After years of tinkering and research, we are thrilled to announce Arete Engine!
Arete aspires simply to be the fastest multiplatform, general-purpose game engine on the planet.
To learn more about our engine directly from us, join our discord!
The traditional approach to game engine architecture is leaving more and more to be desired. CPUs and GPUs have continued to become faster and ever more integrated, and yet game engines have been slow to adapt to the capabilities of modern hardware. Desktops with discrete GPUs and the growing market of fully-integrated systems (mobile devices, Apple Silicon, many Windows laptops, consoles, and VR headsets) stand to benefit hugely from a new approach to game engine design. Arete introduces a revolutionary architecture which does exactly this.
Arete aims to support all of the features expected of modern engines. Full 2D and 3D rendering pipelines, robust audio systems, networking, UI, level editing and asset management tools… in short, Arete aspires not to be simply a game framework, but a fully-fledged engine aiming to compete with the likes of Unity and Unreal Engine. But what sets Arete apart is not its aim to replicate what existing engines can already do. What sets Arete apart is its unprecedented performance, far beyond anything available today.
In order to generate some numbers, we took Unity’s DOTS tutorial and replicated it 1:1 in Arete. No shortcuts were taken: objects follow the same parenting hierarchy, the same meshes are loaded at runtime, and the simulation code matches Unity’s code exactly. Because the entity spawn rate in the tutorial is tied to the framerate, we capped entity spawning to 64k in both engines in order to maintain an accurate comparison.
Being a part of the Rust community, we’re sure Arete will also draw comparisons to Bevy. We personally take a lot of inspiration from Bevy’s ease-of-use and ergonomics, but the performance speaks for itself.
Average CPU Frame Time (milliseconds, less is better)
That’s 64k entities at 319μs per frame with CPU culling and 110μs per frame with GPU culling. 🤯
Okay, so Arete is fast. Really fast.
But is that really compelling enough to take on the big players? It seems like raw performance is the main selling point of Arete.
We believe that the answer is yes absolutely. Performance doesn’t just help you meet your framerate targets or allow hardcore gamers to run your game at extreme framerates. Performance gives you the freedom to add new features to your game that weren’t previously possible, brings cutting-edge experiences to a wider audience (looking at you, mobile), and allows longer play sessions while avoiding throttling on battery-powered devices. In short, your game can be played by more people without cutting corners, and ship with next-gen features on current platforms.
And while Arete’s performance virtually takes optimization out of the hands of developers, that’s just the starting point. There are so many features we’re excited to talk about that are enabled by Arete’s new architecture! Things like whole-frame task graphs, automatic multithreading that scales to the number of available cores, runtime CPU-GPU load balancing, a unique approach to dynamic modularity which enables painless updating and modding out of the box, and more.
At this point, I hope that you’re half as excited about Arete as we are. We’re early and there’s still a lot of work to be done, but we’ve proven that the fundamental design is going to work, and it works well.
Do I have to pay?
Under our simple EULA, Arete is free to use for learning, internal projects, and experimentation. It is also free for most commercial projects as well.
Our plan is to be as transparent and consistent with our pricing as possible. No surprises. We plan to offer cost-effective solutions for early adopters. Our goal is to de-scale risk and enable game developers and studios of all sizes to begin using Arete.
Annual Project Revenue
Early Adoption Pricing (any projects started in early adoption period maintain favorable pricing forever)
$0 - $200,000 USD
$200,000 - $1,000,000 USD
1% of revenue (first $1 million USD royalty-free)
The Early Adoption Period is tentatively undefined, but may be between 0-3 years. Any projects started with Arete Engine at this time will have favorable pricing in perpetuity. This means if you created a game with Arete during the Early Adoption Period, you will likely pay very little for the entire existence of that project, and more likely nothing at all.
Revenue is also only calculated on an annual basis for each individual project using Arete. We rely on self-reporting of revenue. We will also help register projects at the end of the Early Adoption Period to ensure that you keep your favorable early adoption pricing.
For larger commercial projects, we also provide options for custom licenses and the following paid support options on a per-studio basis:
Source Code Access and Support
Dedicated Integration Support
Dedicated Cross-Platform Support
Game Engine Porting
So why announce Arete before it's ready to share?
We have big plans for Arete. What started out as a small project out of Stanford two years ago is now a game engine architecture that we believe is revolutionary and has the potential to make it a major player in the game engine market. We don’t want to wait to share all that we’re working on! So, starting today, we will begin posting regular updates on Arete’s progress as we look to release our v0.1 engine executable in the next few months.
If you are excited about Arete, there are ways you can help out! At this stage, the most important thing is to build some hype around the project. Sharing this post around the game development community would provide a massive boost to the project, generate discussion, and influence the direction of Arete.
So how do I learn more again?
We're happy to answer any questions (or just chat about games and game engines) via our Discord channel.
If you are interested in learning more, either as a studio, indie dev, or simply someone who’s interested in what we’re doing, don't hesitate to reach out!
Here’s to an exciting future! 🎉
Andrew + James