2.16.2012

The Nightworld

By Unreal Engine

With more than 20 titles to their credit spread across all major consoles and PC, Cambridge, Mass.-based Demiurge Studios has built a reputation for their focus on customer service and consistently delivering the best to their clients. 

So when 3D social mobile gaming leader, Glu Mobile, chose them to develop the recently released iOS game, The Nightworld, the team at Demiurge started development by using a game engine that has become known as the technology of choice for triple-A titles throughout the industry, Unreal Engine 3 (UE3).  

“After developing Unreal Engine 3 games for many years on consoles and the PC, we were excited to see what it could do on iOS,” said lead designer of Demiurge Studios, Evan Nikolich. “The most surprising thing to us was the ease of development. We didn't have any Mac hardware when we started, but within a day or two of starting the project we were able to deploy to an iOS device and prototype our ideas by just using PCs.”

The Nightworld

The choice to use UE3 to create The Nightworld was based on multiple factors, according to Nikolich. “The fantastic visual presentation Unreal Engine 3 allows for mobile games was unmatched. Along with great looking visuals, the game development tools that come with the Unreal Engine are powerful and let us get to making The Nightworld right away. Within a week or so, we were able to have a prototype up and playable.”

As one of the first social gaming apps to share a release with a corresponding e-book novel of the same title, The Nightworld brings a whole new dimension to mobile gaming that gives players the opportunity to explore a brilliantly designed world set in an apocalyptic wasteland, with a storyline from a novel to add to the experience.

Some of the tools that helped to make the storyline come to life on the “small” screen turned out to be the most valuable, according to Nikolich.

Unreal Kismet and Unreal Matinee were very valuable to us. We did all of our mission scripting and enemy logic in Kismet. To help give our game a cinematic feel, we did some of the camera work in Matinee. UnrealScript was valuable as well, as we had a couple of new engineers come on the project with no prior Unreal Engine 3 experience, and they were able to start writing solid gameplay code in a couple of days.”

The Nightworld

Nikolich further explained that when comparing against other game engine software and tools they’ve used in the past, the flexibility of UE3 gave them the ability “to quickly take an engine known for its FPS prowess, and transition it to an overhead stealth/action game in a couple of weeks.” 

In terms of support, Nikolich found great help with the Unreal Developer Network (UDN).  As the official support site for the Unreal Engine, Nikolich mentioned that, “The Unreal Developer Network has been great. Epic has been helpful and responsive, and being able to communicate with other Unreal Engine 3 developers has been a huge help to us. UDN has the feel of an open source community, and we value that at Demiurge.”

As UE3 improvements and updates continue to roll out, Nikolich’s team looks forward to developing another mobile game with the latest and greatest Unreal Engine technology.

The Nightworld is the first game to be released by Glu Mobile under the company’s long-term, multi-title UE3 license. Read more about it on Glu’s website and ‘Like’ the game on Facebook.

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