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The scrawling warning there -- “There’re thousands of paths. The path of safety trumps them all” -- is a famous line from The Wandering Earth. (Picture: Junliang Zhang)

This cyberpunk Chinese city was made by one person

Chinese developer uses Epic’s Unreal Engine to create an epic, futuristic city with touches of Hong Kong

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

This isn’t a game. But people wish it was.

Chinese game developer Junliang Zhang made an impressive cyberpunk Chinese city using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.

The project, titled CyberNeon, feature many distinctly Chinese elements including the classic Hong Kong-style neon signs, logos of some of the country’s biggest brand names and even a movie line from China’s recent sci-fi hit The Wandering Earth.

A fan of the project wrote online, “If this becomes a game, I’ll totally buy it. I wish there can be more games that are like Sleeping Dogs with more Chinese elements.”
The release of this project coincided with Epic Games’ keynote presentation at the 2019 Game Developers Conference. During the conference, not only did Epic introduce more features and techniques such as photorealism and ray-tracing, it also said that it will give away US$100 million to those who use the Unreal Engine to make games, software and videos.
The Unreal Engine has been getting a lot of traction amongst Chinese game developers. For example, the much-anticipated space shooter Project Boundary, which is funded by Sony, uses Unreal Engine 4. So does the controversial sci-fi shooter Bright Memory.
But despite Epic’s growing popularity among developers, it’s not quite as popular among Chinese gamers right now. That’s because the new Epic Games Store blocks Chinese users from accessing it -- despite the fact that competitor Steam, which is also officially unavailable for China, doesn’t block users from the country.

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.