The latest round of recipients for the Unreal Dev Grant - a $5 million scheme run by Epic Games that offers grants to creative people using Unreal Engine - have been announced, with a number of developers from around the world being awarded grants that total over $200,000.
For more indie games, here's our list of 15 indie games you should definitely play.
The grants, which have been given out regularly since 2015, are not just game developers, though - this time, a studio developing a feature-length animated film in Unreal are even getting a grant for their work. The full list of recipients, for the first grants of 2018 with descriptions of each project, is:
- Allahyar and The Legend of Markhr by 3rd World Studios (Pakistan)
- 3rd World Studios is producing a beautifully animated feature-length film in Unreal Engine, coming to theaters next month. The team is employing real-time animation methodologies in UE4 for the movie, drawing on their experience in creating animation for AAA game titles. In this film Allahyar, a young Pakistani boy from the North, sets off on an adventure where he discovers a world he never knew existed. Allahyar is one of the most highly awaited animated movies in Pakistan right now.
- Bebylon Battle Royale by Kite and Lightning (United States)
- Currently in beta, Bebylon Battle Royale is a multiplayer VR game with comedic arena combat at its core. In this game, battling babies duke it out to humiliate their foes with customizable vehicles, weapons and plenty of smack talk.
- BlueprintUE.com by Sebastien Rancoud (France)
- BlueprintUE.com is a tool that enables developers to copy and paste their Unreal Engine 4 Blueprints as text to the web and see the logic visually. The useful tool eases the process of sharing Blueprint snippets online and is popular among UE4 developers.
- Claybook by Second Order Ltd. (Finland)
- Step into the shoes of brave kids who bring the Claybook to life, and enter into each chapter filled with new obstacles and puzzles. Everything in this unique world is made entirely of clay and can be shaped and molded, deformed, destroyed or frozen solid.
- Genesis Noir by Feral Cat Den (United States)
- Genesis Noir is an artsy, indie title set before, during and after The Big Bang. In this love triangle gone askew, the goal is to save the love of your life by stopping the expansion of the universe.
- Halflight by Students of the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (Taiwan)
- Halflight is a 3D adventure game where players follow in the steps of the young boy Xi-sheng as he strays into an extraordinary phantom world. Made by four students of National Yunlin University of Science and Technology as a graduation project, Halflight took 1st Place in the Taiwan College Student Unreal Competition hosted by Epic Games.
- Hyper Jam by Bit Dragon (Australia)
- Hyper Jam is a high-quality, fast-paced multiplayer indie game coming soon to Steam. The game takes place in a neon-soaked arena full of lethal weapons, stackable powerups and furious round-based combat.
- Rogue Universe by MUST Games (Korea)
- Developed by a team of industry veterans, Rogue Universe is a mobile strategy game with high-quality visuals and a cast of comic book-style characters that encounter a host of missions to complete while earning rewards.
- Shift Quantum by Fishing Cactus (Belgium)
- Shift Quantum is the official successor to the popular puzzle-platformer game, Shift, originally created by Antony Lavelle and published by Armor Games. Shift Quantum will be coming to PC, Mac and consoles in early 2018.
- Sinner by Dark Star Game Studios (Hong Kong)
- Based in Hong Kong, the ex-Ubisoft, Blizzard and Konami developers of Dark Star have joined forces to create their debut title, Sinner: Sacrifice of Redemption, a boss battling action role-playing game that echoes the likes of Dark Souls, Shadow of the Colossus and Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Sinner is coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in April 2018.
- Skye from Puny Astronaut (Scotland)
- Coming to Xbox One and PS4 this year, Skye is an exploration game set in a fantastical world that allows players to wander around as a friendly, flying dragon. Dash through dandelions or dive for pearls in a coral reef while helping the ship captain find his golden treasure.
- The Machines from Directive Games Limited (China)
- The Machines from China-based Directive Games debuted onstage during the Apple Special Event as a flagship title for the launch of augmented reality on iOS. The Machines is a MOBA-inspired AR PVP game where players build an army of robots and duke it out with a friend in-person or online.
So, yes, Epic Games have indeed awarded a grant to a game about immortal babies beating the daylights out of each other. 2018's off to a great start.