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On DOOM 3 Settings

Robert Duffy, id Software programmer, updated his .plan about DOOM 3 settings and how they will work, discussing specifics about the "ultra" quality setting as well as differences in how certain data are handled differently by ATI and NVIDIA hardware. He also mentions that the game is capped at 60 FPS (except when running demos as a benchmark), discusses the software used during development, as well as a bit on a hard drive nightmare encountered along the way. Here's a bit:

Image fidelity is dependent on what quality level we load the textures at.

In Ultra quality, we load each texture; diffuse, specular, normal map at full resolution with no compression. In a typical DOOM 3 level, this can hover around a whopping 500MB of texture data. This will run on current hardware but obviously we cannot fit 500MB of texture data onto a 256MB card and the amount of texture data referenced in a give scene per frame ( 60 times a second ) can easily be 50MB+. This can cause some choppiness as a lot of memory bandwidth is being consumed. It does however look fantastic :-) and it is certainly playable on high end systems but due to the hitching that can occur we chose to require a 512MB Video card before setting this automatically.

High quality uses compression ( DXT1,3,5 ) for specular and diffuse and no compression for normal maps. This looks very very close to Ultra quality but the compression does cause some loss. This is the quality that for instance the PC Gamer review was played in.

Medium quality uses compression for specular, diffuse, and normal maps. This still looks really really good but compressing the normal maps can produce a few artifacts especially on hard angled or round edges. This level gets us comfortably onto 128MB video cards.

Low quality does everything medium quality does but it also downsizes textures over 512x512 and we downsize specular maps to 64x64 in this mode as well. This fits us onto a 64MB video card.

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88. Re: You know what? I say 'Ahhh, shit!" Jul 26, 2004, 22:21 Yakumo, carmak wrote the book on optimizing. (it's big and black and i forget the title :p) there's only so much you can do to a texture without loosing quality, that's the point of the high quality modes, you don't loose the quality, so you can't compress any more. TGA's for high rez textures take space, then having to store normal maps, bump maps, whatever else for each one increases the memory load. (just assuming d3's using tga textures, it could be several other non lossy formats, but i like TGA's)

everyone into gaming knew d3 was comming, and frankly everyone was expecting it to any system of the time, now it's gold most are in fact jstu plain stunned it even scales down to still be playable on gf3's or gf4mx's.

would it make you feel better if we patch the code so the ultra mode is removed, and we rename high to ultra so you just never know what improvmeents the uncompressed texture detail has :p

hows about 3 years down the line when you've upgraded, wouldn't you be happy to see things not only run faster but look better too?

anyway, face it, id practically drive the entire industry themselves, people winging about their amazingly powerfull card not getting more than x FPS has happened with EVERY SINGLE id release.

this is why people wait for game releases before purchasing new hardware.

if you waited and waited till you could wait no more as d3 hadn't gone gold yet, well, it's a shame, but frankly tough, if d3 was the game you were waiting for then you should have had more patience you should have known the risk you ran.

This comment was edited on Jul 26, 22:27.
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