AVault heeft onze vriend Tim Sweeney geinterviewd, met vragen over Epic, Unreal en meer. Ik pak maar meteen de langste vraag:
AVault: With the emergence of sophisticated graphics acceleration, has some of the motivation been removed for a programmer to create something unique, or does the technology offer more freedom of expression?
Sweeney: You see convergence every so often. For a long time, everyone was converging on the Doom style of engine, with the software rendering and the 2.5 degrees of freedom. Then everyone had a 3dfx visual style, with super fast graphics but washed out colors. Hardware is getting fast enough and there has been enough evolution of 3D graphics that programmers can do whatever they want and create engines that are unique and distinguish themselves visually. If you compare Unreal, Quake 3 Arena, Drakan and some of the real-time strategy games coming out, they are very unique, so I believe there is a lot of room for differentiation. That’s going to improve even more in the future, because the reason all games were so similar in appearance when 3dfx came out was we were very limited in how many polygons we would render, so everything had this fixed, flat appearance, and everything was angular and polygonal and jagged.
Now we can use tons more polygons, and there is going to be more curved surfaces and organic detail, with big boulders that have tons of polygons and are rugged, not flat. You are also going to see people creating more sophisticated lighting effects. For instance, Quake 3 Arena is doing specular lighting and we’re doing a lot of other lightmap techniques for smooth dynamic lighting. Everyone is doing some interesting research in these areas, and that is what is going to define the next generation of 3D graphics engines. Even now, if you compare Unreal and Quake 3 Arena, you see a lot of visual aspects that are cool, but they are both very different engines. For example, id is doing more with ground fog and we’re doing more with super high-resolution textures on surfaces. Most important of all, the game designs are very different. Deus Ex and Wheel of Time are good examples of games using the same engine but going in very different design directions.
Check het interview bij AVault voor de complete info.