No, you can't license the Luminous Engine. Get out.
By now you've probably seen that impressive tech demo showing off Square Enix's next-gen Luminous Engine. Agni's Philosophy, as the video is called, is just all different kinds of sexy, with realistic hair, stunning particle effects and gorgeous shadows. Rumor has it its animation suite is even more impressive, with a selection of automated processes that adjust character animations in response to equipment weight, musculature parameters and uneven terrain. So you're probably thinking that you could do something amazing with this engine, right? Well, you can't. Not unless you want to work for Square Enix. The developer-turned-publisher is keeping the tech to itself, according to US CEO, Mike Fischer.
"This is an in-house tool. We're not building this around a licensing model," he told Shack News.
It looks like the plan is to use the engine to attract development teams to Square Enix's growing stable of studios. Only developers that sign a publishing deal with the company will have access to the tech.
"It's my hope that this makes teams and creative people around the world excited to work for us because they'll get their hands on some of the best technology in the industry," Fischer continued.
Of course, while Agni's Philosophy was both stunning and running in real-time, that doesn't mean the visuals achieved in the video will be possible for most developers, or indeed any. The demo was running on a reasonable PC rig (by enthusiast standards), sporting just a single GTX 680. But that card currently retails for around $500, that's more than an entire console (and for good reason). Whatever kind of GPUs are included in the successors to the 360 and PS3, I'll bet my first born son they're nowhere near as powerful as a GTX 680.
Now, if you'll forgive me just one moment of cynicism and bitterness; I can't help wonder if Square Enix's might want to hold off on splurging on the super realistic sweat technology and instead invest in some writers.
Source: Shack News