Q Technology

Available now on commercial terms: contact Qube for further information
Photograph of Servan Keondjian

Q is a new middleware for games and other real-time 3D applications, the result of everything we've learned through our history, creating Reality Lab at RenderMorphics, and Direct3D at Microsoft, working with game developers and hardware vendors whilst integrating real-time 3D into the world's biggest selling operating system.

"Near is dedicated to creating compelling 3D interactive experiences. Q is the only platform we have found that can deliver the breadth of features, scalability and cross platform support we require."
Alex Wrottesley, CEO, Near

As well as a host of standard engine features, Q sports cutting-edge capabilities rarely found in bespoke high end game engines; and these are supported on all platforms, console and PC:

  • A powerful renderer supporting arbitrary scene rendering algorithms and programmable shaders
  • Background data streaming
  • A texture manager capable of handling scenes with many gigabytes of texture visible on screen
  • A cross-platform data format
  • Simultaneous n-dimensional animation blending
  • A background work queue
  • A 3D editor which allows both core and custom plug-ins to run live inside the editing environment

But a list of features like this misses Q's real innovation.

Even for a low level renderer like Reality Lab, the real problem for middleware has always been the difficulty of customization, with each developer wanting a different set of new features in the next version.

With Q's flexible plug-in framework, we believe we have solved that problem: we've given developers the power to customize the middleware, without forcing them to master Q's source code.

"We are especially excited by the ability to customize the 3D pipeline at all levels"
David Petchey, CTO, Airo Wireless

Q's framework allows developers to rapidly specialize the middleware to address their specific needs by adding custom plug-ins at any level. Standard plug-ins can be mixed and matched with a developer's own plug-ins, making it easy, for instance, to add a custom scene management plug-in which both takes advantage of game specific knowledge, and also builds on standard components to stream its assets.

The upshot is that plug-ins can be easily shared across studios, and even licensed on to other Q developers.

We believe Q heralds a new generation of middleware, one which provides a host of useful features, but also makes it easy for developers to customize so they can make the hardware do what they know it can.

We're proud of Q, and we hope you'll try it out; contact our guys if you'd like to know more.