A New Wonder

The Wonders of the World never cease to amaze us. The sheer grandeur and epic achievement of these human-made creations inspire us to build new legacies for future generations.

So when PRELOADED learnt about Epic’s plans for bringing the Unreal Engine to Fortnite, we immediately saw the potential for transporting players back to this important moment in ancient history – empowering them to play, build and learn in a (virtually) brand-new world.

Wonders: The Great Pyramids is a first-of-its-kind island on Fortnite, providing players with the opportunity to explore and discover the wonder of Ancient Egypt in their favourite game. It’s one of PRELOADED’s most ambitious projects to date, pushing the possibilities of Fortnite and bringing purposeful play to its global community.

With the unique affordances of Unreal Editor for Fortnite Creative (UEFN), creators like PRELOADED have the power to build totally new and visually stunning virtual worlds.

BUILDING A NEW, ANCIENT WORLD

With the unique affordances of Unreal Editor for Fortnite Creative (UEFN), creators like PRELOADED have the power to build totally new and visually stunning virtual worlds. For Wonders, we wanted to build something that didn’t look or feel like anything done before so we set ourselves the once-in-a-lifetime task of rebuilding the Giza Plateau, block by block.

Wonders takes players back to Giza during the 4th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt – the “golden age” of the Pyramids. Through extensive research of the most accurate reference material available, the Pyramids, statues and the Great Sphinx were faithfully recreated by the PRELOADED team. Powered by the unique features of UEFN, we were able to build a dramatic and detailed world for players to appreciate the monuments’ epic scale as well as the intimate detail of hieroglyphics.

The open world design creates a perfect backdrop for environmental storytelling. Playing to the strengths of Fortnite’s exploration and traversal mechanics, audiences are able to explore this historical destination with full agency and authenticity – experiencing the awe of a real world wonder in a virtual world.

The open world design creates a perfect backdrop for environmental storytelling.

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AUTHENTIC LEARNING MOMENTS

Our goal was to bring purpose and educational value to Fortnite, creating a purposeful experience that demonstrates the platform’s power to be used beyond entertainment. With the virtual world as our canvas, we were able to weave in story and learning moments across the island, allowing players to dive into the architecture, beliefs and cultures of this amazing period.

Working closely with renowned Egyptologist Joann Fletcher, we used the absolute latest research and understanding of Ancient Egypt to ensure a perfect balance of playability and authenticity. For example, when we learnt that the Great Sphinx was not assembled piece by piece but was actually carved from a single mass of limestone, this presented a great opportunity to promote learning through first-hand action. In the game, players have to collectively carve out the remainder of the Sphinx themselves, allowing them to appreciate and change their perception of this remarkable ancient monument.

Laden with jumping puzzles, multi-point challenges, discoverable cinematic moments and multiplayer moments, the island is designed to ensure that all Fortnite players will be able to enjoy the experience – at home, in classrooms and across devices.

Working closely with Egyptologist Joann Fletcher, we used the absolute latest research and understanding of Ancient Egypt to ensure a perfect balance of playability and authenticity.

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PUSHING THE POSSIBLE 

When we started development for Wonders, we had access to UEFN-specific features yet to be available to creators. Working closely with Epic, and the Fortnite Creative Community, we wanted to push the engine even further, in new directions to showcase the play potential and demonstrate its value to mainstream audiences.

The challenge was building the experience using UEFN features still in development. Determined to make sure the experience was the best it could be for launch, the PRELOADED team took an approach that was informed by iterative building and a ‘fail fast’ mindset that constantly pushed the possible. Diving into a white-box level, we were able to start building the experience and get a feel from the player’s perspective.

UEFN is an incredibly powerful engine, allowing us to create a compelling experience that meets audiences where they are. As a result of this highly collaborative process with Epic, we were able to improve the visual fidelity time after time, creating an experience that is truly authentic of Ancient Egypt.

PRELOADED took an approach that was informed by iterative building and a ‘fail fast’ mindset that constantly pushed the possible.


The most wonderful thing about this game is the fact that it's looking at the monumental - Egypt's greatest monument, perhaps the greatest monument ever built by human hands.”

Prof. Joann Fletcher , Egyptologist