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I got Quoted in Business Week

Jeff Mottle

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"Architectural visualization is in a constant technological flux," says Kinman, "which is why it is exciting to see consumer gaming technology be so clearly adopted by one of the largest architecture firms in the U.S."


I didn't say that. I don't do cheerleading statements for companies I have no connection to.


My actual opinions on this whole game engine thing are also more negative, as I pointed out when I interviewed with them. I have always been down on 'drive anywhere' approaches to presenting architectural spaces and environments, for the same reason that real estate brokers don't let potential clients run amok in apartments unsupervised. Presenting a design requires a narrative to be able to explain the complexities.


Further on a more practical level, whenever I have done an interactive presentation, the clients ALWAYS have no idea how to drive, and end up trapped in a closet, or some equivalent. I end up having to do the driving for them. As a result I have given up on the idea, which I explored several years ago.


Another issue which isn't mentioned is that the game engine they are using is for PC games, which means that you aren't getting any graphics benefit from those game machines (XBox, PS3, etc) And the majors wont allow anyone to license game engines for those machines unless you are doing true games. They want to control the content themselves, and wont allow a non-gaming use for the machines. Maybe at some point in the future this will change, but if it does, you can bet that it will be to the benefit of Sony and Microsoft.


A better use, in my mind, for the HKS approach would be to do machinima, ie using the game engine to render animation paths and stick with movies. They seem to be complaining about the high cost of traditional animation - then use the game engine as a rendering solution, but don't get rid of the narrative ability.


I went into all of this in the interview, but all that came out was my second quote, which was pretty correctly attributed:


Kinman says it remains to be seen if games technology can really become a widely used architectural tool. "So far, there isn't a project HKS is working on that couldn't also be done in other ways," he adds.

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