Friday, August 21, 2009

Awesomium and Dust 514

Lots of exciting EVE news lately. New mini-expansion today, the announcement of Dust 514 (see video below). I'm excited about "Moondoggie," the upcoming new and improved in game web browser.

EVE is sufficiently complex that any serious player uses a whole host of utilities outside the game to keep track of training schedules, ship fittings and inventory, and your industrial supply chain, and fluctuations in the market, and more. A lot of these things are web apps, and unfortunately, the in-game web browser is essentially unusuable, so you need to jump out of the game environment to access any web utilities. CCP is developing a new browser using Awesomium, which uses WebKit code from Chrome to paint web pages as 3d textures.

So we'll soon have a modern browser within the EVE UI, running in a separate process, which should allow fairly complex web apps to run on multi-core machines without affecting game performance significantly. The one cool thing about the existing in-game browser is that you can create special sites that (if designated as trusted by the user) receive data from the game, such as your current position. Since the browser barely worked anyhow, this was rarely used to do interesting things. I'm looking forward to that changing soon.

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