Over the years, I have been constantly fascinated by the ever increasing performances of real time 3D engines. And if 3D modelling has always been a hobby, I have always been turned off by too onerous rendering times. I don’t have the money to invest in a render farm, plus, more than anything, I don’t have the patience to wait for all these rays to be traced and these pixels to be colorised and set into motion. As a hardcore gamer, I have been increasingly enjoying the realism of levels I strode, within Half-Life 2, Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed.
For a long time, access to these technologies was again exceedingly costly, just in terms of licensing, and for some time I toyed with a few open source sandboxes, such as Genesis3d, Irrlicht, Ogre, and other Torque. But the breakthrough of a new generation of commercial engines by the mid-2000 disrupted the market, on the wake of smartphones and tablets. In 2008, I started to play with Unity3d, then in its version 2, and it open a whole new world of possibilities for the hobbyist I was. The Island demo made an impression, and I knew I finally found the right ground to unleash my fantasies.
As a sudden, we had dynamic skies, volumetric lighting, realistic water, scripted animations, and a script based coding environment, giving a warm welcome to former Actionscript developers. That was amazing, but that was just the beginning: See what the island has become 3 software generations later. That’s the level of quality you get in a AAA game such as Assassin’s creed: Black Flag
Unity has definitely disrupted the market, and now, other major publishers are reaching out to the broader general public, making their technology available for free for non commercial purposes. This is the case for Epic who recently open up in real time engine Unreal 4, making it another platform of choice for any ambitious level designer. And this is where I am headed now, even if my choice is note completely settled between these 2 eminent competitors.
Here are their latest show reel, for side by side comparison.
Quad Damage’s gallery
Pray for Paris
Source page: http://quad-damage.com/praying-for-paris/
Source page: http://quad-damage.com/sub-zero-heat/
A walk on Burrewarra Head
Source page: http://quad-damage.com/the-construct/
Source page: http://quad-damage.com/shrouded/