 3. Subsequently, the game gained worldwide recognition when it won the Best Handheld/Mobile Game award at E3. Right after that, Seasun used Unreal Engine 4 to develop the game's sequel, Relics Of Gods 2.
As a mobile game developed using Unreal Engine 4, and building on the foundation of the first game, there have been significant enhancements and modifications in the sequel, with the additions of many new functionalities provided by Unreal Engine 4 such as PBR and particle effects. This allows the game to have better graphics performance on mobile devices. An ingenious shooting lens design allows every image in the game to be as gorgeous as if it were from a big-screen movie. With more personalized heroes matched with different skills that complemented PVP and PVE to produce new game plays, Relics of God 2 is still in intense development, and we will keep everyone up-to-date with more information in subsequent reports.
Seasun Inc. has created many classic works that have won accolades in the market and among players on both PC and mobile platforms. This time from their Beimuchang studio, they brought a brand-new MMOFPS mega production, Extopia, which has garnered much attention after its debut in South Korea G-STAR in 2015.
Unlike other FPS games, Extopia is a breath of fresh air as it incorporates many new elements and interesting game play. With Global Illumination System (GI), PBR materials, particle systems and other features in Unreal Engine 4, the graphical representation is softer, and the textures of objects are more detailed and realistic.
Many innovative designs were made to enhance the user experience. An example is the realistic illumination system that simulates the change of time over the course of 24 hours, by adjusting items like the altitude of the sun, its brightness, the colors of the sun and atmosphere as well as changes in air density. Of course, as the light changes, so do the shadows, and this gives the player a more realistic visual experience. There is also a real-time physics-based damage system, where players can randomly destroy physical objects, and enjoy an exhilarating feedback experience from the rebounds, making such destruction a more powerful experience.
The addition of so many new systems can elevate the difficulties in development, yet Unreal Engine 4 makes it easier for the development team to create the sequel with its improved functions and open structure, so that everything falls in place easily for the team. As MMOFPS innovators, the birth of Extopia will bring forth a new gaming experience.
Ever since The Three-Body Problem became popular, more and more Chinese are interested in topics concerning the outer space. In a place where you cannot move up, down, back and forth, where there is no air and no sound, what kind of new gaming experience is possible? Before this work surfaced, few dared to venture into this genre.
Project Boundary, a new game by Studio Surgical Scalpels, is a first-person shooting game that is based on a space theme. Initially, there were only 4 people involved in the project. However, do not judge the quality of the game by the size of its team. The game includes a realistic artistic style, simulation of the physics under zero gravity effects, and intense fighting.
The developers took advantage of the friendly object-oriented design methodology in Unreal Engine 4, and using Blueprints, they were able to rapidly build experimental prototypes to make adjustments and iterations quickly, thus allowing the game development process to progress smoothly.
This game has gathered more and more attention since it was revealed on Unreal Open Day in 2015. It will soon be made available on PC and PlayStation 4.
VR has become the hottest topic in China, and numerous hardware manufacturers (and just as many development teams) have released new products. The current domestic trending game topics are all about VR games.
Creating a game on a mobile platform that is comparable to the graphics quality in console games is already a huge challenge, but this game also runs smoothly on the Gear VR platform. This is EVE:Gunjack, by CCP Games in Shanghai.
Unlike many other shooting games, players no longer just face a flat panel display. Instead, once they put on the Gear VR headsets, they are immediately transformed into the role of an artillery specialist in a spaceship, trying to defend their ship against enemy attacks from different directions. It is a more natural mode of operation, with no joystick required, and players only need to rotate their heads to aim in different directions. VR, together with a new mode of operation, brings about a whole new game experience. Ingenious game design, plus optimization, allows the game to run at a high frame rate, and the players will not experience any simulation sickness. Such VR games are now the hottest property on the Gear VR platform. The fact that it is topping sales around the world is a testimony to the expectations that players have for high quality VR games.
Besides mobile platforms, Sony's PlayStation VR game platform also has loads of great upcoming titles, and many excellent works were developed for this platform using Unreal Engine 4.
Founded in 2000, Winking Entertainment can be described as an established and reputable company in the industry. Their works like Heroine Anthem and XAOC have become the industry’s classics. Unearthing Mars, a game that Winking Entertainment created for the PlayStation VR platform, benefits from Winking Entertainment’s rich experience in game development and the powerful functionalities inherent in Unreal Engine 4. After optimization, even on console, the game easily brings about a very realistic VR game experience with its mind-blowing graphics, whether it is to show the vast Martian landscape, majestic pyramids or diverse vegetation.
Unearthing Mars is a story about space exploration, where players become members of the exploration team whenever they put on the PlayStation VR headset, driving their spacecraft to Mars to explore a mysterious civilization. Here, players can come into another civilization to explore ancient lost civilizations.
Black Shield is another game centered on the space theme by Sinceme Interactive. It is a VR game that is played on HTC Vive platform. Unreal Engine 4 includes many built-in SDKs for platforms such as Oculus Rift, Gear VR, PlayStation VR and the HTC Vive. This allows developers to focus on the game development and game content instead of thinking about how to integrate.
Leveraging on the 4m X 4.5m detection range in the Lighthouse, players can freely walk within the area in a truly immersive environment, and the actual actions of the players will be matched with corresponding actions in the game one on one. Using both hands, each holding a HTC Vive motion controller, the player can use single-arm weapons, dual-arm weapons or other props in the game, allowing them to use the most natural way to interact with the game. The player is henceforth transformed into a heavily armored soldier, looking for the last surviving members of the space station and fighting the various mutated species in intense battles.
Marketplace is also an important component in Unreal Engine's offerings, where outstanding content from developers around the world is gathered. In the Marketplace people can buy content such as models, characters, scenes, weapons, props, materials, special effects, Blueprints and audio which can be directly imported to projects to accelerate the production process. This virtual mall also has resources contributed to it by Chinese developers. Let's have a look.
Bumping Workshop is a team from Shanghai. Its members came from various well-known game companies and have experience working on AAA games. The workshop is also a modeling sub-contractor for other big game productions. Unreal developers all over the world can now get their hands on the team's famous works such as the medieval bar environment. Here in the Unreal Engine Marketplace, all 49 groups of AAA modeling materials have achieved outstanding four-and-a-half star rankings from users.
There are more exciting games and teams than what we have mentioned here, and many brilliant games are still waiting to be uncovered by us. As such, a single article like this can not do justice to all the marvelous works out there. These teams are using Unreal Engine 4 to create stunning work, and we are actively discovering more of these outstanding teams and their works so we can showcase them to all users. Stay on the lookout for more great projects from China in the future.