Cool innovations that are already happening in SpatialOS

23 December 2016

Update – we have announced new Unreal and Unity game developer kits (GDKs) as improved versions of our SDKs. Find out more about the Unity GDK and Unreal GDK.

SpatialOS was designed to enable game developers to go beyond the limits of conventional game engines and create new experiences. Since the start of the SpatialOS open alpha for game developers, the community has been growing rapidly. Here are some interesting new gameplay possibilities that developers are already exploring with SpatialOS.

Begin experimenting for yourself with any of these concepts - get SpatialOS.

Indie MMO Lazarus is a world that never sleeps.

Lazarus uses SpatialOS to power thousands of AI enemies to battle for territory with or without player intervention The team built a live map to help players track immense asteroid flows and AI assaults across the universe. Vast numbers of persistent AI constructs create fascinating emergent effects and pushe players into exploring new strategies like manipulating AI factions into in-fighting.

Getting physical in Worlds Adrift.

Worlds Adrift brings massive-scale distributed physics to a persistent MMO world. Bossa Studios uses SpatialOS to power the distributed computation, enabling hundreds and thousands of physical objects to inhabit and interact within one single, massive world.

Distributed physics is an extremely hard problem for games to solve. SpatialOS makes this much easier by automatically managing the interactions between many different types of game engine or microservice, such as physics engines.

Unleash the swarm.

MMO FPS experiences are extremely difficult to build but are full of incredible gameplay possibilities. SpatialOS allows developers to rapidly develop this type of experience because the platform uses a swarm of co-simulating game engines to power worlds with thousands of NPCs and players interacting at once. For example, the AP3X demo (see GIF below) is a rapid prototype of a game in which players jump between 2000 NPC soldiers battling over a vast desert.

We didn’t start the fire...

The SpatialOS alpha starter tutorial contains a few simple rules concerning combustion and NPCs with emergent behaviour. What we couldn’t predict was that in several developers’ games chains of NPCs would act like fuses, leading to spontaneous catastrophes! Emergent behaviour used right can transform games… or at least create unpredictable explosions.

Birds of a feather flock together.

SpatialOS allows developers to build microservices or ‘workers’ to power aspects of their worlds beyond the limits of a traditional game engine. Here we show our inspector visualising a few thousand birds flocking together. This was made using our C++ SDK and a custom worker which calculates and controls how each bird should fly based on several factors. Hundreds of these workers could cooperate to support vast flocks.

These are just a few examples of what is possible with SpatialOS. We are continually being surprised by the ingenuity of our partners and the development community - and we’re rapidly working to grow the capabilities of the platform with your feedback.

See what developers are up to on our community forums.

If you liked this blog post, you could also check out:

  • How SpatialOS is being used to push the boundaries of VR worlds.