“I see comments from people saying the games industry will never use this,” he begins. “Well, this industry isn’t quite so old and stubborn. The games industry is actually quite open and we’re in contact with quite a lot of players in that industry.”
These are the words of Bruce Dell, the CEO of Brisbane-based Eulicdeon, in an interview with Kotaku Australia editor Mark Serrels last year. Dell, speaking about its polarising “Unlimited Detail” technology, was positive about its potential, but made it clear it was still in the process of getting it just right.
Shortly after Euclideon pushed out a video demoing the tech, Marcus Persson of Minecraft fame made his position clear, calling Unlimited Detail “a scam” and accusing Dell and his company of being “snake oil salesmen”.
Since that flurry of news and controversy, we haven’t heard much from Euclideon… nor any interested game developers. Perhaps it’s because the company looks to have changed gears, its website now offering the product as part of something called “Geoverse”, aimed entirely at the “geospatial industry”.
Going by the new website, Euclideon’s re-marketed its Unlimited Detail technology as a data visualisation solution, rather than a game engine. It’s quite possible the company is still pursuing “players in that [the games] industry”, but going by the provided brochure, those voxels appear better off as a medium for compressing and storing data efficiently than rendering elephants and palm trees.
Personally, I remember getting an email from Dell while I was editor of Atomic (back in 2006, if memory serves) and being wary of his claims, with the visuals shown to me almost identical to the ones provided last year. I forwarded the information to Ken Silverman, the genius behind the BUILD engine that powered games including Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior. While Silverman didn’t go into specifics, his initial reaction was one of scepticism.
But let’s not be negative. If Euclideon’s found a use for the technology it’s spent so long working on, that’s good news… even if that use isn’t in games.