The worlds most essential game engines 

(March 1, 2012) Develop examines the impressive tool that powered Bioware’s blockbuster MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Idea Fabrik’s HeroEngine is a development platform tailored especially for MMOs, and most famously used in BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The middleware comes with a windows client, world server and integrated suite of tools.

Idea Farbik COO Neil Harris says that the platform provides a “tightly integrated server system” to help produce stable environment crucial to an MMO world that needs to handle thousands of concurrent users.

Its creators also offer small developers a free-to-use HeroEngine license, the HeroCloud, that handles all hosting and bandwidth, taking 30 percent of net revenues once games start taking advantage of the services and make money.

[Read more at Develop Online]

SWTOR success helps HeroEngine surpass 5,000 licensees

(February 22, 2012) Idea Fabrik’s online game development platform HeroEngine now has more than 5,000 licensees, which the company credits to a spike in interest for the engine after a couple big 2011 releases.

The German company says last year’s launch for BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic, which uses its platform, was one of the primary drivers behind the recent interest in HeroEngine.

Following Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s release, Idea Fabrik received thousands of inquiries about the engine last January from studios both large and small, more than in any other period in the company’s existence.

[Read more at Gamasutra]

HeroEngine is the unsung platform behind Star Wars: The Old Republic

(January 21, 2011) Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most ambitious undertakings in video game history. When the game launched in December, it was the fruition of six years of work by as many as 800 developers and an investment of an estimated $200 million. One of the secrets behind the successful development of the game was the HeroEngine, a development platform for building online games that was created by Maryland-based Idea Fabrik.

The goal of the engine is to break down the barriers to good online game development by creating a free-to-use solution that lets creators take over and push the technology to the background. [Read more at GamesBeat]

Idea Fabrik Announces HeroCloud Middleware Bundle

(August 12, 2011) HeroEngine developer Idea Fabrik announced its HeroCloud bundle, a proprietary development platform that includes middleware from five additional tool providers.

The HeroCloud platform includes Idea Fabrik’s own HeroEngine (originally created by Simutronics), as well as modeling and animation technology from RAD Game Tools, the FMOD audio suite, SpeedTree, Singular Inversions’ FaceGen, and the performance optimization tool Umbra. [Read more at Gamasutra]

Faxion Online gets its wings… and some combat overhauls 

(June 23, 2011) Faxion Online has only been out a short while, but the staff at UTV True Games is hard at work trying to make the game better from the start. The newest patch for the game, 1.58, has just gone live, bringing with it a variety of improvements and the addition of two brand-new wing styles. But those aren’t the centerpiece of the patch, which is instead focused (pun unintended) around a rebalancing of the Focus stat and some large-scale combat changes.

[Read more at Massively]

PitchBlack Games announced Prime: Battle for Dominus

(June 16, 2011) PitchBlack Games has officially unveiled its new upcoming title, Prime: Battle for Dominus. The game takes a departure from the omnipresent high-fantasy genre, opting instead for a futuristic science-fiction approach. Built on the HERO enginePrime is named for the element that is the key source of contention in the game’s world. This so-called “prime element” is used to power all of the game’s advanced technology, and players will find themselves fighting tooth and nail for control of this precious commodity. [Read more]

Pitchblack Games Seeking Testers for New HeroEngine MMO

(April 29, 2011) Want to get in on the ground floor with a new HeroEngine sci-fi MMORPG? No, we’re not talking aboutStar Wars: The Old Republic beta access but rather the opportunity to test an as-yet unnamed title from Pitchblack Games.

The company’s website has a suitably dystopian far future feel to it, but there’s not a whole lot of info on the game itself beyond a piece of concept art.

[Read more at Massively]

BioWare using HeroEngine for Star Wars: The Old Republic

(December 10, 2008) BioWare is to use Simutronics’ HeroEngine for its forthcoming PC MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

“Our goal was to partner with a platform developer that knows online gaming and virtual world development, and the team at Simutronics has an excellent track record in that respect,” said Gordon Walton, co-studio director at BioWare. “Their HeroEngine was specifically created for building MMOGs and it allows for a great amount of flexibility in the way our entire team collaborates.”

[Read more at Develop Online]

ZeniMax Online Snags HeroEngine

(November 28, 2007) Things are warming up over at ZeniMax Online. While we’re still waiting for official news on exactlywhat the studio is developing, bets are on an Elder Scrolls MMO, after Voodoo Extreme did a bit of domain name digging.

Now, Gamasutra (among other news outlets) are reporting that the developer has licensed Simutronics HeroEngine, an all-in-one MMO package that includes client and server software. This is interesting indeed, considering Bethesda is a stalwart supporter of Gamebryo, having used the first iteration of the tech in Morrowind and a more advanced version for Oblivion. It’s not like Gamebryo has no support for MMOs.

[Read more at Kotaku]

Game Developer Reveals 9th Front Line Award Finalists

(November 28, 2006) The editors of Gamasutra sister print publication Game Developer have named the finalists for the 2006 Front Line Awards, the magazine’s ninth annual evaluation of the year’s best game-making tools in the categories of programming, art, audio, hardware, game engine, middleware, and books.

Products were nominated in all categories by Game Developer magazine’s readers and other game professionals; winners will be chosen by a distinguished panel of professional game developers specializing in the fields relevant to each category. Finalists and winners are selected based on utility, innovation, value, and ease of use.

The finalists for the 2006 Game Developer Front Line Awards are:

Torque Game Builder 1.1.1, Garage Games
Valve Source Engine, Valve
Unreal Engine 3, Epic
HeroEngine, Simutronics Corporation
Gamebryo 2.2, Emergent

[Read more at Game Developer]