PathEngine Announces SDK Release 5.20, New Licensing

Lyon, France - June 1st 2009 - PathEngine announces release 5.20.00 of their pathfinding and agent movement SDK, with key features being: addition of a voxel 3D processing code path (switchable on an option with the existing BSP based code path), support for completely dynamic (i.e. fully run-time specified) off mesh graph connections, and an example implementation for formation movement with very minimal per-agent update cost. We're also very pleased to announce licensing to Masthead Studios, for the 'Earthrise' MMORPG.

-- Voxel 3D Processing --

PathEngine's 3D content processing is a fully automatic and robust framework for generating pathfinding ground mesh from arbitrary 3D source data, with clients now able to choose between two different and complementary implementations of the underlying scene processing.

    <*>The BSP (boundary space partitioning) code path performs an exact polygonal treatment of the input scene data in order to generate a ground mesh result that matches the actual scene data passed in as closely as possible. <*>The voxel code path is much faster for processing scenes with very high polygon count, with an very fast initial render to 3D grid representation essentially decoupling generation times the actual total number of polygons to be processing, but at the cost of some aliasing to this grid representation.

Both methods operate on exactly the same source scene data representation, and both methods generate exactly the same run-time mesh format.

Both methods are fully integrated with PathEngine's 'tile by tile' content processing setup, so with the possibility to split scene data across a horizontal set of 'source tiles' with completely independant per tile processing.

The PathEngine 3D content processing demo has been updated to show both processing methods against the same test scene.

Note that this demo is included in our 'testbed only' release, so it's possible to download this from our website, and try itout, without setting up an official SDK evaluation.

-- Completely Dynamic Off-Mesh Connections --

This feature is based on essentially the same principle as PathEngine's existing off-mesh connection functionality, but it is now possible to completely specify these kinds of extra graph connections at run-time, with end points at completely arbitrary positions on the ground mesh.

-- Formation Movement Example --

The 'CollapsibleGroup' example project demonstrates code to manage group movement orders for groups which can break out of formation to pass through narrow gaps in the scene geometry and then regroup where there is room to do so.

This is implemented with:

    <*>Very minimal actual pathfinding load (just one single long distance pathfinding request per group) <*>Pathfinding queries made for just one pathfinding agent shape <*>Very minimal update cost per individual agent <*>Individual control over things like agent speed and priority

The source code for this example project is also included in our 'testbed only'

release, with the possibility to rebuild from source code to try out different movement parameters and so forth.

-- Other Changes --

Other changes in this release include:

    <*>More intelligent context state management, with greatly reduced overhead for certain context state changes <*>Preprocess operations made non-blocking for multiple preprocess operations on the same mesh <*>BSP 3D processing optimisations <*>Very big reductions in ground mesh and preprocess save times

For full details about these and other changes, please refer to the SDK changelog, here:

http://www.pathengine.com/changelog.htm

-- About PathEngine --

PathEngine was founded in 2000 to provide an extremely focused and modular solution to some fundamental issues in intelligent agent movement, based on hard industry experience.

The SDK is built around an advanced implementation of points-of-visibility pathfinding over three-dimensional ground meshes. Our approach enables pathfinding and collision in tight integration against a single, sophisticated, agent movement model, with agent shape taken into account exactly, seamless support for overlapping geometry, and with fast and robust dynamic obstacles directly integrated into the core movement model.

PathEngine is integrated with a host of triple-A titles, including 'Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts&Bolts' (Rare, Microsoft Corporation), 'Stormrise' (The Creative Assembly), 'Pirates of the Burning Sea' (Flying Lab Games), 'Mobile Suit Gundam: Operation Troy' (Dimps Corporation), 'Titan Quest' (Ironlore Entertainment), 'Florensia' (NetTimeSoft Corporation), and many more.

For a more complete list of SDK clients and announced projects please see:

http://www.pathengine.com/clients.php

For further information, including documentation and demos, or to arrange an evaluation, please visit:

www.pathengine.com

telephone: +33 4 72.07.81.54

email: generalcontact@pathengine.com


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