Hi All, MK Here,
Well today I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart. The Future of the Storm 2.8 Game Engine.
I have heard it criticized time and time again by numerous people. However, I really think these same people actually have very little knowledge as to how game engines or simulations core software work in the first place.
Let me give you a little background. I have been responsible for a lot of old sims software professionally over the years. Just because something is old, does not mean its bad. On the contrary, the military often will keep very good and efficient software around for decades. Think about a hot rod. If the core design is really really good and does most everything I want it to, I may just upgrade the motor to a new cutting edge higher horsepower version and add some modern electronics and gauges to the dash and interior. However, the core design of the car is still there.
It’s largely the same with sims software and game engines. Some of the best sims I’ve worked with were thirty plus years old – however at their core they were extremely reliable, mathematically much more complex, detailed and even more elegant and beautiful than their modern counterparts. They always produced “repeatable” results which is something that a lot of modern engines and sims cores cannot do – because they simply are not “mature” enough yet. So we simply upgraded those old sims, sometimes taking over a year to build a version in a different computational language even. To say that they will not support modern graphics is just ignorance. Good solid source code can always be expanded upon to support better physics or more modern graphics – its just simply a matter of know how.
A few of us in the small Age of Sail/pirate video game community have said that the Storm 2.8 engine has never been brought to its full potential. There is so much more that can be done with it. PO:TEHO is another example of this. It is vastly different than its predecessors and cleaner with many more things that can be done. When one looks at the shatter effects on the ships and masts alone, you can clearly see the improvements. When video of PO:TEHO was first released critics from PA! immediately pounced, exclaiming critically that it was still using DX9 graphics.
Lets examine this from a marketing perspective. If I knew that a majority of my customer base were still using older computer platforms, would I upgrade the engine to support newer graphics? They were going after their own national market first and the global and western market last. Face it, these kinds of games just aren’t as popular in the west unfortunately.
Lets look at the Naval Action effort. They are clearly targeting the western market with an MMO. Therefore they know that the majority of their customer base is going to have the best equipment out there that can support the newest graphics.
I see no impediments in the future to modern upgrades to the Storm 2.8 engine that would allow it to support many more functions to include modern graphics. Who knows if there could be even more Storm 2.8 engine based games offered in the future by Russian developers. I think it is very possible and hope it happens. I would love it if the next game in the pipeline simply blew the minds of its critics and especially a certain community that “threw out the baby with the bathwater”.
To illustrate visually the points I was making above, please take a look at the following videos of enhancements made to the STORM 2.8 Game Engine. I think the future is VERY bright indeed for the Storm 2.8 Game Engine!
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