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"Stunning" Nitrous Engine Impressions

GameInformer has impressions of the Oxide's upcoming Nitrous game engine Stardock is showing off at CES as the technology behind their upcoming revival of Star Control, the seminal space strategy game, calling what they saw "stunning." The 64-bit cross-platform engine was announced in October by Oxide, a startup which includes developers formerly from Firaxis, and they note that Firaxis vet Soren Johnson is making his own game with the engine at his startup Mohawk Studios (a third Nitrous-engine game is in development internally at Oxide). Here's word on how Stardock demoed the engine:

The demo we saw featured two massive battalions of starships as they engaged each other in a massive space battle. The demo was entirely real-time and from a distance it looked like the the fleets were schools of fish quickly zipping in and out of cannon fire, but as we zoomed in on the action we could see that each ship was detailed enough that even the muzzle flashes from their cannons would illuminate their deck.

"The simulation is all an example of real gameplay," said Stardock's mysteriously familiar brand manager Adam Biessener. "Each one of these ships is its own entity with its own AI, its own firing solutions, and is tracking its own hostiles. Each shot is individually modeled. Basically we wanted to build an engine that opened new doors for strategy developers. There are a lot of great engines out there, but a lot of them are built for FPSs. We wanted to build an engine that could display thousands of units at once."

And Stardock has achieved just that. The demo we saw featured nearly ten thousand units and hovered around 30 frames per second the whole time.

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