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Autodesk Unveils New Gameware Advancements at GDC

Game development solutions boost UI design, artificial intelligence, lighting and animation tools with updates to Autodesk Scaleform, Autodesk Navigation, Autodesk Beast and Autodesk HumanIK.

SAN FRANCISCO,CA -- Autodesk unveiled new versions of its widely adopted game development middleware from the Autodesk Gameware product line that allow developers to create more compelling gaming experiences.

Updates for Autodesk Scaleform, Autodesk Navigation, Autodesk Beast and Autodesk HumanIK bring game developers enhanced compatibility for multiple platforms and game engines, increased functionality and powerful new tools. Autodesk Gameware is optimized for the current generation and certain next generation consoles.

"We are committed to helping developers of all sizes realize their creative visions. Our Gameware products allow artists to work near seamlessly across multiple platforms and engines, while removing traditional bottlenecks and accelerating production," said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Media and Entertainment at Autodesk. "Our 2014 releases deliver advancements for the development community as they create new titles for both the current generation and next generation of hardware. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next."

Autodesk Scaleform 4.3 Enables Powerful UI Features Across Devices 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. Used on projects ranging from blockbuster PC and console titles to social, casual and mobile games, it provides an artistic, design driven workflow to create hardware-accelerated 3D game menus, heads-up displays, animated textures, in-game videos and mini-games. With a versatile and proven toolset, Autodesk Scaleform is compatible across certain mobile platforms and is easily integrated with certain third party or in-house game engines.

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.

Autodesk Gameware Navigation 2014 Helps Improve Artificial Intelligence 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 Simulates Near Realistic In-Game Lighting 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 Augments Character Animation 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.

Scaleform 4.3, Gameware Navigation 2014, Beast 2014 and HumanIK 2014 are expected to be available in spring 2013.

Source: Autodesk

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.