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The Tech of the Colossus 62

Via a Cathode Tan post, a gloriously in-depth look at the technology behind the PS2 title Shadow of the Colossus. From that article: "In games such as DOOM3 on the PC, the model used for generating the shadow volume is almost equivalent to the character itself. But with SOTC, in order to speed this up, we made use of a simpler model with much fewer polygons in. The main character generally consists of 3,000 polygons, but the colossus can be around 18,000 polygons, depending on the type. But the model used for shadow generation will contain a substantially lower amount than this. For example, the simple model seen by the player will probably only use 1/40th of what the original model contained."
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The Tech of the Colossus

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  • by jshackles ( 957031 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @03:45PM (#14877788)
    Games like SoC, with "tweaks" like this article suggests, remind me that the current generation of video game platforms is going to be dying in a pre-mature, marketing-driven, death.

    While developers are finding things like this *still* that will optimize the code on a 5 year old system, tell me why I need to rush out and buy a PS3 right away? I keep hearing that the cell is hard to develop for. This same thing happened between PS1 -> PS2. A lot of the "fluff" games in the PS2 launch were not as good as some of the titles being released for the PS1, and I think we'll see a mirror of that between PS2 -> PS3

  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @04:29PM (#14878180)
    "...tell me why I need to rush out and buy a PS3 right away?"

    Texture quality. The PS2 has always had a deplorably pathetic amount of video RAM, and it shows - especially in big games like SoC where the same tiny aliased texture is reused and remapped all over the place. The PS2 has had a lot of really, really fun games that were just painful to look at because of this, and since Sony actually has competition this time around, they've been forced to give developers enough VRAM to make games a hell of a lot less ugly.
  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @04:33PM (#14878217)
    People will likely disagree with me on this, but I'm convinced that these kinds of games are completely wasted being developed for a console. They really belong on a PC instead of being hindered by the limitations of consoles.

    As for the light bloom, blurs and other effects, while producing a neat result, especially in stills I tend to find distracting during gameplay. I've seen several games with these kinds of effects and the majority tend to overdo it. It's like I have cataracts or something. Someone with good eyesight doesn't see the world that way. I realize they're going for a cinematic feel, but at least don't overdo it.

    I think Guild Wars, for example, has a nice glow that adds to the visuals without overdoing it. Then again, some of the problems here may be due to the low resolution of the PS2.

    As for motion blurs, I've never liked them especially in driving games. If the world starts blurring around you because you're driving too fast then you probably shouldn't be racing at all. Imagine if the world turned to a haze for Formula 1 or WRC drivers.

    Despite that, I'm impressed by how much they reveal about the game. It's an interesting read.
  • by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @08:58PM (#14879898) Homepage Journal
    Why should a game, any game be wasted on a console? If people want to put the time and effort into creating a good game, why shouldnt they do it? Your statement sound's kinda snobbish to me.

    The great thing about consoles is that they are relatively speaking a stationary target, ie the technology stays the same for several years. Its nice to see that despite the age of the PS2 now that its developers are still manging to push the boundaries of the machines capabilities. Perhaps some of the skills learned from making more efficient use of console hardware could be translated to PC games. Lets face it develpers can be a hell of a lot more complacent on the PC platform, especially when Next-Gen 3d cards are being pushed by ATI or NVidia. Limitations and constraints breed creativity and that is a factor that can never be underestimated.
  • by Profound ( 50789 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @09:52PM (#14880130) Homepage
    Maybe I've been playing Civ 4 too much, but after reading this title I immediately thought of Bronze working.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian