iPhone gets 3D engine middleware

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On the show floor of the Austin Game Developers Conference this week, Icarus Studios demonstrated a 3D, real-time renderer for Apple’s iPhone.

The North Carolina-based studio has been developing a post-apocalyptic massively multiplayer online game (MMO) for the hardcore gamer. But in the last year-and-a-half, they’ve also started to license their technology and tools to others. This includes online networking on the back end, and on the front end, renderers such as the 3D one that’s now been ported to the iPhone.

AJ Peralta, an executive vice president from Icarus, showed me the demo for a first-person perspective game that’s been commissioned by a television program, as a promotional piece. That title will be single-player, but Peralta says that multiplayer will be rolled out by first quarter 2009.

The accelerometer can control movement, while the touch controls the camera-angle in the games. All told, the technology will allow iPhone users to play multiplayer games against each other.

Peralta hasn’t heard of competing middleware for this application, but he says that’s because it’s so early in the iPhone life-cycle. He sees licensing starting in the next four months, as the software goes to market.

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