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Feature: First look at NASA's Unreal Engine 3 based MMO


By John Gaudiosi

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, North Carolina – Epic Games has seen an influx recently in the number of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games in development that utilize its Unreal Engine 3 technology – an engine that was not originally designed for MMO games.

The latest entry in this Unreal MMO games category is the new subscription-based NASA MMO game, "Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond." This game, which will ship next year, joins other Unreal Engine 3-driven MMO games like RealTime Worlds APB, NHN USA's Huxley, Acony Games' Parabellum and Sony Online Entertainment's The Agency and DC Universe Online.

"We're using Unreal Engine 3 for the new NASA MMO game, which will allow us to focus on gameplay and realism and not worry about things like multi-threaded rendering problems or issues with rigid body physics or network programming," said Jerry Heneghan, founder and CEO of Virtual Heroes.

"Unreal Engine 3 is simply one of the best, state-of-the art game engines available," said Daniel Laughlin, Ph.D., project manager for the game at NASA Learning Technologies.

It was Virtual Heroes work on another Unreal Engine 3 game, America's Army, that opened the door for Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond.
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