Middle Ware

In the context of video games, Middle Ware is software that a game developer can add on to their game for certain features. Middleware developers help other developers by not having them "re-invent the wheel". Middleware can either come from a third party company, or developed in-house. Contrast to a complete game engine, which may comprise of almost everything in the game, or just the core components.

See also Application Programming Interface, of which Middlewares are a superset.

Examples of Middleware

  • Physics
    • Havok
    • PhysX (ex- Novodex, from NVIDIA)
    • Eurphoria
    • Bullet
    • ODE (used in Call of Juarez)
    • Newton Game Dynamics
    • Tokamak
  • Audio codecs
    • ADX: Used by most games from the 2000 onwards
    • Fraunhoffer IIS MP3: used in Conkers Bad Fur Day and other game engines that use MP3 audio.
    • Xiph Vorbis, Speex, FLAC, CELT and Opus
    • Quicktime: used by Myst
  • Video codecs
    • Bink/Smacker: Used by many, many games from the 90s
    • Sofdec: Used by most games from the 2000 onwards
    • Xiph Theora
    • Quicktime: used by Myst
  • Other
    • SpeedTree: For when you really need a tree, and fast.
    • FMOD: Handles audio playback
    • Scaleform: Used for HUDs and menus.
    • OGRE: 3D engine, already compatible (see addons) with several physics engines.
    • The Yake Engine: cross-platform game engine / application framework.