After watching Umbra3 videos on YouTube, it’s clear they have moved into some amazing environmental rendering. By focusing only on the cameras line of sight, the resolution is vastly improved. This can lead to significant change in the amount of lag we see in MMORPG titles.
Umbra’s Chief Technology Officer, Otso Makinen stated that “ArenaNet are one of Umbra’s earliest clients and closest partners, so we are excited to see the game [Guild Wars 2] nearing completion. Guild Wars 2 is epic in scope, so it’s been a fun challenge to meet the technological needs of Patrick and his team; they’ve really pushed us to take our middleware to the next level.”
If this technology takes off, and is capable of meeting its demand it can provide a huge visual jump for multiplayer across gaming platforms.
The Umbra 3 engine has been used in the following titles:
Age of Conan
Dragon Age 2
Dragon Age Origins
Kingdom of Heroes 2
Lord of the Rings: Online
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
The Secret World
Umbra 3 is designed to work by utilizing three components which help with rendering, streaming and game logic optimization, fast parallel processing, and incremental bake. The three components can be seen below.
Umbra 3 Optimizer is a content processing tool that takes the geometry of a 3D scene as input and automatically generates data that can be used at runtime to optimize performance-critical computation. Umbra 3 Optimizer uses auto-generated portals and PVS to represent the scene data in a format that can be effectively accessed at runtime.
Umbra 3 Runtime uses the data generated by Umbra 3 Optimizer to perform different types of queries. Visibility queries are used to find out the set of objects visible from a point or region, distance queries to find out the topological distance to objects and intersection queries to find out the set of objects that intersect with a given shape.
Umbra 3 OB is a stand-alone component that is intended for use in scenes that are extremely dynamic, for instance scenes with destructible environments. Umbra 3 uses both the CPU and the GPU to determine the visibility. Umbra 3 OB is supported on PlayStation 3, Windows and Xbox 360 platforms.
One of the concerns I’ve had after playing the Guild Wars 2 beta is that many of the bug reports are related to rendering issues with environmental loss. Granted, this IS during the beta phase, but I hope with the most recent (and upcoming) updates this rendering will be fixed. Having played Dragon Age I never came across any environmental rendering issues, so I look forward to see what Umbra 3 can come up with in the future.
Some of the companies that are looking to implement this technology are listed below, just imagine the possibilities with a list like this:
Red Duck Inc.
Sony Online Entertainment
Trion Worlds Inc.
If you want to learn more, visit their site here: Umbra 3
Want more Check out Gamefob.com
All rights reserved. All company names and products mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Let us know what you think by commenting below!