Allegorithmic’s CEO Sébastien Deguy talked about the current middleware market for game development and the new Substance Live distribution model.
Allegorithmic is a unique company. It’s one of those industrial giants that creates tools that every 3D artist uses. If you’re watching a cool commercial, looking at some nice environmental art, or playing a great video game on your home console, you could be sure that Allegorithmic was a part of it.
Although we all know the tools of Allegorithmic, there’s very little we know about the company itself. We’ve had a short talk with the company’s CEO Sébastien Deguy and tried to figure out what the middleware landscape for game development looks today and how to make these incredible tools more accessible to developers everywhere.
Allegorithmic and its Services
We do the Substance line of products. We have a tool called Substance Designer that outputs substances, parametric textures, and we have an engine that reads these substances and restorizes set of bitmaps that are then used as inputs for any given shader.
We also have Substance Painter which is a new tool which allows you to paint textures in 3D and it uses substances as well. It also uses new ways to paint stuff like with particle based brushes.
With Substance Designer we target the technical artists and with Substance Painter, every artist.
We’ve just launched Substance Live, which is a rent-to-own system that people access our tools by credits we give to them. It’s a simple way to access the tools.
It’s a new distribution model. It’s not subscription because you can pay $19.00 per month if you’re an indie to get all the tools. You can stop it whenever you want, and you can resume it whenever you want as well. As soon as you paid enough, you actually own the thing so it’s not a subscription.
The Mutation of the Middleware Market
There’s an engine war going on. Everyone is releasing engines for free. 5 years ago you would have 2 or 3 good engines. Today you have 5-7 including people that are developing their own game engine in-house. The game engine war is really on. They really try to catch up with new markets such as Virtual Reality and AR. So it’s really changing a lot.
I’ve also seen a split between the AAA guys and the indie guys. There definitely is a new generation of game developers that are coming in, something that Microsoft has been trying to do with XNA back in the time. There’s a split between the AAA game developers and studios, and the indie guys. I see the indie space becoming more important in the next years.
We have a few guys working on plug-ins for each game engine to make sure that you can load a Substance file into this engine natively and play with the parameters.
Sebastien Deguy, Engine War, Substance Designer, Substance, Allegorithmic, 3d art, textures. materials,
We multiply by 100 in terms of community size in 5 years! We also multiplied by 5 in one year. We have an incredible community. We have a YouTube channel where you can find dozens of up-to-date tutorials. We’ve recently released Substance Designer 5 and Substance Painter 1.3 and updated the channel with dozens of tutorials you’ll find online. We’re also working with artists in various other platforms and channels.
About Marketing Industrial Solutions
There are many many ways to promote your tools. It’s less of an issue for us now because of Substance Painter and Substance Designer that are used just to export bitmaps everywhere. These are creation tools, you can use them without the engine. For this it’s easier because you just have to show that you can produce cool stuff. You just have to put it into the hands of people who want to try it out, and they never want to return. It’s a mix of inbound/outbound marketing, it’s a mix of community management, and a lot of other things.