Posts Tagged ‘Epic’

People Can Fly Flies Again, Still Owns Bulletstorm

a person who can fly top right, albeit unwillingly

Polish studio People Can Fly made well-received OTT shooters Painkiller and Bulletstorm, then they got bought by Epic and became Epic Games Poland, and now suddenly they’re independent and are People Can Fly again. I’m genuinely distressed that they didn’t take the opportunity to name themselves People Can Fly Again. No cast-iron reason has been given for the regained independence and there is, as yet, no sign of conflict, but the official line is that it’s “to reflect the team’s desire to create their own games.” PCF confirm to us that they retain the rights to Bulletstorm, but sadly there’s no talk of a sequel as yet.
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Jazz Jackrabbit Lives

Sprites as crisp as freshly-cut lettuce, eh?

Seventeen years sure is a long time to be an active fan of a shooty platformer starring a macho rabbit. But then millions of people still get excited about the ongoing adventures of floppy-spined blue hedgehogs and dumpy, child-faced plumbers – why should Jazz Jackrabbit be any different? The murderous green bunny, created by Epic long before they turned to Unrealses and Gearses, was last officially seen in 1998’s Jazz Jackrabbit 2, but has maintained enough of a community that long-running mod Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Plus is still updated to this day. They reckon it’s “the world’s premier 2D Arena Shooter”, donchaknow.
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Unreal ‘Free’ To Devs, Unreal Tournament Free To All

Ultra-graphicsed Facing Worlds next pls

Even the tallest of titans couldn’t stand against the tide of free game-making for long. With so many developers turning to Unity to make their own games, and Unity’s capabilities improving rapidly, Ye Olde Unreal Engine was starting to look like something of a dinosaur despite being the go-to framework for a great many blockbuster action titles. And now it, too, is free, albeit with one big proviso. While this is primarily big news for devs (more on that below), it does also mean that anyone can now make their own maps for the work-in-progress, community-made Unreal Tournament sequel/remake. Which is currently also free. There’s also a new, super-shiny map to try out the next-gen engine with.

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Less Unreal: Unreal Engine 4.5 Released

Heh. Organ.

Thank you, Epic. Finally, someone has listened to me. I’ve said for years that games should use automatic C++ hot reload, but everyone’s just copied Gears of War’s reload. Animation retargeting too, very important that for twitch aiming. And streaming video textures mean livestreams should run at 60fps even in 1080p! Unreal Engine 4.5 is the game engine we’ve all been waiting for.

That’s all a load of old tosh, of course, except for the fact that Unreal Engine has now reached version 4.5. It brings a few handy things to speed up development, but you’re probably more interested in prettiness. Don’t worry, it has that too.

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Zone Of The Defenders: Fortnite

As I was watching the latest Fortnite video to emerge from the artist formerly known as Epic MegaGames, a voice at the back of my brainbox suggested that the developer talkthrough reminded me of something I read yesterday. Could it have been the fifth chapter of ill-advised The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep? Nope. We could argue that psychic vampiric traveller clan the True Knot are a metaphor for gamers, with their need for ‘the good Steam’, but that’s a stretch. Maybe it was an article about Lego Architecture Studio? Nah. That’s a different kind of construction entirely.

Aha! It was John’s draconian and violently enforced rules for games. The video, you see, is like watching a tutorial for a game I’ve already played.

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How Epic Hopes To Avoid Pay-To-Win With Fortnite

Fortnite is, technically speaking, Epic’s first free-to-play game. The crayola colored smash-and-shoot-and-loot-and-build-er is being designed primarily as a co-op thing, but with persistent MMO-style progression underlying it all. There’s also still-nascent PVP in the works, further necessitating balance in the name of fair fun. Fortnite is, however, a giant mixed bag of moving parts, multiple genres (action, building, crafting, a Gears-of-War-style horde mode, etc) mashed together. How do you make all of that free-to-play without mucking it up?

I asked producer Roger Collum about Epic’s plans, influences from games like League of Legends and Team Fortress 2, the potential emergence of a tedious grind with things like XP boosters in the mix, whether or not you can really equate time and money as free-to-play devs so often do, and more. It’s all below.

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Fortnite To Be Online-Only, Will Have Mods… Somehow

Quick recap: once upon a time Epic’s Fortnite was set to be kinda grimdark and more than likely a premium game (i.e. money upfront, party in the back). Over the course of a couple radio silent years and some fairly large revisions, however, it’s emerged more lighthearted and – rather crucially – free to play. It is, then (as is usually the case with these things), an online-only affair, an action/building game built for co-op and PVP, but not really single-player. Also it’ll have MMO-style persistent progression. So Epic will run the servers and sell (largely) cosmetic items. Problem: where do mods enter that picture? The answer, per producer Roger Collum: somewhere, somehow, someday. But “definitely.”

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Video Preview: Epic’s Fortnite Is… Interesting, Early

For the past many years, Epic was known as the One True King of console grimdark. Gears of War was about colossal mountain men with veins running rivulets through their stone hewn necks and stubble-dappled chins, their rage matched only by their apocalyptic sorrow and love of running in slow motion to popular songs that described their situation eerily well. But now we have, well, pretty much the opposite. Fortnite is bright, silly, and PC-only. It’s also basically Gears of War’s ever-popular horde mode plus Minecraft, Left 4 Dead, and a bunch of its own ingredients. It’s certainly unique, but I don’t think it’s great. Yet. Watch below to hear my impressions after a full day of playing a pre-alpha build.

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Unreal Tournament’s Livestreams Are Exciting For Fans/Me

It would be fair to say I was pleased to hear that Epic were working on a new Unreal Tournament. “Fair to say” in that nothing has ever been more true and “pleased” in that I danced around my room. The 2004 edition is a little over ten years old and still easily one of the finest first-person shooters ever made. From weapon balance to movement models, it’s damn near perfect and my love affair with it continues to this day. The new version promises frown-causing community development and an eyebrow-raising commitment to being totally free outside of a user marketplace. Now that the project is a few months old, they’ve ramped up the interaction with weekly livestreams.

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The First Unreal Tournament 2014 Play Session Ever

'Eeeeeeeek, don't look at me! I'm naked!' - Unreal Tournament 2014

Ever. Ever! Everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

If you were at all doubting Epic’s plan to resurrect Unreal Tournament as an openly developed, entirely free (user-driven mod/map marketplace aside) enterprise, doubt no more. There’s a game now, and it has guns and big, gray texture-less cubes and everything else all videogames have. You can see it in sorta-action below.

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Interview: How Will Unreal Tournament 2014 Work? Can It?

A new Unreal Tournament is happening. Fiiiiiiinally! It feels like it’s been eons since the decent-ish Unreal Tournament III brought hoverboards to a shock rifle fight, but Unreal Tournament 2014 is coming to the rescue. This one, though, stands to be a massive departure from previous entries in the arena shooter pioneer series. Epic is keeping its team lean and developing the entire game – from day one – alongside fans. Meanwhile, the whole thing will be free, with Epic making precious pennies off cuts from a user-driven mod/map store.

Sounds pretty neat, right? But it’s also a logistical can of worms that could fit 100 of the things from Tremors. How will Epic stop its audience from fragmenting, especially if maps aren’t free? Do creators *have* to charge for maps? With source code out in the open, won’t it be especially easy for cheaters to meander their mucky fingers into this game’s DNA? Will the basic game even have much meat on its bones? I asked Unreal Tournament 2014 project lead Steve Polge all of that and more. 

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Mod Is Real: Unreal Tournament 2014 Announced, Free

Update: It’s Unreal Tournament 2014, an entirely free sequel. Not free-to-play. No microtransactions whatsoever, apparently. Epic will make money by taking cuts from a user-driven mod marketplace. The game is extremely early, and Epic plans to develop it alongside fans.

Original: Epic is about to announce something involving Unreal Tournament. Normally that would mean I’d be typing at you live from some extravagant Epic-rented volcano yacht in the Baltic sea, but not this time. Instead, the mega-developer is broadcasting the announcement to all humans by way of technomagical streaming technology. You can watch below.

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Epic’s Fortnite Goes Free-To-Play, Alpha Sign-Ups Open

THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH GRAY IN THIS GAME.

As Epic told me during GDC, sugar-cereal-colored buildy blaster Fortnite isn’t fourscore feet under, as a) that’d be total overkill and b) it’s doing just fine. After a lengthy period of radio silence, the Unreal Engine mega-maven has finally seen fit to re-reveal the game and begin taking sign-ups for an upcoming alpha. The biggest (noticeable) change so far? Fortnite is now officially free-to-play.

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