During a presentation at CES, we got a look into a brand new engine that Stardock Entertainment is helping fund. Stardock is known for the series Sins of a Solar Empire and Galactic Civilizations, both of which are space simulators in a massive scale. This new engine is demoing off more of an internal test scenario, which is a shame because it looks simply amazing.
You can view the live demo around the 26 minute mark:
The studio that is developing this new engine is called Oxide, and while the new engine is dubbed Nitrous, it certainly seems to live up to its name. The demo itself consisted of two overwhelming (thousands of units) starfleets engaging in a brutal conflict. The entire ordeal was live and whether you were following an individual unit or drawing the camera out to see the carnage, it was totally awesome and honestly the kind of stuff I’d want to see in next-gen space simulator strategy games.
Stardock’s brand manager Adam Biessener had this to say regarding the engine itself:
“The simulation is all an example of real gameplay. Each one of these ships is its own entity with its own AI, its own firing solutions, and is tracking its own hostiles. Each shot is individually modeled. Basically we wanted to build an engine that opened new doors for strategy developers. There are a lot of great engines out there, but a lot of them are built for FPSs. We wanted to build an engine that could display thousands of units at once.”
The engine that Oxide showed off clearly demonstrated this, as it had nearly ten thousand units all within proximity of each other, embittered in a deadly conflict – all the while running at a solid 30 frames per second the entire time.
While the demo itself is not a game in development, Stardock does have three games in development that will utilize the Nitrous engine. The first is a Star Control game from Stardock itself, Oxide is working on an unannounced title, and Soren Johnson (lead designer of Civilization IV) is using the engine at his new Mohawk Games studio.
Stardock isn’t limiting themselves to just PCs, either. Biessener had this to say regarding the console manufacturers:
“We’re actively pursuing console development. We’re fairly confident that we’ll be able to get this kind of performance on PS4 as well.”
Oxide might release the demo to the public for free later this year, either way we’ll keep you guys posted.