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Crytek wants to use existing open street map data for video game environments

Will save development and rendering time
Fri Sep 20 2013, 16:59
Crytek's open street map data challenge

GERMAN VIDEO GAME DEVELOPER Crytek has challenged developers to build software that can integrate open source street map data into video games in order to save development time and ease rendering of open world environments.

Though just a concept, the idea has been put forward as part of the IC Tomorrow's Digital Innovation games contest, a programme launched by the UK Technology Strategy Board, which is offering five businesses up to £25,000 each to develop innovative digital applications and meet the objectived of five prolific technology companies, including Crytek, Sony and Google.

Crytek's technical director of research and development Jake Turner spoke at the programme's launch event on Thursday, challenging developers to help integrate the free map data with existing games engines such as Crytek's Cryengine 3 Sandbox.

Turner said, "We had probably spent a year making a city in America of our games and it's taken a year to before we could actually start to play the game and experience it, involving how big that city should be, how detailed that city should be, so one of the challenges here is 'how can we do this instantly?'"

"Why do we have to use people to make a city when there's consistent open source street data out there which is very detailed, it's got buildings, lights, it's got streets - material data. Why can't we just press a button and instantly see that?"

The challenge Crytek is putting forward is for developers to built an app so that we can "instantly drop into any part of the world" and see, in 3D, data being streamed in from the open source street map data.

"One of the ultimate goals, we would like to start an office in the UK and be able to fly at the press of a button all the way to the office in Frankfurt, and drive around Frankfurt, or any place in the world," Turner added.

"Aimed primarily to purpose-make these virtual worlds based on real world environments, opened instantaneously without processing , we'd be able to see it instantly streamed over the cloud."

Turner revealed that if successful, the project could be made part of future games, where users themselves can decide which city in the world they would like to play in, simply jumping from one to another with the scenery being generated instantly for the player.

However, he did add that this is still "a very long way away". µ

 

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