3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 118: WildTangent for Online Games | WebReference

3D Animation Workshop: Lesson 118: WildTangent for Online Games

Lesson 118 - WildTangent for Online Games- Part 1

Now here's a subject I've been waiting to get to for a long time.

WildTangent is one very interesting company. This Redmond, Washington-based firm traces its origins to Microsoft's 1998 Chromeffects initiative. Co-founder and CEO Alex St. John was the creator of Direct X. The goal of the company has been to provide a workable path to full-strength 3D gaming on the internet.

WildTangent has been associated with some high-profile projects. Sony Pictures used WildTangent technology for an impressive promotional game for it's "A Knight's Tale" motion picture. You'll find lots of interesting demo content on the WildTangent website.

My interest here (and, I hope, yours) is a bit more technical. The core of WildTangent's technology is its Web Driver software. Web Driver is a 1 MB plugin application that must be downloaded by users in order to view WildTangent content. This software makes exploits the DirectX capabilities of today's powerful graphics hardware for the kind of high performance required for games. But this is only part of the story.

Any Web 3D plugin can use OpenGL or Direct X hardware acceleration. The thing that makes WildTangent so interesting is its programming toolset. Any longtime reader of this column must be aware of my obsession with emerging tools for interactive 3D graphics on the Internet. The kind of high-end interactivity demanded by games or projects of similar sophistication can only be created with programming tools that are extremely well designed. They must be easy to learn, even by those who have little or no prior programming experience, and they must powerful enough to support boundless creative imagination in the hands of those how master them.

After playing around with free WildTangent SDK (Software Development Kit) for only a couple of days, I found myself highly impressed. WildTangent is a workable and exciting path for existing and aspiring interactive 3D artists and programmers to approach the exciting field of online game development.

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Created: May 8, 2001
Revised: May 8, 2001

URL: http://webreference.com/3d/lesson118/