The world of game engines is dominated by the two giants mentioned above, Unity and Unreal. Both have huge bank accounts, huge communities and hundreds of ship titles behind them. They are by no means alone, there are a number of other commercial 3D engines such as Havok’s Vision Engine, Gamebryo, CryEngine, Hero Engine, Autodesk’s Stingray and more, to say nothing of the many and varied low/no cost and open source options out there. You’d have to be absolutely nuts to enter the commercial 3D AAA game engine space at this point wouldn’t you? The folks over at MaxPlay obviously don’t think so.
Spun off from Technicolor, MaxPlay is a well funded start up formed from several industry veterans. Their focus seems to be on cloud based collaboration of disparate teams.
Details are fairly vague at this point, but a lot can be gleaned by this Venture Beat article.
From that article:
MaxPlay was founded to define and engineer a new software platform to build and operate high-quality games in today’s increasingly complex, global, multi-platform environment.
“Bottomline, we need to help game developers find fun faster, and then be able to continuously optimize that fun for their users,” said Bain.
Starting two years ago, MaxPlay went about building a extensible service-oriented architecture that is built on an asset-driven database structure that fully leverages the cloud. That means that people from all parts of a game company — from artists to programmers — can work together simultaneously in the same project. The MaxPlay engine also takes advantage of whatever computing resources are available, whether it’s a single core, or computing brain, or many different ones. You can preview changes in third-party tools, such as the Maya content creation tool, in the runtime, so you can see instantaneously how changes to art might turn out.
The tools use modern analytics that instrument the prototype so that developers can know exactly what is going on at any given time. In the landscape for a “tower defense” game that I viewed, it was easy to see from the analytics that the tanks were moving too fast and that they had to be slowed down so that the defenders had a chance to stop them. The developers fixed the problem on the fly, slowing the tanks using a multithreaded script editor. The developer made the change in Austin, Texas, where MaxPlay has an office, and they showed up live at the demo in San Francisco.
Details, including pricing, are extremely vague at this point. There is a blog but it is virtually empty. You can sign up on the homepage to receive more information as it becomes available. I am always interested on new game engines, especially from a tutorial perspective, so I will keep an eye on how this one develops.