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Monday, 07 November 2011 15:18

NICTA start-up cuddles Moshi Monsters deal


Tiny Aussie start-up Scalify will run a commercial trial of its multi-player game technology developed at NICTA with giant UK-based Moshi Monsters - a kiddies virual environment and online game with more than 50 million users worldwide.

Scalify was last week awarded $98,000 in matching dollars from the Department of Innovation's Commercialisation Australia proof-of-concept fund to run the trial.

Scalify sells a peer-to-peer style networking technology under the brand Badumna. The technology enables a scalable service for game state synchronisation and object replication using a decentralised network.

NICTA researcher and Scalify principle Santosh Kulkami says the technology lets developers produce better games with improved performance, while lowering the operating costs of online games by reducing their processing and storage requirements as the number of users scales up.

The company behind Moshi Monsters, Mind Candy, approached NICTA earlier this year seeking demonstrations of the technology. Although a commercially available product, Mr Kulkami says Badumna had so far been sold into companies launching new online games, and that the Moshi Monsters 50 million user challenge required trialling.

"They got in contact with us and said let's do a trial, because they're very keen to have a real look at this technology," he said.

He said the Badumna distributed network model can reduce the processing requirements of an online games or vitual environment provider by up to 80 per cent. While authentication and validation is conducted centrally, the vast majority of processing can then be performed around the network of users.

"(The technology) gets around some of the scalability problems of client-sservice architectures, and is especially good for flash crowds," Mr Kulkami said.

The trial is expected to run for three to four months.

Scalify was one of nine companies to recieve commercialisation funding last week.

Innovation Minister Kim Carr said: "This funding will help enterprising companies commercialise their products so they can really make a difference where it counts."

Australian video streaming specialist Viocorp International received $450,000 from Commercialisation Australia to bring its liveBOX to market, which aims to revolutionise live streaming, bringing the capability to simultaneously stream multiple broadcasts to multiple devices in full high-definition.

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