View Thread : Sweet Jesus! HL2 and Doom III have nothing on this!


geoboy
Yesterday you may or may not have heard nVidia's announcement and showcase of its new $500 graphics card which is due out at the end of May. It's so powerful that Epic Games is finally able to show off its Unreal Engine 3 technology at a decent framerate. The engine won't be around til sometime in 2006. There's a video floating around the internet now showing the power of the engine and the video card, and if you drooled watching Half-Life 2 and Doom III videos, you're REALLY in for a treat now.

http://www.insanemidaircombo.com/Other/Teaser/unreal3_0002.wmv

The resolution and overall quality of the video really doesn't do it justice, but since it is motion you can get a better idea than you would with still images imo.

Dark Jaguar
I was especially impressed with the scene with the rotating stain glass window on that moving freak and also with that water "bust" floating around with realistic light refracting.

Pretty nice.

geoboy
The rotating stainglass projection really impressed me too. The audience also seemed to like it because that was the first thing they applauded.

Epic has yet to showcase their new physics engine. It'll most likely be an enhancement to the previous "ragdoll physics", but I'm hoping there will be improved fragmentation of bodies. :D I guess the question is, how messy can frags get before they're considered distasteful? :)

Dark Jaguar
If you ask me, they already reached that point. Honestly I was fine with characters just sorta dying on the spot with not a bit of horrible mutilations. It's no biggy though, it's just that the horrible mutilations at this point seem to be for humor's sake rather than realism. I mean, when you see someone's legs torn off and they fly around with arms waving, it's FUNNY not tragic! .... um yeah...

Oh yes, looking again at that... I forget what they called it, the paralax scrolling of bump maps, it's really very nice looking. I do want to see a direct feed of this though. Anyway, higher poly counts do still matter, but only in that they sorta give a better "marble block" for the "sculpters" to carve from. The effects are the main thing now, as they have been for some time.

geoboy
Well what they're doing now is creating incredibly detailed characters with 6-10 million polygons in a standard 3D modeling application, then using that to render highly detailed lightmap information. Then for the engine the character models are scaled down to around 10 thousand polygons but have the detailed lightmaps applied which gives the illusion of more polygons. This technique is nothing new, but a lighting system this insanely powerful is something unprecedented.

This process really makes sense for realtime 3D graphics. There are so many lighting calculations that need to be done with high poly models that this method really cuts down on those calculations while at the same time preserving a lot of the detail.

A Black Falcon
3D will only completely replace 2d when it can match high-detail 2d art like in Baldur's Gate or Disciples... it can't yet. Oh sure it has its own advantages over those games, but they have their own too... like detail...

Smoke-X
I don't know. The Baldur's Gate 3/Fallout 3 3D engine looked almost like 2D. *sniff*

A Black Falcon
They're getting closer, I'll agree to that. But it's not quite the same... not much worse, but just not quite the same.

But you're right, the Fallout 3 engine was beautiful...

Titus is the devil! ... okay, so Interplay is at fault for getting to where Titus got its hands on it, but STILL... :( :(

There are just so many great dev teams that are gone. The list is so long... it's hard to decide which hurts more -- Sierra(Impressions/Dynamix/Papyrus/Front Page Sports/Sierra Studios/Yosemite/etc), Lucasarts' internal teams worth anything, Looking Glass, EA(Bullfrog, Origin, etc), Black Isle... what am I missing...

I don't think 3D0 quite makes this list. :) New World Computing maybe... and on that note, I wonder what UbiSoft will do with the Might & Magic series...

Smoke-X
Titus is the devil! ... okay, so Interplay is at fault for getting to where Titus got its hands on it, but STILL... :( :(
Actually I've heard that Interplay's new President is to blame. He doesn't like PC gaming and wants to pretty much be console exclusive.

Smoke-X
Oh and that Unreal Engine 3 demo: Absofriggintastic. It was so beautiful I had to invent a new word to describe it.

geoboy
Oh... my... GOD!

I just finished watching the new, 161MB high-resolution E3 video of the Unreal Engine 3, and it is nothing short of friggin' amazing! They even showed off the new physics engine this time! The detail. I mean... wow. So much detail. I'm telling you, when we start seeing this engine being used in games, we will be immersed in a world like never before. It's just that awesome.

http://download.beyondunreal.com/fileworks.php/demos/unreal3engine_e3.zip

A Black Falcon
Actually I've heard that Interplay's new President is to blame. He doesn't like PC gaming and wants to pretty much be console exclusive.

Caen is to blame for the death of Black Isle and the cancelling of FO3 and BG3. However, Interplay is the one that got itsself into the situation where Titus could buy them and put Caen where he is...

Laser Link
I saw this a few weeks ago as well, and it is amazing. It blew me away. There is so much detail, but I just wonder how long it will take to make games. Everything has to be perfect when you get so realistic, and I wonder if it will take more time, or if it will in fact be easier because they will be able to use the original models and textures instead of having to make simpler, smaller versions. It could go either way.