The traditional architectural visualization industry developed to produce animated and still images for business applications. Game engines were developed for a similar purpose -- to create interactive images that would engage players through entertaining scenarios. Today, shoppers appreciate companies that harness technology to create an immersive experience. For businesses who want to create innovative graphical representations that attract and hold the interest of those who view them, there are advantages to using game engines as a starting point.
Advantages of Using Game Engines
In most graphic presentations, such as animated scenarios or computer-generated images, the underlying code can require a great deal of the developer's time. With a game engine, much of the code already exists. Instead of having to "reinvent the wheel," developers can reuse the existing code by making the necessary alterations or additions. This saves time, lowers costs and allows the product to reach the market sooner.
Real-Time Rendering and Lighting
One of the most significant technical advances made by game developers is in the area of lighting. Lighting can be calculated on a frame-by-frame basis, eliminating the need for rendering farms. Real-time rendering requires milliseconds, not the several minutes or even hours that older technology required.
Capable of 3-D Applications
Game developers made significant advances in designing 3-D graphics that had a realistic appearance without requiring extensive programming. Game engines facilitate graphics in 3-D as well as 2-D, but the 3-D objects in particular are easily designed to reflect accurate, realistic scales.
Game engines have been progressing in the area of artificial intelligence. Complex plot lines, intricate backgrounds and multiple characters under each player's control have driven games that have near-complete autonomy.
Game Engines for Business Applications
Developers can start with a game engine to create a variety of useful tools for business. Although more uses are being discovered frequently, here are some of the possibilities:
- Prototyping: Combining digital design with prototyping speeds up the process. Customers can see a representation of their products very early in the process, enabling them to make better decisions. Changes can be made quickly, and collaborative efforts are enhanced.
- Virtual Showrooms: Game engines can power a realistic 3-D showroom for displaying products. Customers can view all options, configurations or variations from the comfort of their home or office. For example, someone shopping for a new car can select a basic model, view all paint colors available, change tires or take a virtual test drive.
- Home Design: A builder could start with a few basic features and then allow customers to use the site to move rooms around or change their sizes. Unlike traditional home-design software, users can view their new home from all angles, including an overhead or cutaway view. Customers can add or subtract windows, move the staircase or alter the roofline with ease.
- Interactive Learning: Creating a museum display featuring a life-sized triceratops is just one example of the use of game engines for interactive learning experiences. Hands-on displays allow visitors to customize their experiences, such as adding or muting sound, choosing the "exhibits" they wish to see or reading in-depth information related to the exhibit.
- Medical Training: Apps developed with a game engine offer students training in medicine or dentistry the opportunity to view realistic models of the human body. Students can use the models for study purposes, or they can safely practice their skills on "patients."
- Buying Decisions: An interactive application powered by a game engine can help consumers make buying decisions. For example, an app has been developed to assist shopper select the right television for their home. Shoppers download an app, print a "target" and place it in the location in which they plan to install a television. They then use their mobile device to view the different models available so that they can see just how each television would look in their home.
EX² Solutions is ready to assist you with all of your application needs. If you would like more information about using a game engine to power your next project, contact us by completing our online form, calling us or sending us an email.