It’s fair to say that Epic Games does share plenty of support, financial or otherwise, when its comes to virtual reality (VR) development. Whether its through the Unreal Dev Grants, the Big Data VR Challenge, or more recently the Developing Beyond competition. This week has seen the winners revealed, with the grand prize finalist being All Seeing Eye with its VR experience Seed.
Seed is a VR plant breeding videogame where players use some advanced genetic engineering skills to create new plant species. With the help of historian Dr. Helen Anne Curry, she shared her knowledge of plant breeding history with the development team to aid their ideas. The main point of the title is for players to take on missions in a virtual potting shed that can influence food production, reflect geo-politics or even create new poisons in an imaginary world.
All Seeing Eye won $150,000 USD for coming in first place, with second place and $50,000 going to Winter Hall by Lost Forest Games. In third place Terramars by Untold Games received $30,000.
“This caps an incredible year for us,” said Ollie Lindsey, founder of winning company, All Seeing Eye in a statement. “It’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity, and to actually win is a dream come true. It means we now have the opportunity to focus solely on a game that we’re incredibly passionate about.”
Epic Games launched the $500,000 Developing Beyond competition in January 2017 in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust. The brief prompted developers to create new videogames exploring the theme of ‘Transformations.’ The teams then took inspiration from scientific ideas and used Unreal Engine 4 to build their titles. Developers retain rights to the intellectual property they created over the course of the challenge. The aim of the competition is to prepare the teams to ship new commercial games with the help of investors, publishers or partners.
“The jury was unanimous in voting for Seed as the deserved winner of this year’s Developing Beyond. All Seeing Eye have created a beautiful place to explore and spend time in, as well as delivering great gameplay and hitting all the scientific beats on right on the mark,” said Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager at Epic.“The quality of all three games has been incredible and the decision to split second and third was agonising. All three games are more than good enough to be picked up, developed further and taken to market, where I’m sure they will all shine.”
As Epic and The Wellcome Trust continue to launch new videogame initiatives, VRFocus will keep you updated.