Episodic Development with UE3

Grimm Production Timelines

Grimm Time Lines

Develop Magazine is running an article highlighting the episodic development of Grimm using the Unreal Engine 3 technology. From the article:

McGee’s core team explored several engines before settling on Unreal Engine 3 and ultimately found that they were able to integrate content and achieve the visual results they wanted faster and easier with Unreal Engine 3.

“This was primarily attributable to the superior reference materials, tutorials, and content pipeline and tools. Once our decision was made, attracting other team members with UE3 experience and gaining critical knowledge on our own was easy,” explained McGee.

“Because Grimm is such an experimental game concept, rapid prototyping was essential to proving our new ideas. Being able to quickly build a world from near-final content allowed us to focus on the challenges of implementing original ideas.”

If you’re interested in how we pulled off on-time development and distribution of 12 hours of episodic content, while building a studio from the ground up, AND being in a foreign land – then you’ll want to check out the full article. I will say a lot of our success is owed to the robustness of the UE3 toolset.

Attached to this article you’ll see a time-line which roughly illustrates the cycles our production went through in order to accomplish our development goals. This time line only gives a broad picture and a little detail related to Level Design production. There were in fact many similar time lines running concurrently through all departments, including Concept Art, Asset Production, Animation, and Programming.

Soon we’ll release a Post Mortem on the Grimm project which goes into more detail about the development of Grimm. Keep an eye out for it!

Engine “Justice”

I read on Develop Magazine this morning of some non-movement with the lawsuit brought against Epic by Silicon Knights. Seems we need reassuring that “something will happen”. From the article:

Denis Dyack has told Develop that he thinks ‘justice will be done’ in the still-in-progress legal spat between his studio Silicon Knights and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games. A year ago, Silicon Knights filed a suit against Epic saying the company had “failed to provide a working game engine” – the studio since then scrapped its use of Unreal Engine 3 and built its own in-house technology. The first game using that, Too Human, is due out next week.

Having used UE3 to build Grimm and spent considerable time in the past working with Id’s tools, I’ve followed this story with amazement. To expect a licensed engine, fresh out of the box, would require no modification or improvements to achieve development goals on a new title is ludicrous. But to build an entirely new engine as an alternative to improving an existing one – sounds a bit unreasonable. And to build that new engine inside 1 year, then ship a title with it? Now things are starting to sound surreal.

Will be interesting to see how this one plays out. My guess is that there’s more than a little UE3 still in “Too Human”.

Titan Studios – Hiring Engineers


Zeus – The other Titan

My good friend Paul Meegan has started a new game studio in the heart of Seattle’s Pioneer Square. The team is working on AAA content and technology. And they are actively seeking highly qualified engineers who have experience working with Unreal 3. This is NOT an entry level position. Considering the team and the location this is an awesome opportunity for people with the right qualifications. Hell, I almost wish I was qualified! Interested parties should contact Paul here: paul.meegan [at] epicgameschina.com