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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.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

April 03, 2002, 11:36 AM

Really? I didn't spot any... Maybe I need to upgrade to something a little better than my TNT2 to see it or something...


April 03, 2002, 11:39 AM

Why do nerds hate their champion. I think bill gates, with microsoft, should be a hero


April 03, 2002, 11:49 AM

I utterly agree with you, kjeranisok. Windows is a fantastic piece of work. Ok, it's got it's downsides but as of yet. nothing even compares. I may be speaking out of ignorance but what I have seen in linux is unneccesseraly complicated compared to what it is supposed to do. I mean. to access a cd drive you need to mount it. why not just let it start that way. Ok, you can write a script but you shouldn't have to.. ok..

Windows is expensive but what game have you had running for as long as windows? It is on average only three times more expensive than a computer game. And without it you wouldn't be able to play the games.

I like to think that the windows 1.01 is like doom for games. It was different, it was cool, it was usable. If you hate microsoft then don't use linux graphical interface. It is only a rippoff from windows, which in turn is a rippoff from the mac, which in turn is a rippoff from xerox. I am running windows XP at the moment and dang proud of it, Or would you rather be using the old Doslike systems from the days before. I bet you also use an old c++ compiler and not MS-Visual c++.. do you?

Now.. windows is a microsoft product. But a new one is released as often as almost once every two years. The x-box may also follow the same path but compared to the console market in the past it may well go down faster. I ain't excited by it 'cause I know that before long x-box 2 is going to be released, then x-box 3 and x-box 4 or x-box genesis or something. have fun.


April 03, 2002, 12:23 PM

A console should have a built-from-scratch custom made operatingsystem, that not waste 20% of clock cycles. As far as i know X-Box don't have that.

A console should have hardware that special designed for it's purpose. Not a homebuilt-from-cheap-parts-pc system wich need upgrades when new games comes out (just look at the harddrive and DVD-player).

A console should have a wide range of GOOD >CONSOLE


April 03, 2002, 12:23 PM

I think alot of people don't realise the GC is very different from the N64 , they learned a lot... they have always been a bit of pain to dev for.. the GC is a much easyer machine... there will be many cross platform games on it - much more than n64 (which was more of a bitch than ps2 in some ways)

So don't expect nintendo to sit around with only in house games



April 03, 2002, 12:28 PM

MikeW - the point is most if not ALL xbox games will come out for PC,
where as not all nintendo and sony games will come out for PC...

So what is the point in an xbox when I have a PC with far more power?


April 03, 2002, 12:37 PM

Re: the console war..

I'd have to say that it all comes down to the games.. I'd rather play not-as-good-looking but fun to play games, rather than amazing looking crappy games. As it stands right now the PS2 is where I wanna be.. and is why i have it :).

GT3, GTA3, NBA2k2 (granted its on almost every system), WRC, Colin Mcrae 3.0 (Xbox and PC too), MGS2 and FFX..

When I buy a console.. I look at the "big" games coming out in the near future.. FFX, GTA3, GT3 and MGS2 are what sold the PS2 to me back in November 2k1.



April 03, 2002, 12:52 PM

"I'd rather play not-as-good-looking but fun to play games, rather than amazing looking crappy games"

The PC-game industry sucks ! Why ? I've been watching and playing games since zx-spectrum, the focus has been moved from gameplay to graphic-gimmmics. Technique gurus and freaks dominate now the (pc) game-industry instead of game-developer.
Obviously the pc-hardware industry want it this way. But where are the games which are really fun to play ? Look at most games (powered by quake3/unreal/xxxx engines), all nice 3d demos with simple stupid gameplay, all clones , all made by companies/people who do NOT have any clue what really makes a good computergame (though they know how to make money).
I say sweep out all those technic-graphic freaks from the gamedeveloping and ask the gameindustry to give us gamers "real" fun to play games and not half-baked games which require tons of patches and every 6-month new hardware to play.


April 03, 2002, 12:59 PM

Yes there definitely is offset bumpmapping in q3. It is very subtle.


April 03, 2002, 01:10 PM

"The PC-game industry sucks"
Ok, this sounds too hard, i take it back and say it this way:
The PC-Game industry has been very very disappointing in the last years.


April 03, 2002, 02:13 PM

I totally agree. I haven't seen any good (fun+good gameplay) pc game lately. I'm currently playing metal gear solid 2 on my ps2 and when i first played it i was totally impressed (by graphics, gameplay, AI), its way better than any pc game out there. And then there are those other games i really really like, final fantasy x, grand turismo 3, etc. I looks like people designing the games on ps2 spend way more time in making good/fun games while those creating pc games just focus on grahipcs. If i'm correct the "power" PS2 isnt 100% used in the current games, so there will be even better (graphics, physics, ai) in the future. I think the ps2 will be the best console this round. The gamecube will have some good games like the mario and zelda games (though i myself don't really like them) and i've read that Square (my favourite) will start making games for the cube in the future. Can't think of any good xbox game except for Halo


April 03, 2002, 04:20 PM

I see I am in good company

Kalani Thielen

April 04, 2002, 12:32 AM

That didn't actually happen. They used IIS as their server for the website but Netcraft claimed that it was Apache on FreeBSD because that instance of IIS was configured to report the server header item as Apache on FreeBSD.


April 04, 2002, 01:48 AM


I remmember those days I was sitting with my Apple ][ (which can be considered PC), later with my crappy IBM/PC NEC V20 and playing games so much of fun - that you can't see those days on PC... I didn't played any console games (except arcade ones) until end of 1999 (when I came to USA - and my first job was to start doing console games)... And I felt How much I missed.

The only PC games that kept me playing these and old days - a turn-based strategy games like Heroes of Might And Magic + King's Bounty (probably about 5000 hours spent on these games - all versions!! - no kiddin!).. That's the most addictive series I've every played... But those are the good days - nowadays even Heroes4 sux...

What I was seeing since 1995/1996 was RTS / FPS / RTS / FPS / RTS / FPS / CarSimulation / Quest / RTS / FPS / RTS / FPS / RTS / FPS - well i got bored enough... Wolfenstein was fun to play, Doom kind of - and never got to play Quake for any more than 30 minutes...

Rememmber the good ol' games:

1. Archon
2. Cat (Tom Cat - Alley Cat)
3. Hard Hat Mack
4. Diamond Mine
5. Moon Patrol
6. Time Pilot
7. Frogger
8. Galaga
9. Captain Goodnight
10. Black Magic
11. Gemstone Warrior!!!! (My most addictive Apple ][ game)
12. Tetris (well yeah - was fun time ago)
13. Lode Runner (now that was well designed game with editor!)
14. Impossible Mission
15. Super Mario Bross!! (I'm still playing the old Apple ][ version from time to time - I find it better than the arcade ones)
16. Castle Wolfenstein (Apple ][ - probably one of the best games! ever! with SPEECH!!! On Apple ][)
17. Aztec
18. Kings' Quest, Space Quests (where are all good quests these days?)
19. Zeliard
20..... many many more

and they all got their unique style, unique graphics engine or whatever - nowadays .... PC game - "Well haven't I seen that before?"

nowadays - all you can see on PC - is some FPS/RTS/FPS/RTS/FPS/RTS... blaah...

Ewan Higgs

April 04, 2002, 02:15 AM

Yeah! Maybe in the game we are He-Man figures in the Skull Castle (or whatever Skeletor's lair was called) playset!

Have-at you, Man-at-Arms!

Programmer art rules a lot.

Ewan Higgs

April 04, 2002, 02:55 AM

But either way it runs on a Microsoft product so money is still going to them. Its win-win for MS. Either way they are still getting money. In the end, it will probably only hurt the game makers to port to XBox and Windows since they will spend all that time making games for XBox and PC. Then people with PC will buy the PC version and not the XBox version (unless its a party game and they have friends (as opposed to 'netfriends' that they play Everquest with)).

Ah, yes I hear "But XBox costs more so more money will be in MS' pocket if people buy XBox versions (it implies more people have XBoxes)."

However, I have read it is common practice in the console market to sell the product at a loss to get it into as many households as possible and rely on licenses for the console to make up the money. e.g. Nintendo got a percent of money for every cartridge they stamped for people for N64. Not for every game sold. The act of selling a product for less than the cost of manufacturing is known as dumping and it is illegal but it is done anyway (apparently).

After the production costs come down (because the equipment overhead has been paid for etc etc) the console can then come down in price and is generally profitable for the company.

Windows is not sold at a manufacturing loss for two years to get it into households. Each copy of Windows installed goes purely to cover cost of development (packaging is perhaps 50 cents?).

But I only play Street Fighter (as in "Street Fighter" and not Tekken or DOA or VF) and sports games on consoles so I really shouldnt be this interested.

PS-Thorn, [troll]MS is the best software developer in existance.[/troll] And don't post "" again until you tell me why you are doing that. You post that like a rampant downs aflicted leper upon hearing the word 'poop'. Repeating it and repeating it with a rabies charged chuckle that would/does scare the bejesus out of any sane person.

Ewan Higgs

April 04, 2002, 02:56 AM



April 04, 2002, 04:29 AM

People probably aren't still watching this thread but jeez!!1 Do your research. Capcom ARE developing for Xbox. As are Tecmo, Namco, Sega and other Japanese developers. Not all the games are Xbox exclusives, but developers have been porting games long before the Xbox came about.

Cheep PC parts? A GeForce3 costs around the same as the Xbox itself. Don't even MENTION the hard disk, the other consoles don't have one. And I've seen games load on PS2, just not been able to keep awake long enough to play them ;). Just about all consoles are sold at a loss, and it only gets worse as they get older and the prices drop as new consoles emerge.

I'm sick of people calling the Xbox a PC. It isn't. For those of you who own one, you'd better damned well hope MS doesn't decide to offer upgrades, because that trend would be the doom of consoles. As it stands, the Xbox has done nothing but be more powerful than the others, and so it should be... it just came out.

The GPU offers T&L, something PS2 doesn't if I'm not mistaken, although if the info I read on ATI handling the GFX on GC are true it might. It has low memory when compared to a PC, but the OS takes up less than a meg. It has more memory than the other consoles. This extra power doesn't just make pretty graphics, it leaves alot of cycles left for a gameplay experience the other current consoles just won't quite be able to compete with. Listen to what Xbox developers are saying about it...

I'd defend my Xbox to the death... sure it's expensive but it's cheaper than the PS2 was when it was released, and it'll get cheaper. Again, you're STUPID to compare raw sales figures because the PS2 has such an incredible head start.

Right now since I bought my Xbox I've gotten a new game for just about every week I've had it, and all of them (Halo, Dead or Alive 3, Rallisport Challenge) have been excellent.

For most people Microsoft hating is immature and in most cases hypocritical. Unless you plan to develop GNU software you're entire life and give away all your source (and research) for free then you've got absolutely no right. You should be wishing 20 more years will put you in his place. You're probably using a warez OS and warez dev tools, and most likely MS ones at that.


April 04, 2002, 04:50 AM

Actually, between the three I'd say Xbox is the best looking. PS2 is hands down the most grotesque, but the gamecube looks like something my girlfriend would carry around as a purse...

As for the DirectX comment... you mustn't have checked in a while. I've personally found the DirectX API a dream to use (though admittedly I've only delved into DirectXGraphics and DirectInput), and that was when I was much less experienced.


April 04, 2002, 04:58 AM

No... I think it should stay MS vs Sony vs Nintendo... the PC shouldn't have anything to do with the console market, it never did. For instance: Ask a PC gamer for a definition of RPG, then ask a console gamer. Your answers will be worlds apart.


April 04, 2002, 05:06 AM

I don't believe the Xbox is trying to keep up with PCs, and your average home system probably still has comparable specs to Xbox (I know mine does.... crappier video/sound aside). It's a console, and if MS of all people forgets that then that is surely what will kill it.

Right now MS should concentrate on getting the Xbox into homes, and certainly shouldn't begin hyping an Xbox2 for a couple of years... Sony would be wise to keep a PS3 under wraps for some time also... the thing only just went down in price here in Australia.

You used to be safe with a console for 4 years or more... PSone and N64 have been out a bloody long time and are both still shifting the occasional box. If the giants start bringing out new models every couple of years it's only going to piss gamers off... I personally don't want to keep a swathe of different boxes around the house to play all my favourite games, and maintaining backwards compatibility will eventually come back and bite you on the butt.


April 04, 2002, 05:25 AM

I don't believe this will be the case... there are many many games that just don't work on PC... the same with PC games on consoles. So long as MS recruits console developers and not just PC developers you're attitude will miss you out on alot of great games (unless ofcourse you have one of the other two... let's face it - all three consoles are monsters).


April 04, 2002, 05:35 AM

I agree with you on alot of points... but you have to understand that on the PC platform patches are something of a necessity because there's no way to thoroughly test a game on all systems. Unfortunately patches can be abused, offering tweaks and fixes to gameplay elements that SHOULD be found during playtesting. So game quality = bad (not always, but alittle too often). Patches = bad (ofcourse... but it's not ALWAYS their fault). Hopefully Microsoft holds up on their promise to not allow the Xbox HD to be used for game patches.


April 04, 2002, 09:19 AM

>That didn't actually happen. They used IIS as their server for the website but Netcraft claimed that it was Apache on FreeBSD because that instance of IIS was configured to report the server header item as Apache on FreeBSD.

That makes no sense. Why set up an IIS server to run an anti-unix website, but purposely configure that IIS server to identify itself as a unix server?

Is it possible Microsoft is just trying to cover its a$$ by claiming it was an IIS server all the time?

Wim Libaers

April 04, 2002, 11:51 AM

Well, some people posted portscans of the machine, and it was also running typical UNIX services that you wouldn't expect on Windows. And others managed to download bin/ls from the machine. The BSD binary.


April 04, 2002, 01:03 PM

Companies tend to announce many things and drop that faster than
you can notice, thats the nature of the industry.
XBOX is a nice console, definitly, for developers and for gamers,
but thats not what is important for the success of a console.
The problem of XBOX is, that it will be always be compared to a PC and in fact it is (almost) a PC !
The keypoint is, can companies developing for xbox resist not to make pc versions so pc users get a motivation to buy xbox for playing the games. And i tell you the companies will NOT resist and will publish pc versions, which means the death of xbox.


April 04, 2002, 02:01 PM

True. The XBox can be compared to a PC and everybody knows that his PC is faster now than the XBox. You cannot compare your PC to a PS2. Even today no game is using the full power of the PS2. Saw a report on tv some days ago where they said that one of the newest games (don't remember which) now uses 90% according to a Sony performance analyser. I don't want a box which has the same components in it as my PC. Also I know that there is little effort to port a game from XBox to PC so if there is something on the XBox which I really want to have it will eventually be released for PC as well.



April 05, 2002, 05:30 AM

Microsoft has the financial muscle to ensure the exclusivity of key Xbox titles... you'll never be able to get the very best Xbox games on your PC. I'd say the trend will lead to PC game ports to Xbox, rather than the reverse. Then there is the issue of games that just won't appeal to both groups of gamers. As a PC gamer, I didn't buy the Xbox to play PC games. And so far the games I have (with the exception of Halo) would never succeed on a PC.

As far as the PS2 still learning new tricks is concerned. That happens of every platform. PS2 games will keep getting better for some time yet. So will Xbox games and so will gamecube games. Compare the last gen of PSX and N64 games to the launch titles.

I'm not saying PS2 is crap... like I said in another spot on this thread all three consoles are monsters, and I think there's room in the market for all three. Sure, is PS2 is 99.9% likely going to retain it's dominance, but the remaining two platforms will still have an ample base of dedicated gamers.


April 05, 2002, 11:06 AM

I think this is the point:
If xbox games will be like "typical" console games (Halo is not!), then there will be a reason for people to buy also. But i think that most xbox games will be like pc games ! why ? because they will be made by pc games companies.


April 07, 2002, 09:23 AM

I've just got to say that the lack of knowledge of any of these systems is frightening. I'm a professional games programmer and I have developed for all the modern games machines sold in the UK - PC, PS2, Gamecube, XBox and even the Gameboy Advance.

I have no opinion of whether a console is going to die as there is just no way of knowing. But I do have an opinion and knowledge, backed up by FACT, about the capabilities of each system.

I was in a taxi a few days a go and the driver was telling me how is mate was saying that the PS2 was more powerful than the X-Box and I just laughed. It just demonstrated how people are taken in to propoganda spread by so-called 'fanboys'.

First off, the X-Box has a different architecture to a PC. It has a different memory architecture and different bus architecture to the standard PC. The software on the X-Box just makes it look like a PC. The GPU on the X-Box is not a GeForce3, its more powerful. Although I do admit it has similar features. If you write a game for an X-Box, it would take considerable effort to port it to the PC. You would have to re-write the input system, possibly support the mouse. Also on the graphics side you will need to enumerate your devices and certain effects that the X-Box does you could not do on the PC because you could not guarantee that your user-base had the hardware to support it.

I think the _only_ thing PS2 has going for it when it was released was that it was backward compatible to the PS1 and so could support the already huge user-base there. If the PS2 did not support PS1 software I think it wouldn't have lasted too much longer. Most developers do not like it and it probably costs more to develop a game for a PS2 than it does an X-Box (due to the complexities of coding).

Compare that to an X-Box with a extremely productive development environment with the best software support in the world. I'm sorry but no-one comes even close to Microsoft when it comes to developer support. People who hate Microsoft and settle for the 'world domination' conspiracy are just sheep who actually haven't had the pleasure working with them. They are a lot better to work with that Sony and Nintendo IMHO.

To sum it up: better memory architecture with hard-disk streaming translates to better use of art and sound and game levels. More powerful GPU translates to better looking visuals. More power sound hardware (including Dolby 5.1 surround) translates to a better immersive sound experience. Add widescreen and HDTV support and I'm already excited. Oh and BTW, more powerful CPU (AND THE OS DOES NOT EAT UP 20% CYCLES AT ALL!!! THAT'S JUST CRAP - I WOULD EVEN DOUBT IT REACHED 1%) translates to better AI. All in all, potentially it means better games. Its up to us the developers to make it happen.

I already know of people who live near me who are looking at their PS2 in a different light after seeing Halo, Dead Or Alive 3 and Wreckless playing in the local games shops. Even 'Game', a leading UK high-street games shop is selling an X-Box for 99 (quarter of the full price) in exchange for a PS2 and 5 PS2 games.

The PS2 does have some good games: notably Grand Theft Auto 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 but it has taken almost 2 years in the coming. Coupled with a large user-base, you can see its going to be around for a while. IMHO developers will continue to develop the system not because of their love for it, but because it brings in revenue. Interesting to note that GTA3 and a MGS game will come out on the X-Box.

The bottom line is that no matter what your 'loyalties' lie, you cannot write off either console. Nintendo have got their market owned anyway so the Gamecube is going to be around for a while too.

If you going to make intelligent statements about the consoles make sure they based on fact - there's an awful lot of crap going around on the net at the moment.

Cheers :o)

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