Having launched its $5 million USD Unreal Dev Grant programme back in 2015, Epic Games has helped fund numerous videogame projects, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences. The latest round has now been revealed, distributing $800,000 in funding.
There have been quite a number of VR and AR recipients this time around, with the lucky ones being:
- FILM / CINEMA / VR: Awake: Episode One by Start VR
- Created by Start VR, Awake: Episode One is an interactive cinematic virtual reality experience for HTC Vive and Vive Pro. Awake: Episode One, which uses the latest volumetric capture techniques to bring real-life human performances into VR, officially premiered at SXSW and has been touring the festival circuit ever since.
- INDEPENDENT GAME / AR: BOT-NET by Calvin Labs
- BOT-NET is a game that turns physical space into a first-person battlefield using a mobile device’s AR features. Massive robots fight while the player engages in ground combat with smaller robots.
- AR / VR: The Hydrous presents: Immerse
- A pre-release version of Immerse took the stage at the recent Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn gathering in Malta presented by Dr. Erika Woolsey, the CEO of the Hydrous. The Hydrous’ mission is to create open access oceans by bringing conservation education to the masses.
- INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Jupiter & Mars by Tigertron
- Jupiter & Mars is an underwater adventure game for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR. The player controls Jupiter, a dolphin with enhanced echolocation powers, travelling around the world with AI companion Mars to disable the man-made machinery disrupting marine life while solving puzzles and encountering magnificent creatures along the way.
- INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Kaisuo by USC Games
- Kaisuo is a VR puzzle game in which players use fine motor dexterity to solve enigmatic Chinese puzzle boxes and unlock surreal, extraordinary spaces.
- FINE ARTS / VR: The Kremer Collection Virtual Museum
- The renowned duo of Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon (4D Art) are creating an immersive museum art piece for virtual reality using UE4.
- INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Mini World VR by Scaena Studios
- Scaena Studios’ Mini World VR is an immersive storytelling experience featuring elaborate hand-animated characters.
- INDEPENDENT GAME / VR: Planetrism VR by Planetrism Team
- In Planetrism, players follow the opportunity of a lifetime to lead colonization on an uncharted planet, encountering untold mysteries while building a future for generations to come.
- ARCHITECTURE / VR: Real Estate in VR by REinVR
- The real estate technology team at REInVR is focused on using UE4 to build advanced immersive consumer buying experiences using digital humans, AI and VR.
- TOOL / PLUGIN: Tools and Plugins by VR Professionals
- Russia-based VR Professionals are on a mission to create more affordable and accessible “out of the box” solutions for VR training and education using UE4.
- TOOL / PLUGIN: VR Cataract Simulator by Surgical Mind
- Surgical Mind, a branch of Korea-based Mania Mind, is developing a cutting-edge VR simulator for cataract surgery to enabling medical residents to better hone their skills before getting near an eye.
“The Unreal Dev Grants program has a simple goal: to help talented developers succeed by letting them focus more on their project and less on their bills,” said Chance Ivey, Partnership Manager at Epic Games in a statement. “We’re continually amazed by the range of applications built with UE4 and the potential of so many of these projects; this round includes standouts such as Sojourn by Tierceron, Crab Rave by Noisestorm, and VR Cataract Simulator by Surgical Mind. Congrats to all of these folks for their vision and persistence!”
VRFocus will continue its coverage of the latest Unreal Dev Grant winners, reporting back with any VR related projects.