Exclusive: UE5-Powered Survival Sandbox Game With Unique Crafting Mechanics

Have a look at this cool game powered by Unreal Engine 5 that lets you explore, craft, and build modular machines Tears of the Kingdom-style.

Today, let's have a closer look at a yet-unannounced open-world survival sandbox with horror elements currently being created by indie game development studio Unifiq Games.

The studio's Founder, Seyed Nasrollahi, has recently provided some exclusive, never-before-seen details regarding the upcoming game to 80 Level, revealing that it will be set in a post-apocalyptic open world where the player needs to explore, craft, and build modular machines to survive and navigate through the unforgiving conditions of the anomaly-filled island.

According to Seyed, the team is "taking a distinctive approach" to open-world survival games by enabling the player to build modular machines from crafted blocks. The machines then serve as tools to help the player scavenge resources, combat enemies, and navigate through the world. In a way, the system is quite similar to what The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has done but in a survival horror setting.

Image Credit: Unifiq Games

"The development of this project started in October 2022," Seyed said in an exclusive talk with 80 Level, "and we hope to go Early Access on Steam in mid-2025. We are considering a partnership with a publisher, although self-publishing is also a viable option for us. We will be running a closed alpha playtest soon. You can sign up here."

Image Credit: Unifiq Games

At the moment, the team consists of five members, including Seyed Nasrollahi himself, Mahdi Nasrollahi, Armin Rahimi, Amir.R Moghaddam, and Ruben Takacs. According to Seyed, he is looking to expand the team over the next few months and is currently looking for an Audio Designer and a UI/UX Designer.

The core gameplay loop in the game, Seyed told us, is relatively similar to the mainstream survival craft games, with the exception that building machines is an integral part of the gameplay. "As the player, you explore the world on foot or on said machines, scavenge for useful resources, build bases, craft blocks, ammo, and tools from raw resources, build modular machines from crafted blocks, traverse the open world, combat the anomalous creatures, and upgrade your technology."

Image Credit: Unifiq Games

Although the project implements most of the standard open-world survival features such as crafting and base-building, the team has also developed and implemented some unique features into the game:

  • Alloying: The player can mix metals in any composition to create alloys with unique properties. Alloys can be used to craft special items or to reinforce the build blocks, making them stronger, lighter, and more resistant to heat.
  • Thermodynamics: The game runs a thermodynamic simulation on the runtime. Engines heat up when used excessively. The heat can dissipate to surrounding blocks and spread across the building. Overheated blocks can ignite or explode. Grasses and plants also catch fire and spread the fire.
  • Destruction: Blocks can receive damage in various forms such as physical impact, corrosive chemicals, overheating, and explosive impact. Damaged blocks fall off, while the rest of the build remains functional.
  • Piping: Some blocks such as engines and flamethrowers require liquid fuel to operate. The building mechanics were designed in a way so that the player would need to connect such blocks to fuel tanks through a piping method.

Image Credit: Unifiq Games

"The project is being developed in Unreal Engine 5, and we are using state-of-the-art tools and features offered by the engine," Seyed explained. "Surely, without UE5, we could not have made so much progress in such a short span of time."

Unreal Engine 5 built-in tools that the team is using:

  • Runtime Virtual Texture: Used as part of our landscape material to enable seamless blending between different surfaces.
  • World Partition: A highly optimized tool used for building our vast open-world level.
  • Chaos physics: To allow for a fully physics simulated vehicle system.
  • Metasounds: To produce procedural sounds based on in-game parameters.
  • Grass Tools: A highly optimized method to procedurally spawn grass on the landscape.
  • Niagara: Highly optimised particle system for creating high-quality visual effects.
  • Behavior Trees: Used for implementing intelligent behaviors for enemy creatures.
  • Nanite: Highly-optimized method for rendering the high-poly, detailed environment assets.
  • Lumen: Cutting-edge global illumination method.

Image Credit: Unifiq Games

And here are some of the self-made tools Unifiq Games uses in development:

  • Material predictor: We have developed our own deep learning AI model for our alloying mechanic, which is trained on 12000 real metal data and can accurately predict the physical properties of any arbitrarily crafted alloy.
  • Vehicle builder: An easy-to-use tool to quickly build and customise vehicles from modular blocks.
  • Procedural trees: We have made our own tool to procedurally generate unique alien-looking trees
  • Auto-pipes: A tool to automatically generate a spline pipe between two points following standard pipe paths and curvatures.

Image Credit: Unifiq Games

We highly recommend visiting Unifiq's official website so as not to miss any future updates. Also, don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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