InMomentum InTransition To Unreal 3 Engine

By John Walker on September 15th, 2011 at 4:08 pm.

Coo, it's even prettier now.

Interesting news for InMomentum, the splendid esoteric free running platform… thing. They’ve just been approved by Epic to move over to the Unreal 3 engine. The game, currently in beta, was previously using the Unreal Development Kit. But now they say they’re able to do a lot more, with a more flexible engine and greater polish. As project lead Norbert Varga explains to us, after praising UDK, “Ever since we started working with UE3, things started to work a lot better.” But there’s a lot more going on in the colourful geometric world, too.

Epic seem pleased too. Their European Territory Manager (I love publisher job titles) Mike Gamble gave a neat cough, put on his press release voice, and said,

“As part of our mission to provide developers with the best tools, we are keen to see Digital Arrow fully realize their unique vision for InMomentum. The studio has already come a long way by using our free UDK toolset, and is now positioned to achieve even more success with a commercial Unreal Engine 3 license.”

Digital Arrow seem to have an enormous amount of ambition for the game. When we first played it, it was already a very exciting idea, well executed. But as the beta goes on, it keeps evolving. And we’re hearing rumours that hidden in the game is something of a single-player narrative-driven campaign that they’re not even discussing yet. There are further plans to let the game start getting influenced from the outside, but that’s all pretty vague at the moment.

Varga promises us that the game will continue to evolve after release too, explaining that it will frequently be patched.

“What users can also expect is constant patches which will be heavily influenced by user support upon release. We’ve already added some edits to our game modes based on the beta feedback, and the game plays so much better. Most of the user feedback has already found its way into the game one way or another, and the rest will follow shortly as new patches arrive.”

They’re not kidding about that. Entire new game modes are being added at the beta users’ suggestion, as we can exclusively reveal.

“All of our levels have been boosted up to these new visuals as well, and there are some additional levels in the making for a game mode that users suggested – a game mode inspired by Super Smash Bros: knock your enemy off – get points – stay alive the longest = win.”

However, that mode is not yet in the beta.

And another thing – the soundtrack is beginning to be revealed.

To give you an idea of the difference UE3 will make to the game, here’s a before-and-after image:

The game is due out in the first half of October, if all goes well. But if you want to get your hands on it right now, we’ve got 50 Steam beta keys to give away. The first 50 people who email compo@rockpapershotgun.com with the title “stick your key in me” will get one. If you don’t use that title, you’ll not get a key, and I’ll mark you as spam. And kick you. They’re all gone now, sorry.

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40 Comments »

  1. Icarus says:

    Liking the soundtrack. Evokes memories of Mirror’s Edge, which I suppose is intentional.

  2. carn1x says:

    Wait, there’s a difference?! I thought they were the same thing :S UE3 looks way better from the screens above!

    • treat says:

      UDK is free to use while UE3 is Epic’s licensed engine.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yes, but I too thought the point was that UDK was mostly technically identical, just legally constrained.

      Also, A/B comparison shot that we can’t click for full size? :/

    • simonh says:

      The UDK image doesn’t have gamut problems though.

      The only difference that I see really is that they’ve changed the sky texture, upped the contrast (HDR?) and added some bloom, they could easily have done that in UDK I think. Also it looks like the UDK pic has some fancy god rays.

    • Sic says:

      My thoughts exactly.

      Can someone please clarify this? Isn’t just a different licence of the exact same software?

    • MD says:

      Q: How does this differ from an Unreal Engine 3 license?

      A: The primary difference is that UDK does not include Unreal Engine 3 C++ source code access. UDK ships with all the UnrealScript code and Unreal Engine tool integrations as the commercial version of Unreal Engine 3, offering all the same features the pros use.

      The tools and technology are the same however a “full” license includes the underlying C++ source code to the engine and tools, which allows licensees to make virtually any change they want and potentially ship their game on consoles provided they’re licensed by the console manufacturer.

      Both UDK users and traditional Unreal Engine 3 commercial licensees have access to all UnrealScript source code. UnrealScript is comparable to a programming language like Java in terms of features and performance (byte-compiled), with features designed to simplify game development, e.g., state scoping of functions, automatic serialization, simple system for defining networking replication of properties and remote functions, etc.

      (http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/DevelopmentKitFAQ.html#Licensing)

  3. abigbat says:

    That’s pretty neat. Sadly I found the game incredibly difficult to play, mainly because the actual feel of the movement was a bit off. Games generally just devolved into bashing keys to continuously bounce off walls with no real tactical depth.

    Obviously there’s still time to tweak the physics, but they really need to nail the concept of weight (as Mirror’s Edge did so well). It’s all a bit floaty right now.

    • abigbat says:

      on a side note, since ME will be referenced a lot, the time trial levels they released post-launch were sublime. Well worth a look for anyone who missed the game. The trailer was SUPERB too:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo2NAQ7-DFc

    • johnpeat says:

      I’d agree that the Beta was a bit disappointing – and it’s not just the physics.

      I had to wrestle with some horrible graphical issues but even after that, I think there’s a fundamental flaw in the concept.

      Part of the skill is in skipping across broken floors/platforms etc – but the default viewing angle is such that you can’t SEE them until you’re practically standing ON them. This turns the game into a memory test and that is a ballache tbh

    • Vagrant says:

      I can think of plenty of issues beyond that, but maybe that’s time better spent taking issues to their beta forums. Although I haven’t done that (yet), and I’m a little concerned my issues with the game are at a level too fundamental to resolve.

    • treat says:

      Well, for one, the game isn’t meant to play anything like Mirrors Edge. If anything it’s designed to be more like the bunnyhopping race modes in Warsow and Quake Live, and if you look at it that way the physics are pretty close to being spot on. The skill ceiling is high as hell in this one, so the floaty physics play a part in allowing you to rescue yourself from a mistake and simply lose speed/time instead of having to restart from the last checkpoint.

      As someone who’s into bunny hopping/jump maps as well as mods that are purposed around exploiting a physics engine (Kreedz Climbing, anyone?) I thought the beta was incredibly well executed and I’m really looking forward to release. It’s really a shame that this sort of gameplay is incredibly niche, but I can see this game developing a pretty dedicated player base.

    • MD says:

      Thanks for posting, treat. Most of the comments I’ve seen come from people who want the game to be more like Mirror’s Edge, whereas I come from a different angle — my ideal movement physics would be built on the Quake lineage. (Warsow is a good reference point for a game like this, I think, given that its newmovement strikes a balance between accessibility and depth.) It’s good to know this is worth keeping an eye on.

    • Wunce says:

      I really enjoyed the game and found the physics to feel right given the setting and artstyle.

      The multiplayer feels really broken though, I couldn’t even get into a game.

      My key suggestion would be that the devs consider a random level generation algorithm now that they have moved into UE3, the blocks seem made for random placement as it is and randomness helps lifespan.

  4. Chizu says:

    Ooh. Yes please.
    Freerunning is one of the best things to come into videogames in recent years in my opinion.
    I loved Prince of Persia, the Asscreed Games and Mirrors Edge, with its similar looking abstract timetrial levels.

    • Chizu says:

      No key. How sad :(

    • Zyrxil says:

      Then I have to burst your bubble and point out it’s absolutely nothing like those games. In fact, the first article about it resulted in a minor shitstorm over a Mirror’s Edge comparison that Walker used, followed by a preview video that at best could be described as the exact opposite of Mirror’s Edge.

  5. Ghil says:

    Oh I’d like that very much. I loved Mirror’s Edge, even though it’s flaws where jarring. I really hope InMomentum will be more polished and awesome.

  6. Mr_Initials says:

    It looks pretty cool to me. I only saw the one at the top originally.

  7. agentgray says:

    Wait. So…clouds?

  8. dnch says:

    so did Epic give them that licence or they had to buy it?

    also that before/after is nice joke, there is only different sky texture

  9. Vagrant says:

    Different sky texture and it solved the lighting problems.
    It also turned the bloom & HDR to 11!

  10. Tollyx says:

    Gotta ask if you guys that can’t see the difference in the before/after pic are serious, since I can clearly see the difference. Just look at the lightning!

    I’m currently in the beta and I think it’s awesome, sure, there are bugs and problems here and there but the actual game is really fun.

    Also, we need more people to be active in their forums, there’s less than ten of us active there.

  11. Oozo says:

    I said it before and I’m saying it again: forget Mirror’s Edge. It will only lead to broken hearts. This is something different, more abstract, and crucially, it feels nothing like ME. More floaty. Less physical. More frictionless. It’s, to quote myself, Trailblazer in 3D. Or Spindizzy in 1st person. Or something. Which is not bad per se. But a very different beast nevertheless.

  12. DrGonzo says:

    The top image actually looks better to me, a bit more abstract and weird. Still almost impossible to judge at such a small size and I’m totally lazy!

  13. hoobajoo says:

    Aesthetically, the top screenshot looks more Tron-y, while the bottom is more Neuromancer-ish. I can see people preferring the less natural, sharper look of the former (I don’t), but the idea that there’s no visible graphical improvement is objectively untrue.

    • MD says:

      I’m never a fan of extra complexity/realism for its own sake, and I love stylised tron-style graphics (e.g. some of the old Warsow style, which unfortunately seems to be being phased out), but the bottom screenshot looks much nicer to my eyes.

    • Muzman says:

      To look like Neuromancer wouldn’t it be a text adventure?

  14. mdblin says:

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  15. daz_uk says:

    Hmmm, i think the point with the screenshot is that the bottom screenshot could be done with the UDK too. The sky is basically a texture, and the contrast is a result of the lighting which again – is not ‘crippled’ in UDK. Antialiasing *may* be a UE3 thing only but I’d be surprised if that’s the case?
    I guess not everyones used UDK but if you had then you wouldn’t be impressed with the ‘new’ version either ;)

  16. TheDesiderium says:

    Heya guys. The biggest difference will not come with the visuals. We’ve updated visuals while moving over to UE3, but all of our updates could’ve been done via UDK as well. The difference is that we now have source code – which UDK does not provide, basically allowing us to develop our own tools, edit the actual rendering engine and optimize the game to our concept in a more flexible manner. UDK itself is really powerful, UE3 source code just gives it the extra kick to allow us to pull of some extra goodies that we’ll soon introduce.

  17. MD says:

    Is there anywhere else I could go for a chance at a beta key? If the game is awesome I’ll tell all my Quake and Warsow e-friends!

  18. Zulthar says:

    This game isn’t like Mirror’s Edge at all, it’s more like Quake. Superior in every way in my opinion, having a lot of fun with the beta.

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