Fortnite Players Are Already Making Incredible Things With Unreal
This week, Epic Games revealed Unreal Editor for Fortnite, a toolset that expands on the battle royale’s existing creator resources and could completely revolutionize the game in the process. Players have wasted no time offering glimpses into that potential, using the new tools for everything from recreating scenes from famous games like Grand Theft Auto V to dreaming up entirely new experiences.
The public beta for Unreal Editor went live yesterday, giving anyone who’s interested a chance to start making their own games within Fortnite. Making use of some of the tools found in the broader Unreal Engine, the editor also lets players take advantage of a new programming language called Verse that Epic says will help streamline some of the process while also offering more customization. The company is also promising to pay out a generous share of its revenue from the game in order to compensate creators for their work (we’ll see how that part shakes out once the initiative gets further underway).
Fortnite player, @Lucas7yoshi created Toad Harbor from Mario Kart in UEFN! pic.twitter.com/pAMUKypqhn
— Fortnite News (@FortINTEL) March 23, 2023
Since the announcement, players have gotten to work on Mario Kart race tracks, Counter-Strike levels, and meme fodder like a giant Shrek tearing through downtown. Creators who had time with the editor prior to the reveal have been able to achieve even more impressive results, like a recreation of GTA V’s Grove Street. Epic’s own trailer for the announcement capped off with a dramatic and impressive mech boss fight that looks at first glance like something out of Titanfall or Metal Gear. Copyright infringement concerns will likely keep some of these creations out of the game, but the results, and their speed, are still impressive.
僕の名前パスファインダー！！#フォートナイトクリエイティブ #FortniteCreative2 #UEFN pic.twitter.com/d4pYdGRqU7
— しんまう (@sinmau06) March 23, 2023
In a recent interview with The Verge, Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney positioned these new tools as one more step on the road to helping create the metaverse. With the consolidation of Epic’s asset stores, and the promise of importing pre-made stuff directly into Unreal, the idea is that in the long run certain games will be able to share characters, skins, and other things in a way they can’t right now.
Epic was notably at the forefront of pushing Microsoft and Sony to open up cross-play between Xbox and PlayStation, though the question of who gets the money for the stuff you buy in-game remains a complex one to solve. What’s clear from how fast players are making cool stuff with Unreal Editor is that Fortnite is now the least interesting thing about Fortnite.
Mario Kart tracks
Based in a city loosely inspired by San Francisco, Toad Harbor is a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe track. The Fortnite version doesn’t have Nintendo’s iconic characters, but it does have a facsimile of the entire course that you can race through on a motorcycle. “This is not getting published at any point for obvious reasons,” creator Lucas7yoshi said. I can already hear Nintendo’s lawyers picking up the phone.
Grand Theft Auto V streets
A spot first made famous in GTA: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto Online’s Grove Street dead-ends in a cul de sac in South Los Santos. It’s run down and now home to the Ballas gang, with police choppers frequently circling overhead. Creator kurmay3d said they spent about three weeks re-creating it in Fortnite and it shows.
The most impressive part of Epic’s presentation was a trailer that ended in a mech boss battle. Fortnite recently became one of the best-looking games out there, and the fact that players can now make completely separate modes and missions from scratch that look just as good is wild. I would buy this game.
It’s not really a creator mode without a massive Shrek or two. Reddit user matheuscsg08 imported one in, gave it a health bar, and made it dance. The “every enemy is Shrek” mode isn’t just for Elden Ring anymore. I hope modders for other games can keep up.
A sizzle reel by creator RynexGD showed roller coaster rides, spooky back alleys, and the first-person view of someone running into a closet and hiding inside. It’s a lowkey demo that shows the potential for horror fans to have a field day, and demonstrates how creators can use Fortnite’s tools to make non-Fortnite-looking animations.
Demos for new games
Speaking of non-Fortnite-looking stuff, Paulo Corona made a short fantasy game demo sporting mountain cliffs and dragons in the distance. It was made using Quixel assets based on real-world mega scans and reminds me of some of the incredible stuff players have made in Dreams.
Two of the biggest multiplayer hangout games meet at last. Creator sinmau06 showed off what looks like a literal mashup of Minecraft and Fortnite, as if the two worlds collided into one another. While it doesn’t show them mining materials with a pickaxe, the UI suggests those gameplay elements could be in the works.
Extreme mountain biking
This is actually my favorite clip of the bunch so far. Working into the night after a single day with the tools, creator chrisp_games put together an amazing-looking demo of hopping sand dunes on a bike in the desert. The map is huge, and apparently used only 10 percent of the memory allotment for the island.
Classic N64 games
The footage is rough, but Twitter user Dogboi76YT was seemingly able to import environments from both Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time into the editor and start messing about. The result is nostalgic and chaotic in equal parts. And naturally, they don’t plan to upload it to the creator mode anytime soon for legal reasons. But maybe it will give Nintendo some ideas for a Zelda 40th anniversary battle royale spin-off.
Fortnite island reboot
Perhaps least surprising of all, the first thing many Fortnite creators rushed to do after the new toolset was released was remake the original version of the game’s map from many, many seasons ago. It’s already playable and looks way better than what actually came out all those years ago. I guess Fortnite BR 1.0 is retro now.
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