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93. Re: Aliens: Colonial Marines Patched Feb 14, 2013, 13:44 netnerd85
Beamer wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 07:43:
netnerd85 wrote on Feb 14, 2013, 00:00:
Beamer wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 23:19:
netnerd85 wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 21:24:
Beamer wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 19:50:
netnerd85 wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 19:09:
Beamer wrote on Feb 13, 2013, 17:59:
Demo footage often looks better. The guys in that video are wrong to say otherwise. Part of optimizing a game is often cutting back on level of detail.

But this is insane.
What a complete load of shit.

Most games look better at E3 than they do when released. It depends on how close to release, but games demoed at E3 are often shown when not much is put in. It's easier to have higher polygon counts or higher textures when you haven't fully put the physics or scripting in. Or when you haven't optimized for a wider range of systems.

No one ever wants to reduce texture size or poly count. That's done throughout the process. You make a game, you figure out that you can't get it to run at the right frame rate, you reduce polygons.

Call it bullshit, but it's standard.

However, it being done to the degree shown here is insane. And, I don't know, but I assume that footage is all pretty recent. Not 2 E3s out but more like 6 months out, to the point that you have trouble figuring out how they rebuilt those levels in time...
So you think they make everything high detail and then butcher it for performance increases? lol, oh dear. Mate. No.

Show me some of the magical E3 games that are better. They (the E3 videos) may look better nowadays due to FALSE marketing but that's not how games are made.

This is why HD texture packs come out after the game is released.

You need to aim for a level of detail and keep performance in mind while developing, most of the time it's the Xbox 360. They aren't going to go beyond that by much. Why spend ALL the hours developing something high quality if it's 1) not support by the tech and 2) not going to be shipped.

No, that IS how games are made.

This is how games are made:
1) A very low poly version is made. We're talking rectangular cubes on top of each other. This is placeholder just to get a feel for where things go
2) This is used to make an extremely poly model
3) That model is pared down to a low-mid poly model

Step 2 is hard and time consuming. Step 3 is less so, because you're basing it on Step 2. But it's typically easier to go from a model that's too high a poly count than to increase the poly count of a lower poly model. And, since you want your game to look as good as possible, when you're running through the pre-alpha and alpha stages you often are using higher poly models than you end up with. No optimization has been done, so it's what you're hoping you use. If you can't get the frame rate where you want it, you reduce. Occasionally you have overhead, and you increase, but most companies prefer to reduce, not increase, because most artists find it less time consuming to reduce polygons from models than increase.

Go to any 3d modelers desk and you'll likely see models for in-game assets that are exponentially higher in quality. Helps for bump/normal mapping, too.
Poly count in 3d models doesn't really matter these days (for detail or look of detail, obviously we aren't talking quake style models). Animations/textures/lighting is what it's all about. See the Alien videos. The models are pretty much the same.

Again, why make hi-res textures and animations just to remove them later? They don't.

Yes. You do.

95% of the time it's easier to downgrade quality than upgrade it. You design a level around really cool dynamic lighting, but you can't get the engine to handle it, so you cut it. Features get CUT in final months. They do not get added.


Dynamic light is such a feature. If you can't get a decent frame rate you cut it. It doesn't really change gameplay, except in a game like Doom 3 or AvP, and it makes the game run smoother.
Poly count gets cut in levels.
Particles get cut, like in that exploding spaceship.
Animation gets the number of frames reduced, because that can be done with a mouse click.
Textures get reduced, because that can be done with a mouse click.

You're flat out wrong about this. No company goes into the final six months of a game and says "hey, Barry, we need you to take those 600x600 textures and completely redo them to be sharper and 1600x1600, and we need you to add dynamic lighting everywhere." But they do say "hey, Barry, our textures are slowing us down, we need you to reduce them (which is easy and doesn't require completely redoing them) and we need you to change most of the dynamic lighting to be static."

Want proof? Fine. Open Photoshop and create a 600x600 image. Now make it look like a sharp 1600x1600 image and tell me how long it takes you. Then reduce that to 600x600 and tell me how long it takes you. Which would a company prefer to be doing when they're in the final months of a product?

Honestly, just think about what the final months of a product are. It's never, ever, "add more!" it's always "don't have time for that, or to fix that, remove it!"
You have the Alpha which is banged out hard and fast. You're not going to spend all the time in the world on a proof of concept. The key here should be gameplay and if the actual concept of the game is fun to play. (But clearly this isn't the key for some dev companies)

The Beta is where the real work is done.

Then the game is optimized for launch but not any where near to the supposed butchering of what the Aliens: CM demo video and actual product show. Performance is a constant thing throughout development, not just tacked on at the end. The level of detail that is supposed to have been cut is insane and not going to happen. The demo clearly showed something that run perfectly fine.

You don't spend the time developing amazing dynamic lighting then go fuck it, let's scrap it and go with something shit. If it was real, then a PC somewhere ran it. Where the fuck is the HQ PC version? It doesn't exist. Never did. They lied, they made shit up.

Again, no E3 video looks better than the final product from pre-2010. Show me some examples if you think so. It's all marketing these days.
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