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The fear of introducing liquids into games

Imagine — your company has made a groundbreaking discovery and is ready to create a compelling product. You can’t wait to share it with users. Where will you go? That’s right, to the market. But not to immediately show the world your achievement. You go to the market to investigate your competitors. They are not a product creator’s nightmare at all. Competitors are your best teachers. You look at their path and get the opportunity to avoid some mistakes. We at ZibraAI faced a similar situation.

When we launched our first product, Zibra Liquids, we realized that among other competitors, we have a major one. We will reveal its name to you cause we have nothing to hide. But first, a little about how we figured out who this competitor is.

Have you wondered why you have to feel the Spanish shame in those rare episodes of video games where you can see an interaction of a liquid with an object?

Gangstar: Vegas

The truth is that realistic-looking liquid is rarely worth the resources necessary and the effort it takes. You can read here why creating quality, realistic-looking fluids in games is so challenging. In feature films just 20 years ago, the rendering of oceans was reason enough to get an Oscar. In the film “The Perfect Storm,” 2000, the creators decided not to shoot the ocean but to resort to computer graphics. 120 employees worked on the creation of 90 scenes, wholly made on a computer. There are only two scenes in the entire film that depict a natural raging ocean. This was a real revolution in the film industry — the simulation included a variety of options for the behavior of water — from calm to waves covering a 10-story building. Over 30 specific plugins have been written for Perfect Storm by engineers. Ultimately, the film won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

Is it worth mentioning about the games where there is a need for real-time interactions? Of course, players are eager to see exciting new water gameplay. But all that users have to be content with is the liquid in the games, such as a river, rain, or a pool, which the developers use only for decoration. As often as not, the liquid does not affect the gameplay.

GTA V

Who can afford to create game mechanics with astounding-looking liquids? Perhaps AAA studios that make games with a budget of $300+ million. Some of them employ technical teams of more than ten people for several years, whose only task is to create the water for games. And what about smaller studios and indie developers? Do they have any chance to integrate fluids into their games?

But do not forget that a game project is, first of all, a business project. One of the main trends in the gaming industry is the transition from the engineering era of game development to the creator’s era. Game developers generate vast amounts of game content, and the developer-to-artist ratio increases dramatically in favor of artists from year to year. In the coming year, the developer-to-artist ratio is likely to be 1:5. An army of creators shouldn’t have to suffer for years while creating a game. Do you remember the history of the creation of Cyberpunk 2077? It took eight years to develop. And the biggest challenge was creating quality content. There were 5700 creators! Can you imagine? Most of the staff who made the game were artists. But that hasn’t helped Cyberpunk when it comes to water physics.

Cyberpunk 2077

Or take a look at the “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” where you have to solve the trial of the serpent puzzle. One question — WHAT is that? The fluid looks completely flat. Watch it to the end — the ninth to tenth seconds are worth it.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Well, it’s time to find out who our main competitor is. This is the fear of introducing liquids into games! Yes, exactly — we are not just struggling with other companies but with the fear of creating mechanics with fluids because it does not fit into the computational budgets of game companies. But we know how to deal with it. The solution is the Zibra Liquids plugin. This is the one and only affordable tool that game developers have dreamed of for many years. It was created for interactive real-time liquids simulations that can enhance gameplay or improve the wealth of the game environment.

Zibra Liquids
Zibra Liquids

It’s a matter of our core ML technology. We applied machine learning to 3D processing. The object is archived using neural SDF representation. So, we use AI as an archiver for the shape of these complex objects. Creating a compact neural representation of a 3D object significantly reduces performance costs. Our technology brings massive enhancement to the gaming experience by enabling low-level hardware and even mobile devices to simulate and render realistic liquids in real-time.

Zibra Liquids
Zibra Liquids

Our mission is to offer a tool that will significantly simplify the development process and help game creators focus on the crucial problems, further their future success. We empower developers by taking the issue of appearance and performance improvement off the table. We are eager to bring opportunities to them that have not existed before.