An update to NVIDIA’s powerful NVSG toolset has been released for usage with C++. The library takes advantage of OpenGL functionality and GPU optimizations to allow next-gen features to be displayed.
Timothy Farrar over at FarrarFocus.com is creating a unique game called Atom. The reason why I call it unique is that unlike many games out there the content for Atom is 100% dynamic which means that (for example) everything can be set in motion. Here’s a quote from Timothy’s post on GameDev.net:
Atom started with the idea to go back to PC gaming’s roots (low risk investment, experimenting with technology, fun timeless gameplay, taking a wild idea from concept to market), while taking advantage of the power of modern hardware.
The graphics engine is completely unconventional, 100% dynamic (no static geometry, everything moves), and based on an animated solid hierarchical cellular representation with an “animation bone” for each cell which is linked into a physics/CFD engine which gives life to the world. Rendering is done via a special purpose painters order micro-impostor compositing engine (old-school, not based on polygons!) which also provides realistic motion blur. Content creation is done with a mix of hand controlled procedural generation.
Due to Atom’s unique world representation, you can literally zoom into the molecular structure of anything, even on the inside. This also works in reverse, Atom is able to simplify any structure, and thus has infinite level of detail control. A custom visible surface determination algorithm eliminates overdraw allowing for both wide and telephoto views inside and side any structure no matter how sparse or dense the geometry.
The concept seems very promising, I suggest watching this project grow. Another thing worth mentioning is that the API used to generate the images is OpenGL, not DirectX. Timothy has posted on his blog that SM 4.0 will might be added to the engine. This is good news for XP users since there will be no need to upgrade to Vista if you want to try out this game.
Check out the Atom project here and watch the videos.
Quite recently I released a small article discussing if you (as a developer) should upgrade to Vista to take advantage of DirectX 10 functionality only available in Windows Vista. Quite simply the answer was “yes” in my article. As a developer you should always take advantage of new technologies, specially if that technology will replace an existing technology.
HotHardware.com has released an article more aimed towards the end-user than the developer which discusses the State of DirectX 10. In this article both performance and image quality are evaluated to give a fair estimation.
It’s 13 pages long but worth the read, check it out at HotHardware.com.
Recently I’ve created a post about how id Software will no longer use OpenGL as their primary graphics API for game development. Here’s John Carmack’s response to the rumors:
There is certainly no plans for a commercially supported linux version of Rage, but there will very likely be a linux executable made available. It isn’t running at the moment, but we have had it compiled in the past. Running on additional platforms usually provides some code quality advantages, and it really only takes one interested programmer to make it happen.
The PC version is still OpenGL, but it is possible that could change before release. The actual API code is not very large, and the vertex / fragment code can be easily translated between cg/hlsl/glsl as necessary. I am going to at least consider OpenGL 3.0 as a target, if Nvidia, ATI, and Intel all have decent support. There really won’t be any performance difference between GL 2.0 / GL 3.0 / D3D, so the api decision will be based on secondary factors, of which inertia is one.
Somehow I keep getting back on this topic. Maybe it’s because of the excitement that was involved with the features promised by the idTech 5 engine as presented in the earlier QuakeCon demo.
Today was one of those exciting days for me. I just finished watching a two part video commentary on the development aspect of idTech 5 that was posted on GameSpy. A third video is an interview with John Carmack on the changes that will be occurring within id Software and other issues. The two commentary videos feature commentaries by John Carmack and Matt Hooper from id Software.
Keep in mind that the “lag” that you might notice is because you’re viewing a technical demo of an unfinished product. Another thing that might be worthy to notice is that the OpenGL API is no longer being used as primary graphics API, yet the company is moving towards DirectX as their primary API.
The first video is presented by John Carmack and is about the development of idTech 5 and Rage. The backdrop for this video is pretty much continuous, so you might want to look away to avoid insanity. He speaks about graphics development, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and other things that might be interesting to developers.
The second video introduces Matt Hooper as a secondary host and talks more about the tools and assets given to the level designers and artists in idTech 5. For an unreleased product, it looks amazing. There seems to be a great (if not massive) improvement over older tools such as GtkRadiant by having a more intuitive user interface. But you can judge for yourself below by watching the videos attached to this post.
The third video announces a new “game” or adaptation of the existing Quake 3 code base and create a free to download online game, hear all about it in the third video.
Edit: as of 2023, it seems that these videos have been lost to the ravages of time.