In the world of gaming, no matter how good a development team is, the quality of gameplay is greatly impacted by the software and tools used to create the game. For that reason, the team at Astra Nova has selected some of the best tools in the business to properly engineer the game and ensure that it offers an optimal user experience.
Here’s a closer look at the tools used to create Astra Nova, the world’s first AAA-rated MetaRPG.
Unreal Engine 5
The backbone in the development of Astra Nova is Unreal Engine 5, a top-of-the-line development kit that includes a complete suite of creation tools for game development.
Unreal Engine 5 was created by Epic Games — a leader in the gaming industry — and touts that it was “created by creators, for creators” as a way to help developers from numerous industries craft award-winning, chart-topping content while benefiting from all the knowledge that Epic has accumulated over the years. In the two decades that Unreal Engine has been out, it has become the most trusted and reliable engine in the world.
With industry-leading graphics that help create stunning visual content right out of the box, creators have access to a wide range of tools including advanced dynamic shadow options, screen space and true 3D reflections, versatile lighting tools, and a flexible node-based material editor to create the most realistic real-time content currently available.
Nanite Virtualized Geometry
Digging deeper into the tools available with Unreal Engine 5, one of the top utilized tools for the creation of Astra Nova is Nanite, a virtualized geometry system that uses a new internal mesh format and rendering technology to render pixel scale detail and high object counts.
Nanite’s data format is highly compressed and supports fine-grained streaming with automatic level of detail. This allows for the multiple orders of magnitude increase in geometric complexity and the highest real-time triangle and objects count currently available in the market.
Thanks to Nanite, Level of Detail (LOD) is automatically handled and no longer requires manual setup for individual mesh’s LODs
Another key Unreal Engine tool utilized by Astra Nova developers is Chaos Destruction. Chaos is a high-performance physics and destruction system.
Hmmmm… a high-quality destruction system in a game with characters called Deviants. I wonder what that’s all about?
With Chaos Destruction, developers can achieve cinematic-quality levels of destruction in real-time while also offering artists and designers an unprecedented amount of control over content creation and the fracturing procure through the use of an intuitive nonlinear workflow.
For large-scale destruction simulations, Chaos Destruction comes with a new Cache System that allows for smooth replay of complex destruction at runtime with minimal impact on performance.
And with a host of other awesome developer tools that are too numerous to mention in this article, Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool — and is helping to make Astra Nova the most advanced MetaRPG game in crypto.
Epic Games — honorable mention
The team behind Astra Nova would also like to give a special shout-out to Epic Games for its assistance and technical support to develop an metaRPG using Unreal Engine 5.
Hedera Hashgraph and Blade Wallet
The support and development teams at Hedera via Swirl Labs and Blade Wallet helped play an instrumental role in developing the SDK wrapper with Hedera which allows for a hassle-free Web3 integration with Astra Nova. This enables users to have a seamless, one-click integration between Hedera and Astra Nova.
The tools the Artists use
Along with the various tools offered with Unreal Engine 5, the artist team at Astra Nova also utilizes a variety of other programs to help achieve the desired look of the Astra Nova landscape and ecosystem. This also applies to the Deviants which has been a long development journey for our artists.
C4D (Cinema 4D)
A professional 3D modeling, animation, simulation and rendering software solution. It is especially handy when it comes to making trailers, short videos and game clips.
An open-source 3D computer graphics software tool set used for creating visual effects, motion graphics, interactive 3D applications, virtual reality, and video games.
A professional 3D animation, modelling, simulation and rendering toolset designed for creating realistic characters and blockbuster-worthy effects. Maya is one of the most important pieces of software for development in the gaming industry.
A 3D procedural software for modeling, rigging, animation, VFX, look development, lighting and rendering in film, TV, advertising and video games.
a universal material editor that allows artists to create effects that will look identical across render engines.
an instancing tool most commonly used for creating hair or populating a scene with instanced geometry.
A digital sculpting tool created by artists, for artists that combines 3D/2.5D modeling, texturing and painting to allow users to create models and illustrations that match their imaginations in a timely manner. Almost all the assets in Astra Nova were modeled in Zbrush.