Ark: Survival Evolved has slowly been growing since it began its massively popular run on Steam's Early Access program. The game's latest update brings with it a host of new features, as well as the release of a simplified Unreal Engine 4 Editor designed for modders and a brand new game mode: Survival of the Fittest. In Survival of the Fittest, the players are pitted against each other in a mad dash to become the only human on the island. The game world starts out surrounded by a powerful force field that gradually shrinks as the match progresses. It's kill or be killed as the survivors fight for control in an ever-shrinking environment that might not favor them. Thirty official servers hosting the new game mode are also included in the list of additions with the update.
To celebrate the addition of official mod support, Studio Wildcard, Ark's developers, are teaming up with Alienware to host a modding contest with over $25,000 in prizes. From the contest page:
CALLING ALL MODS!
Diverse island maps, underground environments, survivor modes, new structures and items - We want to see them all and we've got over $25,000 in prizes for the best of the best!
Grand Prize (1st Place): $15,000 USD, Alienware Area-51 Desktop, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 TI Graphics Card 2nd Place: $5,000 USD, Alienware X51 Desktop, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card 3rd Place: $2,500 USD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card
The Contest objective is to use the "ARK Dev Kit" mod tools, available via the Unreal Engine 4 Launcher (http://epic.gm/0813) to create the “Mod” that best meets the judging criteria as described below. The more creative you can be the better. Here are the Mod categories.
New Maps – Diverse islands with plenty to explore and discover. Some interesting possibilities include new biomes such as Desert or an alien world, or even a focus on sci-fi, ruins, or underground environments. New content and mechanics are also possible within your map!
New Functionality or Game Mode – Rather than creating a new map, you could create a traditional "mod" that overrides existing game content or adds new mechanics. Some possibilities include competitive modes, rebalanced or modified survival mode, new structures and items -- and with Unreal Engine 4 Blueprint scripting, you can extend the original game's functionality in nearly unlimited ways!
TIP: Play your work! Play testing your own work and getting feedback from friends is the best way to improve your mod making skills. Mods go through much iteration before they are released to players.
What do you think? Have you played Ark: Survival Evolved yet? Are you interested in modding games? Would you like to see more content about mods here on TechRaptor?