PC games get a clear run to 2014

Just how far ahead will PC games progress, in the two years until the next-gen consoles appear in Nov 2014? PC games are already ahead now, if the game can be modded to remove the console-itis. Will adventurous developers be willing to cripple their 2013 games, in order that they run on the increasingly antique consoles? There’s certainly a potential now for a Crysis-like indie breakout PC game, something that just leaves everything on the consoles in the dust. Says Gears of War creator Cliff Blezsinzki in the business magazine Forbes

“I want Avatar in real-time and beyond, I want fully realistic CG” [in videogames]

“Epic’s senior technical artist and designer Alan Willard told Xbox Magazine that the “tools to build that stuff are available in the Unreal Development Kit for free, now. And the hardware to run it is available if you’re prepared to drop two and a half grand on a PC.”

I guess the interesting hybrid solution that Skyrim points to is this… the game developer releases for the console kiddies, but then they give the PC fans the tools to completely mod the game. An army of fans arrives and rips the console cruftyness out of the game, and basically makes it worth playing on a PC. Now of course not every game is a $1bn monster like Skyrim, selling 10 million copies in a month, and with a fanatical army of highly skilled mod-making fans. And the game’s developer has to own the game-engine, not just be licencing it. Still, it is one solution that obviously works. As Churchill once famously said: “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job…”

MovieSandbox goes to version 1.0

MovieSandbox v.1.0 has been released. It joins the likes of iClone, Muvizu, Motionbuilder, and Lumion, in the dedicated real-time 3D animation software category. MovieSandbox is an open-source real-time animation software, and it seems to be a one-man operation…

“It is safe to say that this version is by no means perfect and will stay under heavy development for the foreseeable future. That being said, a whole lot of polishing, bug fixing, user testing and Interface design has gone into this version, and it is safe to say that I am very happy with the result so far. Over the next week or two, I will be adding a lot of content, examples and tutorials.”

It’s free. It also seems to have grown out of a mod for perhaps the greatest old-school PC shooter, Unreal Tournament 2004, which is also kind of cool. Now if only it could make me a playable replica of the Arctic Stronghold UT2004 map, but with modern graphics…