Sure, virtual reality and browser-based games are impressive, but Unreal Engine 4's latest use is a bit more noble: improving the lives of Alzheimer's and dementia patients. The Forest Project uses the game engine, smart TVs and Microsoft's Kinect 2 tech in an attempt to create a temporary reprieve for those suffering from the cognitive diseases via an interactive, virtual woodland. There's also a virtual dementia simulation that aims to help caregivers understand first-hand how their patients see the world, possibly improving care as a result. Should the dev team reach its crowdfunding goal, the arboreal environment could be just the beginning, with beach or Christmas-themed environments hinted as possible expansions.
Opaque Multimedia and Alzheimer's Australia Vic need a fraction of what many modern game budgets command to bring The Forest Project to multiple platforms in early 2015 -- $82,000 (AU$90,000). Other details are scarce, but seeing that the team is in San Francisco for this week's Game Developer's Conference, we may hear more as the show progresses.