Develop Awards 2014 - The Finalists: Technical Innovation

Develop Awards 2014 - The Finalists: Technical Innovation

By Lee Bradley

July 1st 2014 at 10:00AM

The most inventive new platforms, hardware and more that are driving games development forward

KINECT SPORTS RIVALS CHAMPIONS SCANNING

The showpiece new feature from Rare Games’ Xbox One title Kinect Sports Rivals, Champion Scanning Technology employs a level of machine vision that far surpasses anything that’s been seen in a consumer product.

Using state of the art shape capture and movement tracking, combined with a multitude of other machine vision classifiers, Rare 'digitises' players in less than 30 seconds before creating a character in the player’s likeness. The resulting avatar not only resembles the player, but fits within Kinect Sports Rivals’ distinct, stylised cartoon world. It’s the most technically impressive character creation tool ever made.

Champion scanning represents groundbreaking work from Rare. It’s hugely impressive technology that can be further used not just for the studio’s own games, but for all developers working on Xbox One 

GAMESPARKS CLOUD SERVICES 

GameSparks is a cloud-based platform that assists developers in the creation of server-side features, then simplifies the process of offering post-launch games-as-a-service management.

The GameSparks platform provides developers with a single integrated tool to build these server components without having to set up and run a server. From social integration to multiplayer, cloud coding, monetisation and third-party integration, the platform covers all aspects of games-as-a-service development.

Fully compatible with other game tools such as Unity, Marmalade and more, GameSparks helps developers face the challenges of games-as-a-service development, assisting them to succeed in an industry that will one day be entirely cloud-based.

DI4D HEAD-MOUNTED CAMERA SYSTEM

Founded in 2003 and based in Glasgow, Scotland, Dimensional Imaging supplies high definition 3D facial image capture and 4D facial performance capture systems, solutions and services.

Dimensional Imaging’s latest technology is the DI4D Head Mounted Camera System. Developed to meet the entertainment industry’s increasing demands for more true-to-life facial animation and engaging and emotive performances, it represents a major technical innovation.

Providing the higher fidelity of facial data DI is known for, the DI4D Head Mounted Camera System requires no markers, makeup or specialised illumination, yet provides freedom of movement and the convenience of untethered capture using dense optical-flow based mesh tracking.

The DI4D Head Mounted Camera System strengthens Dimensional Imaging’s position as a leading force in the performance capture industry.

NVIDIA SHIELD 

The Nvidia Shield is one of the most powerful, versatile handheld gaming devices on the market, capable of flawlessly streaming high-end PC games,  delivering a huge range of Android titles and a raft of entertainment experiences.

Boasting a built-in, five-inch, 1280x720 resolution screen, graphics driven by the powerful NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, a superb ergonomic controller and stereo sound, the Nvidia Shield supports the vast Android game library as well as the top emulators on Google Play.

Harnessing the power of the most advanced GeForce GTX graphics cards or GRID cloud Beta, as well as exclusive game-speed streaming technologies, the Nvidia Shield also delivers a low-latency PC gaming experiences at up to 1080p and 60 frames per second. It’s a truly unique and powerful handheld gaming device.

OCULUS RIFT DK2

Gamers have dreamed of consumer virtual reality technology for decades, but past attempts have fallen short. The Oculus Rift threatens to change gaming forever.

VR headsets of old were simply too expensive, too clunky, and were not designed with gamers and game developers in mind. Thanks to Oculus VR, its Oculus Rift development kit, and some of the brightest minds in the gaming industry, including John Carmack, Michael Abrash, Atman Binstock, Michael Antonov, and Palmer Luckey, the dream of virtual reality for gaming is alive and thriving.

With precise, low-latency positional tracking, a low persistence OLED display, a built-in latency tester and integrations for Unreal Development Kit, Unreal Engine 4, and Unity 4, the Oculus Rift lets developers create completely new gaming experiences that will finally put gamers in the game.

PLAYCANVAS 

PlayCanvas is the world’s first cloud hosted game development platform; an online, social hub where game developers can access a next-generation toolset to collaboratively build games in realtime.

Co-founded by Will Eastcott and Dave Evans, veterans with almost 30 years of combined industry experience between, PayCanvas was created with the intention of changing how video games are built, shared and played.

PlayCanvas allows game developers to produce high quality 3D games powered by HTML5 that run plugin free in web browsers and mobile platforms. Acting as a hub for game developers, PlayCanvas supports realtime, Google Docs-style collaboration.

Helping to each the workflow and collaboration issues of current generation game engines using innovative solutions and the very latest web technologies, PlayCanvas is an innovative new platform for developers.

POWER VR RAY TRACING GPUS

Combining Imagination Technologies’ two IPs together in one hybrid product, the PowerVR Wizard GPUs are capable of delivering ray tracing on dedicated hardware. They represent a leap forward in graphics rendering.

Ray tracing is a high-quality form of rendering that physically simulates the movement of light rays. Used in movies and static scene creation, ray tracing was long seen as being too intensive to work in real-time graphics and gaming. However, thanks to its new range of GPUs, Imagination Technologies is bringing the tech to mobiles.

Also used to power the in-editor real-time lightmap previews the recently announced Unity 5, Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR Ray Tracing tech is a fantastically exciting technical innovation that promises to transform mobile gaming.

PROJECT MORPHEUS

Announced at GDC 2014 in March, Sony’s virtual reality prototype Project Morpheus represents a technically impressive, attractive and easy to use VR set-up for consumers, and a bold move into the VR space from one of the industry’s leading innovators.

Featuring a head mounted display with 1080p resolution, a 90 degree field of view, as well as accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, Project Morpheus utilises the PlayStation Camera to accurately track head orientation and movement to ensure that the virtual world moves intuitively along with the user’s head, in real-time.

Boasting new 3D audio technology that re-creates stereoscopic sounds in all directions and changes in real-time depending on your head orientation, Project Morpheus works with existing PS4 peripherals to deliver an easy-to-use, plug-and-play VR experience.


About The Develop Awards 

The 2014 Develop Awards will take place on Wednesday, July 9th at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, and recognises the best innovators and development talent in the UK and Europe.

If you want to attend, you can book single seats and standard or gold tables by contacting Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or calling 01992 535646.

There are multiple new awards this year, with a total of 24 prizes up for grabs, while PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny is 2014's Development Legend.

There is a host of big names backing this year's Develop Awards, including Crytek and Deep Silver as Platinum Partners, a slew of Gold Partners in UKIE, Amiqus, Keywords International, Codemasters, Perforce, Cubic Motion and Unity, Event Partners Wales Interactive, InnoGames and Tandem Events and Table Gift Partner OPM.

For more information on the sponsorship and partnership opportunities still available, contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647.

You can find out more about the Develop Awards at the official Develop Awards website.