|Today we've got an interview with the CEO of NDL John Austin in regards to their Gamebryo engine.
GameGossip: What made you initially decide to get into the game engine business?
John Austin: We will celebrate our 20th anniversary in December. Turner Whitted (who invented ray tracing) founded the company along with Robert Whitton, and the company's first products were high-quality rendering libraries that are used in products such as AutoCAD. About eight years ago we were doing a lot of consulting work, and several of those customers were game companies that led us to migrate to real-time and games. Turner saw that the evolution of PC graphics hardware was going to provide a real opportunity, and our consulting experience and internal development grew into Gamebryo�s predecessor - NetImmerse, which was released in 1997. So we have been in the business of licensing 3D graphics technology for a long time � the specific application and products have evolved over the years.
GG: Since you don�t directly create games with your own engine, how do you gauge what features to add too each iteration of the engine?
JA: We aren't listening to just our own internal development teams, but to more than 50 different teams around the world, each of which are working on wildly different titles. Our features come from three sources:
GG: What are some of the features of Gamebryo that make it a great engine for developers?
- The evolution of 3D graphics hardware that allow great new effects and real-time capabilities
- Requests from our developers on how to improve and build on the current product
- Our own ideas about what developers will need in the next few years
JA: The key design consideration for both the engine and the tools is flexibility. We want our developers to be able to design their game their way. Our toolset enables the developer to easily add capabilities necessary to make their game truly unique. There is not a particular �look� to a game built on the Gamebryo engine. The next goal is to provide this flexibility with no compromises on performance. Developers need to be able to utilize all of the performance they can in the underlying hardware platform.
GG: What are some of the upcoming games that are utilizing the Gamebryo engine?
JA: There are now over 50 titles currently in development. Mythic Entertainment will soon be releasing a new expansion pack for Dark Age of Camelot called Trials of Atlantis. Some of the titles in the pipeline for 2004 release dates include Dragon Empires from Codemasters, Pirates! from Firaxis, Kohan II: Kings of War from TimeGate. There are some great titles that we can�t talk about in the pipeline from Vivendi Universal Games, Blue Fang, Cyberlore, among others.
GG: When a developer licenses your engine, what exactly do they get?
JA: It starts with an advanced cross-platform runtime engine. Developers get tightly integrated viewing and export plug-ins for 3ds max and Maya, tools for previewing content, and animation tools. We include source code for all of the libraries and tools, as well as documentation, samples and tutorials. Plus they get great support while they are working on their title.
As always, check out the companies official website for more information.