Turn away serious gamers: This may hurt too much.
It's been two months since Epic Games announced its Unreal Engine 4 Everyone program, which aims to make building games accessible to anyone — even non-coders. Now we finally have our first showcase example of a mobile game built this way and... it's a Flappy Bird clone.
Yes, the same gaming engine that will soon power EVE: Valkyrie and whose predecessor amazed us with games like Infinity Blade and Gears of Wars 3 is powering a rip-off of the one-tap sensation due to return this August.
Called Tappy Chicken, this Unreal Engine 4-powered game is exactly what you'd expect from a Flappy Bird imitator: simplistic 2D graphics, minimal sound effects, one-tap gameplay, and an overall frustrating experience.
Tappy Chicken went live for Android and iOS on Wednesday and was created by a single artist who Epic says has no "traditional programming skills." Although Epic doesn't name the artist, Engadget reports the creator is Epic Games' principal artist Shane Caudle who made the game in a week.
He built the game using Blueprints, a visual scripting system in UE4 that lets you develop your game using pre-defined elements that you connect together — minimal coding required.
Although it's a very simple game, the graphics are noticeably better than the original — but you'd expect that since the game was created by a professional artist. Tappy Chicken also comes with Google Play Games integration for leaderboards.
Tappy Chicken is distributed by Epic and is available for free from Google Play and iTunes. An HTML 5-based version is also forthcoming. For the moment, however, tappychicken.com redirects to the Unreal Engine 404 page.
While the last thing the world needs is another Flappy Bird imitator, the concept that a powerful gaming engine can be harnessed by non-coders is pretty interesting.
Anyone who wants to create their own Flappy Bird clone can sign up to become a UE4 developer on the gaming engine's site. Access to UE4 costs $19 per month. Epic also takes a 5 percent cut from gross revenue from any game developed with UE4.
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