TTLG|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile
Page 7 of 60 FirstFirst ... 23456789101112172227323742475257 ... LastLast
Results 151 to 175 of 1485

Thread: What are you working on RIGHT NOW? - Community WIP thread

  1. #151
    Thiefmissions.com
    Moderator

    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Houston, Tx., USA
    Quote Originally Posted by OrbWeaver
    I'll put it up if you can find someone to host it...
    I can only make the offer so many times:

    http://thiefmissions.com/hosting.html

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectX
    is that the bit in the ravens loft (name?) level where there's the guard in front olf the entrance. I shot at him, he chased me, I shot some more, accidentally hit a wooden beam and the whole load of barrels came crashing down on him. aye, 'twas funny.
    Heron's Loft. Like the Blue Heron Inn (is that right?) in Thief 3. Someone at Ion Storm has a thing for herons. I know a heron myself (it's a bird like a crane).

  3. #153
    Nothing wrong with zone ambient light, as long as it's kept very low. With a value of 2 or 3, it doesn't wash anything out, and is very dark - like T1&2 - and eliminates all unrealistic pitch black areas. That along with no shadow omnis will surely give some great results.

  4. #154
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Cleveland, OH
    The OMs use ambient light in the LevelInfo (at a brightness of 8), so it can't be that bad. Pitch black shadows makes maneuvering a level harder. The OMs also all have distance fog.

  5. #155
    To clear something up a little:

    I don't intend to say "put no-shadow omni's everywhere" as if dark areas are not realistic and need to be brightened. Every place has dark areas.

    What I mean is, if there is a BRIGHT light somewhere, you need to brighten the areas around it, because light bounces - so don't let anything near a bright light be pitch black.

    When you turn on a light in the kitchen, whether it directly shines in the dining room or not, the dining room WILL light up and you'll be able to walk around, seeing everything clearly and easily. Life would be pain if everything was pitch black except where light shone directly. You would have to carry lanterns, because every shadow would be pitch black.

    So just put no-shadow omni's around corners of bright lights, as if the lit up surfaces are bouncing the light.
    - - -
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    Not to be too picky, but this is not really radiosity is it ? Radiosity is when a light source can strike a surface, and then reflect/refract off it, and light other surfaces which don't have direct line of sight to the light source, which is what happens in real life.

    As far as I know the Thief3 engine doesn't support true radiosity ? In other words this is not radiosity, but simply filling in the shadows a bit to prevent pitch black shadows?
    The tutorial just shows you how to fake it and get the effects of Radiosity.

    Radiosity simulators (like graphics programs, and even the Half-Life 2 Source engine, which compiles light with radiosity information and properly bounces light all around) use radiosity generally as bouncing light. Refractions (light passing through something and getting bent, changing direction, or changing color, whether through glass, water, plastic, etc) is controlled by Raytracing (not radiosity, though it encompasses radiosity - raytracing is more detailed and takes massive amounts of resources to calculate. Radiosity is a simpler type of raytracing that by default only encompasses a simple method of bouncing light).

    I think you already know for the most part, but for those who dont... now you know.

    Radiosity = bouncing light. Light bounces with a very basic projection.

    Raytracing = light that gets disrupted along it's path from light-to-surface, and needs extra calculations in order to bend, change color, or leave a volume in the air.

    Basically light that needs to be "different" on the wall has to be calculated to see when, where, and how the light changes direction or changes color. Ray Tracing - Tracing Rays.

    (referenced from a siggraph glossary of 3d mumbo-jumbo)
    http://www.google.com/search?num=20&...fine:radiosity
    http://www.siggraph.org/education/ma.../vis_gloss.htm

    - - -

    Some pitcure or real-life lighting.




    Because light bounces, it radically smoothes out.
    There's no telling what a room like this would look like if light didn't bounce.

    A big "IN YOUR FACE" to Doom3 with this picture. Thank you. Thank you very much. Dynamic shadows suck very much, and will never be used as hard stencils again for the rest of eternity.

    Half-Life 2 is on the right track. Soft shadows and Radiosity. It doesn't get much better than that, with respect to today's hardware. We don't need/want dymanic shadows, because I've almost never seen a moving light, nor do I want to play minute-sized maps in the dark.


    -


    http://www.deefrag.com/Files/Temp/im...0radiosity.jpg

    When I was working on this HL2M map, I was shocked to see this vivid display of BEAUTIFUL radiosity. It was this wall covered with Orange measurement texture, and the sunlight bounced right off it and made the gray brick wall right across from it orange as well! Beautiful.

    Note also how in these next pictures --

    http://www.deefrag.com/Files/Temp/im...laza170014.jpg

    -- there is only ONE light source, and yet everything so beautifully, perfectly, and evenly bounces around to make the perfect simulation of reality. There are even nooks and crannies that get almost completely dark, and rightfully so, showing off how radiosity properly treats all areas. It's not meant to just brighten stuff; it's meant to do light the way it really is.

    http://www.deefrag.com/Files/Temp/im...laza170020.jpg

    Where is all this lighting coming from? It would take Unreal or any other engine at least 4 large lights to accomplish this effect, covering every side of every brush - hitting all faces. Well, in this scene, there are... 0 omni lights. It's just the sun doing it's thing.

    Once again, a nice, profound "IN THOU FACE!!" to Doom3 and the crew who pioneered this brief, dark age in gaming.

    Epic developed per-pixel lighting about the same time as Id (Doom3), however, they are not going to use it until it has soft shadows and bright, beautiful levels in it's agenda.

    I watched a video of Unreal Engine 3 being demo'ed again by Tim Sweeney as usual, and they are using per-pixel lighting with soft shadows to make this ENOURMOUS city - fully accessible - and might I add, very, very bright, and softly lit.

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do lighting.
    Last edited by Dario; 15th Mar 2005 at 00:46.

  6. #156
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    with respect to today's hardware. We don't need/want dymanic shadows, because I've almost never seen a moving light
    You must not get out much at night...you know, when the cars are moving around with their headlights on.

    And as much as I've gone over this argument before, stencil shadows have nothing to do with small level sizes. Hell, Half-Life 2 didn't exactly have huge levels to sport and it doesn't use any form of modern realtime lighting.

  7. #157
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic
    You must not get out much at night...you know, when the cars are moving around with their headlights on.

    And as much as I've gone over this argument before, stencil shadows have nothing to do with small level sizes. Hell, Half-Life 2 didn't exactly have huge levels to sport and it doesn't use any form of modern realtime lighting.
    But it does use millions more startic meshes and FAR BETTER textures on everything... as well as large areas.

    Most of the water ski maps in HL2 are twice the size of the combined levels of TDS.

  8. #158
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I can't argue map size for T3 in particular, but I can say that the stencil shadows aren't the sole cause of small levels..at least not in general.

    As for textures, yeah...HL2 does have great textures, but it has more to do with artistry than engine capabilities (plus prerendered radiosity, which admittedly does help). There's nothing stopping someone from going all out and making a ton of ultra sharp 1024*textures in T3.

  9. #159
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Oh yes, please, can we turn this into a T3 vs Half-Life 2 thread? Huh? Can we, can we??

  10. #160
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Austin, TX, US
    @ Krypt's post:

    besides the fact the Strength aug didnt control what the player could hurt people with, but the fact that objects could hurt people. so if you threw 20 barrels on a person, they just go "Hey!", but with strength aug, you could drop a glass cup and person and kill them.

  11. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic
    I can't argue map size for T3 in particular, but I can say that the stencil shadows aren't the sole cause of small levels..at least not in general.

    As for textures, yeah...HL2 does have great textures, but it has more to do with artistry than engine capabilities (plus prerendered radiosity, which admittedly does help). There's nothing stopping someone from going all out and making a ton of ultra sharp 1024*textures in T3.
    (In light of what you said, I remember some things I want to share to clear up some understanding of TDS, Xbox, and basically shed some light on the fiasco over Xbox ruining this game)

    Small levels are infact not the fault of Xbox's memory or the Xbox at all. I used to assume that it was obvious, but now I know a lot more about game engines and hardware.

    As far as I understand these things, RAM has nothing to do with it. (forgive me if a few months ago I was saying the opposite). RAM determines how much media you can have in a level. It's "what the computer can remember".

    You can have a level the size of a small country, but if it has only one texture, and no compiled lighting, it only uses as much RAM as is taken up by geometry. A flat country-sized level like that would take up about... what? 300k of memory? Maybe 30mb if the geometry subdivides every so many units.

    It's the CPU and GPU (video card) that takes the hit when they try to crunch the huge distances and the try to render the one texture thousands of times over on the screen.

    With regard to that, Xbox and PC's are VERY CLOSE in CPU and GPU. Not only are they close, but the Xbox can do MORE with a certain amount of CPU/GPU than a PC can. Halo runs on Xbox with a GeForce3 and only 600mhz CPU, but it needs a whopping video card and an equally whopping CPU (way more than the Xbox needs) in order to do the SAME as an Xbox.

    Why? Xbox is a dedicating gaming machine. PC's are like rubber-bands split in 5 directions, with some bands weak, some strong, some busy doing something else, etc.

    So how does this relate to level size in TDS? TDS needs more CPU than Xbox AND PC (being that the CPU's and GPU's perform very similarly) cannot handle it and demand less space so that there's less to think about.

    Basically it is the Shadows that drain the CPU. If you turned TDS into a game with static, old lighting, I'm sure it would run *a lot faster*. Normal mapping and bump mapping take a hit, but dynamic shadows are a CPU killer (nothing to do with RAM tho - just CPU/GPU processing).
    -
    I hear alot of people saying that "now we can have big levels because we are not designing for Xbox anymore". Unfortunately TDS, with it's tiny levels, runs SLOW on most people's computers as it is. Bigger levels would make it even slower.

    Now, if the levels are larger but SIMPLER, then it would be the "size-of-a-small-country-effect". It doesn't matter how big a map is, except that larger maps need more detail visible at one time, more physics at one time, and therefor, simply put, more AI pathfinding, more AI in general, more physics objects, more swaying chandeliers, way more normal mapping, more bump mapping, and... the killer... more lights that have to calculate shadows, (and REculculate them every single frame, unlike static lighting) off ALLLLLLLLLLL those things.

    Big levels = more stuff = more shadows = even slower than TDS levels.

    Big SIMPLE levels are not a problem.

    That's the unfortunate skinny. Per-pixel lighting SUCKS on today's hardware.

    - - - -

    Half-Life 2 has anything from gigantic levels (The Coast and Water Hazard levels) to TINY levels (City17), all based on "how much stuff there is". The big levels are empty. The small levels are smash-full of detail. In other words, CPU/GPU... not neccesarily RAM.

    Infact, HL2 can run VERY smoothly on any computer with a great CPU, even on an old fossil like a GF4 Ti 4200 (my old card). If your CPU is a 1.2 ghz and u have a 6800 Ultra, you'll get like 10 fps.

    . So here's some new understanding... for the longest time I was peeved at the choice of making TDS for Xbox, but now I'm just peeved at the accursed per-pixel lighting.
    Last edited by Dario; 15th Mar 2005 at 01:26.

  12. #162
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Right, but you're basing your argument on one example engine. TDS isn't exactly what I'd call a strong contender on the performance front, whereas any other engine that uses per pixil lighting (Farcry, Doom 3, UE3) can display stencil and buffer shadows without any real hit to performance in large areas.

    Farcry, which is the most underrated engine around right now, had massive indoor levels easily the size of the largest HL2 maps and was sporting per pixil lighting like a mofo.

    UE3 has absolutely huge geometrically complicated maps and uses soft shadows on some objects..soft shadows are much more computationally complicated than stencil shadows yet you can see from the videos that it's not struggling all that much.

    Basically they take about as much CPU time as all those cool physics effects you see in HL2, they're not as bad as you're making them out to be. For instance the biggest hit to performance in Doom 3 is the AI (which is too bloated for it's own good), if you were to remove all the enemies from a map you'd see your framerates skyrocket. A multithousand brush map easily runs at 60 FPS with all the trimming and details in tow...and I'm sporting a rather below par 1.4 Ghz machine here.

  13. #163
    That's because of the good occlusion. Lights you cannot see turn off in FarCry (and most other engines), and the outside world no longer renders when you're indoors.

    Basically everything gets "removed" when you can't see it or aren't facing that direction, but regardless, a game like TDS could have been simply massive if it were using simpler rendering.

    -

    UE3 is based on technology that removes, simplifies, or doesn't do lighting on distant meshes. For example, Terrain uses Static, baked lighting. They don't want shadows casting on a 50,000-poly terrain.
    http://people.freenet.de/gamesnation/ue3_10.jpg



    Unreal Engine avoids casting shadows anywhere and everywhere possible. The TDS version is different. You have an unpolished, "heavy" engine programming plus a dumb decision to use per-pixel lighting and shadows on top of it, and what you get in the end is junk.

    Several decisions contributed to what we all peeve about TDS. No time, no money (EIDOS), dynamic lighting and shadows (Ion) = forget it. Not much left to enjoy besides the writing of Terri Brosius to keep things barely afloat and interesting to distract from the problems.
    Last edited by Dario; 15th Mar 2005 at 01:50.

  14. #164
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    That's actually the main reason why you can't do massive maps in HL2...it's PVS (occlusion) system is amazingly primative considering the rest of the tech that accompanies the engine. It's fast, but it doesn't scale well.

    You'll find that no matter what engine you use, there'll be something holding you back from doing exactly what you want to do. The days of the perfect platform are still far ahead of us.
    Last edited by Renzatic; 15th Mar 2005 at 01:42.

  15. #165
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    Half-Life 2 is on the right track. Soft shadows and Radiosity. It doesn't get much better than that, with respect to today's hardware. We don't need/want dymanic shadows, because I've almost never seen a moving light, nor do I want to play minute-sized maps in the dark.
    While Halflife 2 looks very nice outdoors, and radiosity is good for pre-rendered lightmaps (and has been available since Quake2, hell I even remember when John Carmack released a backported radiosity version of 'light' for Quake1 ) the dynamic shadows are very FAKE compared to Doom3 or Thief 3.

    All you have to do is pick up a box and carry it and notice how it "casts" an isometric shadow on the floor at the SAME angle regardless of what direction any supposed light sources might be, or even regardless of whether there are any.

    Early in the game there are numerous examples of brightly lit hallways with no apparent light sources, which always cast a "shadow" in the same direction relative to the world.

    In short, the approach HL2 takes looks GREAT in the outdoors with the Sun as the only source of light, but looks extremely fake in any indoor or nighttime setting.

    On the other hand, TDS and Doom3 are both *indoor* games based on artifically lit scenes which involve multiple sources of light, many of them mobile, and the HL2 engine can't do that at all.

    What's really needed is a combination of softened stencil shadows and realtime dynamic radiosity calculation but I think thats a bit out of range of existing video cards yet...

  16. #166
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: The Kingdom of Prester John
    Quote Originally Posted by Karkianman
    @ Krypt's post:

    besides the fact the Strength aug didnt control what the player could hurt people with, but the fact that objects could hurt people. so if you threw 20 barrels on a person, they just go "Hey!", but with strength aug, you could drop a glass cup and person and kill them.
    My favourite moment in Deus Ex 2 was when I accidentally killed an NPC with a chair. He flew about thirty feet backwards into a wall, and landed in a heap with the chair on top of him. I've considered replaying it just to kill people with office furniture.

  17. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    What's really needed is a combination of softened stencil shadows and realtime dynamic radiosity calculation but I think thats a bit out of range of existing video cards yet...

    Or "layered" light-maps with your shadow acting as with Alpha Transparency to remove certain light layers wherever your shadow is cast.

    The Radiosity layer would be on top to ensure that no shadows are pitch black in bright rooms.
    Last edited by Dario; 15th Mar 2005 at 02:00.

  18. #168
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    Small levels are infact not the fault of Xbox's memory or the Xbox at all. I used to assume that it was obvious, but now I know a lot more about game engines and hardware.
    Actually, Xbox memory is EXACTLY why the maps are small Most of the maps were originally much larger, probably 2x the size they are now, but we had to shrink them down to get them to run on Xbox. FM authors should be able to make pretty large maps since there is no memory restriction. They will still need to be careful to zone well and not build too large/complex of scenes, but the size of a map in and of itself shouldn't be a problem.

  19. #169
    In my face.

    I'll go read a text-book on the topic.

    Are you sure it was RAM? Because if the levels were 2x the size at first, as you say, we, with our awesome PC's, would be running 2 fps right now.

    Our FPS sucks in general already. I have a 6600 GT and Athlon 2800+ and I get like 25 fps or worse.

    It doesn't sound like the symptoms of RAM to me. If I run a huge map I would at least expect my computer to lock up, and I have 1 gig of RAM.

    Do you understand this number? 1,024 mb. Xbox has 64. My framerate sucks on 3.5 times the specs of an Xbox.
    Last edited by Dario; 15th Mar 2005 at 02:09.

  20. #170
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    But it's ultimately static and doesn't stand up to scruitiny. It does look pretty, I admit, but for a game like Thief which is based around the whole interplay of light and shadow it wouldn't offer nearly as rich an experience...or the potential for FM authors to take advantage of it and do really neat things the developers never even thought of.

    Radiosity isn't quite as important in a nighttime landscape as it is in a stark daylit one. It's much easier to cheat and hack out the appearence of radiosity using light textures when your lighting is much tigher and more controlled like it is in the dark.

  21. #171
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    In my face.

    I'll go read a text-book on the topic.

    Are you sure it was RAM? Because if the levels were 2x the size at first, as you say, we, with our awesome PC's, would be running 2 fps right now.

    Our FPS sucks in general already. I have a 6600 GT and Athlon 2800+ and I get like 25 fps or worse.
    It was definitely RAM. When we tried to run a massive map on the Xbox, it would crash and spit out a bunch of error messages in the log. After chopping out big chunks and making it smaller, it would run You are correct that larger levels probably would impact performance, but I don't think it would be as much as you're thinking. The game would be using more RAM obviously, but otherwise the performance pretty much hinges on what the player can see and stuff like physics interactions and AI. The size of a map shouldn't have much effect as long as the sightlines are kept in check, because AI and physics both LOD out at a certain distance and stops being calculated.

  22. #172
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: The Kingdom of Prester John
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    As far as I understand these things, RAM has nothing to do with it. (forgive me if a few months ago I was saying the opposite). RAM determines how much media you can have in a level. It's "what the computer can remember".
    RAM has a lot to do with your constraints when you're designing for hardware that doesn't have much of it. In the Xbox's case, it has a total of 64mb to use for textures, static meshes, brushes, item locations (physics complicates this more), patrol routes, player inventory, skins, animated models and so forth. Memory matters because the art is as important as the engine.

    It's possible to make large, sparsely populated levels that mostly reuse a very small number of textures and whatnot, sure. But those tend to look repetitive and sterile, which people don't like.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dario
    Basically it is the Shadows that drain the CPU. If you turned TDS into a game with static, old lighting, I'm sure it would run *a lot faster*. Normal mapping and bump mapping take a hit, but dynamic shadows are a CPU killer (nothing to do with RAM tho - just CPU/GPU processing).
    Normal mapping and dynamic shadows are pretty much exclusively the domain of the GPU. The CPU does other stuff.

  23. #173
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt

    Normal mapping and dynamic shadows are pretty much exclusively the domain of the GPU. The CPU does other stuff.
    Not quite. I believe dynamic shadows use the CPU to calculate their trajectory off the lightsource.

  24. #174
    Quick mockup:

    Xbox:...........Me:

    CPU: 600......2,800
    GPU: GF 3.....GF 6
    RAM: 64.......1024
    FPS: 25........25

    If what you're saying is true (Krypt), then:

    Xbox RAM: 512 = Big levels

    and yet

    Me RAM: 1024 + Big Levels = FPS 5.

    Xbox performs better with RAM, yet my computer performs worse with large levels - no point adding more RAM to my computer.

    (this post is obsolete due to the above Krypt post)

    [reads Gestalt's above post]

    That's true. I didn't consider that yes, little things take up little amounts of RAM, but I always overlook those small amounts because I have lots of RAM.

    However, Xbox has such a TINY amount, that even teeney-tiny things (like just a tiny-bit bigger levels) will fill it up! 64 mb = nearly squat.



    The war for understanding marches on...

    Actually, I have a HL2 mod to work on. Later peeps! Catch ya when Thief 3 comes out on Gameboy.
    Last edited by Dario; 15th Mar 2005 at 02:31.

  25. #175
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Thief 3's performance has nothing to do with ram, CPU, or graphics card...it's all about the tides and the positioning of the moon in the sky.

Page 7 of 60 FirstFirst ... 23456789101112172227323742475257 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •