Collaborating with Bungie, Guerrilla, IO Interactive and many others

I’ve been working on a lot of stuff at Umbra in the last few months (this is my day job after all!) that is coming to fruition in the run up to Christmas. We launched Umbra 3.1 in the middle of December, which is the latest version of our “rendering optimization middleware”. 3.1 has a couple of new features that are impressive, but more importantly, really useful for developers.

Go read about Umbra 3 here.

Mielenkiintoinen ja avartava Umbra-haastattelu suomeksi täällä.

But before that, here’s a chocolate cheese cake that I made for the crew at the office.

What I have tried to achieve is “critical mass” by having a lot of things come together for Umbra 3.1. This means updated website with new videos and lots of new content, press releases, some other announcements, trying to time the press coverage we get into the same time period…just have as much of this happening closely together, so we can generate more interest towards our product and achieve critical mass. Whatever that is.

The crew at Edge and next-gen.biz was kind enough  to do some real journalistic work and put 1+1 together and some educated guessing on their part that resulted into this news. Also, go see the new Alan Wake site. Remedy is using Umbra for all Alan Wake games and they’ve been staunch Umbra supporters and super cool to us in every way, so definitely support their games!

We were able to “announce” many of our clients who we have been working with for quite a while. It’s kinda funny – we could list developers such as Bungie as our clients, but not put out an official press release on the collaboration just yet. Even if we can list them as clients pretty much everywhere.  Like Guerrilla. They are our clients. As are 38 Studios and you can go to their website and decide for yourself which project we are involved in. It’s not rocket science.

In any case, our engineers have been working with Bungie’s amazing crew throughout 2011. I gotta be careful not to take anything away from Bungie, but I would say that while they are licensees, our collaboration is pretty deep, it’s almost daily. There were some conclusions made as to what kind of game Bungie are making, I think if you connect the dots, you do realize what sort of game they are making, but I’d like to point out that while Umbra’s technology in the past has been in many MMO’s, it works just as well in other kinds of games as Mass Effect 2 (and 3) and Alan Wake showcase.

Then you have developers like IO Interactive who have licensed our tech, if my memory serves me correct, way back in 2010 already. Pretty much every collaboration we announced wont result into actual games until late 2012 or 2013, if ever. In some cases, the tech is bought to be an option.

I’m not very happy with the Umbra videos we have and I made, but there’s an irony in that we make a critical 3D engine component, yet it’s difficult to demo our work because we obviously dont develop our own 3D engine here on the side and assets that we could really use to produce some killer demos. Which is why you tend to get “coder art”.

At the end of the day, the bit of publicity we are getting now wont amount to much if we are not able to sell our technology to more developers. This is a business after all!

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