Autodesk has made a couple of huge announcements this week. The one that has most shaken the games community in general is that Autodesk has signed an agreement to buy Alias. There's a real hilarious depiction of the fantacism that people have about various 3D software packages here. My favorite response to this by far has been this sweet little morsel by hullabalucination:
"Jennifer Garner's contract with her current production company (Disney) expires in November and she'll begin working at Autodesk after that. Her job duties will include product demonstrations and killing people."
But in all seriousness, this really is a big deal. Basically what happened, in a nutshell, is that Autodesk bought Alias. Or more specifically relevant to people who create games, Max bought Maya. What does this mean? Most Maya users seem to be near suicidal, because of course, Max and Autodesk are pure evil. Most Max users seem to think, "Cool, I finally get all that cool stuff Maya has, without having to deal with those snobs." Since I have worked quite a bit with both packages, my feeling tends to be, "Each package is good at some stuff. Each package really blows at some stuff. Maybe we'll finally get a package that will be good at all stuff."
The one good thing that might come out of this is a unified platform for Film and Games. Which means that the worst of both worlds will shine through magnificently. What if Doom the movie had access to the game's original content. That would be AWESOME. Or maybe it won't take 5 years to create the Just Like Heaven video game because they'll already have all the art assets from the company that did all the CG.
But I digress. The real bombshell announcement for ACES and its community is this. I know, cold sweats, panic, that sort of metallic feeling you get in your throat before you're about to have an epic bout of projectile egesting. We are feeling it as well. I would talk more about this, but we're still sorting through it all. The one thing I can promise is that we are very aware of how this affects our community. We are in talks with Autodesk and looking at other options as well. One way or another, we will have something for the third party community. More on this as we figure it out.