NEWS - Sunday, June 20, 2004

New Xbox Developer Tools From Virtools

In response to the game market’s evolution and to fulfill Xbox game artists’ technical and creative development needs, Virtools enlarges its offer to provide greater ease and flexibility through it’s latest addition: the Virtools Xbox Kit. The Virtools Xbox Kit is an add-on library of building blocks, an editor, SDK and Xbox Players geared to Xbox specifications. Especially created to allow users to develop a game for the Xbox, the new Xbox Exporter interface in Virtools Dev manages the communication with the Xbox console. The Virtools Xbox Kit is an advanced development tool that enables developers to focus on content and game play. Developers take advantage of the Virtools’ unique and innovating graphical programming process to create rich stunning interactivity. The Virtools Xbox Kit adds 19 new building blocks in Virtools Dev. These new behaviors enable handling game pads, memory units, saving or loading games using the Virtools schematic view. As such, it supports almost all of Dev’s features and building blocks, and it works with Dev’s other add-on packs. Thanks to its features, the Virtools Xbox Kit facilitates prototyping as well as the robust development needed for full-scale applications on Xbox. While significantly reducing production costs and overall risks the Virtools Xbox Kit encompasses very useful Xbox-specific features :
  • Export Virtools compositions, media, etc. in the selected format according to specific Xbox features, thanks to the Xbox Exporter editor in the Virtools Dev interface.
  • Edit and update shaders used in a composition on the fly to the Xbox without reloading the composition. It enables the shader writer to develop shaders in a real game situation and see the visual enhancement immediately.
  • Quickly and easily customize the Virtools Xbox Kit thanks to the Virtools Xbox Kit SDK to integrate your game loop, behaviors, managers and plugins and develop specific low-level features. The Virtools Xbox Kit SDK comes with the full Virtools building blocks source code. Package your game easily into an Xbox application to submit for Xbox technical certification.
  • The Virtools Xbox Kit SDK also allows users to script gameplay though Dev’s VSL Virtools Scripting Language. Thus can be developed through the Virtools Xbox Kit SDK .
  • With the Virtools Xbox Kit game developers have now the possibility to create a game with Virtools technology and to play it on Xbox. By offering this new product, Virtools enables its clients to target an even larger audience, specifically the community of Xbox’ users. "We have successfully used an early version of the Virtools Xbox Kit for Syberia 2 Xbox; the toolset was simple to use, and the rendering engine for the Xbox is among the best. We will also use the Virtools Xbox Kit for the development of Still Life, recently acclaimed at E3." Dave Lynch - Xbox Programmer - Microids Canada "The Virtools Xbox Kit enable Xbox game developers to prototype in weeks rather than months, and concentrate on the quality of both graphics and gameplay." Drew Angeloff - Xbox Tools Program Manager- Microsoft Coproration, “Virtools, once again, shows what rapid prototyping and development tools are all about and what game production will soon heavily rely on. Virtools Dev bridges the gap between PCs and consoles and brings its ease of use and versatility to the Xbox. eRelevant will naturally want to take advantage of this breakthrough and use Virtools Xbox Kit on all present and future products it will produce or prototype.” Fred Markus, President / Executive Producer - “For Roman Race Xbox prototype, our development team concentrated to work on the quality of graphics and gameplay and was not fooling around with obscure codes. The user-friendliness, the power and the versatility of the Virtools Xbox Kit helped us to demonstrate advanced gameplay and graphics for the Xbox.” Michael Fuchs – Chief Executive Officer – CAMF- “Artematica has chosen Virtools suite since 2003 and has developed an adventure core to develop new adventures that will be announced in next months. We are greatly satisfied by using Virtools technologies, and chose the Virtools Xbox Kit to develop games for the Xbox platform. Its incredible easiness and innovating graphical programming process will facilitate our development workflow and our developers will have powerful, cutting-edge technology at their fingertips to drive playable prototypes and run time games to the Xbox in record times. The Virtools Xbox Kit will provide our team with sophisticated control over the rendering pipeline, stunning visual effects and valuable post-processing techniques.” Riccardo Cangini – CEO and Managing Director- Artematica –

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