BE KIND, REWIND

WHY BAT­TLE ROYALE’S NEW RE­PLAY MODE COULD HAVE HUGE RAM­I­FI­CA­TIONS

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Epic is in­vest­ing con­sid­er­able re­sources into the youtube per­son­al­i­ties and Twitch stream­ers that have helped turn Fort­nite: Bat­tle Royale into such a global phe­nom­e­non. The com­pany an­nounced at GDC 2018 that it was devel­op­ing a new re­play ed­i­tor for the un­real En­gine; ef­fec­tively, it puts pro­fes­sional grade record­ing and edit­ing tools into the hands of the play­ers. The first game to make use of this sys­tem will be Fort­nite, and the re­sults are cer­tainly im­pres­sive. . The tools will al­low Fort­nite play­ers (and soon, any de­vel­oper us­ing the un­real plat­form) to re­ally en­shrine their favourite mo­ments and share them out across the web. “In the re­play sys­tem you can go set up cam­eras, fol­low a char­ac­ter, do long shots, wide shots, we’ve even got drones in there that you can use to fol­low [the ac­tion],” Epic’s CTO Kim li­breri tells us. “not only is it great for telling the story of what hap­pened in a game, but if we had the re­play sys­tem a few months ago, when peo­ple worked out how to ride the rock­ets, we would have been able to go into that game and ac­tu­ally film it.” That’s im­por­tant to note, as it gives us a clear view of where Epic wants to take, not only these tools, but Fort­nite in the fu­ture. “It starts to open all these new pos­si­bil­i­ties,” li­breri tells us ex­cit­edly of the re­play sys­tem that has been ex­panded from its orig­i­nal im­ple­men­ta­tion in the ill-fated Paragon. “We lit­er­ally have the tech­nol­ogy right now in the en­gine that we could beam a shoot­ing crew into your live match, like a documentary crew – we just make the char­ac­ters in­vis­i­ble and they’ll fol­low you around. “Once we be­gin to think about com­pet­i­tive tour­na­ments for Fort­nite, we can go in live and film that ac­tion… can you imag­ine? It’s gonna be like ESPN or like any ma­jor sports event, but in the vir­tual world of the game,” he says, and it’s clear to us that the po­ten­tial for these tools to be used across the es­ports scene could be huge, par­tic­u­larly as stu­dios look towards Tv fran­chis­ing and ex­pan­sion. “We could even do episodic con­tent, where we com­bine the best of per­for­mance cap­ture and real ac­tors driv­ing faces, and then put them into the world of Fort­nite. As a gamer you could have your 15 sec­onds of fame where we can in­cor­po­rate what hap­pened in your game into a story that we tell. There is all sorts of crazy stuff that we can do [in the en­gine]… hon­estly, I think five years from now we’ll look back and go, wow, en­ter­tain­ment to­tally changed.”

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