The future of 3D in internet – part 2

18 03 2009

My previous post was intended to be a draft that I would continue on this orning. Now it seems that I published it so it will stay like that but here comes what I really would like to say with that post (more than announce that Archon2160 will at least be put on a halt).

As usual, a lot of things are happening when it comes to webdevelopment and if 3D had it’s big entrance during 2008 it will definitely expand to a whole new level during 2009. There are several wise men with open-source-beards that predict the upcoming of alternative techniques such as Unity3D. Now, for you who hasn’t been following the progress of that exciting toolset, Unity3D is, just like flash, a package of tools for creating animated stuff on the net. Complete with a very functional drag and drop GUI, 3 different programming or scripting languages and a great set of support. Now here is where similarities of Flash ends, because Unity3D is in 3D. I mean for real. It is built up from scratch with a clear focus on game development in 3D and take use of all the new hardware functionality that comes with todays OpenGL standards which allows for a whole other experience compared to Flash and it’s 3D-engines out there.

But will it really bring the revolution to the net? What about the plugin for the browser? Will people really care to install that?

Those are a few question you are hearing both in the industry and among developers. I got no answers either but if you are referring to the slow start of Silverlight and other similar products there is a big difference here. First: Silverlight didn’t really offer that much of a difference. It takes a lot of time, energy and money to switch over to a new system and if you got tools to create the same thing already you wont find the need to switch that easy. Unity3D offers something we have never, ever seen before on the web. Throw in the fact that you can publish the same 3D apps and games directly to the Iphone , using all it’s features. and even the Wii.

Secondly: The tools will now soon come for the PC and open up the scene for the big audience of developers.

Many companies are very careful to switch to something new and they are probably right. One should be. The big entrance for 3D on the web is knocking on the door but the question is if Adobe will answer to that call or if we will be forced to look outside the box to find it. But it will come, I am sure about that. One interesting thing I have found about Unity3D is that the community comes from a different industry. It is not the flashdevelopers, working with commercials and putting up nice sites on FWA. They come from the gameindustry. It’s the boys and girls that plays with XNA, Irrlicht and Ogre + a lot of big shots with lots of game experience taking their steps into the web.

So what does this mean? Am I closing this blog down jumping to Unity3D?

No, of course not. Flash and PV3D is a part of my daily work here at x-com and even if I like what I see on the other side we are all careful to spend half a year learning a whole new set of techniques before we know that this is what the market really is ready for. I will continue just as normal, cheering for PV3D, being grateful to the team, hoping for PVX (even if it’s in a total other division and should not be compared with Unity) and give you tips and tricks both specific for Papervision and general.

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Why it suddenly stopped. The future of 3D on internet

17 03 2009

It has been a long time since I wrote last post but there are several reasons for that. The main reason is that during the development of Archon2160 I reached a point where I slowly realized that regardless of all the tweaks, optimizations and tricks, Papervision is yet not as powerful for me to able to create the game I have designed and visualized. I have already stripped it down extremely much to be able to fit it into the box that PV3D 2.0 provides but as I added HUD, some AI, basic environment and it’s collisiontests it just is clear that I am maybe a little, tiny bit too early for this project. I know that the wonderful team of PV is working hard to bring it to full Flash10 support which might be the answer.

Flash 10, do have some great speed enhancements which will come in handy and this blog will continue to bring you tips and tricks but maybe broaden the subject so it will be more general and flexible when it comes to tutorials for Papervision.