Local software in next-gen games kit

Right Hemisphere's 3D management software is to be bundled with Microsoft's next-generation XNA game development kit, announced at the recent Game Developers Conference in California.

Right Hemisphere’s 3D management software is to be bundled with Microsoft’s next-generation XNA game development kit, announced at the recent Game Developers Conference in California.

The Auckland company’s Deep Exploration application is used to manage animations, video and audio files on a network, including 3D and 2D translation and tools to manage production workflow.

Right Hemisphere boss Mark Thomas says the development kits include a customised version of Deep Exploration and development tools.

“They need to have software that enables you to get 3D data from different sources into the Xbox,” Thomas says.

Deep Exploration also allows developers to create their own customised development pipelines, he says.

The use of Deep Exploration might lead to orders for other Right Hemisphere software, Thomas says, but most developers will be happy with the bundled tools.

“There’s a range of additional things, but we don’t anticipate it is worth a lot of additional business,” he says.

He won’t reveal what the bundling deal is worth, but does say that a deal with Redmond isn’t automatically worth billions.

Deep Exploration was also bundled with the original Xbox developer kit.

Microsoft says the XNA platform will provide game developers with standard tools for implementing common gaming functions in their software. XNA focuses on four areas: online, input, graphics and audio. XNA will allow developers to add generic Xbox Live online security, billing, matchmaking and log-in, to use a standard controller design or interface widgets, or implement audio and graphics technologies such as shading.

XNA is designed to run on both the Xbox and Windows desktops, including Windows Mobile devices, so developers who develop to the XNA platform won’t need to port their games to Windows or Xbox. The primary development tool remains Microsoft’s Visual Studio and games are rendered with DirectX.

XNA will incorporate tools such as PIX and XACT, previously only available on the Xbox, and High Level Shader Language, previously a Windows-only technology. No release date has been announced.

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