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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
Kurt Miller

July 30, 1999, 06:42 PM


Hopefully a discussion starter...

What do you guys think of 3dfx's t-buffer technology just from
reading the articles and seeing the shots? (links on the news page)

Or more general... what do you think of companies developing proprietary
technologies like that meaning fancy features for one set of cards and
nada for the others (for a while anyway)?

Thoughts, opinions, etc. ?

-kurt

 
Aries

July 30, 1999, 06:53 PM

i honestly think developing propritary technology is a good thing. as long as the company that is doing the development going to make it an accesible technology. like for example incorporating it right into the opengl or the god forsaken d3d apis and stuff. also if some1 dont go and develop the new technology were are we gonna be. i also the the t-buffer is a good i dea from the tech specs on it, it seems to be a winner, now if 3dfx can deliver on 32 bit color and larger textures and all the applications of the t-buffer i think that we will have such a huge advance in graphics technology like we seen with the classic voodoo.

Aries
And That Was My 2 Cents.

Kurt Miller wrote:
>>
>>Hopefully a discussion starter...
>>
>>What do you guys think of 3dfx's t-buffer technology just from
>>reading the articles and seeing the shots? (links on the news page)
>>
>>Or more general... what do you think of companies developing proprietary
>>technologies like that meaning fancy features for one set of cards and
>>nada for the others (for a while anyway)?
>>
>>Thoughts, opinions, etc. ?
>>
>>-kurt
>>

 
Tim Smith

July 30, 1999, 06:59 PM

(WARNING, I was running Win98 without a spell checker available...)

Ultimitly, it is a good thing. But people have to remember the problems involved. Tribes is a good example of a game that suffered from serious platform specific problems. As far as I was concerned, tribes had to have one of the poorest excuses for a rendering engine. The graphics were so poor, that it really hurt the quality of the game. WHY? Because I didn't have a 3dfx card. The game was so geared toward a 3dfx card that if you didn't have a 3dfx card, your enjoyment of the game could be greatly deminished. (Obviously, there are many people who think the software renderer did not detract from the game.)

My personal opinion about these proprietary features is that they should only be used as special extras and not relied on as an integral part of the engine. Just as it would be stupid to design a game that required 3dfx T-buffer features, it would also be stupid to design a game that required 32bit color and huge textures.

One thing I do find really funny about proprietary additions standard and such, when most companies do it, it is usually a good thing. When Microsoft does it, they are evil and trying to control the world.

Tim

 
Tim Smith

July 30, 1999, 07:04 PM

Addition:

If a company makes a proprietary addition, they should in NO WAY be required to make it available to any other card vendors. In the long run, that advances the technology via compitition.

However, if we as users and developers want to pressure them into making it available, that is our right. Just as long as we don't pass stupid laws forcing them to hand over stuff they have worked long and hard to make.

Tim

 
Kurt Miller

July 30, 1999, 07:34 PM



Tim Smith wrote:

First off, I completely agree that competition such as this yields innovation.
But in the meantime we have to deal with a lot of crap :)

>>My personal opinion about these proprietary features is that they should only be
>>used as special extras and not relied on as an integral part of the engine. Just as
>>it would be stupid to design a game that required 3dfx T-buffer features, it would

Heh, but that's the thing! Look at Glide for instance. Its not the best example
since its not really a 'feature', but Glide-only games pissed a lot of people off
while at the same time made a lot of 3dfx users happy. When stray programmers or
even large companies (Creative) tried to make glide wrappers, the fit hit the shan.
If that sort of thing happens with T-Buffer-ish stuff, things could get quite ugly.
Fortunately I don't think things like that will happen with T-Buffer-ish features,
but you never know. And then what happens when others try to emulate these features?
Good bump-mapping tech is another decent example that's on the horizon.


>>One thing I do find really funny about proprietary additions standard and such,
>>when most companies do it, it is usually a good thing. When Microsoft does it,
>>they are evil and trying to control the world.

Heh, I don't know about Microsoft being the only ones. 3dfx get a lot of crap from
people on message boards and things like that for Glide and the whole Glide Wrapper
controversy. Long time ago when Shiny were even considering patenting (or
whatever) their RTDAT technology, people went nuts. Examples like that are
everywhere, but I think we just hear about MS stuff more often. Not sure.

-kurt



 
Aries

July 30, 1999, 08:11 PM

i am not saying hand the technology over to us the developes and other hardware manfacturers. what i am saying is dont make the t-buffer and other propritary features specfic to the api. and we as the developes can in a was determine that if we choose to develop a game around opengl and on the linux platform we should be able to write that game in standard opengl and have all the benefits of the t-buffer and all the other propritary of the 3dfx cards if its a 3dfx system the user runs it on aor if he runs it on a ultra tnt2 system he wont get the t-buffer but he will get the tnt2 features. also i do think that someone should step up and say to the hardware manfactures "that we want some standards set in the graphcs industry its we the developers who decide what the public wants in features for out next product. so lets make sure that a year from now people who buy a 3d card will play the game the way it was meant to look and play and not look and play the way it does because no one can agree what is standard.". i dont want to seem like a anti develop new stuff person. but if we have a standards commitee and we say this feature set is the new standard by all means you can add to it but dont take away from it. and this whole glide thing i think 3dfx is being a ripe bastard about it i think the should license the rights to the api out by all means the will still be making money off it. all they would have to do is make a clause in the contract or something that a non 3dfx card can not perform no more than say 90% that of a 3dfx card which would still keep 3dfx in the market for glide games speed.

Aries
And Thats My 2 Cents.

Tim Smith wrote:
>>Addition:
>>
>>If a company makes a proprietary addition, they should in NO WAY be required to make it available to any other card vendors. In the long run, that advances the technology via compitition.
>>
>>However, if we as users and developers want to pressure them into making it available, that is our right. Just as long as we don't pass stupid laws forcing them to hand over stuff they have worked long and hard to make.
>>
>>Tim

 
Tim Smith

July 30, 1999, 08:40 PM

What I said wasn't in response to anything you said. That is why I posted as an addition to my message.

Tim

 
Aries

July 30, 1999, 08:43 PM

ohh sorry. didnt notice that.

Tim Smith wrote:
>>What I said wasn't in response to anything you said. That is why I posted as an addition to my message.
>>
>>Tim
>>

 
Tim Smith

July 30, 1999, 08:47 PM

One thing I think is that even though I would support 3dfx's right to patten an algorithm, they shouldn't be able to patten the results. It isn't as if 3dfx developed anti-aliasing or soft shadows. They might have come up with some really neat real time method of performing these operations, but there doesn't really seem to be any results that are that ground-breaking or unique.

I am really not too concerned about 3dfx having this feature all to themselves for too long. nVidia and other companies will add the capabilities if there is a demand. Just like I am sure 3dfx will sooner or later support features that nVidia has been besting them at.

Tim

 
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