At the Game Developers Conference taking place in San Francisco this week, Autodesk unveiled new versions of its widely used game development middleware from the Autodesk Gameware product line. Updates for the company’s Scaleform, Navigation, Beast and HumanIK ‘wares bring developers enhance compatibility for multiple platforms and game engines, increased functionality and new tools. Gameware is optimized for current generation and next-gen consoles.
The new versions—Scaleform 4.3, Navigation 2014, Beast 2014 and HumanIK 2014—are expected to be available this spring. Learn more at gameware.autodesk.com or see below for summaries of the ‘ware advancements:
Autodesk Scaleform 4.3 harnesses the power of the Adobe Flash toolset to help developers create immersive user interface (UI) environments while streamlining workflows and accelerating the development cycle.
New features of Scaleform 4.3 are support for additional ActionScript 3 application programming interface (API) classes to help increase platform compatibility and native extensions for Adobe AIR, which enables developers to leverage an array of third party and community-developed extensions directly in Scaleform. The latest version also allows UI designers to leverage a wider range of color and shape transformations with improved Adobe Flash blending and has files demonstrating touch and gesture UI interaction. Scaleform 4.3 is compatible with the Unity 4 engine and also supports Microsoft Windows 8. Additional improvements are enhancements to mobile device compatibility to help facilitate the deployment of powerful UI features to a wider array of devices.
Gameware Navigation 2014
With Autodesk Gameware Navigation 2014 middleware, developers can leverage full source code access, an accessible API and new remote visual debugging tools to create complex, ambitious artificial intelligence (AI) that allows for more gameplay. The successor to Autodesk Kynapse, Navigation has automatic NavMesh generation, pathfinding and path following in complex game environments. Character and obstacle avoidance, dynamic NavMesh, swappable sectors and Unreal Engine 3 are supported out-of-the-box with Gameware Navigation, greatly improving the speed and quality of AI iteration. The Gameware Navigation API is compatible with certain major gaming platforms.
Autodesk Beast 2014 middleware enables game creators to simulate natural, physically near accurate lighting effects. Using Beast, artists can design and test lighting effects in game environments faster and more efficiently – helping result in more compelling game experiences. It can be integrated into level editors and allows artists to manipulate level lighting interactively by showing a highly accurate final render preview in almost real-time. The newest version of Beast adds physics-based rendering for more natural lighting, has Open Shading Language support to help increase flexibility in creating material properties and enables more near accurate preview renders. The Autodesk Beast API is designed to make integration with many game engines simple and intuitive.
Autodesk HumanIK 2014 animation middleware helps reduce the need for developers to produce large libraries of character animations, saving more time for the creative. With full-body inverse kinematics and real-time retargeting technology, the latest version of HumanIK enables characters to interact with and procedurally adapt to game environments at run-time. Optimized to help facilitate the simultaneous animation of large groups of characters, HumanIK 2014 also adds improved support for mobile platforms, has easier control for squash and stretch deformations of the neck and spine and enhances quadruped animation support. As a C++ library, HumanIK supports many major gaming platforms and helps artists bring games to life with more near realistic and immersive character animation experiences.