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Why is the Game Development industry still struggling with rendering realistic water

The game development industry is one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet. Hundreds of games are released around the globe each year, and many people spend hours playing all kinds and genres of video games. A video game is basically an environment created by a computer or other media and in which the user has a feeling of being present in whatever is happening on their screen.

So, it comes as no surprise that game developers are always craving rapid technological change and are constantly looking for new tools to make their products even more interactive, realistic and immersive. This demand is now more true than ever for creators and users, as the industry has mostly switched from 2D to 3D on all devices, be that a console, a PC, or a smartphone. When speaking of the graphics, users usually admire intricate details, vivid and deep colors, textures, shadows, etc. And the visual part is where we want to look into in more detail.

With games looking better than ever, we are still struggling with rendering realistic water and its interaction with objects. Let’s take a better look at why this challenging scenario is happening, where the industry is regarding this problem, and how AI algorithms have come to the rescue.

Generally speaking, water has always been a performance measure for many game developers because it’s so hard to get it right. There are a few reasons for that.

Firstly, creating a properly simulated fluid is extremely computationally expensive. For creators, it takes weeks to get the render and the fluid dynamics right; for their hardware, it is a massive, resource-intensive task, especially if we are talking real-time rendering. Taking all of that into account, sometimes the decision is made to compromise for the sake of smooth gameplay and saving resources. So rather than have accurately modeled fluid, many games cut corners to create an illusion of flowing water. Even with today’s processing power, it’s still quite hard to simulate all the things fluids can do in real life, let alone their engagement with different objects.

As you now understand, water is a frustrating element to program. Nevertheless, capturing its beauty and variety in 3D is still a fun and great challenge to solve for many, including us, at ZibraAI. Existing algorithms are often too slow for real-time applications in video games. They are struggling to meet users’ expectations who naturally want to see realistic water on their screens. With this problem in mind, we armed ourselves with extensive knowledge of AI and created new-gen algorithms to overcome this fundamental problem.

Zibra Liquids. Unity 3D real-time water simulation.

Our AI-based approach takes 3D processing to the next level by improving in-game physics, graphics optimization, and 3D content generation. We empower game creators and finally give them powerful tools to unleash their creativity and bring their wildest ideas onto the screen. We bring a new level of realistic visual effects, improve & speed up the development process, and offer a hyper-personalized in-game experience.

There is more: our proprietary technology also solves the problem of the high consumption of computational power. ZibraAI enables real-time realistic particle simulation for mid-level hardware or even smartphones to render high-quality content in real-time. On top of that, our core technology has various possible applications that go beyond fluid rendering: real-time particle and clothing simulations, lighting techniques such as Ambient Occlusion, Global Illumination, and other approaches that involve scene raymarching. Our technology works fast and requires no specific knowledge of neural networks, so tech artists and game developers can easily use it.

Zibra Liquids Functional Benefits

So, what’s coming? Our first closed beta testing is in full swing. We are gathering feedback and prioritizing the features our users want to see first. After that, we will be launching a series of plugins for real-time particle simulation and interaction with objects of complex shapes for Unity 3D & Unreal Engine. It will show our core technology’s full potential and create the first platform-agnostic solution for simple integration into any custom game engine.

As you can see, our core technology works wonders, and we can’t wait to share more with you. We will be back with more blog posts soon, so in the meantime, follow us on social media.

Thank you for reading!