Codex Gamicus

RenderWare (RW) is a three-dimensional (3D) applications programming interface (API) graphics rendering engine used in computer games, Active Worlds, and some VRML browsers. RW is developed by Criterion Software (which used to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canon but is now owned by Electronic Arts).

Probably the most notable example of RenderWare at work are the games Grand Theft Auto 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, both of which were huge commercial successes. RenderWare is available for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox and PC, and Criterion claims "1 in 4 console titles in pre-production or development is using RenderWare technology." [1]

RenderWare is not VRML (virtual reality modelling language). VRML is a 3D modelling programming language that needs a rendering engine like RenderWare, Direct3D, OpenGL, etc. in order to render it. RenderWare 2.x-, on the other hand, has its own self-rendering, internal scripting language, RWX (RenderWare script). RenderWare 3+ dropped support for RWX and focused instead on a binary model file format (which earlier RenderWare versions had but not in the same format), making RWXes incompatible with RW3+. With RW4 coming, Criterion is slated to again drop support for RW3.x's BSP and DFF file formats, thus changing model/world formats yet again.

See also: Gamebryo

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