ABOUT OUR ENGINE:
Characters in 3D games haven't changed much since Quake came on the scene. Almost everything you
see is basically a skeleton wrapped with flesh. This is great for showing people, horses, and even crabs etc.
However, there is a lot more than just this on Earth (let alone beyond Earth).
The time is ripe for new forms of life in 3D games. To get a taste of our experiments with new forms of 3D life, try out the
G4 Demo for a glimpse of the future.
We are continuing the tradition of our first game, Nightfall by creating detailed and intricate environments.
There is so much detail that you can read messages and clues from anything in the world. Suddenly everything is important. Our worlds are more than neat screenshots - they are living detailed environments, where everything could mean something crucial.
Another big challenge is the user playing experience. We are working on interfaces which make it easy to play in a 3D world, and do things that no other 3D game can. There is amazing flexibility within 3D games - you can run, jump, swim, crawl (and die!).
To do all of these things, you have to learn dozens of key combinations, and endless tries at getting something right and getting killed before you get through.
What would be better is if 3D games were easy to use - you get on and play the game rather than learn the key combos. The other aspect is that it should do what you expect it to (in real life, pressing the space bar doesn't pick up the object!).
We are working on new ways of controlling the game.
The breakthrough is the virtual hand. You can point where you want to turn and go. It's just as easy as 2D image games - point, click, go. But now, you can walk, run, swim, jump, and fly!
This is all that current 3D games have with an easy to learn interface. We have gone beyond this, so that your hand can reach out and touch the world.
Click on any switch if it's in reach. And you can hold the world. Grab a vase to put on a plinth, hold onto a rock to climb the cliff, or build a barrackade to keep the fire at bay. And all this works with moving, living entities and objects. Pick up a rat and carry it with you - keep pets! Hold onto a flying object to be carried across a deep canyon. There are an infinite number of things you can do to make what you want of the world.
Our system allows you to do incredibly complex things really simply - running, jumping, turning is really easy - people we've tested it on learn it in about 30 seconds with no hints or manual (and no preferences dialog or online help)!
Within a couple of minutes they are moving and THROWING objects around. In a few minutes you can learn and do things with our game which cannot be done after years of using some of the other 3D games available.
The final big leap forward is the sheer amount of data in the world. The new engine can potentially store hundreds of CDs worth of data, and squeeze it down so the latest computers can play it.
These forest scenes have trees with hundreds of branches, but you can
move arouind the world easily, without a killer RAM budget. There can
potentially be trillions of objects!
All this combines to make an unprecidented level of realism. The world is detailed, can have meaningful information anywhere, and is alive. In short, we are moving closer to creating a 'real' world inside a computer.
With this level of complexity, almost anything can happen!