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Submitted by Lauri Hyvärinen, posted on September 27, 2001

Image Description, by Lauri Hyvärinen

Above shots are from our techdemo. Some features: Very large outdoor scenes, huge amount of trees & other plants, FULLY dynamic ground. Dynamic ground modification does not reduce fps at all.

The scenes have nothing static, everything is easy to customize and the trees are planted randomly.

Currently this engine runs 20 fps with 450 mhz/gf2mx, 30 fps w/ 750 mhz/gf2mx, 60 fps w/ 900 mhz/gf2 gts (800x600x32b). T&L -based graphics board is required.

Techdemo uses our Snowstorm 3D graphics engine. Some of its features are:
  • Highly optimized for T&L
  • HSR technology to strip everything what is not seen
  • Automatic LOD
  • All the newest effects, for example
  • DXTC texture compression
  • Cubic reflections
  • Dot product bumpmapping
  • Environment mapped bumpmapping (EMBM)
  • Hardware mesh interpolation
  • Anti-aliasing, Anisotropic filtering
  • Realistic real-time shadows: No need for stencil buffer
  • And so on. Complete list and more shots from the techdemo at our site,

    The release date for our techdemo is within a week.

    Image of the Day Gallery


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.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

    September 27, 2001, 01:10 PM

    Looks neat


    September 27, 2001, 01:12 PM

    Now, that's pretty impressive. Almost makes me wanna trash my own engine... grrrr... ;)

    Jari Komppa

    September 27, 2001, 01:30 PM

    That image looked oddly familiar, possibly a new version from an engine that had an IOTD before? .. But when I went through the iotd images I couldn't find it, so I must be mistaken.. I just remember people discussing about the water reflections or something. Looks neat in any case. Any plans on doing some in-house game with it?


    September 27, 2001, 01:34 PM

    Could you tell us a bit more about when you say "Realistic real-time shadows: No need for stencil buffer." Your tech demo looks really cool though. Cant wait for the release. :)

    Jari Komppa

    September 27, 2001, 01:35 PM

    ..apparently yes, then (just glanced through your website).


    September 27, 2001, 01:50 PM

    Reminds me of the IOTD of Everglade Rush -- but I think the game got renamed or something... Maybe that's what you're thinking of.

    Anyhow, it does look sweet, as does the compnay website. Promising stuff.

    Jari Komppa

    September 27, 2001, 02:05 PM

    I'm just worried about one bit: they're trying too much with too little resources. Taking whatever they have now and optimizing it for size and making a simple game to be released through, let's say, realmedia's game portal, would be a sane way to go - short project (more likely to be finished), no problems getting it published, and they wouldn't need millions of dollars of budget.. The game they're planning to make would need a big-time publisher backing, ie. a miracle.


    September 27, 2001, 02:25 PM

    Isn't that demo using storm 3d-engine by s. aaltonen?


    September 27, 2001, 02:50 PM

    Assuming they're doing a heightmap with a decent level of tesselation, dynamic realtime stencilless shadows really aren't all that difficult, especially with a single distant lightsource. Simply cast a ray from each mesh point to the light, and if it's occluded by the landscape, don't light that point.

    You can even do this adaptively, as long as your terrain is smooth enough. Take, say, a 128x128 chunk of the landscape and cast rays from the corners. If they're all the same, then treat the whole block as the same; otherwise split it up into four subblocks and do it recursively. (Of course, you can get artifacts this way, especially if the terrain is pretty rough, but there's various heuristics to kludge around that problem.)


    September 27, 2001, 02:54 PM

    sorry about that :) i got answer on frozenbyte's forum

    The Wolf

    September 27, 2001, 03:14 PM

    _Very Impressive_

    so share, what partitioning scheme are you using? quadtree? Octree? and the magnificent trees, any hints on that?

    Great work!

    Lauri Hyvärinen

    September 27, 2001, 03:43 PM

    The techdemo is already released. I guess flipcode gets a lot of IOTD posts, as you can see from the date of our submit.

    You can get the techdemo from .

    And please note: If it does not start at all or lags like hell the possible reasons are old drivers or jammed windows. 90% that kind of cases new drivers and/or restarting have solved the problem. Some may to need to tweak anti-aliasing -like things off to get good fps.

    And I'll send our coder here ASAP to answer to all kinds of questions =).

    Lauri Hyvärinen

    September 27, 2001, 03:50 PM

    The techdemo is about to fix that problem: we are already getting more staff to do The Game =). Of course there are always open vacancies for skilled persons.

    Lauri Hyvärinen

    September 27, 2001, 03:58 PM

    Uhm, actually there was no date when the picture was submitted. Anyway, it was two weeks ago.


    September 27, 2001, 03:59 PM

    I downloaded the demo and it barely runs on my system at all. I have a P3-500 512Meg and a 64Meg Creative GF3 running on Win 2K. I AM running the DX8.0a debug runtime and I noticed some debug artifacts turning up. So I ran it through my debugger and I go the following messages.

    Direct3D8: (ERROR) :*** Exception in d:nt_chkmultimediadirectxdxgd3d8fevshader.cpp Line: 596

    Direct3D8: (ERROR) :Streams do not have required number of vertices

    Direct3D8: (ERROR) :DrawIndexedPrimitive failed.

    First-chance exception in Techdemo.exe (KERNEL32.DLL): 0xE06D7363: Microsoft C++ Exception.

    Without trying to sound harsh, I cannot believe you would release a technology demo with such a glaring error in it. Thats what the debug runtime is for...

    Lauri Hyvärinen

    September 27, 2001, 04:12 PM

    (I'm not the coder, he's not present by now so I just tell what I know =)

    The lagging: It's maybe because of a bit "slow" CPU.

    The error: Techdemo has been tested numerous times, with and without debugger. I don't know if DX debugger differs from VC debug systems, so I can only wait for our coder.

    The techdemo may have some bugs what we have not noticed with our systems. And we will learn from our mistakes =).


    September 27, 2001, 04:16 PM

    The demo crawled on the lowest settings on my Athlon 600/256MB/32MBGF2gts. I've got the newest drivers for everything.

    Kurt Miller

    September 27, 2001, 04:16 PM

    The screenshot looks great. I tried out the tech demo, but I don't think it likes my TNT2 very much (no T&L.) It ran, but it was rather slow and didn't look very much like the IOTD screenshot. I suppose its time to get a new graphics card.


    September 27, 2001, 04:30 PM

    Looks great!! Now for the real-time test... :-)


    September 27, 2001, 04:37 PM

    Nope. I'm almost 100% that it is because you are running the debug runtime d3d8. Just use the retail version and it will work. I know "the real coder of this engine" and he never used dx8 debug runtime to test his code :)

    Lauri: I hope you make a cool game with this cool engine. (Side note: you really shouldn't reach for the moon and stars in the beginning:P


    September 27, 2001, 04:39 PM

    fuck... 100% sure that is..


    September 27, 2001, 04:39 PM

    Very nice looking shot. Especially the water; from the looks of it the water gets more reflective as you get farther away (like in real life). Quite good.

    This shot it DEFINATELY better then the N64 ;)

    Jari Komppa

    September 27, 2001, 04:50 PM

    What you need is:

    a) money
    b) publisher

    Lauri Hyvärinen

    September 27, 2001, 04:57 PM

    Hehe, maybe we just want to do freeware games =)

    Now we are doing playable demo from our game. After that is finished we start looking for money to finish the game.

    Pierre Terdiman

    September 27, 2001, 05:04 PM

    Here the first environment (F1) lagged, the second (F2) a bit more, the third (F3) a lot more, and the last (F4) simply freezed my machine - followed by a reboot/scandisk combo.

    I don't think I saw the dynamic shadows either - or anything dynamic, now that I'm thinking about it. Is this only enabled on GF3 ?

    Win98, Celeron500, GF2 MX.

    Jari Komppa

    September 27, 2001, 05:06 PM

    That's cool, as long as you keep the game design simple and forget zillions of missions, weapons, multiplayer capability, striving for longer gameplay sessions (whatever that means), etc.

    The 'optimizing for size' bit that I mentioned earlier is very important if you wish to try to publish your game through realarcade, which, in my opinion, would be a good idea.

    Keep it simple. Try to keep project length under 3 months. See that you can finish a complete game. It's much harder than it seems (a cliche, I admit, but a true one) - you can always waste the next couple of years doing the 'big game' afterwards.


    September 27, 2001, 05:10 PM

    Seems really beautiful.. I do not have tried the demo yet, but I will.

    Just a little question.. you said "Highly optimized for T&L".. I know what T&L is but because I'm currently working on lighting, I would like to know what you mean exactly ?



    September 27, 2001, 05:12 PM

    It will work fine on the retail libraries BUT by supplying invalid data to DX8 (which the debug libraries show) u run the risk of causing "undefined" behaviour in DirectX. This has caused memory leaks for me before that have caused a whole host of other errors.

    Lauri Hyvärinen

    September 27, 2001, 05:16 PM

    In the starting screen there are the controls: Mouse buttons for enviroment modification.

    Shadows are supported by engine, not the techdemo =)

    Celeron 500 is maybe a bit too slow for good fps. Freezing the system is new, but the techdemo is a bit too sensitive for diffrent systems. Will be fixed for the game =)

    And everything what I can suggest is newest drivers.


    September 27, 2001, 05:18 PM

    hehehehe the lagging isn't caused by the CPU. My current engine pushes 6 million polys/sec WITH game logic, physics, AI, visibility and Special FX running and using triangle lists and uploading the same textures 5-6 times a frame :)

    It is worth being careful of runtime errors though because, as most publishers are as technically savvy as my 2 week old nephew, some publishers do notice problems like that :(

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