I am confused by and excited about Epic Games 'CORE' trailer

Originally published at: I am confused by and excited about Epic Games 'CORE' trailer | Boing Boing

1 Like

Is this a Roblox for the older generation?


obviously parallel universes comprehend Nazi Panther tanks.

Nice one Epic - let’s forgo actual creativity in favour of Nazi Tropes that our youth can easily digest on a daily basis.

It is a “travel to strange new worlds, meet new civilizations, and run like hell from them” game.

Predictably, the trailer ends with a Stargate reference. I can’t even call it a joke.


I was reading something about Epic investing in a “multiverse” of online games that players could travel between, so I guess this is it? A set of game creation tools that allow for making online games with no-programming and a flexible pre-existing set of assets to populate them. I’m still not exactly sure how this will work, and it seems a bit limited, even if the creation tools are really, really good.

Or the Playstation “Dreams,” but online.

I remember taking a look at this a few weeks back. I didn’t get very far before I ran into microtransaction hell. All kinds of assets locked behind purchasing them if you wanted to use them for your avatar or in your own game creation. Even selecting a default avatar and f2p, the selection of games is more like an arcade, with you having to spend currency to play a session.

I didn’t stick around long enough to see what tools they had for creation, how easy they were to use, what you could do with a free account, and what profit model there is (if any) for creators. I have a feeling they only ‘earn’ more of the microcurrency which can only be spent on more assets or playing other peoples’ games.

Also the name being so incredibly generic makes internet searching for information about this product/service much more difficult that it needs to be. Narbacular Drop this ain’t.

This reminds me of “The Game” on Proton in Piers Anthony’s Apprentice Adept series.



Just give us back Unreal Tournament you cowards!

I tried reading the press release but sadly my mind turned to jelly after a few sentences and I just watched the cool trailer again.

“Core, the free Unreal-powered game playing and creation platform, launches today exclusively on the Epic Games Store. Core has been in public alpha for over a year and in that time a global community of developers has created and published over 20,0000 games in every genre imaginable: action, shooters, MMOs, survival, simulation, puzzle, arcade, and crazy mash-ups.”

These sentences are shortly followed by a whole bunch of screenshots and descriptions of games users have created.

Jason, are you okay? Are you getting enough vitamin D? Have you run down your self-care checklist? Because something’s missing if you can’t extract “yeah this is basically Roblox with an older target audience” from that.


That was my immediate guess (where by “older” I’m guessing “12-18”, given the obvious targeting of the Fortnite audience).

The interesting thing about this pitch is, parallel worlds are a great device, but the whole point is that they let you play with story and character – which is irrelevant if every story is “people shoot people” and every character is “posturing gun-holder”.

Perhaps I’m being unfair, and I am sort of curious how the creation aspect works, but the price of f2p games is just too high for me.

So it’s Epic’s take on Dreams on Playstation? As for f2p, no thanks.

My brain just jammed on that book cover.

I bought my copy of Split Infinity in the latter part of the '80s just before the Sci-Fi section in my favorite book seller (and all the other book shops) disappeared, to be replaced by Fantasy novels and then slightly later by Sci-Fi TV spin-offs.

My copy of Split Infinity looks like this…

Split Infinity

I never took to Fantasy and I would never have bought a book with a unicorn and a guy with a sword on the cover. But now that I think about it, Split Infinity is more Fantasy than Sci-Fi.

1 Like

Looks like Epic wants to get in on some of that sweet Roblox cash.

Also, I don’t quite see how Bungie “messed up” Destiny: ~50 000 average daily peak players for the past month definitely says otherwise.

Yay, 80s robot porn. I guess I’d prefer the unicorn cover :smiley:

Lots of 80s SciFi has godawful covers, often drawn by someone who only glanced sideways at a summary of the press release of the book. Both these are excellent examples of this, IMO.


I wonder where they put Halliday’s easter egg?

1 Like

(Full disclosure: I’m an engineer at Manticore Games, the creators of Core. Anything I say here is from me, doesn’t represent Manticore, and all that stuff.)

Hey @jlw, thanks for posting about this!

I can’t talk about future plans or stuff like that, but I can answer questions about what Core is and how how it works. Just want to clear some things up:

  • Core is made by Manticore Games and just released on the Epic Store. It’s built on the Unreal Engine, but we aren’t actually a part of Epic. It’s also available directly at CoreGames.com.
  • Core (woo, semantic satiation is kicking in) is a game creation/sharing platform designed around opt-in complexity, kitbashing, community sharing, and simplifying multiplayer. Everything is scripted in Lua, so while the built-in frameworks are geared towards competitive multiplayer shooters as an easy default, the engine is totally flexible for all sorts of games. There’s plenty of stuff like physics-based platformers, board games, art projects, etc.
  • About the monetization: Core is totally free to use/play. We sell optional cosmetics (character skins, mounts, emotes) and allow game-creators to add their own monetization to their games if they want, but none of that is required in any way. All game-creation assets are completely free, and as far as I know, the vast majority of games currently available are completely free as well.

Please ask about anything and I’ll answer if I can. I genuinely think Core is a cool system and can open up game dev to many people intimidated by the complexity of full game engines.

1 Like

Is the game based around reusing assets in creative ways or does it allow for asset creation within Core?

1 Like

Something in-between, I’d say. Core doesn’t allow importing assets (I think MIDI files are the one exception to that), so everything is built out of a big library of premade assets (textures/materials are not baked in and can be swapped out, adding a lot of flexibility):

For example, everything but the character models in the trailer Jason posted is constructed out of that library, hence the “kitbashing” focus. Plus, the art team is always adding more stuff to that.

The upshot of this is that all of the models are included in the engine itself, so game files are just listings of positions, rotations, scales, etc, and are very small as a result. This lets games load really fast without big downloads. The files are compressed when published, but while editing, you can actually open them up in a text editor to see everything (which also helps with collab since source control stuff like git works very well with text files)

That’s cool, i’m not sure if Core is my kind of game but i do think there’s a market for it. I like seeing what people do with these kinds of platforms (Dreams, Little Big Planet, Fortnite Creative, etc). Best of luck!