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Submitted by Nathan d'Obrenan, posted on February 25, 2001




Image Description, by Nathan d'Obrenan



Were going to be releasing a "screenshot a day" from our game Everglade Rush, until a 'certain' video card company launches their next gen video card (*ahem* MacWorld *cough cough*), on the PC platform. At that time we WILL be releasing a demo of Everglade Rush for everyone to download and play! The attached screenshot is running in real-time on this "next gen" video card, however the demo we release is fully playable on practically every video card.

This pic demonstrates perpixel lighting (all the hovers down in the valley), perpixel cubemapping (realistic, accurate refracted reflections, using programmable vertex and pixel programs all in realtime), and the sick poly counts you can expect from our game. There's lots of other great graphical features in our engine that aren't displayed in this pic, but we'll leave that for tomorrow :)

Were under NDA to not mention the video card's name, but hopefully you can figure out which card I'm referring to :p

-Nathan d'Obrenan
www.firetoads.com


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
DirtyPunk

February 26, 2001, 02:12 AM

Yo momma.

*** DirtyPunk sets mode: +v DooMWiz

 
Revolver

February 26, 2001, 02:13 AM

The hovercraft looks like a wax cake decoration. :)

Overall, yeh, it looks pretty swell.

 
Nathand

February 26, 2001, 03:18 AM

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the late replay, I've been a little overloaded with things to do. OK, see If I can clear some stuff up.

First of all, VE just sent me a link they have yet to post, but I think its ok, if I post it here (before they actually post it). I think it answers a lot of questions here, so here it is.

http://www.voodooextreme.com/games/interviews/evergladerush/

I talk a lot about what goes into our engine, how the game plays etc., how it all works, and theres some funky new screenshots in there to =)

David: The poly count of models close up is insanely high, and its all based off of your fps, so if its pretty high, we keep on putting polygons on the screen, until its your desired fps. If you want 60 fps, we'll try to get it, but there probably won't be much drawing. All models are based off of their own LOD system, so the ones far away are probably only around 100 polygons, whereas the ones when you get close are around 600-700. Every model in the game is like that.

Kurt: Thanks for the nice words, we got some slack for first releasing this pic, but I still think its sweet. Keep in mind its reflecting the mountain behind it, and the sky, and if a hover were to drive up it would refract and reflect that to.

Michael: I'm a neat-o freak and I think you have to be if your ever gonna survive making games. If no ones a neat-o freak graphics won't advance, and everyone will be stuck playing the same old, same old.

Freaky boy: Weve played ER on some serious crap machines, and it played real well. FYI, my dev system is only an Athlon 700 with an nv20.... so probably some of you guys have faster systems than me.

KodeAC: The shot uses a vertex program to calculate the cubemap reflection based from your eye position (lookup from a normal map), and rotated into cubemap texture space. All this on a perpixel level, wheras before (geforce 1-2), it was all done as a predefined opengl enable (I think it was gl_reflect_from_eye?), and because its in a vertex program we can multiply in a bumpscale before we do our normal map look up, so we could literally 'bring out the depth'. Its a very technically awsome technique, and kudos should go to Cass, and the nVidia OpenGL dev guys for developing it.

James: Thanks for the nice comments =) We try our best to say the least, and just hope people take notice. Ectosaver is a very kool screensaver, and I'm writing a gem in the next game programming gems book, to show you how to implement that cam-tech into your game / app.

Umm.....I don't know much about the mac scene yet, as I have yet to dev on any macs, but I'm definately planning on porting ER over.

Maybe in a couple days I'll put together a collage or something that showcases all our cool screens, and resubmit as an IOTD so you guys can check it out then. Thanks guys!!


-Nathan d'Obrenan
www.firetoads.com

 
iMalc

February 26, 2001, 04:55 AM

Nice! I'm sure that this pic doesn't do your engine justice. Great that it's scaleable (even realtime scaleable) for older cards too.
Good to see someone furthur advancing the quality of games. Your trees all do look just a little too straight though.

I had never heard of cubic environment mapping before. I am one of those rare people still bothering to write a SOFTWARE 3D engine and the most impressive thing I have done so far is realtime bilinear filtering.

I use and develop for Mac's and PC's myself. I don't give a hoot about photoshop and it's tests. I know Mac's are often slower but when it comes to learning curves, gimme a mac anyday. Does microsoft make things hard to use on purpose just to be different?
What do you think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would think of people argueing over their OSes?
And anyone who thinks apple's computers are ugly - Grow up!
Mac users PAY for a computer with STYLE!

 
MgFun

February 26, 2001, 06:29 AM

Everglade Rush Screenshots running on the geF.....3 (February 25th, 2000)

Gna...

 
Saad Faisal

February 26, 2001, 06:44 AM

This is one cool shot and i guess it's GeForce3 that you are talking about. Nice work BTW.

 
Fabian Giesen

February 26, 2001, 07:49 AM

You're both wrong, it's the brand new Matrox G666

 
Fabian Giesen

February 26, 2001, 08:01 AM

Sorry, but trusting the "facts" the manufacturer of a computer supports is ALWAYS, and I repeat, ALWAYS plain stupid.

If you believed the "facts" by Commodore Amiga 5 years ago, then Amigas were far superior to PCs back in 1996.

But I can't and I won't agree to that, and I doubt you can :)

 
Fabian Giesen

February 26, 2001, 08:11 AM

On the applications subject: I know some people in such a multimedia agency personally, and they are all horrified at the thought that they have to use Macs, because the graphics performance is plainly laughable (note: this was some time ago, when there were no fast gfx cards for Macs, except the ATI shit they had pre-installed) and because they don't like the interface. This is not about GUI wars or something, but simply about the fact the Apple enforces how a GUI should be designed, no matter if it makes sense or not. While the Standard Menubar-Workspace-etc layout is good for Apps like Photoshop, this gets very questionable for a 3D Modeller for example, where it's VERY unlikely that you're working on more than one scene in parallel. This only gets worse with the fact that you can't use keyboard shortcuts without explaining on some onscreen space what they mean; if you've ever worked with high-end modelling packages such as Softimage 3D, you'll know that this is simply not doable for some programs, because in SI, many commands (like viewport rotate etc) are accessible via keyboard only, making the thing less intuitive to learn, but causing absolutely smooth workflow to the experienced user. Considering that, I doubt there'll ever be usable pors of high-end modelling packages (Maya/Mac is a perfect example for what I mean with "not usable") on Macintoshs. And this is only one example I picked.

 
Lucid

February 26, 2001, 08:24 AM

yep, thats what I told him when he mentioned it in his earlier post...
Using data obtained by the manufacturer... I have a bridge I'd like to sell you...

 
Joakim Hårsman

February 26, 2001, 09:09 AM

Of course G4's kicks ass in Photoshop, the cache is _huge_. If Intel made a test with pure numbercrunching and no memory access the macs would lose. The G4 is still extremely cool though, cache is more important than MHz.

 
Leon Rauis

February 26, 2001, 09:25 AM

I think its the much bally-hooed BitBoy's card. What do they call that thing again?

 
danthalas

February 26, 2001, 09:51 AM

Bah! You, silly guys; he refers to the intel 740 resurrection. ;)

 
Phil Carlisle

February 26, 2001, 09:57 AM

Hmmm, I might be a bit controversial, but I dont really like the image that much. I dont mean to be disrespectful of your efforts (I mean, lets face it, kudos to anyone who finishes a game), but I just dislike the use of env mapping and bump mapping stuff when I really dont see any benefit.

It just seems to me that its in there for no real reason (other than that it can be). A classic example of this is malice. It looks pretty bad IMHO with all the bump mapping etc.

I just wish people would have a bit of taste when they are applying these techniques.

Perhaps I'm just in a harsh mood, please disregard this if it comes across too harsh.

Phil.

 
platypus

February 26, 2001, 10:17 AM

Uh, actually, I routinely swap the cards between my macs and PCs. And, I don't have to keep flashing the card's BIOS. The only time the x86 language is an issue is with the drivers.

That's the beauty of standards. The same PCI SCSCI card I have in my Alpha box will work in my Athlon and in my G3 Powermac.

 
Punchey

February 26, 2001, 10:27 AM

You guys are all WAY out of the loop! He's talking about S3's Virge "The Second Coming".

 
platypus

February 26, 2001, 10:30 AM

Actually, most of the users of QuarkXPress are still on the mac. I think it's about 80%, I'd have to ask our customer service department to get exact numbers. Most of the people doing high end publishing are using macs. Not just in the US, but world wide.

I develop on both. It's a matter of personal preference. I primarily use the PC at work because our email system is more stable on the PC.

The Development environment for OS X is quite nice. The most recent release of Codewarrior (6), was very unstable under OSX when it was first released. The most recent patch brings it up to par with Visual Studio. I much prefer the tools direct from Apple, though. For Cocoa (OSX native) development, it uses Objective C. It has its good points and bad, but the tools are extremely easy to use.

 
Paul

February 26, 2001, 10:56 AM

Wow! Nice screen-shot! Nice work!

Phil (if that's your real name): You do seem a little hormonally imbalanced today.

 
sgstair

February 26, 2001, 11:47 AM

Does microsoft make things hard to use on purpose just to be different? -iMalc

Not really, most of the hardships in the win32api are caused by all the pre-win95 compatibility.

I am also beginning to write a software renderer (in pure asm!)
Maybe it will be faster than some graphics cards....

 
user name

February 26, 2001, 11:51 AM

see your point about the iBook, kind of looks like a toilet seat. i for one, would have no qualms about pissing on it

 
Peter Mackay

February 26, 2001, 11:57 AM

VIC-II?

 
Azrael

February 26, 2001, 12:31 PM

Vey nice! I have worked a bit with racers myself and I have an idea on how hard it is to keep a good speed and the effects going, nice work! =)
This is truly worthy of an IOTD, however there are definetily better screenshots on the webpage than this one...


 
DarkReaper

February 26, 2001, 12:51 PM

ALL of you are wrong! Its the GeForce 3 *G*
We all know it was unleashed at Macworld =D

 
kewldude

February 26, 2001, 02:19 PM

Haha, they even made you believe that, we all know that it was a visious rumor. Come on, nvidia is never going to go mac on its users. It was a joke, just like that potato-powered server, its never going to happen.

 
Michael Kurth

February 26, 2001, 05:04 PM


Mip-mapping and bilinear filtering actually DO improve image quality. And colored lighting CAN improve a scenes quality. But I guarantee that any scene light with red, blue, yellow, and green lights simultaneously and without reason looks horrible. Look at some of the games that used colored light sources for no reason, they look very cheesy. The same thing is going to happen as people start to apply this new technology in a very weak attempt to be "high-tech".

I'm just trying to warn all of you out there to use some common sense when using these features. You don't need to environment-bump-shadow-map every object in the scene.

 
Dan MacDonald

February 27, 2001, 01:20 AM

You guys rock! :) i'm cracking up

 
Simon B Wilson

February 28, 2001, 09:20 PM

In regards to the issue about having seperate / the same card for both x86 and macs, most of the mac people here forgot to mention the Apple Display Connector. According to somewhere else: "(The geforce 3 will be ) available in 64MB DDR SDRAM configuration that supports both the innovative Apple® Display Connector and the industry standard VGA connection."

And the lucky bastards get OpenGL 1.2 as well :-(

I've always liked macs, but I don't think I'm about to spend AUD$8000 on a high-end system which doesn't come with a monitor! For that kind of cash, I can grab a brand-name dual processor system AND a lovely 21" screen :-)

 
DarkReaper

March 02, 2001, 06:21 PM

Yea, nvidia said they were releasing for the PC first =)

 
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