London-based startup Improbable has today announced a joint game development program dubbed The SpatialOS Games Innovation Program with Google Cloud Platform. In this program, tech giant Google will partner up with improbable to subsidise access for "qualified developers" to Improbable's SpatialOS program.
Under the program those game developers that are eligibile for the service will be provided with Improbable Credits. These credits can be used to pay SpatialOS usage fees and it's looking to cover developers throughout the process of developing, testing and then launching titles that use SpatialOS.
SpatialOS is Improbable's primary product, a distributed operation system powered by Google Cloud Platform that lets developers build virtual worlds offering permanent and persistent gaming experiences. Right now, the tech is being used by several games in active development: Bossa Studio's Worlds Adrift, Lazarus by Spilt Milk Studios and several other titles.
The big selling point of SpatialOS is that any developer can build a simulated world which can accommodate thousands of players simultaneously, which is incredibly difficult to do with conventional game servers, and as good as impossible for indie developers who don't necessarily have the staff, space or funds to maintain a lot of servers.
“We set out to build SpatialOS because we saw what developers wanted to do, but were held back from achieving,” said Herman Narula, CEO and co-founder of Improbable.“Since we founded Improbable, we have talked to many developers who have amazing ideas for new kinds of games they can’t currently realise. Like them, we want to create and inhabit realistic worlds where players’ actions have real consequences – but technical limitations have stifled innovation in gaming.”
“Imagine a virtual city populated by players, who can make lasting changes to its social structure or its economy through their actions,” said Narula. “Or a battle between thousands of players, played out in real time over days or weeks. These are possibilities that demand a totally different approach.”
“We’re particularly excited that both the partnership program and our open alpha will make it easier for small core teams, regardless of studio size, to create new game ideas involving worlds built on this scale. So much innovation in games comes from small core teams, so one of our priorities is enabling teams to build a product they could immediately deploy, scale and grow, with players involved from the early stages. These teams can use SpatialOS, backed by the power and stability of GCP, to iterate an ideas rapidly and test them early.”