I’d like to introduce you all to our new company, Action = Reaction Labs LLC. Our goal is to bring a pair of new technologies to the games market, starting with the iPhone, that I think could really change things. I know that’s a pretty ballsy statement, but stay tuned over the course of the next year at least, and a lot of interesting things should be happening. We’re still working on a corporate site but I’ll let you all know when that’s ready.
AR Labs has two completely separate pieces of technology, both of which are hopefully going to make a big difference to gamers. Both technologies are shown off in a very early prototype form in our first iPhone game, Aves. There will be a second game later this year that will showcase far more advanced versions of both.
The first is our Ghost Dynamic Binaural Audio system. It’s been known for a very long time that traditional 3D sound techniques are fairly flat and ineffective. There is something known as binaural recording which produces a much, much more realistic and convincing soundstage for listeners using headphones. Check out Jeff’s Five Favorite Things for a demonstration. Until now, binaural audio has been restricted to statically positioned recordings, not suitable for games where things move dynamically. We’ve overcome this limitation, and can to produce sound that is dynamically positioned in true 3D, just like in Jeff’s video. Best of all, the Ghost SDK is currently under development, and should be available to all iPod/iPhone developers within a few short months!
The second technology is the BioReplicants physical animation system. We’re not the first to do physically based animation, by any stretch. Unlike a certain well known company however, our system is true middleware and will drop into existing games without requiring engineers on site to tune. Not only that, but our characters are truly capable of walking, running, jumping, flying, flipping, and so much more without an animator ever getting involved. They’re also truly interactive — shove one and it will readjust as necessary to restore its balance and desired animation in a convincing way. This isn’t just some clever ragdoll based trick, and it’s not just to watch “a different tackle every time”. That’s no better than pre-rendered cutscenes. You’ll see what I mean over the coming months as we start to demo the current generation of our technology.
There’s my sales pitch. This is quite literally MY company — I am CTO and part owner. I’m hoping to talk a lot more about what we’ve got in the pipeline. Tech details are of course going to be scarce, but please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll provide what information I can. I’m especially interested in speaking to iPod/iPhone developers, since that’s going to be our first focus with the Ghost SDK. Nearly everybody playing those games is using headphones, making it the perfect platform for what we’ve got. And candidly, I’m planning to make it must-have technology for any serious iPod game.