(PRWEB) September 23, 2004
Whatif Productions is creating games with a software development system that could put the initiative back into the hands of the kind of small studios and creative teams that pioneered the multi-billion-dollar electronic games industry.
In the micro-capitalism phase of video games, profitable studios typically numbered 10-20 and had budgets in the $1-2 million range. But now video games have become a blockbuster Hollywood-style business. As recently reported by BBC News Online Âmaking a title for the successors to the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube could run into $20 or $30 million, ÂGames that take four or five years time now could take 10 years to develop,Â warned Ian Shaw, chief technology officer with games giant Electronic Arts.Â
WhatifÂsÂ® software solution reduces costs, introduces novel interactivity, and opens the prospect of an entirely new cottage industry where elements of large productions can be designed by small teams or even by self-employed individuals and reused, leased and traded as secure digital commodities.
The system architect, Jake Kolb V founded Whatif Productions to enable a marketplace where secure digital content has enduring value. WhatifÂs original product WorLd ProcessorÂ® facilitates the development of secure 3D worlds in the way that a word processor now works for documents. Thanks to KolbÂs Âconcept-orientedÂ data structure, components of any product made with any WorLd ProcessorÂ® can travel from one world to another as easily as cutting and pasting a piece of text between documents.
ÂAs the WorLd ProcessorÂ® platform spreads, it will be the basis of whole new businesses,Â says Kolb. ÂIt will tap talent around the world to design and recombine components as new products. The business implications for games alone are significant,Â Kolb points out. ÂAn independent designer will be able to develop a racing car that replicates the handling of a Ferrari, or a basketball player with all the abilities of Michael Jordan, and drop it into any world, old or new, developed with any WorLd ProcessorÂ®. The racing car and the basketball player will then ÂrunÂ in the new environment, each exhibiting its characteristic behaviors with no additional programming required.Â
The first WorLd ProcessorÂ® tailored to AAA video game development is GameProcessorÂ and it includes a self-balancing real-time graphics rendering engine, emergent artificial intelligence, dynamic physics and collision detection. All content is imbued with a security system that includes digital rights management, e-commerce facilitators and novel encryption features.
GameProcessorÂ lets artists export content created with standard graphics software and, without any programming, creates new visual effects and unique interactivity.
ÂWith GameProcessorÂ® artists and designers enjoy creative control over every aspect of game development, without the customary reliance on programmers. Efficiencies in the system also expand possibilities for visual effects, sound, AI and game physics, which makes for a more sophisticated gameÂ states WhatifÂs Chief Operating Officer and Production Unit President Fred Skoler.
On cost savings Skoler estimates that first time savings will more than cover all changeover and staff education expenses. Savings can reach 40% for the second game and are as high as 60% thereafter. ÂThe savings even go higher as a game is ported to any additional hardware platform since there is no requirement to rewrite any game code,Â Skoler states. ÂCalculated in dollars and time to market, GameProcessorÂ can put smaller publishers back into competition with the giants,Â he concludes.
Established in 1997, Whatif Productions LLC, develops a revolutionary software solution, WorLd ProcessorÂ®, for the creation and distribution of secure digital content. Whatif licenses industry specific WorLd ProcessorsÂ® to developers and creates demonstration content for hardware manufacturers and emerging markets under contract.
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