Iceland-based developer CCP licensed Geomerics's real-time lighting product Enlighten as part of a multi-product deal that will first see Enlighten technology included with a forthcoming update for massively multiplayer online games Eve Online
Enlighten is a radiosity lighting solution for cross-platform game development, offering "dynamic radiosity in a runtime environment."
Launched in 2003 and available for PC and Mac, Eve Online
allows players to take on the role of spaceship pilots in a futuristic and persistent science fiction-themed world. The game has an active subscriber base of almost 250,000, with users able to compete in space battles featuring up to 1,000 spaceships at a time.
Currently, players are presented with an external view of their universe. With the expansion -- code-named "Walking in Stations" planned for March 2009 -- players will be able to create articulated avatars of their characters, socialize with other pilost, and explore space station interiors for the first time.
CCP could also be planning to use Enlighten with its rumored console first-person shooter set in the Eve Online
universe, hinted at by the company at a recent press briefing, according to a report
from consumer website Eurogamer.
The studio also announced a new partnership
with Atari to publish a boxed retail version of Eve Online
in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions beginning in March 2009, with Atari also providing trade marketing services alongside CCP’s existing consumer marketing. Previously the game was only available as a direct download.
"Real-time computer graphics hardware has advanced greatly in the last 10 years and we’ve made good progress in the lighting methods used in games," says CCP CTO Halldór Fannar.
He continues, "However, optical interaction between lit surfaces has always been missing and this is a key component for the visual fidelity that we are now working with at CPP. Enlighten solves this complex problem and that’s why we chose it."