computer games games industry startup advice

Euclideon: $2m scam for fake games tech?

TL;DR – notch reckons “it’s a scam” (I wouldn’t go that far – “scam” is a strong word, I reckon they’re just too naive/ignorant/foolish/arrogant to realise what a huge mistake they’re making)

My gut feeling is: this would be a terrible investment. By comparison, the middleware companies that sell for tens of millions of dollars usually don’t seek this level of investment until AFTER they have many licenses / sales already. Euclideon seems to be asking for money BEFORE demonstrating that any games company can do anything useful with it.

In the games industry, we have a name for this particular kind of exuberant, short-sighted claim:

“Infinite Monkey Engine”

(apologies to Demis Hassabis, a nice guy who created the term “Infinite Polygon Engine” intending it to be genuine. It backfired horribly when it turned out to have little or no value in game terms; IIRC it only shipped in “Republic: The Revolution”?)

IMHO … The Euclideon folks have shown no signs (in public) of being aware of what a complete waste of time and money their technology “probably” is. They apparently haven’t (bothered to?) spoken to any games-industry companies – this should be an absolute requirement LONG before they raise funding above the $50,000 level.

Maybe they have; maybe their own PR is a big confidence-trick – they know how misleading/wrong their claims are, and they’re just trying to keep potential competitors fooled. If so, I’d say that’s a rather … short-sighted … strategy.

More likely: they’re full of their own inventiveness, and have nowhere near enough startup / business experience to have run the analysis on *why* this tech isn’t used *any more*.

(public signs so far suggest they’ve picked up an old tech, convinced themselves it’s new and novel, and don’t realise that it’s a dead-end that the industry has already rejected)

8 replies on “Euclideon: $2m scam for fake games tech?”

I agree.

My take: Tedious videos showing 9 million polygon rocks and “game” environments that are far blockier and uglier than 10 year old games despite the 26 quadrabillion wotsits. Add countless superlatives. I will remain unimpressed until they show some impressive _applications_ of their technology.

Show me a game running in it that looks anywhere near half decent and I might start to pay attention. By dynamic I mean dynamic lighting, collisions, animation, physics … you know, the core of what you find in any “horribly low detail game engine” that looks infinitely (ha) better than their current tech.

Seriously, why would you demonstrate a static environment that looks appalling while simultaneously claiming that games are “about to look thousands of times better”? John Olick was far more circumspect about the applications of the sparse voxel octree demo he did, plus his demo actually looked cool!

I don’t understand why these guys are shouting so loudly. When I watch the video the video and try to marry up the visuals to the claims — they are jarringly mismatched…

Mark – you mean like SVO’s in iD6 and the Cryengine?
I’d describe it as “specalised” rather than a dead end.

Also, they’e not unknown in RTS engines either.

Mark, as they say they’re not graphic designers, they’re software developers. This video wasn’t to showcase a new gaming engine it was showing their ‘infinite detail’ software.
The idea being that everything can look more realistic because their would be no jagged edges and no limitations on detail (unless you wanted them). I would assume this mean Anti-Aliasing would also be out of the window as it wouldn’t be needed.
I suggest people sit and wait another year or so until they release a proper demo video before dismissing something they’ve never tested.

If they were “software developers”, then they would have done what Mark said; this is software development 101. In the real world, it’s been shown time and time again that “having an idea for a new way of drawing graphics” isn’t the hard bit (hence: it’s not interesting, it’s not worth talking about). The hard bit is “integrating that rendering with all the other parts of a game engine: physics, AI, networking, etc”.

If you ignore this, all you have is the Intel graphics demos. Those demos are MUCH better than anything you see in a game precisely because they’re ignoring 90% of what’s needed in a real game. PS: those demos look “UNLIMITEDly” better than Euclideon’s stuff. Right now, Euclideon is showing tech that is: inferior, ugly, unusable, uninteresting, slow, jerky, missing 80% of the components of a graphics engine (uh … where’s the lighting, guys?). If I wanted, I could upload a YouTube video that looks many times better, and I could make the same claims.

For a classic example, look at Criterion. By all accounts, Burnout (the successful racing series of games) *only* exists because Criterion needed a tech demo in the form of a “game” that would show their RenderWare graphics engine in action.

Personally, I think Euclideon is an irrelevance to the industry, and not worth even clicking on their youtube videos. I wouldn’t have bothered blogging about it – except that it’s become a useful series of object-lessons for anyone with real technology who’s considering becoming a middleware company.

“here’s what NOT to do” :)

hum… I guess everything about todays technology is fake? cuz this is what kind of crap the one guy that bill gates ripped off went through now look at him hes dead but bill gates became rich because no one would buy his product besides bill gates now there’s windows with 1T as a default hard drive compared to a 1GB. so this is possible but u know u could be right but most likely not cuz im sure if the graphics where one ugly and they made the claim and showed it off at alpha it must be true. they got everything just left is getting the other 90% done and what they have done is the hardest part. the rest is simple in my opinion.

Unlimited Detail is an incredible advancement in computer generated graphics, it is not an over sold investment and it has not been ‘done before’.

Unlike every-single other rendering solution; Unlimited Detail does not run from RAM it streams strait off the hard-drive…

The amount of data it needs from the hard-drive is explicitly bounded ( one color per pixel ) and the amount of data stored on the hard-drive is of no concern to performance.


1.[They haven’t even (bothered to?) speak to any games-industry companies]
Yes, they have for many years, and Mincom ( the largest Australian software company at the time ) was integrally involved in the founding of Euclideon.

2.”public signs so far suggest they’ve picked up an old tech, convinced themselves it’s new and novel, and don’t realise that it’s a dead-end that the industry has already rejected”
Public ‘signs so far’ ? if you’re talking about their ‘publicly available videos’ ( there’s nothing else public ) then you’re talking the smack of a fool, their videos do not expound at-all upon the technologies they might be using, and you sound like a dimwit suggesting ‘someone in the industry’ knows otherwise.

3.[just having an idea for a new way of drawing graphics, isn’t the hard bit]
Again you sound way way out of your depth here; paradigm-shifting fundamental new methodologies in computer graphics are OFCOARSE exactly ‘the hard bit’. simple self-contained modular sub-systems which do-not need todo work for each of some million pixels many dozens of times a second are not great performance concerns, do not impose fundamental limits on type or scope of the rendering system and are frankly just fine: physics, AI, networking, etc will certainly all seamlessly mesh with unlimited detail without any programmer effort… designing new real-time high-resolution performant graphics systems on the other-hand does require extreme programmer effort.

They are certainly not naive – their per-pixel numbers absolutely topple the best Intel Raytracing Kernels.
They are not ignorant – they have made every effort to find where their system best fits into the world.
They are certainly not foolish as a company for attempting to produce a new graphics rendering solution.
They do appear arrogant towards some players in the polygon industry, but that’s not unexpected / easily avoided behavior if there system is indeed superior.

Frankly i think this whole post wreaks of tall poppy syndrome – growth pains are only going to get worse if this technology is real.. gaming level integration of particle self-shadowing and photon-correct light maps may be set back for a while but maybe you didn’t hear exactly what there bringing ‘Unlimited’ detail.

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