'Daylight' First 3rd-Party Game Using Epic's Unreal Engine 4

Zombie Studios, the developer behind the PC version of SAW, Blacklight Retribution and Blacklight Tango Down, revealed during the DICE 2013 summit this week that it is currently developing what seems to be the first 3rd-party game to use Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4.

Called Daylight, it will be a survival horror title to be released for $20 or less on Valve's Steam platform some time in 2013. It will take an episodic approach, or rather arrive as individual chapters, meaning the first available game will be Chapter 1 and the sequels will be labeled accordingly.

According to IGN, the player takes the role of an unnamed female protagonist without a weapon. Instead, a smartphone will be at hand serving as the only means of artificial illumination in a dark, procedurally-generated environment. She'll creep down the halls and investigate randomly generated rooms, keeping the experience sinisterly fresh. The overall story will only be revealed through the clues she discovers.

"We don’t give any backstory on the player," said Zombie creative director and studio head Jared Gerritzen. "She literally just wakes up and you need to find your way through, but there’s a lot of story elements. The way the story unfolds is we have all these elements where you can pick up documents and case files, but also your phone gets possessed and it plays recordings from the past."

Jessica Chobot, the game's writer, said that it's not a hack-and-slash horror title. Instead players are more like a rat in a cage which in this case is a dark asylum. The goal is to find the way out, and the playtime will be around 25 to 30 minutes. But the game is designed to generate different experiences for different players, and replayability to get all the clues for the story. Each time through will be a completely different experience.

"It’s all very subtle," Chobot said. "It’s all very implied and it kind of leaves the player to their own devices."

Daylight will not be the first game to use Epic's Unreal Engine 4. Epic Games' own Fortnite takes the crown as the "first ever" title to use the new engine. It's a co-op sandbox survival game where players must explore, scavenge gear, build fortified structures and fight off waves of enemies. Players team up to gather and build by day, and defend their fort against the creatures of the night.

Set to officially launch this year, Unreal Engine 4 made its debut at the 2012 Game Developers Conference via the Elemental demo. The engine throws out static lighting in favor of real-time global illumination using voxel cone tracing. This allows light to shine onto things correctly without having to pre-compute effects such as light casting down on the carpet and reflecting onto the walls, dust floating in the air, perfect shadows and so on.

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  • Hmmm....Triple AAA Engine for casual gaming. Not sure what to make of it.
  • anxiousinfusion
    Looks like an Amnesia with ghosts.
  • shikamaru31789
    Sounds kind of like Slender. A defenseless protaganist with nothing but a light source. But unlike Slender, it has an actual story and much better graphics.
  • dark_knight33
    Hope she can write better than she can voice act. She was terrible in ME3.
  • ragenalien
    dark_knight33Hope she can write better than she can voice act. She was terrible in ME3.
    She's terrible at just about everything. She's an above average looking "gamer girl" that the media likes to tote around.
  • Kami3k
    dark_knight33Hope she can write better than she can voice act. She was terrible in ME3.
    Her spot should of been taken by the reporter in ME1 you help out, Emily Wong.

    Instead we get battle tits, I mean news.
  • nolarrow
    I appreciate the new engine and I'm glad things are moving forward, but why can't we get a game that actually looks like the samaritan demo (ue3) before we jump to the next thing?

    The focus today seems to be on physics and particles and real time rendering which is great - but can we get textures first? Seems like a simple fix. Gfx cards with more vram and larger file sizes would do the trick right? I compare crysis, skyrim or crysis 2 vanilla versions to modded versions with high res textures and the difference is immeasurable.

    All this real time rendering and particle stuff is great don't get me wrong. But the amount of processing power required to accurately render 'dust in the air' seems wasted when you can get close to a wall in an fps and the textures look like ass. Even when explosions and particles are rendered before hand it's really not that much different (see turning on/off physx in a game that supports it).
  • guardianangel42
    She writes now?

    I liked Emily Wong; she was awesome. An almost overeager reporter whose ideas should never have worked expect she had the foresight to approach the player for help and managed to achieve two stories of a lifetime.

    I was thoroughly looking forward to seeing her again and giving her that exclusive interview I promised.

    Instead I got Chobot and Emily got killed on Twitter.

    An ignoble end to a noble woman.
  • cats_Paw
    Unreal Engine 4, Check
    Survivial Horror, Check
    Valve (20$), Check
    Replayability, Check

    So far so good. Only downside is short gameplay.... we will have to see, i like supporting small business.
  • athlondude
    Could give two shits less, ever since these jerks sold out to the console regime, they have done nothing more than put out shocolate covered shit! Wont be getting any of my money!