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Op Ed

Thanks Ant.

Hellmode - The Inconsequential Game Over- Dying for a Change. Thanks Digg.
When I had to restart after being so close to the end of Super Mario Bros., it killed the game for me. Today, realizing I never beat the game, I wonder why it bothered me so much. For some reason, I felt entitled to a save feature and a restart, but it makes me wonder why restarts even exist in video games in the first place. After all, there are rarely second chances in any other forms of entertainment–nor are there any in real life. Yet in video games, it seems, we take them for granted and get disgruntled when they aren’t there.

ExtremeTech - The State of Windows 7 Gaming. Thanks Digg.
On the software side, Windows 7 has smoothed over a lot of rough edges. In addition, Microsoft's DirectX 11 has brought some interesting effects to the table. The biggest improvement is probably tessellation, which produces smoother curved surfaces by deploying increasing numbers of polygons. It can make floors and walls look truly three-dimensional, even when close-up. Other DirectX 11 features include multithreading, which increases frame rates on multicore GPU-equipped cards; transparency anti-aliasing for smoother, layered surfaces; and improved post-processing, for effects like heat distortion and depth-of-field focusing that are applied after an image is rendered.

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16. Re: Op Ed Jul 18, 2010, 13:49 Ruffiana
We're working on a DX11 engine right now, so I've seen some of this tech in action and it's pretty impressive. Unlike Messiah's sub-division surfaces, DX11's tesselation is seamless. The "Stone Giant" demo is a good example of this in action, it's only when you turn on the wireframe and see the tesslation happening that you can notice it.

Small point of correction though, it doesn't make "make floors and walls look truly three-dimensional, even when close-up", it is actually creating and displacing geometry...unlike some of the current gen tricks that give the appearance of three dimensional surfaces.

It's a small, but crucial step forward in real-time rendering tech.
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