Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Nick Pützer is working on a technically advanced 3d engine, which generates landscapes, assets and visual effects for achieving incredible picture.
Minecraft is one of the main inspirations for Nick Pützer’s new game StoneQuest. He’s been working on this game for over 6 years now. The main goal is to replicate some of the gameplay mechanics of Notch’s creation with much more interesting visuals. For this purpose, a completely new procedural technology was created.
The new engine is really something out of this world. It’s a new modern take on a procedural tool, which helps to generate the entire content entirely with the code. This makes the final .exe file just below 15 Megabytes (1 Mb client + 14 Mb content data)! And it looks absolutely incredible.
I use a lot of procedural content. All the models are programmed. My engine is able to spread microgeometry over the world, real tiny 3d models so every grass blade and clover plant is real and can interact with players. Every cube face of the voxel world has its own texture. I only have a few procedural textures yet, but they don’t repeat. There are dynamic volumetric 3d clouds. And volumetric fog in the valley, where you can see god rays when the sunshine through the trees.
Gameplay is still being developed. Nick is a big fan of Stardrew Valley, so maybe he could integrate some of those farming elements into the core survival loop. You’ll be able to hunt (all the creatures are generated by code), fight alien creatures and indulge yourself in building. It’s very similar to Minecraft, only much more beautiful.
The biggest problem with the game right now is money. Nick is actually programming this whole thing alone, and while he managed to achieve some great results, his work is still far from finished. Currently, he’s running a campaign on Patreon, trying to get more financial support to continue his work.
This mega-texturing tech is so bad-ass. Check out the video.
And this is how the engine works with clouds.
You don’t have to take our word for it. If you go to his website, you’ll be able to download the alpha and play around a little bit. It doesn’t have much gameplay, but at least you can check out that sweet environment work.