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Tahl'eN
11-06-2003, 05:03 AM
What kinds of maps can games support these days? I know that a lot still run on color only, and a decent number of Xbox games do color, bump, and a fake reflection. But how far can games actually go? Specular intensity, glow, self-illumination?

Ben Shore
11-06-2003, 07:32 AM
I'm only speaking from my own experience, so if any experts read this and think I'm wrong don't worry I am :P

Anyway that said, there are no limits, at least theoretically. It's just a matter of keeping the game running fast enough with whatever engine it is that's running it. One a system like PS2 that usually means only color maps, but even there games like Metal Gear Solid 2 pushed the envalope with some AMAZING graphical effects, blurring, glows, realtime and prerendered shadows.
Xbox has the best potential for more mapping options because it's the only one with a graphical processor that can do per-pixel shading (at least I THINK so, it has an NVidia GPU and Doom3 is supposedly shedualed for eventual release on the system, so it seems like it must). So that's why it can do bump and spec maps more than the other ststems (it also has more texture memory, where the gameCube has what, 16MB? ouch)

So basically there is no real answer to your question. Games COULD have full on movie resolution infinately layered textured games... but they'd run at about 1 frame per day. It's just a matter of how well the game engine is optimised and the power of the system it's being built on.

EricChadwick
11-06-2003, 02:53 PM
Yeah.

Here are some links I have sitting around...

ATI's RenderMonkey
http://www.ati.com/developer/sdk/radeonSDK/html/Tools/RenderMonkey.html

NVIDIA's Cg shader language
http://developer.nvidia.com/page/cg_main.html

Some good general info in the Quake III Arena Shader Manual
http://www.heppler.com/shader/

A nice article on Gamasutra about shaders on the GameCube
http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20021002/sauer_01.htm

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