flipCode - LithTech 2 Tech Preview (Part III) [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 .

Lets have a look at the special effects the engine will boast, then wrap up the preview with some comments and advice from Mike.

       I know a lot of people are just waiting for this one: tell us about the eye candy!! What sort of snazzy special effects, smoke trails, coronas, mirrors, etc. can we be expecting and how easily modifiable/varied are they for others interested in using the engine?

Kevin Stephens implemented (in game code) a very cool corona effect when you look at the sun, it's the best one I've ever seen.

We have mirrors, so there are areas with reflective water and reflective floors.

LT2 has the capability for game code to render anything it wants, which has been used for things like lasers, lightning, and fire effects. We'll definitely be working on some cooler effects for when we release.

The landscapes we're working on don't really classify as a special effect, but they will be pretty impressive. The E3 demo we did really only was the beginning. Things that helped the landscapes look good were volumetric fog, the water reflection, and detail textures. The scale is also pretty staggering. We are going to great pains to not have a fog-clipping-plane thing in our terrains :)

. c l o s i n g     c o m m e n t s .

Any other comments on the technology behind the game?

It's maturing quickly. Lithtech1 was our first crack, and we've identified several areas for improvement. It's great to see the engine getting more streamlined, well-structured, and optimized each day. We make small course corrections each day so it's impossible to say exactly what Lithtech2 will be like, but I'm definitely psyched!

How about a closing quote? Advice for coders? Thoughts on the universe?

"Real champagne for all my friends, and real pain for all the shams." - Tom Waits

Making an engine is a very slow and iterative process. You iterate over something 10 times, go work on something else for a while, then iterate once again. Most of the complexity appears when all the separate components are interacting, each desparately wanting a piece of the poor computer it's running on. You spend a lot of time beating back each component.. 2% here, 1% there, and it all adds up in the end!

Prev Page: Lighting, Networking, Extensibility

Update: An Update On The LithTech 2 Engine - 11/05/1999

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Preview by Kurt Miller (Psykic)

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