For this weeks journal I decided to play Spellbreak. Spellbreak is a new battle royale game that was recommended to me recently and I decided to give it a try for this assignment. The game was made by Epic games and runs on the Unreal 4 game engine which most of their games run off of. I have played many games that use this game engine so I had an idea of what to expect when entering the game (I also know that most battle royale games are the same so I went into the game with underwhelming expectations). When playing the game, I recognized many similarities between the physics of this game and Fortnite, the other battle royale from epic games. To compare the two games more clearly, Spellbreak looks and feels like a more HD Fortnite. The graphics look just as cartoony but look more crisp, the sounds are more immersive, and the controls and physics of certain objects and the Player feel more free.
Epic Games uses the Unreal engine for most of their games and are able to create many different games and experiences through this one engine. Some games that have been made through this engine are Fortnite, Yoshi’s Crafted World, Street Fighter V, and many more. As you can see by the list, multiple genres of games have come out of this engine and it has allowed AAA companies and indie developers to utilize this engine to create almost any game they want. This engine is available to the public and has allowed for the gaming community to create mods and other additional content for the games that they have come to love. People have made maps for Half-life, Star wars podracing, remade all of Kingdom Hearts 2 and Diablo 2, and much more all because of the Unreal 4 engine.
To answer the question at hand, The Unreal 4 game engine does in fact operate within Henry Lowood’s definition of a game engine. The Unreal 4 engine has given many the tools necessary to play games the way they want to play them. As stated by Henry Lowood himself, “ It is important to acknowledge that users — players, that is — played a significant role in shifting id’s focus to the game engine as a content-creation platform” (Debugging Game History A Critical Lexicon, 5). Although referring to ID Software specifically in that statement, the point being made is that game engines should be utilized by both the developers and the players in order to create content for a game.