I got some very interesting news in my inbox this morning; Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, have aquired Windward Mark Interactive’s WindLight and Nimble technologies, both of which I worked on under contract for WMI on and off over the last few years. For those who missed the original post, here’s what I’m talking about:
This is Nimble (volumetric cloud rendering) from last year when I first created the prototype, which uses Ogre obviously, and it incorporates WindLight (which is doing the lighting), which was originally written in 2004. WMI extended both significantly since the original versions were created and it looks like their investment has paid off. I must admit that I didn’t see this one coming! Having briefly spoken to the guys recently, I knew there was something important going on behind the scenes lately (on account of them being super-busy on some hush-hush deal), but this I did not expect.
It looks like this means that both WindLight and Nimble will eventually be released under the GPL, since Second Life’s client is released on this basis. The press release suggests that WindLight has already been integrated into the PC version of Second Life and will be available immediately. That will be pretty interesting to see.
Right now I don’t know what this means for Alliance and its OGRE-based engine, since the WMI team are now joining Linden Lab’s Boston studio. But at least I now have some old friends in Linden Lab 😀I wish them all the best and look forward to finding out where they’re going from here…
Edit: Here’s a video of WindLight in Second Life, man that stuff looks so familiar 😀Those clouds aren’t Nimble’s fully 3D ones, just the original WindLight 2.5D clouds, so it’ll look better than this eventually.