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« FILM - Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory... | Main | VIDEO GAMES - Vibrating Rez??? »

April 16, 2005

Comments

Paul

I would guess the "missing frames" behavior is because they do there main game ticks like I've been doing them since Gary Symons taught me at SolWorks. Basically, your logic tick and render tick are completely uncoupled. You render a frame, figure out how much time passed during the render and run as many logic ticks as you need to (with a fixed delta) to catch the simulation back up to real time and then render your next frame. The only drawback to this method is if you don't have checks in place, it can get into a "feedback loop" where the gameplay can never catch back up.

Raist3d

If I remember correctly the game we work on can handle a drop to 30 frames, but after that it does manifests as slowdown....

crowdpleazr

there was tearing in the graphics, which usually means an unlocked refresh rate, which I didn't think Sony allowed, but basically I'd say the whole game was time, not tick, based

oh, and they get away with a lot by making characters with low rez textures and then pulling the camera far enough back that you don't notice it. They're all fairly low poly too. You can see both tricks up close a few times at the beginning. I'm pretty sure they swap in better textures for cutscenes.

still, a really fun game, and the environments are some of the best I've ever seen in a game. There's a lesson to be learned here about game polish, but if you watch the making of vids at the end, you can see that they took 3 years to make the game, with about 1 year of crunch, which isn't exactly a streamlined process, particularly for so short a game, no matter how perfect. Kinda like that last run on sentence :) Anyway, the point was that game companies should all aspire to this level of polish and professionalism in their game. They should also avoid that sort of work schedule, though. 3 years for a 10 hour game smacks of not enough design up front and a lot of wasted effort.

Raist3d

Yes, there's tearing in the graphics. I forgot to mention this and in my eyes is about the only thing that mars the incredible graphics. Jak & Dexter 2 also had tearing but in that game, imho it was very obvious.

It doesn't show up at all times though. I wondered for a moment if there's a lack of hardware double buffering (maybe needed that extra vram?), but this could be wrong.

I see they took 3 years to make the game. In my book quite frankly, I don't think this detracts from the outcome because I have seen 3 year games that do not resemble this kind of quality.

I honestly don't think this implies necessarily wasted effort - at least one you can avoid- necessarily. Tuning those levels properly through focus testing I don't think it's a trivial task. But I am not going to defend this view too much because I realize I could be wrong, I just not "sure enough" this way.

As for the work schedule... well... a one year crunch is definitively hell. At the same time isn't that what this industry has become in many ways when great products like these are done?

In your opinion how do you compare this to Blizzard products - Diablo II took at least 4 years, Warcraft 3 took at least 3. World of Warlcraft? At least 4 (how many times they showed it at E3? at least 3). I would think Blizzard games overall are fairly polished and I have also heard stories that they are crunch-city.

In this context it would be easy for me to understand something like World of Warcraft (since it's so friking huge and to test is probably hell for balancing issues), but Diablo II and Warcraft 3...

What you think? Or does the PC environment adds to the inherent complexity (non-unified platform development issues).

Raist3d

"What you think? Or does the PC environment adds to the inherent complexity (non-unified platform development issues)."

Let me clarify that last sentence- yeah the PC will definitively add complexity because of the non-unified platform issues, but if the complexity added then would justify the cycles that Blizzard has to the point of saying there can't be true wasted avoidable effort.

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