Develop Awards 2014 - The Finalists: Tools - Design & Creativity

Develop Awards 2014 - The Finalists: Tools - Design & Creativity

By Lee Bradley

July 1st 2014 at 11:40AM

In the first of our two tools awards, we look at the shortlisted tech that improves the look and feel of games

WWISE
AUDIOKINETIC

Audiokinectic’s advanced, feature-rich interactive sound engine for games, Wwise has had an outstanding 12 months.

Now covering every major game publisher in the console and desktop game space, Wwise has featured in a number of top-tier games in the last year, including Total War II: Rome, F1 2013, Payday 2: The Heist and Resogun. It was also used in 10 next-gen launch titles - four on PlayStation 4 and six on Xbox One. 

Audiokinetic also supports indies and smaller-scale studios, providing Wwise for free to certain type of titles across multiple platforms, while offering tiered pricing for everyone else, ensuring that all developers are catered for.

Also at the forefront of 3D audio in the interactive space, to VR development on Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, Wwise is a hugely successful, versatile engine.

MAYA LT
AUTODESK

Developed from the ground up with independent developers in mind, Maya LT is an affordable, intuitive toolset, facilitating the creation of professional-grade 3D mobile, PC and web-based game assets including characters, environments, props and more. 

The latest iteration of the toolset, Maya LT 2015, simplifies 3D animation further – making it even more accessible to indie studios. With cloud integration for Autodesk’s free 123D apps, artists can now capture real-world objects using mobile devices to generate 3D models that can be used as in-game assets.

Offering pay-as-you-go and options, as well as a product tutorial, Maya LT provides a powerful, yet simplified workflow for designing and animating remarkable 3D assets – at a price that fits within modest indie or studio budgets.

 

ENLIGHTEN
GEOMERICS

With integrations into many of the major proprietary engines, Geometric’s Enlighten leads the way in fully dynamic lighting across a vast range of platforms.

The last year has seen the release of a number of key titles featuring Enlighten, including two of the top five launch titles on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One - Battlefield 4 and Need for Speed: Rivals. Other recent titles include the Bureau: Xcom Declassified and Plants versus Zombies: Garden Warfare. Enlighten’s customers now include Electronic Arts, Take 2, Blizzard, Square Enix, Microsoft and many more.

GDC 2014 saw a further key announcement for Geomerics, when Unity revealed that Enlighten will provide the lighting technology for Unity 5, vastly increasing the techs number of users and reach. Following the company’s acquisition by ARM in late 2013, Enlighten is poised to become the industry standard for real-time lighting.

 

GRANITE
GRAPHINE SOFTWARE

Created by Belgian outfit Graphine Software, the Granite SDK is a middleware solution that offers a distinct approach to texture streaming that can dramatically reduce latency, memory use and disk footprint.

Granite SDK achieves this by offering a highly optimised system that quickly responds to requests for specific data, effectively negating the need for the likes of pre-loading and pre-fetching.

Compressing data at each step, the system contributes to an overall reduction in the memory required for high quality textures, while decreasing disc footprint and positively impacting latency.

Recently updated to a 2.0 release, the Granite SDK is now more accessible and increasingly scalable, allowing developers to either use large amounts of texture data or reduce the amount of computer data needed for a given project.

 

UMBRA 3 VISIBILITY SOLUTION
UMBRA SOFTWARE

Umbra Software’s Umbra 3 visibility solution, which helps games to attain a improved frame-rate and boosts content production times, has had a breakthrough year in 2013.

Used to increase the rendering performance of both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Killzone: Shadow Fall, Umbra 3 visibility solution is also being used by Bungie. Destiny takes full advantage of Umbra’s technology to boost its content production and improve audio occlusion and AI.

Employed in a number of other upcoming games, including the new Deus Ex from Eidos Montreal, CD Projekt’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Remedy Entertainment’s Quantum Break, as well as several unannounced titles, Umbra 3 Visibility Solution is a proven solution for market-leading AAA games.

And thanks to the Umbra visibility solution in Unity (Pro), Umbra’s tech is also available to small developers too.

YEBIS 2
SILICON STUDIO

Backed by over a decade of R&D, Silicon Studio’s Yebis 2 is a post-processing middleware solution facilitating the creation of high-quality lens-simulation optical effects, including multi-colour customisable glare, depth of field, motion blur, bokeh effects and more.

Yebis 2 employs a special method of processing algorithms in a way that is as physically accurate as possible. Used in the Square Enix tech demo Agni’s Philosophy and the trailer for Final Fantasy XV, Yebis 2 also powered Silicon Studio’s own Rigid Gems demo shown at the unveiling of Google’s Nexus 7.

Supporting PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Linux, Android and iOS, Yebis 2 is a competent instrument for large teams working on projects of gigantic scale, as well as small teams and projects.

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.