April 16, 2015

Epic Games awards $71,000 in Unreal Dev Grants

By Dana Cowley

In February, Epic created a $5 million fund to support inspiring projects built with or around Unreal Engine 4. Unreal Dev Grants are no-strings-attached awards through which developers use the money as they please, with no obligation to Epic. In March, Epic awarded nine Unreal Dev Grants totaling $139,000. Today six additional projects are receiving $71,000, bringing the grand total awarded to date to $210,000.

Epic tips its hat to these hardworking developers!

Bears Can't Drift | Arran Langmead | $14,000

Arran Langmead has been building lighthearted kart racing game Bears Can't Drift for about six months. Originally conceived in another engine, and created using UE4's Blueprint visual scripting, no coding whatsoever, Bears Can't Drift has been successfully greenlit on Steam, and Arran is now bringing it to PlayStation 4 as well. Follow @ArranLangmead on Twitter and check out Bears Can’t Drift on LudoPhobia’s YouTube channel.

BLUI | Aaron Shea | $7,000

A praiseworthy code release by 18-year-old developer Aaron Shea, BLUI is free Chromium plugin for UE4 that enables UI elements to be created in Web objects and served to UE4, where JavaScript commands are triggered from Blueprints and the returned information can drive gameplay elements. Think of it as outsourcing in-game elements to the Web. Aaron recently published a blog post on why he chooses UE4. Check out the BLUI video, visit ue4.ninja/blui, and say hey to @Aaron_M_Shea.

Loading Human | Untold Games | $16,000

One of the first commercial VR projects to turn Epic’s head, Loading Human was brought over from another engine and reborn in UE4. Untold Games ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, to which Epic’s founder Tim Sweeney even chipped in before time ran out on the clock. Crafted around the theme “play an extra life,” the adventures of Prometheus involve searching the universe for an energy source in order to save his father. Loading Human is developed for numerous VR platforms, including PS4 / Morpheus and Oculus. For more information, visit untoldgames.com and follow @LoadingHuman.

Red Goddess: Inner World | Yanim Studio | $14,000

Showcased in the Unreal Engine GDC booth last month, Red Goddess is another Kickstarter success story. The beautiful side-scrolling platformer is coming soon to PlayStation 4 with Windows, Mac and Linux and Xbox One to follow. Yanim Studio also plans to release the game for Wii U and PS Vita. Follow @YanimStudio and @RedGoddessgame for news.

Supraball | Supra Games | $8,000

Those who recall the Deathball mod from Unreal Tournament 2004 are already familiar with the “first-person sports game” concept behind Supraball, a standalone game made by the same team behind the classic mod. Supraball has been greenlit on Steam, the team is porting it over from UE3 to UE4, and updates are happening on Twitter at @Supraball.

XING: The Land Beyond | White Lotus Interactive | $12,000

XING started off as a small project by three students using the Unreal Development Kit, the free version of UE3. Upon the wide release of UE4, White Lotus ported over their puzzle-based adventure game about the afterlife. The team blasted through Kickstarter, and have shared the game with the community at countless events, and are inching ever closer to releasing on Steam and the Humble Store. XING supports VR as well, and artist Koriel Kruer is featured in Epic’s Unreal Devs Speak video. Hit up @xingthegame and visit xingthegame.com.