Autodesk has just launched Stingray, a game engine to use with the company’s design tools. In a statement to Endgadget, Autodesk said that the Stingray game engine was designed to help smaller studios and can be customized without a lot of programming needed. The Stingray game engine is built around the Bitsquid engine purchased by the company last year.
The Bitsquid engine was used previously on a number of game titles, including Gauntlet from Warner Bros. The new game engine kept many of the basic features of the Bitsquid engine, but was revamped with a new interface. Stingray has many of the same features as competing products like Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5, including a high-performance reflection system, physical shading, and post-processing effects.
Stingray has a “Live Link” multi-platform testing tool that allows designers to see how gameplay and visuals work on different systems. A developer can change settings like lighting, color, and materials and instantly see the results on an iPhone. You can also see live camera level fly-throughs, animations and other content.
Artists who use Maya, 3DS Max or other Autodesk 3D creation tools can use these tools with Stingray. Maya LT is bundled with each Stingray license to provide a basic modeling and animation app to developers. Stingray also offers particle and other visual effects options, like depth-of-field, lens blur and motion blur effects. It works across a Wi-Fi network, and covers iOS, Android, Windows, Oculus Rift DK2, Xbox One and PS4 platforms.
Stingray licenses are priced at $30 per month, but you can also get Maya LT with a copy of Stingray included for $30 per month. Competitor Unreal 4 is free, but designers have to pay a 5 percent royalty on game sales after the first $5,000. Unity’s pro version starts at $75 per month. Stingray’s C++ source code is available to companies that want deeper customization for a nominal fee.
Autodesk is hoping to attract small- to mid-sized studios that don’t have a huge programming staff. The company sees the tech as being useful for all sorts of design visualization. Autodesk is already dominant in gaming, making many of the most commonly used creation products in gaming and gameware like Scaleform. This new product may open its services to a wider audience.