Epic Games this week revealed its final round of Unreal Dev Grants. The program, which has been running for the past four years, offers funding to companies using Unreal Engine. It gives indie studios a leg up with no-string-attached funding.
Most notably, though, it’s a chance to unearth some VR projects we hadn’t previously heard about. Epic issued $500,000 across 17 different companies, six of which are working in VR. On the gaming front, there’s SnapClick: Fossil Diggers FR from Australia-based The Orphanage. As the name suggests, it casts you as a paleontologist that uncovers dinosaur fossils. Once found you piece them together to make animated models of dinosaurs. Check it out in the trailer below.
EVR Studios’ Project M is also a recipient. You may have seen a teaser for the experience back in 2017. It offers stunningly realistic virtual characters. The actual game will be a story-based adventure that we’re excited to see develop.
Elsewhere there’s a location-based game named Eclipse – 4D Virtual Reality from Backlight. This is a space-set adventure in which four players are cast as astronauts light-years from home. They work together to make their way through a ship. Also on the arcade front is nDreams’ Shooty Fruity Arcade, a location-based adaptation of its popular wave shooter.
In terms of film there’s a new project from Mr. Kite called Glimpse. It’s a short animation in which players become Herbie, a struggling artist (who is also a panda). Herbie is wallowing away in his studio, upset about his relationship with a deer. Sign us up.
Finally there’s money for Virtual Helsinki, a project to digitally recreate the Finnish capital from Zoan.
And that’s it. That’s all of the $5 million Epic pledged towards the grants four years ago now spent. That said, now that it’s earning Fortnite money, surely there’s grounds for an even bigger scheme to take its place.