We’re not a “hate blog” nor are we at court for anything linked to a hate crime, no one currently at Air Entertainment is involved in a court case with any persons connected to Athena Worlds, we are aware Jane Whittaker is in court for a libel case, you can read more on Jane Whittaker here:
Point 1: Athena Worlds has been in development for 5 years, spearheaded by Jane Whittaker
Counterpoint: In 2017 Whittaker was working in Keystone Games on a Unity-based project called ‘Homicide Detective’. While it is claimed that Athena was used on this project, developers involved at the time refute this claim stating that no proprietary technologies were used.
In 2018 Whittaker was leading a VR prototype project with much of the same claims, and the same comments from developers involved in the project.
Neither of the 2017 or 2018 projects were ever completed or released
In 2018 Jane did start work on trying to advertise Athena, although the only evidence of its existence is in the form of a PDF filled with grandiose claims not dissimilar to the claims of the technology today. Aside from the PDF, there is nothing to show the technology exists.
The PDF can be viewed here: https://airentertainment.biz/Downloads/AthenaDeck_v4.pdf
Worth noting too is that for AI and rendering tech of this scope, 5 years is a pretty short timescale for a team to have developed such a product, let alone one person.
Point 2: Visual quality, workflow engine
Counterpoint 1: ‘Increase in visual quality’ lacks a baseline comparison. This would be the same as saying a Ferrari has an ‘increase in speed’ if the baseline comparison is a VW beetle. While the statement is true, the comparison is unfair.
However changing the baseline to a Bugatti Veyron, suddenly the Ferrari is outmatched. The quote used here appears intentionally vague.
Counterpoint 2: ‘Workflow engine’ is just an invented phrase. A workflow refers to how certain work is approached, for example, a simplified game asset workflow may be as follows:
-Rough 3D models
-Textured 3D models
-Implementation of 3D models into a game scene
This takes place over several softwares and often between several people of different disciplines. I am unsure what a ‘workflow engine’ is supposed to refer to.
Point 3: What This Means for Game Development
Counterpoint 1: ‘Never-before-seen visual fidelity’ without video evidence in multiple scenes is simply a buzzphrase. Take a look at how the likes of Epic Games or Unity showcase their new features with videos, interactive demos etc.
Counterpoint 2: Documented evidence is required to claim reduced ‘time to market’. Anyone can say this, that doesnt make it true.
Counterpoint 3: AAA and mobile arent the only 2 types of games, nor are they the extreme ends of the game development spectrum. Furthermore, many mobile games are also AAA, and most indie games use the same technologies and processes as AAA games.
3D and AI are vastly different technologies. They can be used in tandem for a variety of applications, but having both be part of a single product makes this a niche-use library.
Different engines use different render technologies, different code, different systems. Companies such as Adobe and Autodesk (industry giants) still struggle to create ‘bridge’ plugins to link their softwares to major engines. Even the ones that work are prone to bugs and performance issues. If Athena has managed to solve this issue, this one ability alone is enough to revolutionise the industry, so why isnt it shown?
Yet nobody of note appears to back this claim up. There are no ‘leaks’, or endorsements from any of these high-profile parties.
No additional tools are required to use any major game engine or software either. But they work much better together when used for larger projects.
Cloud-based software inherently suffers from latency issues. How can it be claimed that Athena improves performance while running on the cloud? Even all major cloud-streaming platforms suffer with latency and performance problems.
This is describing existing technologies such as Frustum Culling, occlusion culling, LOD systems and Mip-mapping. These have existed for decades and are all very standard in game development, most of the time the game engines will handle many of these optimisations automatically.
The way this is worded also suggests lack of knowledge about what ‘LOD systems’ are.
A LOD system is just one part of optimisation efforts, in which a game engine will quickly and (usually) seamlessly swap high-detail objects with lower-detailed counterparts as they move further away from the player camera. This prevents too many high-detail objects being drawn on-screen at any one time, reducing the work a computer needs to do to render each frame. You may have seen this happen as ‘pop-ins’ on some games, where the transition between high-detail and low-detail objects isn’t quite so smooth.
As mentioned in a previously, these softwares are all built very differently from one-another, utilising different technologies. Industry giants still struggle to link different environments together efficiently.
his is describing an impossibly advanced form of deepfake. You may recognise deepfake technologies in their most basic forms as face-swapping apps, or the apps that make still pictures sing.
In their more advanced forms they can be used to fake a persons voice, or create faked environments and video footage. However these typically need powerful computers and a long time to render, and even then the audio is a bit garbled, videos a bit wobbly, or they just fail completely.
How can Athena defeat the most advanced deepfake tech? And why is it being used for videogames?
This has been possible for a while. Even in commercial videogames we have been reaching extreme levels of realism for some time now. Furthermore, no simulation tech has been created with Athena, so how are the possibilities even known? If Athena is solely a 3D and AI based tech, how does this improve the simulation capabilities?
Images and blocks of text are from Tech Raptor here: https://techraptor.net/gaming/news/athena-worlds-debuts-new-tech-headed-by-atari-veterans
A single image cannot be used to showcase performance. Additionally, the second ‘With Athena’ image is actually a demo scene from a Unity Asset Pack created by Nova Shade in 2018 ( https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/environments/fps-warehouse-74390?aid=1101l3b93&utm_source=aff )
Nova Shade is unaffiliated with Athena and was contacted about this use of their asset pack.
Asset packs are effectively pre-made graphical or programming packs created to aid others in their own development projects.These help a developer save time and effort on certain aspects of their projects.
The ‘without Athena’ image is extremely unrepresentative of a scene developed by professionals, this would be described as an early blockout at best. You could make the same ‘before and after’ images on just about any videogame either 2D or 3D, even without Athena ever being used.
Uncharted 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlCUfqG0Jso&ab_channel=EmiliaSchatz
GDC talk on Blockouts and lighting: Level Design Workshop: Blockmesh and Lighting Tips – YouTube
Uncharted: Lost Legacy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWnbOR-kGb4&t=10s&ab_channel=AnthonyVaccaro
This isnt even exclusive to AAA developers and massive studios, this is common working practice even for solo artists and developers.
Tatooine Village by Jacobo Colangelo: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/gJD2wm
The Yard by Augustas Krivelis https://80.lv/articles/the-yard-3d-environment-breakdown/
Somerset Isle by Tomer Meltser https://80.lv/articles/environment-breakdown-ocean-as-the-key-asset/