Gnostic Labs’ development platform, named Optasia, combines all the technology required to create massively online games into a single package. Known as middleware, packages such as Optasia offer game developers a way to save time and money allowing them to focus on the game itself.
The technology demo will highlight the crisp rendering capabilities and fractal terrain system found in Optasia. Information about the game is not released as of yet, except that Gnostic Labs classifies it as a “team action strategy game”.
Eschaton: A Team Action Strategy Game
The first game to use the Optasia platform is Eschaton, scheduled for release in 2004. The game features epic space battles set in a persistent universe where players collaborate as pilots, commanders, and presidents in cohesive player communities with a built in chain of command.
Optasia: The complete package
Optasia will offer immersive, high-resolution graphics seen in cinema animation sequences to game developers in a comprehensive set of tools, plugins, and run-time libraries. Using the power of Optasia, game developers will create visually stunning, immersive virtual worlds, supporting hundreds of thousands of users, without worrying about building complex software architecture.
Optasia as a complete package will be available for licensing in 2004.
Using the fractal terrain system of Optasia, small seed equations grow into entire worlds, infinitely detailed and with a surprising amount of realism. This technology allows a low bandwidth solution because the client machine requires only the seed equation to create the entire world locally. In a networked game with hundreds of thousands of users and over a million users, such as Eschaton, this technology is a requirement. With refining levels of detail, Optasia expands the size of the world as the camera approaches. This allows for a realistic simulation of landing on a planet, a smooth shift from space to ground with no cut scenes, faked transitions or server jumps.
Supporting pixel shader hardware, DirectX 8.x and including a shader language for specifying multiple pixel shaders per model, the Optasia graphics engine is capable of rendering stunning game content. Currently in development for Eschaton, this robust engine includes an advanced resource management system for transparently moving models and textures from various compressed states on disk, memory and as well as the network. Combined with a level of detail system, Optasia optimizes available hardware depending upon the number of models on the screen, allocating resources to models as they become closer to the camera.