At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Europe 2015, Autodesk announced that its new Stingray game engine will be available to game developers worldwide beginning August 19, 2015. Later this summer, Autodesk will also offer Autodesk Maya LT Desktop Subscription customers access to Autodesk Stingray as part of their subscription.
Built on the powerful, data-driven architecture of the Bitsquid engine, which Autodesk acquired in 2014, Stingray is a comprehensive new platform for making 3D games. The engine supports a host of industry-standard game development workflows and includes powerful connectivity to Autodesk 3D animation software that simplifies game development across a wide range of platforms.
“Between Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and the proliferation of mobile platforms, the games industry is undergoing a major transition, which poses new complexities for both AAA and indie game developers. Autodesk developed Stingray with these challenges in mind, and we’re excited to share its debut with the game developer community,” said Autodesk senior vice president, Media & Entertainment, Chris Bradshaw.
“Stingray makes it easy and intuitive for artists with varying skill sets and programming expertise to create the next generation of 3D blockbuster games, entertainment and even architecture.”
Stingray allows developers to import, create, iterate, test and review 3D assets and gameplay faster with a one-click workflow and live link between Stingray and Autodesk 3D animation software.
A lightweight code base gives game developers the freedom to make significant changes to the engine and renderer without requiring source code access. With Stingray, developers can also produce visually stunning games with a powerful rendering pipeline, physically-based shading, advanced particle effects, post processed visual effects, lightmap baking and a high-performance reflection system.
Stingray includes creative toolsets like Beast, HumanIK, Navigation, Scaleform Studio (UI technology built on Scaleform), FBX, AudiokineticWwise and NVIDIA PhysX.
Stingray also includes a wide range of development tools making game creation more accessible for game makers with varying levels of experience – including visual node-based-scripting and Lua scripting. C++ source code will also be available as an additional purchase upon request.
Developers can also quickly make and apply changes to gameplay and visuals across supported platforms: Apple iOS, Google Android, MicrosoftWindows 7 and Windows 8, Oculus Rift DevKit 2, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft XboxOne.
With this level of game development simplification, there is no dispute in why there are so many games appearing on the world’s stage of gaming. With the rise of this culture, many gamers, immersed by the variety of games, stories, characters and graphics provided, turn gaming into a profession, resulting in the growing popularity of Esports.
“Stingray’s data-driven architecture and flexibility have helped us build a broad portfolio of games, and quick iteration times for both code and content creators have boosted our productivity significantly. The engine has been a key success factor for us because we’re able to produce high quality games in a shortened timeframe. We’re excited to see how Autodesk will continue to evolve the engine,” shared Martin Wahlund, CEO of Fatshark.
“We never know what kind of games we’re going to create, and the engine is good for that. It really allows us to just make anything. We can make an FPS or an RTS, or a top-down shooter, or a role-playing game, or whatever. It’s not tied to a specific genre,” explained Johan Pilestedt, CEO, Arrowhead Game Studios.
Impact on the Building Industry
The new Stingray engine also has profound implications on the building industry, as it creates connected workflows with Autodesk 3D animation software like 3ds Max, which already supports a BIM process. This is because it allows designers, owners and stakeholders to access and visualize a building model in real-time to fully understand the scale, feel and experience of the building before construction starts.
Revit models can be brought into 3ds Max to be made visually stunning and then imported to the Stingray engine to be made fully interactive, allowing users to explore “what if” design changes in a compelling visual environment not unlike a first person walk-about in a physical building. The real advantage of this is that it allows designers, owners and stakeholders to access and visualize a building model in real-time to fully understand the scale, feel and experience of the building before construction starts.
“Imagine being able to meet your stakeholders for a tour of your building design model in a virtual space while collaborating to inform the design process. We are excited about this technology as it will help enable better decisions to be made prior to construction, where it gets really expensive to make changes,” said Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, Autodesk.
Autodesk Stingray runs on Windows and will be available via Autodesk Subscription starting August 19, 2015 for $30 US MSRP per month. Later this summer, Autodesk plans to offer Maya LT Desktop Subscription customers access to the engine as part of Maya LT.