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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.


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.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, 10:53 PM

99.99999999999% certain that won't happen.

HOWEVER it is very likely that in a year MS may bring out a "homestation" which would have more multimedia/internet functionality that can also play XBox games. And allthough the extra memory or whatever may be used for the multimedia/internet apps, the games would be limited to "traditional" XBox specs.


April 02, 2002, 10:54 PM

Now I don't work with Xbox or as a professional game developer, but I thought that the reason only half the RAM chips are there is because they use the same boards for the developer kits, and they have 2x the amount of RAM for debugging and what-not.

An interesting sidenote/rumour - ATI get a royalty on every game sold for Gamecube - that's gotta be a huge amount of money (not to mention clever management) if Gamecube takes off!


April 02, 2002, 11:12 PM

Yah, the caretaker of these caverns is meticulous indeed .....maybe dirty it up with some noise....but cool, nonetheless. I wish I knew how to program shaders and pixels et. al. (I wish I had a vid card that would do it in the first place ;)). Bah, all technology is obsolete within a couple of months whichever way you look at it!!

Warren Marshall

April 02, 2002, 11:43 PM



April 02, 2002, 11:46 PM

Hey, say nothing bad about plastic stone! My living room wall has plastic stone finish on it!

Anyway, that stone texture is the same used by all the bump mapping demos. Must be because creating art for these new shaders is pretty hard, and it's easiest to just swipe something that's already available.

I hope you're not planning on using tangent space bump mapping, though; all the l33t k1dz are now turning to object space (which happens to be easier to understand and work with, too :-)


April 02, 2002, 11:48 PM

Don't we all remember the slew of crap games for PSX 1, that didn't seem to kill it.

exit now

April 02, 2002, 11:55 PM

I agree that it (XBox) is pretty much doomed in Japan (although, who knows, it could still surprise us). It will do well in America and Europe (although, from what I understand, it has gotten off to a slow start there), but I disagree about the GC failing in Europe. I think the GC will probably do pretty well in Europe, and likely not any worse than the Xbox.

The PS2 seems to have an insurmountable lead (as far as consoles sold goes), so, what will be more interesting to me is to see which consoles will be selling the most systems in the coming years. In terms of money made, I fully expect Nintendo to make the most (low system manufacturing cost helping them alot).


April 03, 2002, 12:29 AM

you HAVE to use tangentspace, simply to get the tangentspace normals into objectspace or the other way around.. but you have to use it at least one time

zed zeek

April 03, 2002, 01:08 AM

i agree the walls look like plastic (exactlly like some gl coders demo same texture as well, then again it could just be a coincidence)

btw whats this crap about 'the xbox is gonna fail'
according to the news, it has failed (the president of EA (the largest american game software company) expressed grave doubts about the viability of the xbox only last week)
to sumerise
japan - absolute disaster
europe - not much better
us - doing ok (same as the gc) but still getting (even now) getting outsold by the ps2 by a figure of over 2 to 1 ( not to mention the huge headstart of the ps2 )

a piece of friendly advice cause a lot of devlopers have jumped ont he xbox wagon
xbox = not many consoles / lots of games (to come) = not good investment
ps2 = lots of consoles but a lot of competition = ok ivestment
gc = not many consoles but not many competition = ok investment


April 03, 2002, 02:36 AM

Pretty! I had no idea you could do this with the pixel/vertex shaders, but then I don't use 3D hardware do I.

What's that bright spot in the top right image in the middle od the shadow?


April 03, 2002, 02:46 AM

Dude, nice work on getting data out of MAX in the first place (i know that can be a pig), and good work on the dynamic lights, looks usable (which is about as big a praise as I usually give out :)
PS2 will win in the long run, cos it has the best controller.

When it all comes down to it, a buyer that has bought a console before, will be swayed by the quality of a controller as much as by the power of the machine, ( I know myself and my friends have and do).

Unless the GC has a really good pad, it will merely be a second system for most gamers. (it will be for me)

GC will sell because as per usual NINTENDO are a great software company that happens to make hardware too. Great games by NINTENDO inhouse are what keeps NINTENDO afloat.

M$ is neither a great hardware company, nor a great software company (at least in regards to games), so i don't think they will last more than a couple of years in mainstream gamers. I imagine that M$ will rule the online game world until SONY or NINTENDO get a decent broadband system in place.

matt benic

April 03, 2002, 02:57 AM

Of course the PS2 has a lead.. it came out ages before tha XBox and GC. There is absolutely nothing stopping the XBox from doing well.. It's USA launch titles were brilliant, and the European market had even more incredible titles to choose from (and some of the upcoming titles are breathtaking.. just take a look at project ego), MS has thrown even more marketing money at it than sony did at the PS2. The only possible stumbling block might be the japanese market, and the only thing lacking on that side is a few more japanese developers. Remember, everyone scoffed at sony when it brought out the playstation, but it managed to clout sega right out of the console market!


April 03, 2002, 03:13 AM

I don't think that xbox will die in one year...
It's a PC.
If the console die, Microsoft can release the XBox OS for PC and every game will run on them (if your hardware isn't too old). IMHO, it's the first evolutive console with a real API. I'm sure that Microsoft have a plan to upgrade system and that all the other console don't have.


April 03, 2002, 03:16 AM

do you know that Microsoft try to sell cell phone for the second time ?


April 03, 2002, 03:19 AM

Nice IOTD. Your rigth it does need shadows! And doing that on a pixel shader might be a good chalange..

now talking about games... I don't care about consoles... except for does usefull for programming and debugging (DOS console).. As long as there is a versitile computer we can have at home with some operating system that is known enough so people make games and good applications for it, I will be happy.. Ok, even if the operating system isn't performance-friendly!


Wim Libaers

April 03, 2002, 03:23 AM

Plastic? More like brushed metal, IMHO. There actually are stones that look more or less like this, but they don't give the dungeon feeling. May I suggest algae or mould?

Wim Libaers

April 03, 2002, 03:34 AM

MS really is quite good at making hardware. I don't have an X-Box (probably never will unless one falls off a truck somewhere near me, I'm not very interested in consoles). But their mice and joysticks are really good. And supported well by linux ;-)


April 03, 2002, 03:42 AM

Also... For consoles we only have to pander to much lower resolutions (ie 640 x 480 max usually). So it is effectively doing less than four times the rendering work than a PC running at 1280 x 1024. The reason that consoles can get away with the low resolution is that TVs have really bad definition, and so the pixels blead into each other causing the aliased lines to look much smoother. PC monitors on the other hand are much higher definition...


April 03, 2002, 04:30 AM

The N64 itself could have sold better, but have you even bothered looking up how well the games sold? As always, Nintendo went + thanks to their million selling games such as zelda, smash brothers, mariokart etc, From what ive read about the companys history, they have always made $ during their 100+ years as a company.


April 03, 2002, 04:33 AM

Just wanted to mention, xbox is failing in europe already. It was avaiable in switzerland much earlier then in the rest of europe, and even then the requests where few. I do know nobody personaly who owns one. I asked the owner of a Game Store how sales are running for xbox, and he made a sad look and said that they would have enough xboxes still ready to be bought...
I read that the sales of the first week in germany are around 15'000!!
GB and France had similar results. Now Microsoft is giving stock obligations away with their xbox, to keep people buying this thing ( what do they think people buy a xbox for??! ).


April 03, 2002, 04:40 AM

I don't know what is so great about a updateable console whatsoever.
About the OS of this console beeing released for Pc's. Most likely not, what should the efford be good for? They got still to rewrite a ton of drivers and maintain them until the hardware producers do that by themselves. And what then, you got a small windows with DirectX only?
I think they would have been better off by writing a Game OS for Pc's, wich isn't based on windows and musn't carry all the shit around that's needed for a wintel.
But M$ isn't into inovation anyway, so they try to move from market to market and flush their oponents down the toilet. Charming, isn't it?


April 03, 2002, 04:40 AM

Well, if I understood it correctly, M$ has actually attempted to niche between those two segments you described (GameCube [kiddies and otaku japaneese] and PS2 [the cool, hip and youth overall]) and attempts to attract die-hard hard-core gamers. However, if this is really compatible with a console - and I'm not saying it isn't, after all, I consider my self a hard-core gamer as well as developer, and I enjoy playing console games - remains to be seen.


April 03, 2002, 05:04 AM

This sucks!

I can make a way better particlesystem than this!


April 03, 2002, 05:25 AM

And besides, you could see an X-Box like a PC, running NO other software in the background, completely dedicated to your program and they ALWAYS have the same system specs.

Now, how many of you have ever done something that works flawlessly on your own computer, but crashes, hangs or just looks plain wrong on other systems?

Think about it... That will continue to happen on the PC-market, but it won't for the consoles. ( unless someone screws up the concept about being a console ).

I'm not saying one console is better than any other. They all are better, just in different areas.

On to the real topic, which is the IOTD ( you know, the actual thing we're commenting on here, guys? (and girls) )

It looks nice, a bit plastic as everyone says, mostly due to the shininess, but it still fills its purpose.

Good luck with your R&D project Bill.

One last note though. Could everyone _please_ stop doing games to use cool effects, and instead build games upon a proper game-design? :) ( if that truly is what you're doing here Bill, then it doesn't apply for you, obviously. I just see too many developers saying: "Oh, this effect looks cool! Let's make a game to show it off!"

All in all, have fun :)


April 03, 2002, 05:54 AM

I hate microsoft and hope they fail in everything they do. Just my view.


April 03, 2002, 06:03 AM

It's similar to what I feel, but I still have to remind me from times to times that gaming wouldn't be what it is without M$.
But they realy screw a lot, and I hope that they fail. Sadly this isn't going to happen very soon.
Btw. for all who don't know, wine is top, and suporting directx and opengl, loki is death but lindows is comming.


April 03, 2002, 06:19 AM

Aren't we the friendly type? :)

Just hope the author of this IOTD reads that you wrote "Particle System" since his project isn't about that :)

All in all, remember that not everyone have the same sense of humor, and thus jokes like these _may_ actually offend the author, and that's not what you're after, I hope.


April 03, 2002, 06:23 AM


Tim Aidley

April 03, 2002, 06:45 AM

I really like the bumpmapping - a bit of tweaking will eradicate the plasticy look, but I think it adds a great deal to the realism of the game. I wish they had it in Return to Castle Wolfenstein... ;)


April 03, 2002, 07:10 AM

The OS won't be released : the XBOX is a closed system : always the same hardware, so no need for drivers : everything is nearly hardcoded. And GameDev are developping in a totally different way than on PC : they don't care about the differents cards with differents specs.

So only PC with a specific sound card/HD/video card/DVD could run the XBOX OS, and in fact, its an XBOX.

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