Tools Spotlight: Codeplay

Tools Spotlight: Codeplay
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

May 3rd 2012 at 10:00AM

We take a peek under the hood of the tech outfit's PS3 toolset Offload

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Former Eutechnyx lead programmer Andrew Richards founded Codeplay in 1999, with the aim to create specialised developer tools to exploit advances in processor technologies.

One of the tech firm’s leading pieces of middleware is its PS3 toolset Offload, which provides developers with a compiler, runtime and set of libraries allowing them to enhance game performance.

It does this by allowing fast deployment of C++ codebases to the SPU processors, which Codeplay’s technical director Colin Riley says offers an iterative method of refining and exploiting performance via an “efficient utilisation of compute resources”.

The tool has been used in the development of titles such as Eutechnyx’s racing simulator NASCAR: The Game 2011, as well as many other studios under license, although these have not been made public.

“Offload is the only toolkit available that gives programmers the amount of flexibility required to quickly iterate their development process of developing for PS3 SPUs,” says Riley.

“In a competitor sense we have none, which is why developers and hardware manufacturers keep coming back to us.”

Riley says that Offload also has a number of licensing options for smaller companies and indies, whilst also offering a free SDK for developers wishing to test the software before a full purchase.

“As with other service and middleware suppliers in the industry, our toolset has a wide variety of licensing options,” he explains.

“We have a competitive Indie pricing scheme, but there is also nothing stopping a small studio using our free Community edition.”

“Codeplay is always looking to the future and have been developing technology over the past year that is designed for new hardware yet to reach market,” he states.

“If we see an opportunity for our technology to help developers on next-gen systems we will certainly look at deploying it to those platforms.”

The company is also collaborating with firms such as AIGameDev.com and lighting tech specialists Geomerics on creating low-power GPU tech.