Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft .NET’

SimplyCube beta, one month on…

March 10, 2010

About a month ago we launched the beta version of the simulation engine of the SimplyCube. It’s time to make an update on how things are going, what we’ve been doing lately, and what we’ll be doing next.

Microsoft Techdays video

The official launch of the SimplyCube beta was marked by a one hour introduction session at the Microsoft Techdays in Paris. Microsoft has just released the video of this session (embedded here, video in French) and of the other sessions of the TechDays (which I advise you to watch if you have time).

Watch SimplySim webcast at Techdays

SimplyCube beta

Today a little more than 150 first beta testers have received a copy of the SimplyCube beta, a larger number of you have already registered, but we’re increasing the number of allowed tester slowly to ensure everyone has a great experience. For now the feedback is mostly positive, and for the second month we’ll open the number of testers more freely. Be sure to register on our website, and you shall receive your download link rapidly.

SimplyCube box

Talking of our website, we have completed a few sections that were missing when we’ve launched it last month. Check out the gallery section and the product description section to see what have changed. These two more detailed sections should give you a better idea of what our product is about.

What’s next? Laval virtual 2010, more demo.

The major next step for SimplySim will be our presence at the Laval Virtual 2010. This tradeshow focused on Virtual Reality, but also simulations, serious games, and 3D marketing applications, will be the occasion for us to unveil the editors of the SimplyCube, more demo of what can be done with our product and to release more stuff in the beta.

laval virtual

One of the main demands about the beta was to get more available demonstrations and examples (I know at least a few of you want to get their hands on our UAV demo). We are currently working on a series of demonstration showing each step of a real project that should be a good addition to the tutorials already included in the demo. Julien Mercier, a student from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis who has joined us for a six month internship will be responsible for the creation of this series of demo. You can follow his progress day by day on the SimplyCube on his twitter account: @VB_Simply3D. This should be an interesting test for the ease of use of our product, to show what a trainee can achieve in a few weeks. You should also stay tuned to this blog and the twitter of SimplySim, as we’ll soon tell you a little more about these new demos.

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SimplyCube beta available, Microsoft TechDays, New website

February 9, 2010

Today is an important day for SimplySim, we’re officially launching the beta period of the SimplyCube simulation engine.

SimplyCube box

SimplyCube Beta

The beta period for the SimplyCube starts today. This first beta package includes the first version of the SimplyCube simulation engine, along with the associated documentation and the Asset Compiler tool. We also include a large number of tutorials to help you get started with this new product. Our first tutorials cover the field of 3D rendering, physics, and sound. They will soon be followed by more tutorials, demo, and learning material (especially on our service oriented architecture).

We’ll open progressively the number of user allowed in, and eventually the beta will be fully public. You can register for the beta on our new website, and we’ll notify you when you have been accepted to the beta. The only thing we ask you, as our first users, is to notify us with any question or problem you encounter so we can help you. Please use our forum for that. You’re also welcome to showcase the project you’re developing on our simulation engine in the forum. And eventually we’d like to give some of you access to our blog to showcase and explain their project.

Microsoft Techdays

For those of you who are in Paris, Microsoft has invited us to launch our product in a session at the Microsoft Techdays. The session is in room 242A at 5:30 pm at the Palais des Congrès de Paris (Porte Maillot). The TechDays are free and I think there is an on-site registration, so it might not be too  late even if you haven’t registered yet.

For everyone else, the session are filmed and will be available on the web in a few days (we’ll notify you on this blog when our session is online). We’ll also make our presentation slide available tonight after the presentation.

We’d like to thank Microsoft once again for giving us this opportunity, and especially everyone in the Bizspark and IDEES program of Microsoft. These two programs are really a huge help for a young and innovative startup company !

New website

As some of you may have noticed already, we have recently launched a new website. This website is completely dedicated to our real time 3D simulation product offering. The website will still evolve in the following weeks (with more content in the gallery and the product section), and will eventually be completed with our online store.

SimplySim website


An inside look: the technology used in our 3D simulation

December 3, 2009

In today’s post we’re going to discuss the technology we use to create our real time 3D simulations, and what we think of these technologies. This inside look should also give you a good idea of what to expect from our products.

SimplySim realistic real time 3D simulation

real time 3D urban simulation using the SimplyEngine

Easy and rapid programming: Microsoft .NET

As we explain in our introduction post on our product, one of our goals is to offer you a product that is easy to use, to enable any developer to benefit from real time 3D simulation technologies. As developer ourselves, we already had an idea of what “ease of use” can mean for a developer, and that led us quite immediately to the choice of Microsoft .NET

As we wanted performance and quality 3D rendering we didn’t had many option: standard C++ or .NET (java was clearly not an option). Then the choice was easy: .NET had two major advantages, the first was for our team: .NET meant that we could develop more rapidly and efficiently (and Visual Studio is an awesome IDE). The second and probably most important advantage is simply that it would be the same for our customers! Plus they can choose their programming language in the variety that the .NET framework offers (as for us, we use and recommend C#).

Graphic engine: Microsoft XNA

The choice of XNA as a graphic engine came quite naturally too, it’s using direct X 9.0 guaranteeing performance and nice 3D rendering and it’s on .NET. Plus we liked their asset managing utility. We’ve tested many other 3D engines in many programming languages before, and XNA is, for now, our choice.

Editors interface: Microsoft WPF

An important part of the “ease of use” (or “simply spirit” as we like to call it) that we wanted in our products meant that we had to design efficient user interfaces for our editors. That led us to WPF, mainly because we liked the freedom we had to design our interface combined to the ease of use of the technology.

Software interaction: Microsoft CCR/DSS

We first discovered Microsoft CCR/DSS when we started to use Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio, and we just love this technology. We had already played a bit with the concept of “service oriented” or “component oriented” architecture before and DSS is a really nice implementation of these concepts, while CCR offers a very smart way to solve concurrency and coordination problems. We’ll discuss more about this in a dedicated post, but to sum up the main advantage of this technology for us it to enable our 3D simulation to be really easy to interface with any other software application.

Physic engine: the multi-engine option

As you’ll have understood if you watched our first demo of our UAV simulation, physic realism is really important in our product. So we’ve had a look at all the different physic engine available on the market (PhysX, Newton, ODE, Havok, and a few others) and after an in depth review, we decided not to choose. In fact these physic engines have not been created for the same purpose, and they have different strong points. Some have very good performance with a lot of objects, some are really focusing on the accuracy of the movements, others are designed for fast moving objects… and we felt that the choice of the physic engine really depended on the type of application. So we’ve built the SimplyDynamics, a software library that gives you the opportunity to choose the physic engine you’re application is using. And as it might not be evident which one to choose, you can make this choice at the very last moment: at run time!

How we got it all for free: Microsoft Bizspark program

Finally another thing we like about the technologies and the tools we use is that we’ve access to it for free. We’re member of a really cool program called Microsoft Bizspark that helps innovating startup by providing access to Microsoft software, support and visibility. We had already chosen Microsoft technologies for our development because it answered really well our needs, but Bizspark membership clearly made things easier.

SimplySim is a BizSpark StartUp