The top 10 game engines as selected by Develop continues today with Infernal Engine. We will be revealing a new entrant to the list every day until June 26th, so keep checking back to see which other tech providers you should be looking at for your next project…
Developer: Terminal Reality
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, PSP
Browser support: No
Cost: Available on request
Published titles: Ghostbusters (Terminal Reality), Mushroom Men: Spore Wars (Red Fly)
Titles in development: The Strike and The Hunt (Piranha Games), Cook or be Cooked (Red Fly), plus unannounced titles from Wideload and more
Middleware integrations: Scaleform GFx, FMOD, Wwise, Bink, Fonix, Quazal
If there was ever a good time for Terminal Reality to launch its own games engine, the run-up to the release of the hotly-anticipated Ghostbusters game would definitely be it.
Good-looking screenshots aside, the Infernal Engine is built from the developer’s 15 year history in the industry, during which time it’s shipped more than 30 titles. As such, much of the focus is on streamlining production. Take, for example, the integrated editor: not a major distinguishing feature on it’s own, but it enables collaborative level design, farms out lightmapping and other intensive processes to servers, has an integrated performance monitoring and memory tracking system, and even optimises the packaging of game assets to minimise disk seeks on physical media (a whole separate middleware area in its own right).
The areas the engine touches are far wider than just productivity, though: it has its own physics system called VELOCITY that can simulate thousands of objects at once, as well as dynamic destruction and cloth simulation. The developer has also recently added the dynamic collision avoidance AI used in Ghostbusters to cope with massively dynamic environments, and is close to rolling out ‘dramatic improvements’ in its animation system.
Audio is also catered for, with a data-driven engine with support for streaming on all platforms, real-time remote connection to tweak sound cues during playback, integrated positioning, spatialisation and Doppler shift for 3D audio.
The engine’s C++-like scripting language Dante offers all of the benefits of a compiled language – quick execution, small memory footprint – but, curiously, features immediate feedback of script changes without recompilation.
Given its wide platform support and future-proofed multi-threaded architecture, the Infernal Engine could easily be a big player in the market.
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