Gaming and the fabled power of the cloud has had a checkered history. Game-streaming service OnLive has come and gone, and Microsoft over-hyped the effect its Azure platform would have on Xbox One games, but that’s not stopping one company from using the cloud to unlock the power of its tools.
Improbable, the company that runs the cloud-based SpatialOS development platform for making enormous gaming worlds, is launching that service into open beta. At the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco today, Improbable will show off SpatialOS’s features as well as its new integration with the Unreal Engine toolkit. The company is also rolling out its Games Innovation Program where it will work with Google Cloud to subsidize studios who want to use SpatialOS to create new experiences. Developers can get into the open beta by heading to Improbable’s website.
Scores of developers are already using SpatialOS to experiment and to build future products. Surgeon Simulator’s Bossa Studios is working with SpatialOS to build its Worlds Adrift massively multiplayer sandbox adventure that is due out this year.
Now, with tools like Unreal, which is a popular engine responsible for high-fidelity visuals on console, PC, and smartphones, creators can use a familiar environment to take advantage of SpatialOS’s unique features.
“We’re delighted to be able to show Unreal developers how SpatialOS works [at GDC],” Improbable chief executive Herman Narula said in a statement. “This is an experimental build, but we expect to make rapid progress towards an alpha-level SDK. This is a huge step for our platform — and if any studios developing in Unreal want to talk about working with us on a project right now, they should get in touch.”
GDC attendees can check out the panel for themselves, and video of the presentation will end up online in a few months.
For now, here are the games that Improbable is subsidizing as part of its Games Innovation Program:
- Seed — A game by developer Klang that is about settling planets in a persistent universe.
- Lazarus — Developer Split Milk Studios’ 2-D shooter that takes place in an enormous galaxy with A.I. enemy factions.
- Chronicles of Elyria — Soulbound Studios’ massively multiplayer online role-playing game where characters experience the passage of time through aging and death.
- Vanishing Stars: Colony Wars — Developer Ninpo Game Studio’s MMO real-time strategy game where players aim to control thousands of star systems.
“With the SpatialOS Games Innovation Program launched and with the support of Google Cloud, these are just the first of many innovative game projects we will be supporting through subsidised access to SpatialOS and cloud computing,” said Narula. “We win by showing the many possibilities SpatialOS opens up to game developers, so we will be aggressively supporting innovative projects like these.”