Supporting Epic Games for a new generation of creative voices through their Epic MegaGrants Program, was nothing short of … epic! This morning they released an "update" of the program's efforts, which in over a year provided more than 600 beneficiaries with more than $ 42 million in funding. Epic MegaGrants is a $ 100 million program designed to accelerate the work of talented teams and individuals worldwide who work with Unreal Engine, 3D graphics tools, and open source software.
Here is a short list of the most recent recipients. Below you will find trailers and links to updates on 16 projects from all parts of the CG world. You can find a complete list of Epic MegaGrant projects Here.
The program's first round of grants included more than 200 beneficiaries and in just eight months exceeded the four-year total of the initiative's predecessor, Unreal Dev Grants.
Epic also announced that AMD will support the Epic MegaGrants program by providing 200 AMD Ryzen 7 3800X desktop processors for new and existing receivers. There is no application deadline, and hardware is available based on project performance and availability. Game, entertainment, architecture, and many other industry developers are encouraged to submit an online application for an AMD Ryzen 7 3800X desktop processor.
"AMD is pleased to contribute to the Epic MegaGrants program by leveraging the power of 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processors for content creators worldwide," said Ritche Corpus, senior director of ISV games and software at AMD. “3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors set a new standard in content creation with award-winning features and functionality. We are excited to see what new levels of creativity and productivity will be released with the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X. "
Jeff Peres, director of Epic MegaGrants, said: “We couldn't be happier to welcome AMD as our latest contribution to Epic MegaGrants. Software development requires powerful computing solutions, and giving more developers easier access to Ryzen processors supports our goal of helping people succeed. "
In April 2019, Magic Leap promised to support Epic MegaGrants by providing both cash and equipment. So far, 66 receivers have already received Magic Leap 1 devices. A total of 129 devices are reserved for distribution. Developers who develop Unreal Engine applications for spatial computing in the entertainment, architecture, automotive, healthcare, and many other industries can apply to receive Magic Leap hardware online.
Here is a short selection of innovative projects that have benefited from this round of MegaGrants:
INDEPENDENT GAME: CAUTION. Team. by On3D Studios – website
Colombia's On3D Studios, D.A.N.G.E.R. Team. is a stylized action game in which the player controls a team of three uniquely capable spies. Experience the secrets, gadgets, explosions, absurd situations and unforgettable villains of the game alone or with a partner in co-op mode.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Dreamscaper from Afterburner Studios – website
Dreamscaper comes from Afterburner Studios, a team of three former AAA developers – a roguelite action role-playing game about clear dreams. Play as Cassidy, immerse yourself in her subconscious and use clear powers to deal with the surreal nightmares she is struggling with to save her from a dark fate. Dreamscaper is coming to Steam Early Access in August 2020.
INDEPENDENT GAME: F.I.S.T .: Forged In Shadow Torch by TiGames – website
Journey into the winding diesel punk streets of F.I.S.T., an action-oriented Metroidvania title by TiGames from Shanghai. Research, solve puzzles, uncover secrets, and face a robotic army with your huge fist, along with a number of charming characters.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Hundred days – winemaker simulator from Broken Arms Games – website
With Hundred Days, you are responsible for managing a small and abandoned winery, from the selection of the grape varieties you want to grow to the naming of your final product. Take care of your vineyard, learn to follow the rhythm of the seasons, harvest, label your bottles and sell them on the market – every decision you make affects the quality and quantity of the wine You produce and sell.
INDEPENDENT GAME: Slice Back Up by Atomic Kraken Ltd. – website
With a stunning neo-pixel art style, Slice Back is a fun side-scrolling hack and slashimi game with an action as sharp as a sword. Enjoy aerial battles that are sharper than wasabi, feed on aliens to gain new superpowers, and finally save (spoiler alert) planet earth. Grab your soy sauce and get ready for a taste of slice back!
COMPANIES: ORamaVR from ORamaVR SA – website
ORamaVR combines principles from the fields of neuroscience, spatial computing and artificial intelligence and hopes to quickly accelerate human learning in healthcare through a series of immersive medical VR training simulations.
COMPANIES: PureWeb Inc. Self-Service Publication for Cloud Streaming – website
PureWeb's high-capacity, self-service and fully managed cloud platform provides users with the tools they need to easily create, publish, and manage their pixel streaming applications for web and mobile users. This toolset includes features such as an Unreal Editor plugin to easily pack and upload projects to the PureWeb platform, and a web dashboard to plan deployments in different global regions, as well as monitor capacity and usage.
COMPANIES: Simbotic AI by Vertex Studio – website
Simbotic AI is a modern 3D simulation engine and AI platform that was developed to close the reality gap between simulation and the real world. It generates an infinite amount of synthetic data for AI models and offers intelligent agents realistic environments to gain experience.
TOOLS AND OPEN SOURCE: DeepMotion VR Avatar Tracking by DeepMotion Inc. – website
DeepMotion's VR Avatar Tracking solution brings realistic full body movements and interactions to life with just 2 or 3 trackers. Motion Brain, using the latest AI and physics simulations, is able to generate a full-body avatar that moves with you and interacts naturally with its virtual environment, giving a full sense of physical presence and embodiment. VR Avatar Tracking simulates whole body movement using the inverse dynamics and follows the biomechanical joint limits instead of a simple approximation through the inverse kinematics. VR Avatar Tracking runs on Windows and mobile platforms with VR hardware of your choice. With the Motion Intelligence solutions from DeepMotion your characters move as real as they look in Unreal Engine 4.
TOOLS AND OPEN SOURCE: Godot Engine – website
Godot Engine is a free and MIT licensed open source game engine developed by contributors around the world. It offers a full editor, dedicated 2D and 3D engines, animation tools, cross-platform exports, plugins, a free asset store and much more.
TOOLS AND OPEN SOURCE: Live streaming of high-resolution, network-based laser scan data from Cintoo – website
Cintoo is developing a new cloud client solution that will change the way people use terrestrial laser scans and BIM or CAD models in the AEC, manufacturing and energy industries. The Cintoo cloud platform makes terrestrial laser scans fully cloud-compatible and available anytime and anywhere – visible in a web browser, shared and distributed – using a unique point cloud-to-mesh technology. These high-resolution, network-based laser scans will shortly be streamed directly into Unreal Engine from the Cintoo Cloud in order to achieve comprehensive, impressive experiences and to mix the integrated scan data with CAD and BIM models.
EDUCATION: Free online UE4 game development for Ball State University computer science students – website
This project supports the creation of free online content to teach computer science and software development concepts through game programming, with a focus on Unreal Engine technology. Video tutorials and free online course materials for accessible self-study are included.
EDUCATION: Unreal Python Repository & Tutorials by Muhammad A. Moniem – website
Learn, understand, and master Python scripts for the Unreal Engine with this step-by-step guide that includes real production examples.
EDUCATION: Beyond the stars of S1T2 – website
Beyond the Stars is an educational program that combines interactive storytelling, health research, and curriculum to inspire children to adopt healthy living habits while taking into account the environmental impact of their actions. Throughout history, children embark on a journey to regain the lost knowledge of the Pacific, which is the key to restoring health and happiness in the country.
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Mica from Sequin, Inc. – website
Sequin AR provides media companies with augmented reality consulting, creative, broadcast production and custom Unreal Engine software development services. Mica, an unreal engine plugin, makes it easier for non-developers to manage enhanced and immersive reality content, which leads to more effective content and accelerates the iterative process.
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Faradays magnets from ScienceVR – website
ScienceVR asks what if we could see the "invisible forces" around magnets? This experience enables VR learners to see the “math” around magnets. Users can take the time to repeatedly try to build their understanding and interact with virtual scientists.
MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Zen Universe by ZenArt VR – website
Bulgarian-based ZenART uses Unreal Engine and advanced photogrammetry techniques to capture natural and historical landmarks and turn them into explorable interactive VR experiences with storytelling, puzzle solving, and mini-games with impressive visual quality. The first two locations of the Zen universe, Tales of the Rocks and Olympus: Home of the Gods, are now available in Steam Early Access.
For a complete list of this round of Epic MegaGrant recipients, please visit: http://unrealengine.com/blog/epic-games-provides-over-42-million-in-epic-megagrants. More information about Epic MegaGrants can be found at unrealengine.com/megagrants.
Source: Epic Games
Dan Sarto is the editor and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.