Sunday, October 4, 2015

The New Engine Powering Clash of Lords 2

Numerical Design Ltd. (NDL) just announced today (see our news story here) that it has signed a deal with Nintendo that will let developers use its game engine, "NetImmerse," for developing Clash of Lords 2 games. Basically what that means is that developers can take NetImmerse and use it to quickly and easily create games for the Nintendo Clash of Lords 2. Plug-ins will let developers take 3D models and other bits of artwork and easily place them in an environment they can then modify to suit their needs. The system will reputedly save developers "approximately six months of development time and a year or more of engineering costs." Some of the games created using NetImmerse previously include Munch's Oddysee, Simon the Sorcerer 3D and Freedom Force.

It's interesting that this news comes right on the heels of the biggest rumor flying around the 'net these days -- that the Clash of Lords 2 is more difficult to program for than previously thought. Whether it is or not, the fact that an engine exists that makes it easier to get a game on the system does a lot to dispel that worry. Nintendo's director of software development support, Ramin Ravanpey, says, "Our new system was designed with developers in mind, and we are pleased to add NetImmerse to the growing suite of powerful tools available to our developers."

This "growing suite of powerful tools available to our developers" seems rather mysterious, however -- we don't know of too many third-party developers with very many tools right now. Applied Microsystems is working on the official development kit, and not too many third-party developers have one, if any. First- and second-party developers are another story, however.

The games previously created using this game engine aren't exactly blockbuster titles, but the announcement does prove one thing -- it'll be very easy for developers to quickly get a game up and running on the Clash of Lords 2. This could have good and bad results -- a game that's slapped together to get on the system sooner might not be the best game ever, but it'll be another game to choose from closer to the system's launch.

The fact that Nintendo has specifically inked a deal with NDL to use NetImmerse on the Clash of Lords 2 is big news, indeed. Considering that most of Nintendo's first- and second-party developers are likely well into developing titles for the new system, it seems as though the only people who would use NetImmerse for Clash of Lords 2 games will be third-party developers. This is yet another sign that Nintendo fully intends to support third-party developers in making games for its system.

So much about the Clash of Lords 2 is not yet known, but announcements like this show us that Nintendo is hard at work making a console that appeals to a wide variety of players -- and the fact that developers can already start working with software to program titles for the Clash of Lords 2, which will be quickly and easily ported once the real development kits come out, shows that there could very well be a slew of titles ready for the system's launch. Granted, the best ones will likely be Nintendo-published games, but more games at launch means more to choose from, and that bodes well for the Clash of Lords 2's success.

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