Written by Hadean Team

2 min read

Aether Engine Has Arrived At GDC 2019

  • Gaming
  • Events

Aether Engine has arrived.

We couldn’t be prouder to see our CEO Craig Beddis and CTO Rashid Mansoor open GDC with our talk about Aether Engine and how it will drive the future of multiplayer, because of the journey that’s taken us to this moment.

We formed Hadean in 2015 with the goal of tackling the biggest computational challenge out there: redesigning the technology stack for the Cloud Era. This led to the creation of HadeanOS, simplifying the technology stack from millions of lines of code down to thousands.

And it was just one year ago that we were at GDC, showing early demos of our distributed simulation engine that was built on top of HadeanOS - Aether Engine. Even then, we knew that Aether Engine wasn’t just technology that developers wanted.

We knew that Aether Engine was something that developers needed.

This is particularly true in the games industry. Gaming has risen to become the most dominant entertainment industry today. It pulls in more revenue than movies, music and streaming, driving a cultural revolution as well as becoming a financial force. Naturally, as gaming has grown, the expectations of gamers has grown alongside it. They demand new and memorable gameplay experiences, that are more complex and more socially-connected than what’s come before.

They want games that will excite their friends. That the biggest streamers will talk about. That are packed with unpredictable and emergent gameplay moments they can capture and share on social media.

These expectations put enormous pressure on game studios to deliver. As studios look to build large-scale multiplayer games with persistent worlds and emergent gameplay, they find ambition can exacerbate some of the biggest pain points in games development - debugging, load balancing, ops and engineering and so on. Add financial pressure in a hugely competitive market and this leads to games dying in production or developers compromising their original vision, opting for a ‘safe’ homogenous approach instead.

Enter Aether Engine.

Aether Engine is a distributed simulation engine, which is capable of rapidly creating and scaling massive 3D games on the cloud. Aether Engine has a distributed octree at its heart which dynamically partitions and re-partitions 3D space to scale on-demand. With Aether Engine, developers don’t have to worry about load balancing, manual orchestration, significant wastage, or heavy amounts of ops and engineering, as Aether Engine seamlessly and automatically handles all of this. It’s a completely modular and agnostic platform, fully compatible with any game engine or 3rd party SDK of your choice.

In short, Aether Engine can bring any game vision to life.

We believe it’s more important to show than tell and this leads us to EVE: Aether Wars, our ambitious tech demo with legendary developers CCP Games.

CCP Games created one of the most influential games of all time, EVE Online. With its persistent, procedurally generated world and emergent gameplay driven by the community, it’s little wonder EVE Online still creates headlines 16 years after its original release. And now, CCP Games is working with us on EVE: Aether Wars, a groundbreaking tech demo that will explore opportunities for large-scale multiplayer simulation.

EVE: Aether Wars will see 10,000 ships battling against each other in real-time. No tricks. No shortcuts. It’s a seamless multiplayer battle of unprecedented scale brought to life with the Aether Engine on top of Microsoft Azure. 

To be clear, even though we’re showing Aether Engine to the world at GDC, it isn’t just an application for games developers. For example, we’re extremely proud that the Francis Crick Institute is using Aether Engine to simulate large and complex models of protein-protein interactions, researching novel binding sites for tackling diseases like cancer.

We’re an engineering company, not a gaming company, which is why we have partnered with the likes of CCP Games - so we can lean into their gaming experience and expertise.

But one year on, after we first showed our distributed simulation engine to excited developers behind closed doors, we can’t think of a better global stage to reveal Aether Engine to the world than GDC.

We hope you’re as excited about Aether Engine as we are and we hope you join us on our journey as we drive the future of distributed computing.