Open 3D engine adds enhanced terrain creation and collaboration tools



For a long time, the world of 3D engines – especially for game developers – was all about Unity and Epic’s Unreal Engine. Then, when Amazon began its ill-fated attempt to get into gaming, it released the Lumberyard engine (which itself was based on Crytek’s CryEngine). And while you may not remember the disappointment of Crucible, the fact that those games didn’t happen had an interesting effect. Amazon, which hasn’t always been known as an open source champion, Lumberyard opened source and launched the Open 3D Foundation (under the Linux Foundation banner). Since then, Adobe, Microsoft, Intel, Huawei, Niantic, LightSpeed ​​Studios, and most recently Epic have signed up as Premier Foundation members. This week, the foundation, which is now just over a year old, is hosting its 3DCon conference and launching the latest version of the Open 3D Engine.

The latest version (22.10) focuses on quality of life improvements around performance, workflow, and usability. There’s a new onboarding experience for new users, for example, and new tools for collaborating with other team members on remote projects, which has only grown in importance from our days. Teams can now share and download projects by simply sharing a URL, for example, and new project templates make it easier for new team members to get started. Developers have also released new features to make it easier to set up and debug multiplayer apps, and for artists it’s now easier to bring their animations into the Open 3D Engine. And for all those developers creating open-world games and experiences, there’s now an improved terrain system that can scale up to 16×16 km of worlds.

Picture credits: O3D Foundation

“With this latest release, our community continues to focus on enabling developers, artists, and content creators around the world to create amazing 3D experiences, with a focus on performance, core stability, and usability improvements,” said Royal O’Brien, Managing Director. from digital media and games to Linux Foundation and Executive Director of O3DF. “It is gratifying to see the results of their hard work as the maturity of the Open 3D Engine accelerates to become the go-to choice for creators who want a modular approach to creating immersive experiences.”

Picture credits: O3D Foundation

It’s, of course, interesting that the likes of Epic are joining an effort like the Open 3D Engine, which at first glance might seem like a competitor — and free at that. When I spoke to O’Brien about it, he noted that it wasn’t all that different from other open source projects that brought competing vendors together. Not only are these engines getting more and more complex, but much of what they offer at this point is also table stakes. Efforts like the Open 3D Foundation allow them to focus on the features that really set them apart. It helps that Lumberyard and now the open 3D engine was, from the start, meant to be modular. But on top of that, the foundation also provides a neutral place to work on shared interoperability standards to help developers and artists use the tools they want, then integrate them with the engine of their choice, whether they are building games or new AR/VR Experiences.

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