New Dune Awakening Trailer Shows How Gorgeous Surviving in Arrakis Will Be with UE5’s Lumen and Nanite

As promised last week, Funcom has released a new stunning trailer for Dune Awakening while also talking about the making of the survival MMO in a separate feature as part of their Direct-like showcase. Chief Creative Officer Joel Bylos discussed the game’s basics and the back-and-forth with Legendary, who allowed them to go on the set of the first movie and even borrow assets:

Dune Awakening is a survival game at the base level and it begins like a traditional survival game. You’re looking for water, you’re looking for shelter. Where will you find water in the desert? Will you take it from others? When we talk about survival, we start with the basic kind of survival survive and then when you survive long enough, it’s now time to think about political survival and how you progress within the universe.

We’ve been working with Legendary since the very beginning. They’ve been very generous with sharing with us assets from the film and allowing us to see things from the film and allowing us to really understand the vision that Denis Villeneuve has for the world and his characters and the way he’s grounding Arrakis. But of course, a game is a much larger scale so we need to expand upon that vision. We have our own army of concept artists who are sending things back and forth with Legendary all the time.

Bylos also confirmed that Dune Awakening is being developed with Unreal Engine 5.2. He praised both Lumen and Nanite as pivotal to crafting the right atmosphere.

Using Unreal 5 to create a game is obviously one of the better choices. It gives us flexibility through the Blueprinting system and allows us to handle amazing graphics through the rendering system. Lumen technology allows proper light bouncing. If I had to say one thing in the game that really benefits from Lumen, it’s player-crafted spaces. In our case, you build a room and you place a window and the window lets in natural light and the light will fill the room in a way that feels real. That technology hasn’t existed before Unreal 5. In the old days, you had to use what we called the LOD (Level of Detail) system. That meant you had to create assets at different LOD levels so it doesn’t slow down everybody’s computer. With Unreal 5, we have this new technology called Nanite that breaks things down into the right amount of polygons at the right distance.

For us, as a company, this has made an amazing difference to the visual detail of the world. It allows us to create one really amazing-looking cliff place for example. It doesn’t matter how far away or how close we place it; it performs well and it looks great.

Dune Awakening still doesn’t have a release date, but beta sign-ups are available on the website. The game will be launched on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S|X.

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