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Submitted by Bill Ferrer, posted on April 02, 2002

Image Description, by Bill Ferrer

Just wanted to send you guys this image. Its 4 screen shots of a R&D project and will eventually turn into a not yet announced game for the XBOX. The engine uses vertex and pixel shaders to do bump mapping, diffuse and specularity lighting. And has a portal system to do the geometry and light culling. The color of the lights seems to differ from each screen shot because the lights are flickering. Since it is an R&D project, all the art was either made by me (yay for programmer art) or taken from the web. The level was created in 3DS Max. My next step is to create shadows using vertex shaders.


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

April 02, 2002, 06:56 PM

Consoles don't die because they're technically weak, they die because not enough people buy them and not enough people buy them because not enough people develope for them and not enough people develope for them because not enough people buy them and so on and so forth.

Division By Zero

April 02, 2002, 06:57 PM

Is it worth a comment ? I hope u decide from this comment ...

Well ... I think its a super high-tech material ... probably plastic stones...
which year is that ? 3003 ?

And I can't really notice any lightsource... Shinning stones ? Neat feature ;p

Navreet Gill

April 02, 2002, 07:04 PM

When was the last time you saw a Microsoft product that was backed with A LOT OF MONEY die?

Jonathan Fischer

April 02, 2002, 07:05 PM

Jeez people, give the plastic looking stones a break. He said it was a test, and apparently he's getting the results he wants, so what's the problem? :)



April 02, 2002, 07:08 PM

People don't go in shops and buy games because they think
"Wow, i want this console, it has a beautiful API .... "
Think about it...


April 02, 2002, 07:20 PM

"If a game is published for a console and the PC at a time when the consoles are no longer bleeding edge, one would likely buy the PC version if he has a new machine. If the game is only for the console, he has no choice."

A point that I got very strongly from Micro$ was that they are not trying to compete with the PC games market. The console games market generally exists at a tangent to the PC market anyway - the games are generally quite different in feel and appeal.

"If the game is only for the console, he has no choice."
Hence Micro$ bagging some exclusives (by fair means or foul).
(I still think that the best PC games are not suitable for consoles and vice versa...Tony Hawks will just not be the same on a PC, playing it over the net instead of infront of the TV with a mate and a couple of beers and a joint...)

I do see your point though.

"Assuming the above, and assuming that XBox and PC development are as similar as I've heard (haven't seen first-hand), it seems likely more games will be out that are both XBox/PC than games that are both PS2/PC."

I hope that Micro$ resist the temptation to let every PC developer and their dog develop XBox games. A policy somewhere between Sony & Nintendo would be sensible I think. They need to get the Console Playing Masses to accept the XBox for what it is, a console, rather than a PC in a black & green box.

I would much rather code for an XBox than a PS2 (as would many other developers from what I have heard).

(Sorry if my first post was a bit blunt! No offence meant!)



April 02, 2002, 07:21 PM

I think that plastic stones were big in the 60's and 70's. Until the Lava Lamps caused a spate of nasty fumey plastic fire...


Nice shading though.



April 02, 2002, 07:30 PM

Microsoft Money?

They aren't infallable - they just have so many projects, they can easily only hype the ones that work and still look like they solely move the computing world forward! :^|


April 02, 2002, 07:45 PM

No but ppl are more likey to develop for a console if it has a nice api, there for meaning more games and more ppl buy the console.
Also if it has a nice api more time can be spent on the graphics and "stuff".

Personaly I think the game cube will kill it as it so much cheper :P

Ben Gosney.


April 02, 2002, 07:49 PM

People may not go into a store and buy games because the console has a beautiful API, but it IS one large step to getting developers to make the games in the beginning. Here in Australia, the Xbox launch lineup is larger and by far superior to that of the PS2. While the first gen PS2 games looked like last gen PSone games, the first gen Xbox games look like nothing I've seen outside of 'soon-to-be-released' PC game shots. Why will Microsoft fail with this console? Because it's their first? PSone was Sony's first! The Xbox has a new approach backed by just as much marketing muscle as Sony coupled with an understanding of actual development that Sony couldn't hope to comprehend.

"Why develop for Xbox? It'll be dead in one year."?!?!?!

The only way it will be dead is if developers take this approach. Most, thankfully, are not.


April 02, 2002, 08:10 PM

XBOX is just a PC?!?!?!? Come on... you're supposed to be a game developer, quit being so naive. From memory sever of the TI series of graphics calculators use Z80 CPU's, does that make them Spectrums?! Sheesh. The CPU/GPU are similar to, but not identical to (if the MS tech info isn't fibbing ;) ) a P3/GF3 setup, but the architecture is different to that of a PC's.

I purchased an Xbox a few weeks ago, the day it became available here in Australia. Although it has the similar 'specs' as my PC it's producing much much MUCH better results, and it's only the first wave of games! A system that will comfortably run the upcoming PC games is still way out of my price range. A GF3Ti500 still costs as much as an Xbox itself. I don't think you should underestimate the appeal that holds for someone like myself.

I don't believe Xbox will fail. PS2 has had a big head start so comparing figures at this point is pointless. On the defense of the PS2 has the teen support argument, this much is true. When they see how much the Xbox costs here (AU$649 vs the PS2's AU$499) they gasp, but they forget that the PS2 cost in excess of AU$800 when it was released.

With some established franchises moving over to be Xbox exclusives, hopefully we'll see more gamers finding the purchase worthwhile. With the right advertising on new franchises, we'll get more consumers behind the system also. I said this before, but PSone came out of thin air and won the market. It'd be unreasonable to say that the Xbox won't at the very least succeed, if not dominate.


April 02, 2002, 08:21 PM

Well since the appearance of your walls is entirely solveable by tweaking your light sources (if indeed, it's not the effect you're after to begin with) I'll just say very nice looking post.

In a year dedicated gamers (the ones that can afford to stay bleeding edge) on all current platforms will be taking little effects like these for granted. I suppose I should learn some of these tricks myself... alittle hard with my ageing GF2GTS though.

Good on you for having the courage to develop for Xbox. If it's good games that bring in the consumers, then it's going to take a certain amount of faith to develop for the system. I don't see why some developers find that faith so hard to come by when looking at the results they can achieve.


April 02, 2002, 08:24 PM

I'm a bit confused about the meaning of "a nice API". Last time I checked, DirectX was the opposite of nice.

Another thing about the XBox, that hasn't been mentiond yet, is that it's ugly (compared to PS2 for instance). I would rather have a PS2 in my livingroom than an XBox.


April 02, 2002, 08:27 PM

I must disagree ... people also don't develop for a console because it has a nice API. They develop for a console because the marketing people tell them do so, doesn't matter if the api is nice or not.
As for xbox, there may be many games, because many pc games can be developed "easily" for xbox too, so i expect most games come from this niche. In this case, there always be the question why to buy a xbox for just running a game which can also run on the pc.


April 02, 2002, 08:38 PM

plastic walls rock
fireballs rock
invisible lightsources rock
bumpmapping rocks
per pixel lighting rocks
consoles rock
computers rock
rocks rock

Timothy Barnes

April 02, 2002, 08:48 PM


That's something different looking. Nice.


April 02, 2002, 08:52 PM

ROCK'N ROLL rocks!

Luke Philpot

April 02, 2002, 08:52 PM

Nice and simple.

And simple is good.


April 02, 2002, 08:55 PM

oh man i forgot to comment myself... this is some great bumpmapping!
and about the M$ war goin' around here... i don't think the xbox will fail, but... well it won't beat the sony consoles (even if they're a bitch to code). they just have a better feeling so far...


April 02, 2002, 09:41 PM

Having done production code and having shipped games for Xbox and PS2, and having a guy sitting next to me currently working on GameCube code, I have the following to say:

a) Xbox is not a PC.
b) If I have to develop for PS2 again I'll hang myself.
c) If I have to develop for Xbox again I'll throw a little celebration and do a wild monkey jig in the middle of my office. Whoever said that DirectX is "the opposite of nice" obviously hasn't used 7.0a and 8.0+.
d) This is an IOTD forum, not a Microsoft vs Sony vs Nintendo forum.




April 02, 2002, 10:01 PM

That might be all right what you count, but that all does not to do anything with a success of console !


April 02, 2002, 10:05 PM

PS2 hardware doesn't do anything? Maybe if you think VU coding is hard. Frankly, I find the PS2 to be more of an engineer's console, whereas the XBox (please take no offense) is more of an augmented PC. Sadly, this is where I feel the XBox is going to take off. The ease of development has allowed more developers to push out games. Let's just home Microsoft raises their standards on games because so far, HALO is the only game I've seen that's worth my money. And, now, after I have passed the game, I am waiting for the PC version so that I can play an FPS how its' supposed to be played. The only thing I think may kill the XBox is the fact that it is too easy to program. This introduces room for a slew of mediocre games. If the garbage heap grows too high, no one will buy. Just my two cents. Let me put on my space suit really quick so the flames don't burn me :)


April 02, 2002, 10:18 PM

It's allready dead in Japan but I it's doing well in America and Europe and I think that might just be enough for it to be a success.

The Gamecube probably will fail in Europe but again the japanese will love it which should see it doing OK as well.

The PS2 is the leader and likely to stay that way for another year or two but after that who knows.

For perhaps the first time it's looking likely that 3 consoles may be able to survive and with middleware becoming increasingly popular it also shouldn't be that much of an issue for developers.


April 02, 2002, 10:24 PM

The walls do look a bit plastic, I notice that you are using specular lighting (which would cause this), I suggest that you either:

1. Use radiosity and generate lightmaps.
2. Use another texture pass to "dirty" the walls. You could try using a pixel shader for this.
3. Tone down the specularity.

Or all three :-)

However it's only R&D and it's looking good so far.


April 02, 2002, 10:29 PM

I don't like the argument that it's better to have a system that's hard to program for whatever reason but I do agree that a lot of garbage can kill a system.

After all that's what happened to Atari all those years ago.


April 02, 2002, 10:32 PM

To the people who think the XBox is going to be technically outdated soon:
To my recollection of accounts by people who have ripped their Xboxes apart, there are places in the layout where only half the ramslots have actually had RAM soldered into them, etc...
I foresee MS to have, in 12 months, a New, Improved, XBOX Version 2, with these various things filled in, so all the geeks have to go out and buy their second Xbox just to play the new games.
MS marketing rocks.
Oh, and nice looking IOTD!


April 02, 2002, 10:33 PM

He said CPU, probably meaning EE. The VU is one of the few good things about PS2.



April 02, 2002, 10:37 PM

The people who buy PS2 will buy anything the marketing people tell them to buy. And I don't doubt for a second that MS can out Sony Sony in this department. Eye candy is also very important to them, again XBox has the edge here as well.

As for Nintendo, the N64 was a flop and if it wasn't for Gameboy would there even be a Gamecube. So don't count their chickens yet either.


April 02, 2002, 10:38 PM

Check out the Max SDK, it has samples for writing an exporter.


April 02, 2002, 10:47 PM

"I'm a bit confused about the meaning of "a nice API". Last time I checked, DirectX was the opposite of nice."

Well nicer than writing VU code.

"Another thing about the XBox, that hasn't been mentiond yet, is that it's ugly (compared to PS2 for instance). I would rather have a PS2 in my livingroom than an XBox."

The XBox is no oil painting but the PS2 is the ugliest console ever, just a cheap rip off of a really early Atari console. I think we can all agree if it came down to looks the Gamecube would win hands down.

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