28th May 2008. London based studio Asylum Entertainment has become the first game developer to adopt Qube Software’s innovative new‘Q’ middleware for the Wii™ console from Nintendo.
Qube, an authorised third party tool developer for the Wii console, unveiled‘Q’, its fully customisable, cross-platform middleware, at GDC San Francisco earlier this year and announced its availability for the Wii console in April. Asylum was familiar with the early iterations of Qube’s 3D tech and wanted to be first with the new solution.
Asylum has forged a reputation as one of the UK’s leading makers of children’s games, many based around high profile brands with titles including Bob the Builder, Nancy Drew and Scooby Doo. Asylum will be using‘Q’ as its platform for two forthcoming titles in the same genre.
“We took a good look at technology engines for the Wii and Q is by far the best we have seen,” said Simon Bailey, Asylum’s Managing Director. “Qube has mastered the use of certain Wii technology features that other developers don't properly utilise. That allows Asylum to offer quality, speed to market and price advantages for our publishers.”
As a studio producing games for all the major platforms, Q’s wide compatibility was a major factor in the decision.
“Q’s flexibility has helped us unify our production process right across the studio,” said Bailey. “Now we can move IP and game mechanics across hardware platforms quickly and with a lot less fuss. This makes accurate milestone planning possible and frees up time for polishing and balancing our games.”
For David Mowbray, who as Asylum’s Development Manager was closely involved in the decision to adopt Q, the ease with which the software worked on the Wii was a major factor.
“Our evaluation of Q left us with the strong feeling that it’s an exceptionally well-crafted engine,” said Mowbray. “It allowed us to get up and running on the Wii very quickly because its open architecture and flexibility gives us complete freedom to configure the engine how we want. It’s like starting each project with a clean sheet of paper because Q’s only legacy is that it’s designed to build games– any games.”
Not only is the start-up rapid but Mowbray says that Q makes the most of the Wii console’s signature technology.
“For instance the 'Q' engine’s unified input subsystem completely manages the unique Wii Remote and we were able to port previous work by simply adding a single line of settings in the system configuration,” added Mowbray.
He and his team found Q liberating. It was simple to set up Q to take care of all of the essential underlying processes, freeing up developer time to shape the user experience.
“Q takes care of all the setup and the hardware considerations of the Wii completely autonomously so we can focus on the game rather than on managing those processes,” Mowbray said. “Full access to the TEVs through the QDraw library means we could push the hardware as much as we needed while letting Q do the heavy lifting for the routine stuff. While the unified architecture makes it easy for artists and programmers move their work to and from platforms like the PC with absolutely minimal hassle.”
Coming just weeks after Q’s launch, its creator, Qube CEO Servan Keondjian says Asylum’s endorsement reinforces his belief in his middleware solution.
“My message has always been that Q’s multi-platform compatibility, flexibility and the fact that it’s completely customisable means that Q represents the future of middleware,” said Keondjian. “Because of this we believe that Q is the only available solution that truly can standardise development across a whole studio.”
“So I am very excited about what Asylum are doing. We say‘Q sets you free.’ Asylum have discovered just that and they are reaping the rewards already,” Keondjian said.
“The bottom line is if you’re looking for a middleware solution then you should evaluate Q. Make up your own mind.”
To contact Asylum Entertainment ring +44 (0) 20 7354 7303 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
For media enquiries contact Qube’s Director of Communications, Jonathan Kent, on +44 (0) 7981 803 144 (m) or email email@example.com or call Alison Beasley, Lincoln Beasley PR; +44 (0) 1608 645756, +44 (0) 7966 449130 (m)
Qube Software produces 'Q', the only truly cross-genre, cross-platform 3D game solution on the market today. Q is a complete game solution in a completely customisable and extensible framework. Q has been designed to revolutionise game development by offering a standard for developers to use across all projects. Qube Software is a privately held company that was founded in 1998 by Servan Keondjian and Doug Rabson, the creators of Direct3D, and is headquartered in London, UK.
Asylum Entertainment Ltd is an experienced and award winning video game developer based primarily in the major brand name children's market. Asylum has completed over 20 titles on multiple platforms for some of the biggest and best publishers and licence holders in the world including EA, Riverdeep, Vivendi, BBCW and Cartoon Network. Asylum uses a number of leading edge technologies and develops for all gaming platforms, currently focused on developing for Online PC, Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3. Asylum is passionate about its work, understands children's brand values and always aims to surpass client expectations.
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