An exciting future for indie game dev.
Games have always been a barometer of technological advancement. Today, we are witnessing rapid innovation in machine learning, real-time simulation, 3D graphics and audio. Put simply — it's a window of what is to come. I've enjoyed many games since the '90s, playing Sonic the Hedgehog on a 16-bit Sega Genesis, Age of empires over LAN on the PC, cramming myself and friends onto the couch playing Halo split-screen, all of the newly released hardware and games until today — Where we can jump into an immersive virtual reality with friends via the Meta Quest 2 Headset.
While each year brings new improvements and possibilities, this year feels different. Meta, Epic Games, Nvidia and AMD are influencing not only gaming but applications in business and the very experience of the internet itself. Be that in education, architectural visualisations / digital twin or virtual production.
In-engine screenshot of WIP portal design for Macabre - Unreal Engine 5.
Powerful game engines such as Unreal Engine 5 are pushing the industry forward in a variety of ways. They're developing exciting new methods to render lighting with Lumen, efficient ways to render 3D graphics with Nanite, procedural and real-time synthesis of audio with MetaSounds - simulating the acoustics of virtual environments with Microsoft on project acoustics and MetaHuman, which gives creators access to highly realistic digital human characters to utilise in projects. More so than ever before, it's possible for Indie developers and startups to leverage and seize these emerging technologies. With unprecedented access to powerful game development tools, indie studios can strive to create experiences that can rival and compete with the likes of AAA studios and established companies with their own proprietary tech.
In-engine screenshot of an unfortunate player - Unreal Engine 5. So what does all of this mean for Weforge Studio and Macabre? Together, Jay Topping and I, co-founded Weforge Studio an endeavour to harness and master these emerging technologies. Our goal is to develop innovative interactive experiences, including games, along with other digital products in various sectors such as education, architecture, and digital twin/simulation. We begin our journey with Macabre, which is poised to be a truly terrifying immersive multiplayer horror game that will push the genre forward. Macabre will evoke feelings of excitement, fear and, most importantly, enjoyment in players. And with the backing of Screen Australia, alongside our team of extremely talented people at Weforge Studio, we feel confident and positioned well to execute our vision.
In-engine screenshot walking through our first map - Unreal Engine 5.