Development services and solutions provider Criterion has unveiled a host of new and updated products at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, with the company's portfolio being extensively reworked to take account of the requirements of next generation development.
As well as the new PlayStation Portable toolchain which we [reported on earlier], Criterion also took the covers off the latest versions of Renderware (version 4) and Renderware Studio (version 2), along with a new Dynamics system for more realistic in-game physics.
Renderware 4 has been rebuilt from the ground up to address the challenges posed by next-generation console and PC architectures, such as multi-processor configurations and massive data sets, and the company claims that it is designed to support vastly more complex and detailed game worlds than the previous iteration of the technology.
Meanwhile the company's game authoring framework system, Renderware Studio, has also received a major upgrade, with the addition of new tools such as the Universal Sequencer which allows designers to build unique behaviours into games without having to write any custom code and the implementation of the first "Genre Pack" for the system, a collection of tools and samples which provide the bulk of the technology required to build a first-person shooter title.
Criterion is expected to launch a number of additional Genre Packs covering other types of game in the future. This version of the Studio product has also been given a brand new user interface, which the company describes as fully customisable and designed to allow team specialists to focus on their specific areas of game authoring by removing non-essential tools from the layout.
"As developers and publishers start to think about next generation game development, they are realising that the production process challenges they face are far beyond the capabilities of current tools," explained Criterion CEO David Lau-Kee, who stated that these products only represent "the beginning of the Renderware 4 rollout for the next generation."
Some developers already seem very taken with the new features, however - with Shiny president Dave Perry on hand to deliver a soundbite calling the Genre Packs a "fantastic step forward" and "an extremely compelling reason to switch to Renderware", while Swordfish development director Julian Widdows described the new version of Renderware Studio as "a flexible and straightforward way of working."
Criterion also signposted its intention to expand Renderware's reach into the mobile space this week, announcing collaborations with key mobile processor manufacturers Intel, Texas Instruments and Renesas Technology which will see it developing middleware solutions for platforms based on their technologies.