As many of you may already know, in May of last year, shortly after Atom Republic’s Kickstarter for Atom Universe, it was announced that Engine Giant Entertainment, LLC, had joined Atom Republic as a partner for Atom Universe to create content for the game. You can read the full announcement on Atom Republic’s Blog. Engine Giant Entertainment had previously created content for PlayStation Home such as the Animanga 3D collection and the Elemental Masters costumes and LMOs.
I’ve been talking to one of the Co-Founders of Engine Giant Entertainment, Luis Villarreal, who was nice enough to agree to a quick interview for J.F.C & The Virtual Community to let the AU community know what they have been working on since PS Home was shut down a year ago as well as their plans for Atom Universe. Luis arranged for Tim Graybill, one of the Co-Founders/artists at Engine Giant Entertainment, to answer some questions.
Trisha: Hiya Tim! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me as we are all fans of the content you created for PlayStation Home and very interested in what you have been working on and what you will be doing for Atom Universe!
Tim: Hey Trisha, great to talk to you. Let me just say we are very grateful to have a community of fans that is interested in what we are developing next. We hope everyone continues to follow as we begin to work with Atom Republic.
Trisha: Thanks Tim. Yes, you definitely have many fans within the AU Community and we are all very excited that you are on board with the project! As you know, April 1 of this year marks the one-year anniversary of PlayStation Home’s closure. Luckily, Atom Republic started up their Atom Universe project and we learned that your company agreed to create content for their game. What made you decide to partner with them on the game?
Tim: Well, a little before we announced our partnership with Atom Republic, there were a few new PS Home like games announced. We took some time to do a little research into these games and found that Atom Universe had the most potential out of all the new prototypes we were researching. I think the biggest factor in us deciding to go with Atom Universe is that it is using the Unreal Engine. I believe that Unreal will be the strongest game engine in the coming future especially because of how well Epic Games is supporting new Virtual Reality platforms.
Trisha: Yes, from what I have seen of the Unreal Engine, the graphics are “unreal” (no pun intended lol) and have also heard that it is indeed the best gaming engine for Virtual Reality. Now we haven’t seen any updates from you guys over the last year, but Luis did mention you guys had been undergoing some changes. Can you elaborate on that and share what you guys have been working on over the last year since PS Home’s closure?
Tim: After we announced partnering up with Atom Republic, they were still in the process of developing the core components of the Atom Universe game. They are still developing the process for 3rd parties to release content in the game. Once this process is finalized we hope to provide a steady stream of content for the game. We have been working on some other unannounced projects as well.
Trisha: I see, Tim. That makes sense. Now since PS Home was developed using a proprietary, in-house, Lua-based platform, similar to Unity, most former development studios who created content for PS Home, including yourselves, are more familiar with gaming engines like Unity which I understand many used for prototyping their work for PS Home. As you mentioned, Atom Universe is being developed using Unreal Engine which I’ve learned has not been part of the technical skillset for many former PS Home developers. Do you have any experience in your shop with Unreal? If not, how are you addressing that so you will be able to create content for Atom Universe?
Tim: We are, as I said before, big fans of Unreal. It is our engine of choice and we would be working with it even if we weren’t working on Atom Universe. When working on PS home in the past, we felt very limited with what we could do because PS Home’s engine was very restricting. We are very excited about the possibilities Unreal will bring to a social game like Atom Universe. It will allow us to have more creative freedom when coming up with new ideas for the game.
Trisha: That sounds great and I’m glad your team is technically ready to develop for Atom Universe using the Unreal Engine! So have you been keeping up with the news on Atom Universe?
Tim: We have been following the games progress so far and we like the direction it’s going in. The game is still fairly early in development, and it will be awesome to watch Atom Universe grow as more content comes out.
Trisha: It’s great to hear you say that because I and the AU community totally agree! Now from what you have seen or know about Atom Universe, what do you like about the game so far and what would you most like to see in it?
Tim: I think the coolest part about Atom Universe is that they are already talking and working with VR. Atom Universe has the potential to be the world’s first great VR social game.
Trisha: What kind of content do you plan to create for Atom Universe? Previously created content for PS Home and/or something different?
Tim: We hope to come up with new ideas that will entertain our fans and also work with the community to develop content that is popularly requested. We also hope to be able to bring back some of your favorite items from PS Home and release them in a way that makes sense in Atom Universe.
Trisha: Thank you very much for your time Tim and we look forward to hearing more updates from you in the future as well as seeing your content in Atom Universe!
Tim: Thanks to you and all our supporters!
The interview above was conducted and written exclusively for J.F.C & The Virtual Community