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Saturday, August 3, 2013

EverQuest Next

EQNext has been revealed. What we got to see was so good, they have set the whole industry on fire. They have Voxels and Procedural generation as one of the main pillars of this game. If you saw the reveal, and have been following this blog for a while, you will find many similarities between EQNext and what Voxel Farm does. This is no coincidence: EQNext is using the Voxel Farm engine.


The engine is just a tool. The EQNext team deserves all the credit in realizing this vision. Their art direction and engineering skills are unlike anything I have seen. I am blown away by what they have achieved with the engine, especially in so little time. I am very proud of being involved in this project.

You can see the entire keynote here. It has plenty of real gameplay footage:

http://www.twitch.tv/soe/c/2680835

And here are a series of videos that have appeared in different gaming sites:




49 comments:

  1. I feel like a proud parent, I've been following your work for nearly a year, I always hoped it would get into something this big.

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    1. I feel exactly the same way! It's pretty awesome how far you've come, and I've been following this blog pretty much since the beginning. Congrats! This is really cool :-)

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  2. Oh wow, that's awesome. I read about EverQuest Next yesterday and I thought "that looks a lot like what the procworld guy is doing, wonder what his thoughts on it are". And then you turn out to be behind it. It's nice to see this tech going places after having followed the development for years :)

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  3. I did indeed think it looked a lot like VoxelFarm, but I assumed that was just coincidence. I know you've been licensed into a few indie releases, but this is the big leagues. Congratulations!

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    1. Oh, one question... Are they also using your amazing procedural building generation system? Of everything I've seen on your blog over the years, that's the bit that wowed me the most. The terrain engine is mostly technology I already understood and knew was possible, even if I hadn't seen anybody put all the pieces together quite as well. But the procedural building system seemed like it was breaking really new ground.

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    2. At this point I really cannot comment anymore. I do not want to reveal their road map, this is up to SOE. One thing is certain, this is no marketing BS: After working with the EQNext team for a while I now have the realization they will be taking this tech to levels far beyond anything I have been able to do and show here. The best is yet to come.

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    3. Will their improvements be folded back into your engine?

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    4. Speaking of building/city generation... You showed the building generation system in a lot of detail, and even further back showed how you'd lay out the building plots to form a city. But you never made a post that showed the two put together, populating those plots with procedural buildings, to make a fully procedural city. I'd love to see that.

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    5. Hey - congratulations, man! I know it has been quite some time.. but after seeing your work and then what EQN and EQNL is about to bring us, I can safely say: amazing! As long as their game does not suck term-wise (free-to-play usually sucks, but perhaps not this time?), I'll definitely play.

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  4. This is so incredible. Congratulations! I can't wait to see how the game turns out. A voxel-based AAA MMO could be a massive shift.

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  5. Wow awesome! Thanks for being part of it! and yes i can see very far in some of those screen shots just like that epic feeling i get when loading up some starforge to explore your terrains, if i see a mountain in the far distance i can go there and climb it, this will truely be epic and im very happy for your miguel!

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  6. Big congrats Miguel! Thanks to you, Notch and just very, very few others voxels are finally becoming a huge thing. Wish you and EQN good luck!
    Brano / AE

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  7. My thoughts after watching the videos: so this is what it looks like when an artist gets hold of VoxelFarm. :D

    Great job! Keep up the good (and obviously highly valued by people who matter) work. :)

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  8. Amazing! Big congrats. Following your blog since the start, this is nothing less then what i expected from your work.

    So you're already part of Video game history!

    I saw you can apply for beta at their webpage, already did OFC. I really suck at "winning" stuff though, so if you'd happen to come by some beta keys for your fans i would really appreciate one ;)

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    1. Yeah, that'd be awesome! I think most people reading this blog are the kind of people who know how to fill out a bug report properly, if you know what I'm saying SOE! ;)

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  9. Hah, well this doesn't surprise me too much. When I heard procedural + voxel together I immediately thought of you, and when I saw their footage I thought "wow, this is almost as good as Miguel's work!" :)

    Knowing it's your engine involved makes me even more excited for this game. It's great to see such a strong practical result coming out of all your hard work!

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  10. Congratulations! That's amazing news. Does this mean VoxelFarm will be a full time endeavour for you?

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  11. Now that you've created the I.P. everyone wants, you can reap the benefits! No doubt that if this is a pay-to-play game, you will get a slice of sales. All your work is (arguably) done, which is awesome! Of course, I don't see you stopping your work on this very soon. But that's how you can get paid in today's modern world. It's so cool. I'm very proud of this engine. :D

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  12. Awesome. I was skeptical that they implemented voxels fully and that it wasn't just smoke and mirrors, but knowing they used VoxelFarm puts my mind at ease.

    Congrats.

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  13. Congratulations, Miguel! After seeing the debut yesterday, I was just waiting for you to post about it - and after watching the development of VF for over two years, this is the news I hoped to see. I wish the best for your future working with the EQN team, to make the most out of the awesome engine you've developed.
    -John B

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  14. So impressed, Miguel. When I read about EQ Next I thought to myself "I wonder how they pulled off all that tech... it looks just like Voxel Farm." Turns out, it is! I've been following your blog for two years or so and I'm so happy to see your amazing work being recognized and utilized, especially in such a high-profile and ambitious project. Well done.

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  15. Massive congratulations Miguel! really happy that all your hard work is recognized, and thanks for sharing it with us in this blog since the beginning.

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  16. Hey Miguel, congratulations! This is great news, i really look forward to seeing what they do with it. Im really intrigued to see how they are going to manage pathfinding!

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  17. Congratulations!
    I've been waiting for an announcement like this since the day you posted that there won't be any more licensing for the time being.

    The posted videos are already really awesome and I cannot wait to see what SOE comes up with using your tech.

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  18. Awesome. I saw the reveal an was so stoked . I thought man this looks so much like voxel farm and someone who ran with it. Now I know why. Congrats Miguel! This is awesome.

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  19. Miguel, this is just terrific. Congratulations to you and your family. I've been following your blog for over a year now, and it's wonderful to see great engineering rewarded. All the best, and please keep going!

    Regards,
    Adam MacDonald

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  20. In the keynote speech the guy states they're using the Forgelight Engine. Is VoxelFarm used to generate/handle the underlying voxel world and Forgelight to render it?

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    1. Yes, you got it right. They have a large number of systems on top of the voxel and polygonal output from VF. Rendering is one of them.

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    2. Exactly what I was expecting to come out from your work Miguel....mad props to you for this big achievement.

      Andy

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  21. *Jumps the band wagon* Congrats! *Jumps off*

    So, how much of your engine do they actually use? (as far as you can say), also, are they using the generate-as-you-go parts, or the fully generated world parts? (With voxel editing included).

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  22. Congratulations on your involvement in the project Miguel. EQNext As soon as I saw the Everquest Announcement I knew they were using your tech. I'm especially looking forward to getting my hands of Landmark this (New Zealand) summer.

    I hope they give you the option to control access to our claims. I found it bad enough playing LEGO or blocks with my brother when we were kids, that the thought of some snotty nosed kids destroying the structure I've spend hours upon hours working on makes me despair.

    Only the launch of the game will prove the appropriateness of full environment destructibility in a MMORPG context. Whatever the success of the game itself I think it will demonstrate that your technology is at the forefront of video game state of the art and foreshadow where games will be heading in the future. Will be interesting to see.

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  23. This is amazing ! I was hoping to see an EQ3 announcement in the following months but this ! Oh my !
    An EQ game using your engine is probably the best that could happen ! I can't wait to see what other fun stuff they will implement. : )

    Maybe I shouldn't ask it here but when you say they have procedural generation, do you mean the player will be able to explore an procedural world like you showed us except for special places or will only some content like dungeons be procedurally generated ?

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  24. Hahaaaaa, I was watching those EQ videos and thinking "I wonder if they used Voxel Farm for this".

    Once again, your technology is incredibly recognizable.

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  25. I see I'm late to the party... But my turn: Congratz Miguel! With your new licenses on well-known companies and games, I think it's time to quit your day job, and turn this passionate hobby you love doing into your full-time job! I'm very envious of your success! You are a role model to all of us. Keep up the great work. P.s. You're gonna get rich, really rich. Don't let it get to your head :P Cheers!

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  26. Amazing work Miquel you've ushered in the true next generation of open world voxel. You should be so proud! Nice work man.

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  27. Congrats, really.
    Been following this blog for a long time, this is major.
    What you do as a one man team amazes me, the dedication, the polish...

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  28. Congratulations!
    I've been reading this blog on and off for quite a while, and it's great to see it going somewhere so big.

    Very well done, I hope you get paid well, and that this is the first of many big games made using the procedural work you pioneered.

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  29. Stupendous News :) and something to be very proud of. I hope this opens the door to financial blessing, as well as *fingers crossed*, more free time for VF and your own endeavors with it.

    I can only echo what others recently voiced, that the work you've done with L-systems, and your striving to create a believable "World" (terrain, vegetation, regions, cities, buildings, roads) are the aspects of your work that are most exciting to me.

    Every time I see that same old huge tower repeated across the face of a tech video, I remind myself how "that placeholder could easily become and kingdom, village, city or ruins, around which exploration will be limitless", when the time is right to focus on creating that variety.

    The procedural content creation, the limitless detail and variety it can create, is so powerful -- and your vision for these concepts is one of the more compelling ones I've seen in action.

    Building a game, even like EQNext, is always a bit of a limitation on that creativity. On th eother hand, what you do in creating procedural worlds, as you've been envisioning it over the years, reaches far past those limitations to "create believable and varied worlds, within which one can play a game", rather than the other way around.

    Keep on rockin', cause you sure have been!

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  30. Great news. Congratulations, man. Your work is inspirational for many indie game and tech developers like me.

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  31. Just caught up on this. I've been following the blog for... maybe as long as it's been around. I too had sneaking suspicions when I saw the announcement. HUGE congratulations to you. This is fantastic.

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  32. Another one on the bandwagon congratulating.
    Have been following your posts for I don't know how long, and am happy to see your impressive work getting somewhere.

    First a question: does this mean that you can (have?) give up your daytime job and go full-time voxels?

    Then a suggestion: Noticing the trees splinter like crystals in the demo, I would not be surprised if you are already halfways into implementing the following:

    When generating the trees, your engine knows the exact position of each branching point (it is an l-system isn't it). Why not save this skeleton as well, and map the generated vertices to the appropriate skeleton element? Result: fully "skinned" deformable 3d model.
    Push this data to the game engine which then does its own magic:
    The tree can now bend realistically in the wind or under the load of being climbed upon / pushed aside. Too much bending, or too much chopping weakens the skeleton until the joint gives up and the tree falls.
    the branching points also make good collision points for collision detection as the tree falls to the ground. Skinning/skeleton LOD for a branching tree is also very simple. at lowest LOD, all vertices in the tree follows the movement of the first / tree-stump skeletal element. At highest LOD every branch has a corresponding skeletal element.

    Anyway.. Once more: CONGRATULATIONS, this is well deserved!

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  33. I came here via a link in the context of EQ Next, but I think I've been here before years ago following a link in the context of procedural generation. The Internet seems like a small place sometimes. Since we are basically old friends, give me beta access.

    I'm glad to see you're so excited about how the SOE people built off your work. That gives me a bit more hope this thing will actually be something good.

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  34. Congratulations!! When I saw the EQ Next video, I immediately went to your blog and was confused when you hadn't announced it yet. Glad that things are taking off!

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  35. Hi Miguel, I've been following your blog since you published your very first videos on YouTube. I work in the games middleware industry as well and I can't thank you enough for helping the industry making more dynamic and immersive games. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what you will be able to do when you start working full-time on grammars and procedural architecture.

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  36. Congrats Miguel! This game looks amazing! I'm assuming it's mystery game number 1 from your website? The one we would be pleasantly surprised about?

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  37. I was thinking EQ:N seemed familiar, so I checked here.
    GREAT job on the engine!

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  38. Landmark is coming soon so soon we'll be able to create our own worlds with your engine :)

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  39. My congratulations
    I am very happy that one of the big companies
    (and even with MMO) took advantage of this wonderful technology

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  40. Well This is very Good! did u ever visited burj khalifa

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