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Talking To The Developers Of The Unigine Engine
Michael: We have experienced some impressive graphics and capabilities with this game engine, how many people are working on it at a given time?
Denis: We are rather small yet extremely effective team. At the moment there are four programmers, a manager, a designer and a technical artist working on the engine and tools. The overall company size is 12 people now. We are hiring, but it's hard to find great developers, who are acquainted with 3D technologies here.
Michael: Besides two very interesting tech demos (Unigine Sanctuary and Tropics), where else can the Unigine engine currently be found in use?
Denis: There are Unigine-based project currently in development by our customers, some of them are listed on our website. Some part of them is games of different genres, another part is VR projects.
Michael: Are there any interesting or promising commercial Unigine projects currently in development that you are able to talk about? When do you anticipate the first commercial game based upon this engine to be released?
Denis: Due to NDAs I can't talk much about this, sorry. AI3D Pty Ltd, an Australian company, has released commercial project on the basis of Unigine and continues to use our technologies in their current projects, but all of them aren't for public, unfortunately. Also there were several Unigine-based games in the production stage, which were canceled due to lack of finances mainly. We are trying to keep our technology affordable for small indie studios (because we want to give them a chance), but it has a reverse side: such studios die very frequently. However, there are chances that there will be several commercial releases at the end of this year. There are also very promising projects currently in development, but it takes 1-3 years to create a modern game, so releases are planned mostly for 2010 and farther.
Michael: What have been Unigine's motives behind providing Linux support for your game engine on Linux? What do you hope to achieve in the Linux space with this engine?
Denis: I've been using Linux since 1998 so I recommended it to Alexander and he also stuck to this OS in 2001. All of the demos on frustum.org were Linux-compliant, so it was a natural choice for us. Linux environment is great for software developers, we use it as a primary development platform. We hope that our technology will help to introduce more real-time 3D projects for Linux. I suppose that there is an underestimated market also.
Michael: What are your current views on the Linux gaming market? Do you see it as a sizable portion of your customers? Do you see it continuing to grow?
Denis: Unfortunately due to historical reasons Linux isn't treated seriously as a gaming platform, so there is a lack of games and corresponding technologies. At the moment almost nobody of major game developers plan to support Linux.