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Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Nice piece of fish posted:

Asking a probably stupid question that may have been asked before, because I'm out of the loop on this one: What's your opinion on gaming for linux, and what's the real difficulty making games linux compatible/making linux games from a dev perspective? If it wasn't for gaming, I would absolutely be using linux on most of my home computers, but gaming and linux seems an impossible combination and I don't see why that doesn't change. Not that I'm expecting it to. I'd love your opinion on this as actual computermen. Haven't looked at this for ages.

The long and short of it is that the Linux market for gaming is so tiny that it's pretty much never worth actively pursuing. Look at the Steam Hardware Survey, for example; only about half a percent of players are on Linux. The crossing point on the effort/profit graph for that one is insanely low. Heck, we sometimes discuss whether it's even worth it to go after Mac players with their 3% market share. (The Mac App Store is complete garbage for games, by the way.)

We do make Linux ports, but not as a primary target and frankly no one is pushing very hard for it. Now, we're not close to an AAA studio, so for us porting games to Linux is not very difficult. We have an in-house engine and still use OpenGL on SDL for the Windows and Mac ports, so porting to Linux is cheap, especially since we settled on versions of all our third-party libraries long ago and don't intend to upgrade unless we really need to. It's a few days of fiddling around and testing near the end of the dev cycle to get it working, so, you know, why not? But I don't think we expect to make any significant cash on that market segment.

It gets far more difficult if your game is more demanding, like a AAA title. Traditionally, Linux systems have had pretty lovely drivers, for example, and the bigger your engine the harder it is to ensure everything works on a brand new platform. Add to that all the testing, bug fixing, post-release support etc., and the idea of dedicating valuable time at a slow behemoth like a AAA studio to go after a miniscule 0.5% market share is so unpalatable that almost no-one bothers to do it. It's worth it to port for the big platforms like PS4 and Switch (both of which are FreeBSD-based, by the way), but that's because their market shares are literally several orders of magnitude bigger.

Digirat posted:

What languages do you write the most?

I'm not sure how to interpret this question. Programming languages? At our shop it's mostly C++, Python and (recently) Lua, with several in-house tools being written in C#/.NET.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at Jul 12, 2018 around 11:47

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Red Mike
Jul 11, 2011


Nice piece of fish posted:

Asking a probably stupid question that may have been asked before, because I'm out of the loop on this one: What's your opinion on gaming for linux, and what's the real difficulty making games linux compatible/making linux games from a dev perspective? If it wasn't for gaming, I would absolutely be using linux on most of my home computers, but gaming and linux seems an impossible combination and I don't see why that doesn't change. Not that I'm expecting it to. I'd love your opinion on this as actual computermen. Haven't looked at this for ages.

Ignoring what's already been covered about the tiny market share, there's also technical hoops to jump through that make it not worth it, most times.

Assuming you're using, for example, Unity as the engine behind your game, then it's easier. You just have to make sure any library/plugin you use is also compatible. Trying to allow an image upload from the filesystem? Better make sure your image manipulation library works, as well as your file browser plugin. Can it deal with the different file system, etc? Want to integrate a third party service like a shop? Well if they want you to open up a browser window in-game you better make sure your browser window plugin works.

And that's ignoring that, on Linux, 'does this work' tends to mean either a whole load of testing on various OS configurations, or limiting your system requirements to a single well-known distribution like Ubuntu and refusing to adapt to others.

Despite doing all this work, in the end 90% of users will have some unrelated OS issue causing them to not be able to run the game properly/see the textures properly/get decent framerate/etc.

At least new Mac issues mostly tend to pop up during update periods, and not literally constantly.

e: Also importantly: if you have a Linux-only issue that you end up having to fix, you're going to be going back to the same devs who know some amount of Linux. Depending on your company, that might be a single person, and when they leave you get to spend months getting someone else to learn how to do almost anything on Linux.

Despite what Linux users like to say, it's not a given that a programmer knows Linux. Depending on the industry in your area, it might even be rare.

Red Mike fucked around with this message at Jul 12, 2018 around 12:25

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



cKnoor posted:

I can ramble on about this as a Marketing Producer at Paradox.

We usually start with reading the Game Design Document, trying to figure out what games compete for the same space and such. We have a lot of meetings so, yes some of this is done in conference rooms.
At Paradox we do not dictate selling point for the devs, however the content team (that I am part of) is on the game producers a lot to make sure that the features we need to market the game are available to us. This means things like observer modes, in game free camera through debug mode and other things we need to be able to capture gameplay. But we do share out opinions with the producers on the publishing side, and then have a lot more input on that kind of stuff. It also depends a lot on what type of publishing deal we have with the devs, internal devs are a lot closer to the marketing team, than external teams are.

There is also a lot of talk about price points and what different SKUs the game should be sold at, since the Sale team is part of Marketing, and putting together a full marketing campaign, and then following it. For me personally a lot of my time is spent making sure we have the trailers and other social content we need to follow the campaign.

Usually a marketing campaign runs up and through release, and then with expansions we make a new one.

hey man, thanks for responding! appreciate it!

what exactly is the process for making a trailer? how long does it usually take? what kind of stuff are you usually looking to put in when you're constructing/storyboarding a trailer?

OneEightHundred
Feb 28, 2008

Soon, we will be unstoppable!


Re: Linux, IIRC another complication is that most Linux users that play games dual-boot Windows already, so that reduces the benefit of porting even further.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


OneEightHundred posted:

Re: Linux, IIRC another complication is that most Linux users that play games dual-boot Windows already, so that reduces the benefit of porting even further.

... and many who care about gaming also have a console of some kind, so it's likely you're covering the same audience already anyway.

ShadowHawk
Jun 25, 2000

The company has no assets of any significant value.


Nap Ghost

OneEightHundred posted:

Re: Linux, IIRC another complication is that most Linux users that play games dual-boot Windows already, so that reduces the benefit of porting even further.
Or just run it in Wine.

What about outsourcing Linux ports? Codeweavers does pretty cheap Wine-based ports for a fee (or maybe even a rev-share).

cKnoor
Nov 2, 2000

I built this thumb out of two nails, a broken bottle and some razorwire.


Slippery Tilde

ninjewtsu posted:

hey man, thanks for responding! appreciate it!

what exactly is the process for making a trailer? how long does it usually take? what kind of stuff are you usually looking to put in when you're constructing/storyboarding a trailer?

Depends on the trailer to be honest, in a "normal" base game release we usually do three trailers, announcement, gameplay reveal and release trailer.

Announcement trailers are usually the costliest to make, since when they are released there may or may not be a game that's in a final enough state to be shown to the public. Which is also why many announcement trailers are pure CGI with no in-game shots at all. For any CGI trailer there is usually a script or an idea of a script. Which we then find a Studio that can make said script for us, or we make a brief in a bunch of power point slides and ask Studios to pitch their ideas and then we pick the one we like the best. It's rarely that simple though, as we want the devs to be on board with what we're doing. And a lot of the time the game that's in the design doc might not be exactly what the game actually is, and some times devs have very strong opinions on how the game is supposed to be presented. Marketing just wants everyone to get a long, since we're forcing a bunch of people to do stuff for us, so it's kind of a balancing act to get everyone on board.
Storyboarding helps with this a bit, but at the same time showing a story board or a mockup to someone that doesn't get the full concept of an idea might have the opposite effect and might get good ideas dismissed earlier than needed.

For gameplay trailer we usually know what we want to show off, and we have a few external studios that we know are really good at gameplay capture, and most of the time we just hand the basic idea to them and let them shoot as much gameplay capture as possible and then make a trailer. These are usually the trailers that take the longest to edit, as a lot of the feedback is based on specific clips and making sure the game looks as good as possible without it giving an unrealistic view of the game.
This is of course under the assumption that the game has some time of free camera mode, not all games do have that, which can make gameplay capture a pain. So we try and make sure that it's written into our contract with external game dev studios that their game needs to have a camera mode as a delivery.

Lastly we have the release trailer, this is the first on you seen on a Steam store page after the game has been released, so it needs to have all the USPs in the trailer displayed clearly. It's the most sales focused of the three types of trailers, the other two can be used to build mood and show of gameplay. This needs to do all of that while at the same time list all the cool poo poo that is in the game. As it's more sales focused these trailers are usually the easiest as everyone (in production) should already be on board after the first two trailers. There are some cases where this has not been the case, where devs have not liked what we've done and it's been a big mess. It's especially bad those times the devs are just wrong about stuff, as it's hard to give the feedback on their feedback with "Well, that's just not how you sell games". Luckily this is very rare for us, but it's pretty annoying when non-marketing people try and tell us how to market games, so you tend to remember those times. :P

In conclusion, this is usually the plan, and it falls apart pretty quickly, literally every game I've worked on has had a different process for making trailers, and I've worked on Cities:Skylines, BATTLETECH & AoW:Planetfall, and probably some other stuff I've already forgotten.

djkillingspree
Apr 2, 2001
make a hole with a gun perpendicular

ShadowHawk posted:

Or just run it in Wine.

What about outsourcing Linux ports? Codeweavers does pretty cheap Wine-based ports for a fee (or maybe even a rev-share).

In many cases I think the risk of a bad port reflecting negatively on your game as a whole is often higher than the potential upside. It really is a lot of headache for a very minimal benefit. Additionally it probably doesn't hurt that the kind of people likely to run linux and play games are probably also the people with the technical savvy to dual boot and get your games on windows :P

mutata
Mar 1, 2003

Make way for the Urinal Parade.

We still are an industry where we debate whether or not PC ports are worth it. The Linux conversation rarely even happens.

1337JiveTurkey
Feb 17, 2005



College Slice

So BeOS is right out, huh?

RossCo
Dec 30, 2012

I have no idea what I am doing in almost any given situation.

Nice piece of fish posted:

Asking a probably stupid question that may have been asked before, because I'm out of the loop on this one: What's your opinion on gaming for linux, and what's the real difficulty making games linux compatible/making linux games from a dev perspective? If it wasn't for gaming, I would absolutely be using linux on most of my home computers, but gaming and linux seems an impossible combination and I don't see why that doesn't change. Not that I'm expecting it to. I'd love your opinion on this as actual computermen. Haven't looked at this for ages.

Its not that hard to do in many cases, depending on which libs/engine you are using (and how well behaved you were in the initial code development). The problem is for larger companies it is a hard sell from a resource point of view, both in terms of the immediate investment of people/money and in terms of ongoing support (you may only have three people playing your Linux version, but wait and see how many people get mad if you don't update it).

Firgof
Dec 27, 2009

Blind Mind Studios: Co-lead Developer


Just a few days ago Star Ruler 2 and it's engine were made open source (the engine/data is MIT license, the assets are CC-BY-NC 2.0) (This link will take you right to it)

That means if you'd like to play SR2 for free all you'd need do is just go grab a copy of Visual Studio and compile it; instructions are included on the Github page and a link to the Rising Stars Discord'll put you in spitting distance of folk who can help you out should things go tits-up (for the most part it should compile and run just fine though; this is a polished, high-performance, modern and well-structured engine we're putting out -- not a barely-working mess, promise)

Star Ruler 2 is a Space 4X/RTS that's running on an engine we hand-built which is both super-flexible and super-fast. If you're a game developer who's been waiting for somebody to put out an open source engine which can do the mass-scale sorts of battle you could previously only find in proprietary closed-source engines like Total War this might be your golden ticket. Heck, if you just want to sink your teeth into a super-fast engine for your next game, you might want to consider using StarFlare. If you just want to steal our weapons-targeting code, multiplayer architecture, real-time shader recompiler, or galaxy generation from-image stuff, go nuts. If your interest is finding all the commented portions of code where we cuss and hurl keyboards at walls, beg forgiveness for the sins of unoptimized or ill-performant code, and so forth, feel free.

The engine itself is mostly coded in C++ and the script files for SR2 (and the included script-compiler which JITs scripts into as close to native-code-speed as we could push it and is also, itself, open source) are AngelScript (it uses AngelCode, which is C++ like and fast).

Anyway, just wanted to bring it up in case y'all hadn't heard already. If y'all want to bombard me with questions about whatever and goonsays as well feel free (I've probably earned a few with this huge block of text).

Nessa
Dec 15, 2008



Hey, so I'm an organizer for a local nerd Meetup group and had the idea that some of us could get together to try to make a game. We have artists, writers, programmers and animators in the group. It could be a fun, collaborative project to work on together.

I may end up being the one organizing everything, so I want to get a good handle on what our first steps should be.

My thoughts are:

Get everyone together who can agree to commit to a small project. Have people come in with simple pitches as a jumping off point, and have everyone describe what they can bring to the table.

From there, try to organize everyone into groups and determine what needs to get done first.

I've never done this before, but just thought it would be something cool to try with so many people interested in game development in the group. I would probably function as one of the artists myself.

Any advice?

Nice piece of fish
Jan 29, 2008





Thanks for the answers, folks, that's good to know. I figured there would be profits-per-effort related issues, but I see now there's a lot of technical issues as well, particularly with the various OS's (I would have figured picking a distro and sticking with it, but as you say that wouldn't really solve the problem). Guess it's not gonna change either any time soon.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Nice piece of fish posted:

Guess it's not gonna change either any time soon.

Probably not. With dual-booting being easy, and home consoles being affordable, there are just easier ways to get games into the hands of Linux users who want to play them than to make Linux ports.


Are you thinking of doing this as a game jam type of thing or more like a two month project?

Nessa
Dec 15, 2008



Hyper Crab Tank posted:

Are you thinking of doing this as a game jam type of thing or more like a two month project?

A two-three month project, likely with everyone getting together every few weeks and also chatting on our Discord channel. We were thinking of gathering at an Internet cafe.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Nessa posted:

A two-three month project, likely with everyone getting together every few weeks and also chatting on our Discord channel. We were thinking of gathering at an Internet cafe.

My #1 piece of advice is: Have an online task/issue tracker and insist that everyone use it. I would use Trello if I were you; it's free and does what you want. My #2 piece of advice is... if you want to do a 2-3 month project, expect it to actually take a year. DevelopersHumans are notoriously bad at time estimation, and doing this as a side thing on top of work, family etc. means the project is sometimes going to play second fiddle. And you have to be okay with that! It's supposed to be fun, right? Making games is a lot of hard work, though... so do what you can to maintain healthy expectations. You really have to make this about the journey and not the destination.

Hmm, there's a lot of stuff to be said about project management. There's a reason it's an entire profession and a full-time job. The best I can do is explain how we do it, but that's probably not too useful for someone not doing it 8 hours a day.

Cast_No_Shadow
Jun 8, 2010

The Republic of Luna Equestria is a huge, socially progressive nation, notable for its punitive income tax rates. Its compassionate, cynical population of 714m are ruled with an iron fist by the dictatorship government, which ensures that no-one outside the party gets too rich.



When planning set and celebrate lots of small milestones.

Seriously it will keep people going more than anything else. Just don't make it so trivial people feel it's valueless.

Nessa
Dec 15, 2008



Hyper Crab Tank posted:

My #1 piece of advice is: Have an online task/issue tracker and insist that everyone use it. I would use Trello if I were you; it's free and does what you want. My #2 piece of advice is... if you want to do a 2-3 month project, expect it to actually take a year. DevelopersHumans are notoriously bad at time estimation, and doing this as a side thing on top of work, family etc. means the project is sometimes going to play second fiddle. And you have to be okay with that! It's supposed to be fun, right? Making games is a lot of hard work, though... so do what you can to maintain healthy expectations. You really have to make this about the journey and not the destination.

Hmm, there's a lot of stuff to be said about project management. There's a reason it's an entire profession and a full-time job. The best I can do is explain how we do it, but that's probably not too useful for someone not doing it 8 hours a day.

Thanks! That's a good idea to use Trello! I definitely plan to make a game design document that's accessible to everyone. Probably a Google Doc.

The goal is to start out with something really small and simple. Baby steps. Likely a simple platformer to get our feet wet. (I think someone has already built the framework for one that we can build off of.) It will mostly be a learning and collaboration experience. I've never done any art or design for a game before, but it's something I'm really excited about! I have no idea what I'm doing, but I hope to learn a lot!

All in all, I think we have about 8-10 people who are interested in joining.

friendbot2000
Apr 30, 2011



I am a fledgling game developer and am trying to start up my own little studio. I have a great concept for a series of 4 isometric RPGs. I have completed an extensive game design document, a Worldbuilding document the size of War and Peace, the game engine is nearly completed, but there is a slight problem. My strengths lie in writing, coding, and level design, but I lack the skills in art and music. I know that crowdfunding can be a dirty word sometimes, but is it advisable to pay someone for art and music assets for a good quality demo to showcase the first game and mechanics(maybe with teasers for the other three because all the stories are related towards the end and affect one another) and use crowdfunding to get the art and music for the rest of the series? What are the pitfalls in this approach that I need to be aware of?

Furthermore, does anyone have advice on how to manage freelance artists? I have a very specific image for the art style I want for these projects, but at the same time, I don't want to be a client from hell. I have had plenty of experience on the other end of that as a freelance web developer and I would rather not become that which I abhor. I have an art design document as well, which I figure is a good guide to show them what I want, but any other advice would be appreciated.

Also, does anyone in this thread know the business behind games or is this thread only for developers?

Edit: I should mention that I am the only person working on these games and it has been a labor of love for 5 years. The reason it is 4 games is that it used to be 1 monolith and I decided it made more sense to make it into 4 to make things easier for myself.

friendbot2000 fucked around with this message at Aug 3, 2018 around 14:04

djkillingspree
Apr 2, 2001
make a hole with a gun perpendicular

friendbot2000 posted:

I am a fledgling game developer and am trying to start up my own little studio. I have a great concept for a series of 4 isometric RPGs. I have completed an extensive game design document, a Worldbuilding document the size of War and Peace, the game engine is nearly completed, but there is a slight problem. My strengths lie in writing, coding, and level design, but I lack the skills in art and music. I know that crowdfunding can be a dirty word sometimes, but is it advisable to pay someone for art and music assets for a good quality demo to showcase the first game and mechanics(maybe with teasers for the other three because all the stories are related towards the end and affect one another) and use crowdfunding to get the art and music for the rest of the series? What are the pitfalls in this approach that I need to be aware of?

Furthermore, does anyone have advice on how to manage freelance artists? I have a very specific image for the art style I want for these projects, but at the same time, I don't want to be a client from hell. I have had plenty of experience on the other end of that as a freelance web developer and I would rather not become that which I abhor. I have an art design document as well, which I figure is a good guide to show them what I want, but any other advice would be appreciated.

Also, does anyone in this thread know the business behind games or is this thread only for developers?

Edit: I should mention that I am the only person working on these games and it has been a labor of love for 5 years. The reason it is 4 games is that it used to be 1 monolith and I decided it made more sense to make it into 4 to make things easier for myself.

This is really just a question of finding the right freelancer. I think if you have a specific style in mind, then you need to find someone who is capable of/excited about executing that. Expect to pay them money up front.

But in general, if you provide direction, artistic reference, etc. then I think it's reasonable that any freelance artist who is willing to take on your work should be able to execute that and take direction.

I think crowdfunding isn't a terrible idea, especially if you have some proven ability to execute on your idea, but at the same time, I think people have been burned by some lovely projects and so don't expect to get huge buy-in. Keep your scope reasonable and I think it'll be fine.

Another totally reasonable idea is to self-fund a demo and use that as a basis for kickstarting or even launching early access. The most important thing is getting into a situation as quickly as possible where you can pay people so that they are justifiably willing to do the work. I'm generally against the idea of accepting free work from people you don't know extremely well.

friendbot2000
Apr 30, 2011



For those of you who are indie game developers with a "real person job" as a day job. How much time does maintaining and supporting games post release take out of your day? Like, one of my fears is that after I release this thing, my life will become one giant timesink maintenance-wise.

At what point do you just write certain types of bugs off?

EAB
Jan 18, 2011


I wanted to use UE4 to make a multiplayer fps game [based on an old quake mod, probably like 12-16 player matches at most]

But, it feels like every single UE4 game I play just has framerate issues, stutters, instability, and just never feel good to play. And then I wonder, is it these developers, or is there something inherently wrong with the engine?

I honestly wish there was a Source2 or modern id tech for indie devs to use. Source and id tech games always just feel good, have super stable framerate, "feel" good, can't quite clearly explain it.

I played Star Marine and I loved the visual fidelity and "feel", and although my framerate still wasnt super stable like playing a source game, it still felt a lot better than any UE4 games I played.

So now I'm looking at Lumberyard but like theres no community for it and it seems like the only people developing for it have HUGE budgets, like Star Citizen and Everywhere. I don't know if I should wait for Source2 to materialize ever [lol valve] take a harder look at UE4, or what.

Hughlander
May 11, 2005



EAB posted:

I wanted to use UE4 to make a multiplayer fps game [based on an old quake mod, probably like 12-16 player matches at most]

But, it feels like every single UE4 game I play just has framerate issues, stutters, instability, and just never feel good to play. And then I wonder, is it these developers, or is there something inherently wrong with the engine?

You mean like Fortnite and PUBG?

EAB
Jan 18, 2011


Hughlander posted:

You mean like Fortnite and PUBG?

never played fortnite but pubg, realm royale, squad, and insurgency sandstorm

revolther
May 27, 2008


Fortnite is probably the best thing to judge UE4 by. It runs at like a jillion frames per second in 4k on the back of a matchbook. But rainbow6 siege and most big studio games run amazingly well, PUBG's never performed poorly for me, just not as well as a AAA game.

In Unreal multiplayer has to be like the core focus of your design decisions across every actor and class, like most MMO's that use unreal write their own netcode in C++. Difficulty vs Jank is the trade off with the big 2 3d game engines.

rabidcowfromhell
Dec 27, 2004


I was reading this neat article about "tricks" developers used while making games: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news...ding_tricks.php

One particular quote piqued my interest:

quote:

In Black Ice, I wanted to make a sky that looked like an infinity room (like this), but placing hundreds of objects in the sky didn't perform well, and it's not like mirrors have been viable in games since the 90s.

My question is: Why haven't mirrors been viable in games since the 90s?

edit: I think I found the answer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kozDAT_f1ZU

rabidcowfromhell fucked around with this message at Aug 23, 2018 around 08:48

Chev
Jul 19, 2010


Switchblade Switcharoo

Basically, in the rendering paradigm games have been following ever since real time 3d started to be a thing, to render a reflection is to render the whole scene again from the reflected point of view. As long as you don't switch to a different paradigm like raytracing (which may make it sound like the savior especially in light of recent demos but there were reasons raytracing wasn't chosen in the first place back then) there's no real way around that.

That means, assuming one mirror, that your most complex scene can only be half as complex as it could have been without a mirror, because you'll have to render it twice in one frame. And once more per extra mirror, ignoring mirrors-in-mirrors. And, as scenes became more complex to render, mirrors became even less affordable.

Of course, there are tricks, but they rely on reflections being imperfectly perceived due to glossy and/or curved surfaces. They hinge on rendering a less complex scene (Sea of Thieve's sea renders only the lowest LOD of nearby islands and ships as reflections, screen space reflections can only reflect pixels that were already rendered in the non-reflected scene...) or less often (prerendered static environment maps are the standard in just about any game these days). Those techniques are mix'n'matched to cover for each other's weaknesses along with some smoke and mirrors (hohoho). Like, for example, in Mirror's Edge there are purpose-built spots where you'll get a flat mirror in a scene where its rendering is affordable, just to make you believe they could have those anywhere.

Chev fucked around with this message at Sep 6, 2018 around 23:40

Gearman
Dec 6, 2011



Working on the New York bar in Max Payne 3 was a giant PITA due to the massive mirror right behind the bar. I also wanted tons of destructibles, the hanging lights to react when shot, and the mirror reflection to still look good. I ended up rendering the reflection at half res and using LODs for most of the reflection objects. I could still see performance drops during performance captures but it was acceptable since the mirror isn't usually within the camera frustum during gun fights. Mirrors are expensive and in most cases just aren't worth the hassle. There's a reason why you usually only see them in small, confined, spaces like bathrooms/washrooms.

OneEightHundred
Feb 28, 2008

Soon, we will be unstoppable!


Another factor is that a bunch of first-person games flat-out don't have third-person animations for a bunch of player actions, or even a third-person character model (i.e. Bioshock), so they'd have to create all that just so you could look at yourself in a mirror.

It's also kind of a difference of context, I guess. Like the reason there were a bunch of mirrors in 90's games and are fewer now isn't because rendering tech moved in directions that make mirrors less viable, it's that it was a new feature then, so games were jamming in mirrors and reflective floors to show off the tech. (Kind of like the ray-tracing demos are doing now with puddles and polished metal.)

OneEightHundred fucked around with this message at Aug 27, 2018 around 17:06

Chev
Jul 19, 2010


Switchblade Switcharoo

While early 3d mirrors were indeed designed to be shown off, once we enter the shader era there's a gargantuan corpus of methods designed to have reflections in spite of the fact mirrors are problematic, because reflections are not just fancy tech, they're in fact a core part of how things look in general, not just look-at-yourself mirrors. So graphics tech has evolved to the paradoxical point where reflections are omnipresent but we have to avoid the specific flat clear surface case because it is in fact the one case where we either let the illusion fall apart or accept a massive performance loss, which is a real problem because flat reflective surfaces are quite common in real life wherever humans have built things with windows or decent amounts of water are involved.

Chev fucked around with this message at Aug 27, 2018 around 11:10

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LORD OF BOOTY
Feb 11, 2015

THEY MAKE SURE YOU AIN'T BOOTY!!!


Gearman posted:

Working on the New York bar in Max Payne 3 was a giant PITA due to the massive mirror right behind the bar. I also wanted tons of destructibles, the hanging lights to react when shot, and the mirror reflection to still look good. I ended up rendering the reflection at half res and using LODs for most of the reflection objects. I could still see performance drops during performance captures but it was acceptable since the mirror isn't usually within the camera frustum during gun fights. Mirrors are expensive and in most cases just aren't worth the hassle. There's a reason why you usually only see them in small, confined, spaces like bathrooms/washrooms.

I just wanna say, tangentially, that whoever did the Brazilian nightclub level early on in the game needs more art direction jobs. Maybe, like, designing an actual nightclub.

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