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About Judy

As WP's managing editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.


Eight More Companies Sign On For SpeedTree, New Version Released

by Judy on June 21, 2006 @ 3:41 p.m. PDT

IDV announced today that it has added eight more developers to its growing list of SpeedTree customers. Midway, People Can Fly, Koei Canada, CD Projekt and several others have gone on record as users of SpeedTree for its wind effects, foliage editor, and dynamic LODs. SpeedTree 4.0 was also released, promising a host of new features. Read more for details ...

Frontier Developments to Include SpeedTree In Two Next-Generation Console Titles

Frontier Developments, the independent games developer headed by games industry pioneer David Braben, has licensed SpeedTree for two new next-generation games, The Outsider and one as yet unannounced title.

The Outsider is a gripping, high-tech thriller played out against the backdrop of a living, crowded city based on present-day Washington DC and its environs including the CIA HQ at Langley, Andrews Air Force Base and Newport News Naval Dockyard. As a CIA operative the player has a mouth-watering arsenal of technology, combat talents and weaponry available to him. A shocking opening scenario wrongly makes him Public Enemy Number One in the eyes of the media and the public at large, but leaves many different ways to proceed: to wreak ultra-violent revenge, to turn the tables and exploit the shady organizations he is mixed up with for his own ends or crusading to clear his name.

The player's experience is radically enriched as the traditional, prescriptive, mostly linear story of current generation games is abandoned, and replaced by simulating characters' motivations and aims. This gives the player genuine freedom to change the story outcomes in a way that has not been seen before - each player will get a truly unique, sophisticated, visceral experience rather than simply switching between 'good' or 'evil'. The techniques used are enabled by the greatly increased processing power available to the new consoles including the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Auran's Fury to Feature SpeedTree

SpeedTree has been licensed for Fury, a game by Auran that will blend elements from MMO (massively multiplayer online) and FPS (first person shooter) genres.

Auran expects Fury to break new ground among MMO titles, combining the best elements of traditional MMOs – combat, advancement, character development and teamwork – with the best elements of an FPS – instant action, fast pacing and diverse game types. The game's release is expected in 2007.

CD Projekt Licenses SpeedTree for The Witcher

CD Projekt has licensed SpeedTree for its first internally developed role-playing game, The Witcher.

The Witcher, due for release in Spring 2007, offers a complex storyline where good and evil are elusive and the outcome of the game depends on the player's decisions throughout. The player takes the role of a warrior who has been trained to fight since childhood and earns his living killing monsters.

Flying Lab Software Licenses SpeedTree for Pirates of the Burning Sea

Flying Lab Software, developer of the award-winning Rails Across America, has chosen SpeedTree for Pirates of the Burning Sea, a game based in the Caribbean during the golden age of sailing ships.

The massively multiplayer online role playing game will capture the spirit of the high seas during the early 18th century, when pirates and the great navies of France, England and Spain fought for treasure and for control of the New World.

KOEI to Feature SpeedTree in Fatal Inertia

KOEI Canada has licensed SpeedTree for Fatal Inertia, a next-generation racing game where players drive high speed hovering racecrafts through beautiful
environments while simultaneously engaging in frantic combat.

The game is being developed using Unreal Engine 3 and will be released on PlayStation 3.

SpeedTree Chosen for Midway's Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War

Interactive Data Visualization has announced that its tree and plant solution, SpeedTree, has been licensed for Midway's Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War, which shipped to retailers nationwide on June 12.

Rise & Fall: Civilizations at War is the first RTS in which its players may switch from commanding entire armies to diving into the fray as a single heroic warrior, controlling the likes of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and more, as they slash through the enemy ranks.

People Can Fly to Use SpeedTree

People Can Fly, the Polish creator of the widely-acclaimed Painkiller series, has chosen SpeedTree for an unannounced title in development.

Sibilant, Reveality Join Forces, License SpeedTree for P.H.A.S.E. of resurgence

Sibilant Interactive of Russia, and European game developer Reveality Soft have licensed SpeedTree for P.H.A.S.E. of resurgence, a story-based PC title they are jointly developing.

The game presents a story of struggle, treachery and love in an 18th-century like land where magic takes the place of technology. The game's heroes have returned to a world from which they were banished thousands or years ago, and their contact with a changed reality might become even more challenging than their battle with the enemy.

IDV Launches SpeedTree 4.0 With Greatly Improved Modeling, Efficiency & Usability

Drawing heavily from the input of the world’s leading game developers and publishers, Interactive Data Visualization today releases SpeedTree 4.0, loaded with
improvements throughout the suite of award-winning tree and plant software.

“We have dedicated tremendous resources to fulfilling the ideas and visions of our customers,” said IDV CEO Chris King. “In this release, we’ve focused on making the software more efficient, easier to use and even more graphically powerful.”

In alpha tests of v4.0 among licensees, Mr. King added, “our alpha testers felt we hit the nail on the head in terms of the performance and workflow improvements they’ve been asking for.” The enhancements also make it much easier to customize the trees and plants to the unique atmosphere of each developer’s game world, he said.

Major new features of SpeedTree 4.0 include:

  • Auto Compute. Users may scroll through tree structure and behavior parameters in real-time, seeing instantly what used to take an extra keystroke to reveal
  • Modeling. Greater control over root structure, options for branch and leaf structure (including leaf mesh geometry) and the proliferation of normal maps throughout the tree library mean an unprecedented new level of beauty and realism
  • Clusters & Instance Rotation. These improvements ensure efficiency while enabling amazing variety and density in virtual environments
  • Optimized Reference Rendering Code. Much more extensive and detailed reference for rendering millions of trees on a number of platforms

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