On January 16th, Epic Games announced handing out a total of $200,000 USD across thirteen recipients. This is a part of their Unreal Dev Grants program, which donates money to people that they think are doing cool things with (or alongside) their engine, no strings attached. It’s a simple bursary to let cool people do cool things in the realm of Unreal Engine.
Of this round of winners, twelve are listed in the blog post: ten are games, one is a feature film, and one is a game development tool. I don’t know what the thirteenth is, unless they’re counting one of the entries as two for some reason.
I will not be covering the games in this post – feel free to check the blog.
This leaves me with two: BlueprintUE.com and Allahyar and The Legend of Markhr.
The latter is a feature-length film that is rendered in Unreal Engine. It is from 3rd World Studios in Pakistan, and it has a bit of a Pixar-esque art style. Epic Games has in their EULA that capturing linear video from Unreal Engine 4 does not require a royalty, because the software is not being distributed, just the imagery produced by it is, which makes UE4 an interesting choice for video production. It is fast and high-quality, although it adds an extra stage in the content pipeline… but it’s a stage that you’re used to if you do UE4 work. Honestly, I’ve been considering UE4 as a render system for the animations I’ve done earlier, but I settled on Blender Cycles just because I had too many other things to worry about. I did know that the Paragon trailer was done in-engine, though. Maybe in the future.
As for BlueprintUE.com, it is a tool that allows users to copy and paste blueprint networks into a web-based flow chart editor. Users can then add comments and share the logic with others. As far as I can tell, you cannot directly manipulate the blueprints in the editor, and they have not said that this feature is in development – but I’d be surprised if they haven’t at least thought of it.