flipCode - LithTech 2 Tech Preview (Part II) [an error occurred while processing this directive]
. a     s n e a k     p e e k     a t     m o n o l i t h 's     l i t h t e c h    II     e n g i n e .

Its clear that the LithTech II engine can do some pretty advanced work with worlds and models, but there's a lot more to a top notch gaming engine than that! Lets take a look at some other aspects of the engine such as lighting, networking, and extensibility.

What sort of lighting can we expect from the LithTech II engine? How have you tackled lighting for enormous outside worlds lit by "the sun"?

I have a lot of time blocked out to work on lighting for Lithtech2, but I haven't actually delved into it yet so I can't say much. One thing that is in is the capability to have sunlight light the indoor areas (through skylights). This looks VERY cool and realistic on our game's indoor areas. The landscapes are lit directionally (vertex lighting) from a sun object.

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Rumors have been floating around that the LithTech II engine will be boasting some pretty slick weather effects. Care to shed some light on the matter?

We have a bunch of features that add up to cool weather effects:
  • Directional lighting from the sun (this affects terrain geometry, model lighting, and model shadows).
  • Global lighting scale for time of day.
  • Cool lightning and rain effects.
  • The sky can change dynamically (like it'll be bright blue clouds, then change to dark grey clouds, then fade out to the stars at nighttime).
  • In the Lithtech2 E3 demo, we had it setup so you would walk into stones to switch from night to day and to change the weather between stormy and sunny.

    . n e t w o r k i n g .

    I'd call it safe to say that Shogo's network performance caught a lot of people off guard. What can we be expecting this time around?

    Much better performance... Shogo's networking ended up being fairly good, but there are SO many things we didn't have time to do that really will help performance in our next games.

    . e x t e n s i b i l i t y .

    How much emphasis have you placed on building the engine so that others may build upon it and add their own twist?

    The whole thing is written from the ground up to be used by others. There is a very clear line between the game code and engine code and the responsibilities are divided up well. The game code has hooks into most things that the engine does so it can be fully customized. For example, some people using Lithtech have written their own motion equations in, bypassing Lithtech's motion functions. Another example would be the renderer calling callbacks into game code when it does certain things, so the game code can do special effects like infrared vision by tinting the screen green and drawing all models bright green.

    What sort of games (besides first person shooters) is the LithTech II engine capable of handling well?

    We're making a game called Sanity which is from a 3rd person detached viewpoint like Diablo. The gameplay is nothing like a 1st person shooter at all.

    There is also an RTS being created (that's all I can say about it at the moment :)

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