The Atomontage Engine: tiny cubes never looked so good

Atomontage engine
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Oh, look. There's CryEngine 3 (opens in new tab) with its dynamically shaded polygons and heavenly blades of grass. "That's nice, bro," chortles the Atomontage Engine (opens in new tab) . "But do you even voxel?" At least, that's what I think a taunt from Branislav Síleš' homebrewed engine would sound like. This latest trailer from the ambitious programmer shows an insane scale of detail for a piece of tech eschewing the almighty polygon for real-time 3D using millions of tiny, grid-aligned cubes.

Based on voxels—think of them as pixels but in three dimensions, like grains of sand in a sandcastle—the Atomontage Engine generates quite organic-looking objects and terrain almost mirroring the quality of satellite imagery. The term is almost synonymous with the blocky worlds of Minecraft, but it's important to note that Mojang's game is a representation of voxel-based geometry. It still renders using 3D polygons.

The demo brings another impressive highlight: the machine used for showing off the engine is "comparable with a decent gaming PC from about 2005," according to Síleš. Which, if true, is an impressive win for Atomontage in terms of efficiency. Still, we haven't yet seen how the engine handles heavy movement and animations, so we're sure Síleš will have plenty more to show in the future.

You can find more screenshots and videos on Atomontage's website (opens in new tab) . Thanks, Kotaku (opens in new tab) .

Omri Petitte

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?