Shared cost of development
The fundamental advantage of a middleware business model is that development cost is shared between many clients.
So first of all this enables PathEngine to be priced extremely competitively.
The SDK costs a fraction of the price of
development of a comparatively featured in-house pathfinding solution.
Secondly, the middleware business model has enabled us to
develop a solution that is much more sophisticated than could be justified
when developing in-house.
In addition to being built around an extremely advanced points of visibility pathfinder, PathEngine also comes with extras such as content tools that provide powerful automation and validation, an integrated graphical testbed and extensive documentation.
A solution that works right out of the box
Fitting development of AI and movement based behaviours into a development schedule is traditionally
something of a thorny problem.
It's a bad idea to develop AI too early.
Without validation against real constraints, it's just too easy to develop AI that turns out to be
meaningless or simply not to work.
In particular, it's a bad idea to develop movement-based AI in a world without obstructions. Making behaviours work around obstructions and collision is a very different problem.
But obviously leaving the AI to the end of the schedule is not a good idea either.
PathEngine enables you to start prototyping AI right from the word go.
The graphical testbed enables you to try out behaviours even when a rendering engine is not yet available.
A validated solution
A middleware solution already addresses a host of issues that turned out to be important later on in
someone else's development cycle.
In particular, PathEngine is designed to support robust movement based-AI
and benefits from lessons learned the hard way in the development of
It's not the best time to realise you need a fundamentally more robust solution when you're in late beta and fixing one movement related bug only to find the fix introduces yet another.
A middleware solution benefits from the test coverage of many clients and many projects.
No development risk
When setting off to develop in-house you take the risk of development going over-budget or failing.
If you are developing with intent to reuse then there is the additional risk that the solution may turn out not to be reusable or for whatever reason end up not being reused.
It is very easy to underestimate the amount of work involved in the development of something like PathEngine.
PathEngine is a proven solution that has also proven to be reusable.