Ex-Firaxians branching out: Oxide Games and Mohawk Games

Camikaze

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In the past month, two new gaming studios have been founded by former Firaxis employees under the umbrella of Stardock; Mohawk Games and Oxide Games.

Oxide Games, whose focus is its 'Nitrous' 64-bit multi-core game engine, consists of Civilization V veterans Dan Baker, Tim Kipp, Marc Meyer and Brian 'warpstorm' Wade, alongside Stardock CEO Brad 'draginol' Wardell and art director Nathan Heazlett. Fall From Heaven creator Derek 'Kael' Paxton, now a vice president at Stardock, comments in the studio's press release:
We see an enormous opportunity for developers with a 64-bit multicore engine ... With Nitrous, we’ll be able to have visuals and performance with a fidelity never seen before in a strategy game.

Mohawk Games, meanwhile, has been founded by Civilization IV lead designer and now studio CEO Soren Johnson, alongside Civilization V art director Dorian Newcomb, with Brad 'draginol' Wardell serving as studio president. The studio's press release notes that it is 'dedicated to building core strategy games', and has begun work on its first title, using Oxide's Nitrous engine.

Sources:
Thanks to Nintz for the news tip. :)
 

glider1

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While I agree that it would be wonderful to have a generalised graphics engine like Oxides, but for the sake of what we used to think of as strategy games, that is single player verses an AI, we actually need a general purpose AI engine that individual companies can tune to their own specific gaming requirements.

That would truly transform the strategy gaming industry in my humble because the workload on AI programming would be drastically reduced.
 

Broken Hawk

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Something to keep an eye on. My PC would need a major upgrade to take advantage of anything they churn out. Kael lost me at Elemental.
 

Takhisis

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up yours.
I hope that as former modders they can take into account their experience and go for a working AI and moddable behaviour instead of overspecialising in realistic graphics.
 

Quintillus

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While I agree that it would be wonderful to have a generalised graphics engine like Oxides, but for the sake of what we used to think of as strategy games, that is single player verses an AI, we actually need a general purpose AI engine that individual companies can tune to their own specific gaming requirements.

That would truly transform the strategy gaming industry in my humble because the workload on AI programming would be drastically reduced.

That's a very good point. While it does sound beneficial, graphics-wise I'm satisfied with what games like Civ4 and Crusader Kings II offer. AI-wise, however, it can be a lot more hit-and-miss. IMO, Civ5 was more of a miss on that front - the graphics are better than Civ4, but the AI is noticeably more inept (perhaps this has changed with BNW, but it wasn't as good with vanilla and from what I've read G&K didn't rectify that). Although, the AI demands might change enough per-game that generalizing it could be very difficult.

Nevertheless, this could still be a win on the AI front if it allows developers to go with the Nitrous engine for the core graphics, and use more of their resources on game-specific AI/extendability/etc. It certainly does sound interesting. I'm also curious if GalCiv3 will be using this engine - I recall hearing it would be a 64-bit game and both the graphics and AI were supposed to be considerable steps up from its predecessor.
 

Windsor

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There's no way to make a general purpose AI. It's simply not a viable option at all. It has to be custom built.
 

Takhisis

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But you can build a flexible, customisable one.
 

Windsor

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But you can build a flexible, customisable one.

Nope. You can build a completely worthless one.

"Game AI" isn't actual AI and has to be tailormade for the game. You can reuse some code when games are very similar(EU3 ->EU4), but that's pretty much it.
 
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