The Path To Unreal Engine 5 Is Paved With Crushed Bugs
The title says it all! TL;DR: The team is getting under the hood and giving EVERSPACE 2 an engine update as a maintainability upgrade. We’re taking this time to experiment with the tools and overcome growing pains while our creative team continues work on our future expansion.
Looking at our roadmap, there’s a sizable gap between our two free major updates, and there’s a good reason for that. The Armed & Dangerous update brought all kinds of set items, gameplay tweaks, and bugfixes to EVERSPACE 2, and our next one is going to be just as big. We’ve shared that the Incursions update coming later this spring will include more gameplay tweaks and bugfixes as well as new legendary items and a new game feature. If you tuned into our 2023 End of Year Stream, you may have caught a sneak peek at some of what will be contained.
One of the main reasons that this update is taking so long is that we’re bringing EVERSPACE 2 to Unreal Engine 5, which is no small task for our small team. As part of this update, we’re also looking at some of the community-requested features and fixes set aside as they were not viable on the Unreal 4 version we were sticking to during development. Very likely, we will only be able to include a few, and things like native Linux support are currently not in the plan.
Why are we doing this? We don’t plan to use many of the amazing features such as Nanite and Lumen in EVERSPACE 2 as tests we’ve performed in-studio have shown that current solutions in-game already have better optimization, but having them available does open doors for the future. Mainly we’re looking at this as a way to help future-proof the game so we have less difficulty bringing updates and expansion content down the road. We want to be able to support EVERSPACE 2 for a long time.
Let’s get real about Unreal Engine 5! The engine is phenomenal, and many studios who embraced it early have been able to deliver fantastic visuals, but taking a significant leap between versions is breaking all kinds of things. Experienced EVERSPACE 2 pilots know just how big the game is, and that there are many, MANY systems threaded throughout that create the our game. All these systems make for an incredible number of things that can go wrong when migrating to a major engine upgrade. By taking this time, we’re aiming to ensure our next major update is as smooth as possible.
Now as a bit of fun, we’ve decided to put together this blog to give you all a gamedev peek behind-the-scenes at some of the issues that popped up during our first few weeks of porting EVERSPACE 2 to Unreal Engine 5. One caveat before diving in, by no means we want to cast shade on the engine itself by highlighting these bugs—moving versions always creates some issues.
What else is broken? We’re still finding that out! So far, we’ve seen missing and swapped sounds, quest markers moved, volumetric fog seems to be behaving differently, thruster exhaust particles don’t look quite right, enemies and loot group together incorrectly, weapon fire in cutscenes is a little over the place, weapon effects such as EMP missile trails are broken, and many, many other little issues all over the place.
That’s just a taste of what our devs and designers are experiencing. The team is busy crushing bugs and prepping for the future. Though we have a lot of work to do, we’re loving all the new tools and features now at our fingertips. Hats off to Epic for creating this fantastic engine!
Lee & your dedicated ROCKFISH Games Team