Game talkO3D becomes a JS WebGL engine

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May 082010

The Chromium Blog has announced that O3D, formerly a plugin-based system for rendering 3d in a browser, is instead becoming an engine for WebGL, using Javascript. And the bits that can’t be done in Javascript? Well, they will just move into the browser.

The JavaScript implementation of O3D is still in its infancy, but you can find a copy of it on the O3D project site and see it running some of the O3D samples from a WebGL enabled browser (alas, no Beach Demo yet). Because browsers lack some requisite functionality like compressed asset loading, not all the features of O3D can be implemented purely in JavaScript. We plan to work to give the browser this functionality, and all capabilities necessary for delivering high-quality 3D content.

via Chromium Blog: The future of O3D.

Game talkVivaty implements X3D in Flash

 Posted by (Visited 8524 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Sep 222009

First, the link to the blog post:

Vivaty in Flash (Sneak Preview) « Vivaty Blog.

It isn’t a full version of Vivaty — you can chat with one other user, and the space does not look customizable right now. There’s effectively an “upsell” to the plugin-based client.

The Flash version of Vivaty is a great way to get introduced to the experience, explore parts of the world, and meet new people. Currently, you can hangout with one person at a time, but you’ll soon be able to build up your friends list, and mingle inbetween both the full Vivaty experience and all of the big parties and events and the more intimate scenes that are in the lightweight version of Vivaty.

from the FAQ

The rendering looks pretty darn good for Flash 10. I wasn’t able to find a way to go look for a specific other person — looks like it does random matchmaking right now. And my avatar (and theirs) went invisible after a while. It is nonetheless an impressive technical achievement. According to Tony Parisi in the comment thread, this is literally a port of their X3D client:

From the outset, we made a conscious decision to use X3D as our delivery format for the 3D. As you can imagine, that made the task of developing our Lite application much easier, essentially a port. And of course since so much of our service is driven by the back end, it was really just a client port plus a slight simplification of the content.

That comes from a discussion in the comments to the blog post, where people are attacking the project on the grounds that X3D is all about open standards, and implementing it in Flash is a betrayal of core principles. These people need to get a grip. An open standard that is used by effectively no one (statistically speaking) is no standard at all regardless of what bodies back it. The sad fact is that technical superiority, openness, and official acronyms have zero to do with whether something really becomes a standard, which is all about getting lots of people to use it.

The way Vivaty are approaching this uses Flash as a gateway to the full experience. If this lines up with the way it has gone for others who have tried this, the Flash version will get dramatically more usage than the plugin version.

(Thanks to len for the heads-up!)

Game talkMore on vSide

 Posted by (Visited 4723 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , , , ,
Jul 302009

Virtual Worlds News has been following the story. Apparently ExitReality bought the assets (meaning, the vSide tech and IP, so they are the new operators). Then Doppelganger disbanded as an entity. Then a bit later, some the people from Doppelganger resurfaced at a new company called Real Life Plus.

There’s some screenshots (looks like prerendered concept art) from this new project on their Facebook page.

No word from ExitReality on what exactly they are going to be doing with the vSide assets. They have their own client and server tech based on X3D, so presumably they are mostly interested in the assets and the vSide userbase.

Jul 142009

At Semicon 2009, the keynote speaker from Intel apparently said that Intel is working towards the Internet becoming an “immersive connective experience,” or ICE web.

Intel’s laboratories have also investing in researching visual computing, using computers in conjunction with cameras and GPS in a smartphone. For example, users could take a picture of a sign on their smartphones and the handset would check GPS to see what country the users was in, get a translation of its meaning and give directions from a mapping application overlaid.

He said that applications like Second Life were merely the first generation of virtual worlds and the situation was going to get more immersive. Intel has been using software modelling techniques to render 3D more effectively, including making computer generated environments obey physical laws of movement and building in behavioural intelligence.

— Intel outlines the next generation ‘reality web’ – Technology – News – CRN Australia

None of this sounds particularly off the Metaverse Roadmap, honestly. The interesting thing is the dates.

He estimated that the techniques of using the camera to produce visual searches for data of photographed object would come online in 2010, with information overlay on camera views by 2012 and a 2D and 3D visual overlay available by 2014.

Naturally, why this matters to Intel is that all this will need more powerful chips… especially on more mobile devices.

Of all the parts of the Metaverse Roadmap, it’s the augmeted reality quadrant that is moving the fastest (once you train yourself not to look for goggles and instead look for phones).

Game talkTorque 3D goes for a web plugin

 Posted by (Visited 9536 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
Jun 262009

Torque 3D looks to be challenging Unity for the 3d game in a plugin market; check out this feature on their home page:

Deploy any Torque 3D project from the World Editor to a web browser in seconds with our web publishing options. Torque 3D supports all major browsers and operating systems, including IE7, FF3, OS X and Chrome. Games perform at 100% native speed, with no performance cost, completely in your browser.

Both solutions,  of course, require that the plugins that host the native client be widely deployed, which is the biggest challenge. The gap between something like Flash or Javascript, and something like this, is measured in the hundreds of millions of installs. Of course, what you get for the native renderers in the plugins is desktop quality graphics.

The push on the other side, of course, is to upgrade the graphics in a form basically native to the browser, so you don’t need a plugin at all, or if you do it’s one you already have (because you visited YouTube once).

Aug 152008

Thanks to Ben Medler, who supplied an audio recording, I was able to concoct a video that shows the slides and videos I showed in synch with the audio. It’s a little over an hour long.

As usual, there were some places I misspoke (that is what happens when you don’t use notes at all!) so I superimposed errata directly on the video as captions. 🙂

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