New texturing tool offers more with less

New texturing tool offers more with less

By Rob Crossley

May 8th 2009 at 1:04PM

Substance Air designed to fight size restrictions on digital titles, promises â??detailed graphics that fit in a few kilobytesâ??

The necessity to squeeze downloadable games into small packages has resulted in the launch of Substance Air, a new texturing tool built by French middleware group Allegorithmic.

The group claims that developers can do more with less using the new middleware, providing “detailed graphics that fit in a few kilobytes”, along with a hybrid-approach to creating textures that allows developers to mix procedural maps together with SVGs and bitmaps.

Allegorithmic founder Sebastien Deguy says that the high-quality textures which the tool can generate is easily modifiable, “allowing for some of the most advanced user-generated content appearing in games today.”

The company believes the tool is ideal for developers with their sights set on launching titles across digital services such as XBLA, where the maximum size of individual games are often capped. The company also suggests the tool is suited for developers working on free-to-play titles where, in the impatient online world, download sizes can often be an important factor.

Trends would suggest that digital games on consoles will not need to be small forever; Microsoft has been steadily increasing its XBLA size caps ever since the service launched, with the recently-released Watchmen weighing in at over 1GB.

Allegorithmic’s previous products, Substance and ProFX, has seen the group partner with groups such as Epic Games, NCsoft, The9, Acony Games, Ready at Dawn, Emergent Games Technologies and Microsoft.

Evaluation kits can be found here.