If you're thinking of the next project worthy to use Epic's Unreal Engine 4, a pixellated homage to 16-bit metroidvanias might not be far up your list. Nevertheless, Epic have given $17,000 to developer Cardboard Sword as part of their development grant project, in order for the team to bring The Siege and the Sandfox
Everything sounds very Prince of Persia Classic
with a touch of Dishonored
, which is by no means a bad thing. Set in a desert city, the protagonist is wrongfully accused of killing the king and tossed in a labyrinthine dungeon, and must work his way up and out to clear his name. The game is described as a "Stealthvania" - while exploring, you'll have to avoid detection and certain death as you face off against a "sand-born evil".
Art Director Keith Duke-Cox was keen to point out how a 2D pixel-art style platformer could make the most of the Unreal Engine 4:
We want to evoke memories of the 16bit Metroidvanias, but presented with a seamless blend of authentic pixel art and cutting-edge lighting and post process effects. Unreal 4 really gives us this.
Here's some pre-alpha footage showing off some of what he's getting at:
Platforms have yet to be announced, though the game is aiming at PC and "consoles". The team are still seeking a publisher to partner with. In the meantime, there are some genuinely interesting developer diaries going out on the game's website
, if you're interested in the development process.