Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Doom Resurrection for iPhone by Id and Zorsis for Wii by Emergent

These two pictures show:
  • Zorsis (Forbidden Terror on Station Z)(Demo) for Wii by Emergent
  • Doom Resurrection for iPhone, by Escalation and Id
Which is which?

Interesting similarities. ;) Kudos to our tiny demo team for GDC 2008.

Thanks Michael Noland for pointing it out.

(Resurrection picture from Kotaku)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Links: Middleware survey, online tech, virtual memory, graphics deconstruction, deferred lighting, ssao, 3d glasses

On the left, a pile of links.
On the right, some Gamebryo games I don't think I've mentioned yet.

Game Development:
  • Mark DeLoura is at it again with another Middleware Survey. (You saw his writup on his Game Engine Survey online or in Game Developer, right?)
  • Darrin West has been writing up detailed thoughts on Online Game Techniques, e.g. his recent post Online Hard Problems.
  • Sysinternals offers handy tools you likely already use, such as Process Explorer. But, have you noticed VMMap? It can show you a process's virtual memory access. This came up recently on the DXGAB email list as a hint to finding memory leaks of GPU resources (look for WriteCombine attrib)
  • Timothy Farrar is verbose and detailed in his many graphics posts this year, certainly you're following along? e.g. game deconstructions: Killzone (+more), Resistance 2
  • Adrian Stone has started a blog Game Angst, and has some experienced thoughts on Deferred Lighting vs Deferred Shading.
  • Accumulative SSAO, similar to what was done in Gears of War 2. A gamedev.net thread on Screen space ambient occlusion together with reprojection to smooth over time.
  • 3D Glasses from NVIDIA. I recently tried these out in the office, with about 50% of people thinking they were cool, to 50% not being all that impressed. I'm concerned it's a bit of an expensive gimick that doesn't add much - gamers won't wear glasses for prolonged periods, and I doubt autostereoscopic displays will justify their cost.
  • ThruYOU, sample based music, but together with video from the youtube sources of the samples.
  • Advanced Cat Yodeling (youtube video link -- couldn't help myself, it's funny)

Texas CheatEm
Dungeon Runners
Freaky Creatures
Wizard 101
Space Chimps

Friday, June 5, 2009

EGT Podcast E3

Emergent Game Technologies Podcast, E3 2009 where Adam Creighton, Dan Amerson, and I chat about E3 2009 and recent Gamebryo news.

E3 Thoughts on Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony; Motion Controllers

Some thoughts on E3 2009 press briefings from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

Motion capture was a big focus from all three, which seems to be an attempt to show technical achievement and ability to grow into the market area Wii has had some success with.

Microsoft had some big news with device free, full body tracking (Natal concept advertisement). That's very impressive, and I give mad props to Ryan Geiss who's been a key contributor on the Xbox team that pulled off the software side of things.

Sony has a odd looking engineering prototype that requires you to hold a controller with a light bulb on it. However, they deliver excellent precision and tracking with nearly no lag (Sony live demo).

Nintendo discussed their previously announced motion plus, which adds precision to their unfortunately laggy and low precision launched wiimotes.

Some criticism to go around?

Nintendo didn't show anything really compelling with their new found precision. All I could see so far was really a more expensive and bulky set of peripherals that still didn't sync up as well as you'd like with characters on screen. Aiming for FPS or pointing was still a problem.

Sony's controller requires something in your hand and a camera. You'll be limited as to where you can stand, and the light bulb on the controller will be challenging to make "cool".

Microsoft's Natal still has some bugs to work out (Their first demo shows poor tracking of the speaker, contorting and snapping a lot (see video), though it is a bit better in subsiquent live demos).

Their precision will likely stay pretty limited with the camera only solution. Also, buttons are important, so it's likely that many "non-gimmick" games will still have you holding a controller.

Overall, I'm still curious about how much impact motion based gameplay will have on the long run of games. I think there'll always be a place for it, perhaps more as a gimick. But, the recent hype of Nintendo's Wii may diminish (many of their consoles sold to the "new market" are collecting dust after the gimick wore off). Will the result be the same as 3D stereo glasses? A gimmick that returns every decade or so, only to still be realized as a gimick without lasting appeal?

Social networking was focused on quite a bit too, along with adding other non-game elements to the systems. Facebook, Twitter, and more Video. TV and movie delivery work out well, but it's odd that Sony didn't have more to say here. Sony Pictures should be owning this market nicely, but the bigger news is Netflix and Sky on Microsoft Xbox 360.

Well, many looked good, but also more of the same. ;)

One Game that stood out to me: Mod Nation on PlayStation. It's editor is great, so easy, so much what I wish Trackmania offered. ;) Now if they can only get their game play to be as fun as Trackmania.