How would you like to play an MMO where realistically sized planets are rendered in real-time, starting from outer space and going all the way down to a blade of grass? Sounds impossible, right?
It may not be, thanks to a Slovakian dev team that's putting together a 3-D engine dubbed Outerra. Gamasutra has an interview with the principals as well as a spectacular tech demo vid which shows off the engine's ability to accurately render the earth using GPS data. The piece notes that a third-party dev team is already using Outerra to recreate Tolkien's Middle-earth.
Click past the cut for the demo.