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User information for Noel Wade

Real Name Noel Wade   
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Nickname HBringer
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description
Homepage http://www.planethalflife.com/wavelength/levels
Signed On Nov 20, 2000, 22:10
Total Comments 41 (Suspect)
User ID 7883
 
User comment history
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News Comments > World of Pirates Beta
10. Re: Heehe Jul 6, 2004, 13:51 HBringer
 
Crossbone said it best:

Me? I'll stick with Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates http://www.puzzlepirates.com/

IMHO, No other MMORPG has as much good teamwork built in as Puzzle Pirates!

 
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News Comments > Sam & Max Sequel Axed
22. Re: Full Throttle, Now This... Mar 3, 2004, 15:13 HBringer
 
Being a follower of LucasArts since it was a division of LucasFilm in the early 80's (Rescue on Fractalus, Koronis Rift, etc), through the hey-day of adventuring (Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Sam & Max, Loom, The Dig, Grim Fandango, The Monkey Island series, and more - their resume consists ONLY of hits in the genre!)... even though I worked at Sierra in the late 90's, I always felt that the Lucas adventure games were the best. They combined wit, good stories, thought-provoking situations, and puzzles tough enough to enjoy but not frustrating or deadly (like Sierra's).

Then what happened? Lucas announced he was going to make the Star Wars prequels. It seems natural that they would gear LucasArts towards Star Wars games... But EXCLUSIVELY? Yet they did so. Thus followed a million-and-one clones of already-made games with a Star Wars veneer slathered over them.

To me its no wonder the new Adventure titles were cancelled or weren't coming together: The SW Prequels have been in the works for something like 6 years now. Game designers are impatient, creative people. I can't imagine the quality minds that came up with the adventure-game stories & designs sticking around through the SW drudgery (at least not without becoming zombies)... So I'm *SURE* LucasArts has experienced its share of "brain-drain" over the last several years. I don't know where the quality designers have scattered to, but I doubt the creative teams responsible for past success are still there.

And on the subject of "no market for adventure games" - that's just Bullsh!t. Sure, you're not going to have a multi-million-copy seller (oh, wait - what about Myst???)... But you can certainly have successful (in a business-sense) adventure-games.

The reason we don't see adventure games selling well these days, is because no one is making them - but that in and of itself is NOT a valid argument for why they can't be made and sold in a decent fashion. We've just gotten into a "chicken or egg" situation in the industry over this genre. I remember when LucasArts / LucasFilm was a creative powerhouse and would take risks and try new things... They were the sort of company that would push THROUGH the "chicken or egg" situation, make a quality product, and see how it did at-market. Nowadays, with the competition, consolidation, big-budgets, etc... NO ONE wants to take any more risks than they absolutely have to.

Which is sad, because many of our biggest blockbusters in history came from risky concepts. I sincerely hope that small developers fill this void; although having worked in the industry, I don't know how plausible that is - I certainly know how challenging it is!

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Mac Halo Gold
20. The Short Summary... Dec 9, 2003, 06:58 HBringer
 
Halo for XBox was great - its about the best First-Person-Shooter for the console (there have been WAAY too many crappy ones!).

But since it was designed for consoles, its inevitable that it would suffer in its porting back over to a platform that's just plain BETTER for the genre (i.e. a Desktop with a Keyboard & Mouse).

But the SIMPLE fact of the matter is - its now 2 years OLD! The industry waits for no one; and the technology and gameplay are constantly being revised and improved. Same thing goes for ports in the opposite direction: I bet CounterStrike for the XBox sucks, too - its based on 1997/98 technology! And beyond the technical obsolescence - After a certain period of time, all the "fans" will have either bought it for another system, played it on a friend's system, or just given up on it.

*sigh* Ah, well.

--Noel "HB" Wade
Who thinks that if you can't port a game 6 months from its original ship-date, its not worth it!


 
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News Comments > Star Wars Battlefront Unveiled
6. Re: Er... Dec 1, 2003, 21:40 HBringer
 
That's it, LucasArts - prostitute out the SW franchise even more. God knows there aren't enough "me, too" products on the market with SW licensing.

*sigh*
*rant mode ON*

I remember the good ol' days, when LucasArts actually made ORIGINAL titles (they started with a bang, way back in the mid 80's). Games like Kronis Rift, Rescue on Fractalus, the X-Wing and TIE-Fighter series of games, all of their graphical adventure games - all of which were top-shelf material; and all of which pushed technology, story-telling, and gaming in new ways.

Over the years, I've applauded them branching out into new areas - and certainly they didn't invent the flight-sim genre with X-Wing; or the FPS genre with the original "Dark Forces" game... But at least back then they'd incorporate new features, or have great stories, or SOME unique characteristic. The studio USED to be a siren-signal for creative designers and storytellers. The only game that has pushed a genre or been a blockbuster in recent years, IMHO, is KOTOR. Raven has done its solid (if predictable) job on all of the Jedi Knight titles - but at their heart they're still just FPS's with a few fancy sword-moves.

At the risk of being an ass (and despite the fact that I still love the original SW movies), I really wish that most of the SW-themed games would stop selling. That way, perhaps LucasArts will re-adjust BACK to being a creative powerhouse. Of course, that's probably just wishful thinking at this point...

*rant mode OFF*
*sigh*

--Noel "HB" Wade
'I fear we shall never see its like again'


 
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News Comments > TrackMania Demo
5. Re: Memories Oct 23, 2003, 17:15 HBringer
 
This is slightly different from RDS (and in a slightly disappointing way; though the game is fun, if cryptic). But MAN was RDS a good game for its time! Adaptive AI, too (on a system with 64K of RAM): the AI drivers would drive the course "ahead of time" before you raced, so that the computer drivers would take decent paths through any racetrack you constructed... *sigh* I fondly remember using the Top-Fuel dragster and Moon-gravity settings to see how much "air time" I could grab. ;-)

Yes, nostalgia is a strong force... But us "old-timers of gaming" in our mid-to-late 20's (who gamed in the 80's) aren't the mainstream population - so we'll see how much of a boost it gives the game sales-wise.

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
177. Re: hmmm Oct 3, 2003, 02:17 HBringer
 
Frax - Thanks for proving my last point so well. I never said *I* was more important than any other person on the street. I certainly am not! I just also don't think that he is, either - so equating his impatience with Valve somehow "deserving" to be ripped-off is folly. Also, those mod developers *SOLD* their stuff to Valve - Valve didn't rip people off or you'd see lawsuits; so just chill on the "Big Bad Wolf" theory. Some hobbyists made something that people loved, and saw a chance to get paid for their work. Valve thought it was worth it to pay them - the mod makers agreed. Where's the crime? If YOU got offered money and/or a real job, for a "hobby" project you did, wouldn't you take it?

And for the record: (A) I never WAS at Valve, I was at Sierra. (B) I'm still designing levels, I'm not an ex-level-designer.

chacro - "apologist"? Let's see, tell ya what: You try having a couple-thousand people look over your shoulder while you try to work your day job - and even if omly 10 of that 1,000 kibitz or cajole you, I bet you'd get tired of it REALLY quickly. :-P I'm not excusing bad behavior on the part of dev's or publishers, I'm just trying to tell it like it is. And again, I was making a point *to* someone - there's context there.

Tangled - My reviews are opinion pieces - like ALL reviews (movie, book, game, etc). Its OK to disagree with them dude; doesn't hurt me - its not like Loonyboi paid me to do them (I assume you're referring to my time at Loonygames), I did it for fun. Oh, and if you want to actually suggest ways for me to write better ones, I'll gladly take them - but "they sucks" doesn't really help.

BTW, you are 1 customer. Out of 1 MILLION copies they are going to sell of this game. *YOU* as an individual, expecting the game on day #23,756 instead of #23,757 are not important, compared to the THOUSANDS of mass-market clueless consumers that need to buy this game and have it work straight out of the box - because they can't even manage AOL or auto-update programs if the game is buggy and needs a patch. The delay of a product is a strategic thing - its done for important reasons and is not just some WHIM designed to frustrate you.

Lastly, to the guy that said that the delays in any other industry get you fired or your product cancelled: I refer you to the Airplane industry, the Car Industry, the Software Industry, the Aerospace Industry, the Nuclear-Power Industry, Large-Ship-Building companies, and ANY OTHER company or industry in which large and complex projects happen. You'll find cost and time overruns in ALL of them. The complexities of a project interact, so that the costs, time, and UNPREDICTABILITY of a project go up FASTER than the actual increase in complexity. Games have to run fast, smooth, and on a WIDE variety of hardware and software. Each piece of hardware may or may not fully conform to standards and specs; and each has its own bugs or quirks. This is why Microsoft has labs with THOUSANDS of machines hooked up, all testing the same thing. A 50-person company like Valve (or an average 20-person game developer) cannot possibly have these resources at hand. Even big Publishers cannot duplicate that sort of testing endeavour - which is one of the many reasons why game schedules are less predictable than, say, the next version of Windows. The other thing is that Windows also doesn't have a storyline or script that is being written or worked with either. Windows doesn't have a specific number of HOURS of enjoyment to provide, for a $50 value. Windows versions aren't as hotly anticipated as games either - so changes in release dates and schedules don't show up "on the radar" as much as highly-visible game projects.

Again: This is a complex business.

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
175. Re: hmmm Oct 3, 2003, 01:52 HBringer
 
Creston -

If people stopped buying games, many game developers would still develop - just on a smaller scale as they couldn't afford to do it as a "day job". News flash: Less than 5% of ALL video-games are profitable! There are notable hits that make bucko bucks, to be sure - but that's not WHY game-designers do what they do, 12 hours-a-day for 2-5 years for one freakin' game. :-P

And yes, my comment came out as arrogant; and no, I didn't intend it that way. It was intended as a slap at an immature poster who had no clue as to the realities of the business. Most game developers *aren't* arrogant - they just (a) Can't take the time to sit down with every gamer out there and talk to them and explain whatever it is that person is going on about or percieves to be true; and (b) They are often discouraged by the vocal minority out there that are jerks, rabid fans, or both. :-P

Its a bit like politics, really: If you admit some things, people will harangue you with those admissions. If you with-hold information, or try to make the best of a situation, you're called on the mat for "covering up" or "manipulating" things. Its a lose-lose situation; and so you want to remain quiet - but if you're too quiet then you won't generate a "buzz" before the product's release. And sure those of us "in the know" will still get the game; but the hardcore / online gamer is really a TINY fraction of the overall sales. The average person hasn't a CLUE about most of our gaming sites, and ONLY goes to the game store when they know they are buying something. Therefore marketting, PR, word-of-mouth campaigns, etc. are all important and complicate things.

Plus, you have an industry where the money is controlled by the Publishers, the content by the developers, the community-relations by the Publishers, the schedules split between them, Managers in both companies who think they know "what's best" for the game, developers that take too long, publishers who are impatient to get a return on their million-dollar investments, and everyone in both camps has access to the Internet... I've said it many many times here: It's a complex business. I don't MEAN to sound arrogant - but you can't KNOW it until you've been in it. Its a lot like Car-Manufacturing or Hollywood Movies (though I grew up near Hollywood and despise it) - its a complex process with steps that lots of people outside the industry don't even realize are there (or necessary!). Its also DEFINITELY a business! Its there to make money. Not for the designers or creative people so much, but for the publishers who can afford to PAY us to work "day jobs" as designers. Despite all appearances, game-company pay typically is LESS than you'd get working on normal business-applications programs. But without this funding, gamers would still be playing 2d Arcade shoot-em-ups. The average adult just does NOT have the time to work two full-time jobs; and the complexity of today's 3d games take far too much time to be just a hobby. Example: I could build a complete DOOM (1 or 2) map in 5 hours. I could build a complete Quake-1 map in 60 hours. A Half-Life map takes a good 150 hours; and newer games are only lengthening that development time as environments get more and more detailed.

In summary: I think at heart, most designers aren't arrogant; they just wish that people gave them a little more space and respect online - instead of hearing demands all the time and having every move, every press-release, every gameplay decision criticized and second-guessed, from every corner of the globe. Since there aren't effective tactics to really counter the "problem posters" online, designers tend to get some frustration pent-up and lash out from time to time when they feel defenseless or un-supported at every turn.

In closing, I'll make my own observation - guaranteed to start another controversy: Free speech is awesome, but not everyone deserves to be heard equally! :-)

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade

 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
174. Re: Weird... Oct 3, 2003, 01:27 HBringer
 
gs - Source Code is plain text. It compresses very well with ZIP and RAR techniques - like a WORD document. You can fit the entire source code for a game engine into less than 50MB. Its the compiled EXE and (especially) the art assets that take up the vast majority of space. Only the source was yanked.

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
120. Re: No! Oct 2, 2003, 20:49 HBringer
 
Tangled - I didn't realize that you were SO important that your eagerness for this game was worth the livelihood of *30* PEOPLE. Damn, you sure are an important kid!

--Noel "HB" Wade

 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
115. Re: mods Oct 2, 2003, 20:37 HBringer
 
2coasts - Sadly, the source would be a pain to wade through, to pick out the proper function calls and objects to interface with. It could be done - but then if you released the Mod early, Valve probably wouldn't be too happy. Also, they're GOING to change the networking code. They *HAVE* to, to prevent horrendous cheats and other security concerns. Ergo, some of your Mod code will probably be "broken". Its just not worth the risks and the morality issues and the wasted time. I'm REALLY hungry for the HL2 Mod SDK - but this isn't worth it.

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade

 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
114. Re: hmmm Oct 2, 2003, 20:32 HBringer
 
HIGH_PING - I don't work in Marketting. I make stuff, I don't get involved in selling it. ;-) Most game-designers don't, because they don't care for that side of the business. The fun comes in making the product and seeing people smile when they use it. We sell our work because then we get paid. We want paychecks because we HAVE to have them, if we want to be able to work on it full-time.

Zeph - Oh, I suppose you've never been late for anything in your life? Read my earlier post: If it came out and required an extra patch because of a bug, you'd whine even more! Its a lose-lose situation for Developers; which is why most of them choose to delay instead of release incomplete. Its the lesser of two evils - a late release can be made up for by a superior product; bad bugs will haunt you and your reputation forever. Publishers, on the other hand, have limited funds and patience; and have released games before they were ready on MANY occassions. :-P Its a complex business with a complex set of situations.

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
103. Re: No subject Oct 2, 2003, 20:15 HBringer
 
Xenopulse -

Steam itself is for distributing files / content. It does NOT actually run the game. The game itself (the client on your machine, and the server that you're connected to) talk over the 'net when you're playing. Everytime a piece of the game-world changes, the server tells your computer, and your copy of the game updates your view to reflect the changes. Your computer also tells the server what you are doing ("I'm walking forward", or "I'm crouching down in this corner"). The server is responsible for sorting out what's "legal" and not in the game - things like moving 500MPH on foot are forbidden. However, someone with the source-code can see EXACTLY what the client is supposed to send, what kind of messages the server is supposed to receive, and then exactly how to "break" those.

Also, some weaknesses in the server-code (if they exist) could potentially be exploited to get viruses and trojans onto those server-machines. Not ONLY will players now be taking a risk of having their stuff messed with; or other players cheating - but the people that own / run the Servers have to consider the fact that a buffer overrun (much like the Outlook one that happened to Gabe) could be used to plant malicious code or files on the actual server. This is a BigDeal(tm)!

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
94. Re: hmmm Oct 2, 2003, 20:00 HBringer
 
HIGH_PING - Thanks for confirming you're a 10 year old; if not in body then in maturity-level at least.

The gaming community DESERVES To be flamed every once in a while. Its fanatacism, mob-behavior, and habit of biting the hands that feed it are a constant source of frustration for those of us that make games for a living. We love making games, and we love having fans that care and want our products - but having those same fans attack us is pretty discouraging and frustrating (need I point out Alex Rodburg as a recent example? *quick, someone flame me for mentioning him - you'll prove my point!*).

First off, people need to remember that just 'cuz yer talking online and not face-to-face, doesn't give you the right to be an ass.

Valve HAS been a part of the community. They released some killer SDKs, updates to the game, free Mods, supported many mod developers and tutorial websites (including mine, Wavelength, which you'll find on page 29 of the original HL manual). Name another game company that has done as much! id releases its source and tools, to be sure - but NO ONE has done as much as Valve.

All you people that complain about HL2 and TF2 being delayed: How PISSED would you be if those games came out 2 years ago, but were crappy? Valve would never live it down - instead they put up with your whining because they know in the end it'll be worth releasing a quality product.

And as for things being freeware: There's a REASON that commercial games are high quality - the time it takes to put together art, story, AND technology assets is huge. No one can spare that kind of time and *not* be paid (unless they're already wealthy to begin with). RealLife - for those of you still in school - means working and paying bills. Its fair to expect that if I devote hundreds of hours to a project, that I should at least be compensated for my time. And my company has the right to leverage my work so that it survives and grows.

Its not ideal, and its not a utopia - but its REALITY. And in REALITY, Valve has been raped. I don't use that word lightly - its about the best analogy; sure the damage isn't permanent, and they weren't virgins - but they HAVE been violated and taken advantage of; and this experience is going to haunt them for a long long time.

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
25. Re: What the hell? Oct 2, 2003, 18:07 HBringer
 
Hey kxmode -

Genius! You ever stop and think that they're making games FOR WINDOWS?? It might make sense to run WINDOWS then, eh? Not to mention the fact that they have to interact with a whole bunch of other people and businesses around the world - most of whom use WINDOWS. *sigh* I'm also willing to bet that YOU use Windows!

The people trying to blame this on Valve need to take a look in the mirror - their fanaticism is what has bred this sort of attack!

--Noel "HB" Wade
Ex-Sierra / WON.net employee / Level-Designer

 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2 Source Code Leak
23. Re: Thanks ATI! Oct 2, 2003, 18:04 HBringer
 
Hood - It sounds like the initial attack was BEFORE that patch was out from MS. And hell, even TODAY they're finding more buffer-overflow problems. MS products are chock-full of 'em. Every one is an open door for hackers.

There isn't ANYTHING a Sys. Admin or tech guru can do - MS has the code to its products, so there's no way anyone BUT MS can close off these overflow issues. The Valve Sys. Admin. is in hot water to be sure - but there probably was nothing he could do to stop it. Whoever did this was very determined and very methodical, if they crafted something to target Valve & Gabe in particular.

Anyone who laughs about this is an idiot. These guys make these games because they enjoy it. They've worked on this stuff for 5 years. If *YOU* suddenly had 5 YEARS of work destroyed in one moment, you'd be pretty f'ing upset.

The human-aspect aside, I'd also guess this is 15 - 30 MILLION dollars in losses, in terms of man-hours at Valve, and licensing fees they COULD have gotten from 3rd party developers (that may now get the engine code for "free").

I seriously hope whoever did this is brought to trial and gets sent to "Federal Pound Me In The Ass Prison", to quote Office Space...

It'd be nice if we could all play games for free; but saving $40 isn't worth ruining the lives of 30 or 40 people... especially not if they're the ones you WANT to be making games!

Besides, any knucklehead out there that thinks this will let them play for free is not thinking straight: the engine code doesn't include artwork, levels, models, etc... So its useless for scamming a free copy of the game. Cheating online is another matter; and like the previous poster, I forsee that being a HUGE issue in the future. *sigh*

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > DOOM 3 & DX9
104. Re: Hardware Sep 18, 2003, 19:06 HBringer
 
Zoner -

Where do you get your information about Microsoft designing the spec "around ATI"??

And just because they came up with a new chip architecture doesn't mean they did anything bad or wrong - its a designer's perogative to come up with their own designs and plans. The standards are there to ensure that their designs still "play nice" with everyone else... What they do "under the hood" is up to them.

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade

 
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News Comments > DOOM 3 & DX9
102. "Standards" Sep 18, 2003, 17:27 HBringer
 
Again, to clarify the situation:

The idea behind standards like DirectX and Pixel-Shader specs is to provide two things:

1) Provide a standard set of programming functions and interfaces for programmers to use

2) Provide a standard set of features that all hardware should implement completely, if it wants to claim that it "meets the spec". Ideally, the features should all act / look the same - though performance will probably differ between products.

The idea behind Microsoft having these standards, is that it can use its market position, money, and influence to coerce hardware-makers to conform to the spec a LOT better than trying to get them to do so voluntarily. OpenGL is based around committees and consortiums of manufacturers & developers. As such, it takes longer for revisions in the spec to be approved; and it is up to each individual to implement and "conform to" the spec (and look at how many years its been, and how many chips & drivers STILL don't implement all of the older OpenGL stuff properly). Having a monopolistic power like MS drive development may not be the ideal solution - but it gets results; and for gamers its a "win".

According to what we've seen, nVidia's card does NOT meet the PS 2.0 spec of using FP24 (24 bit) precision. Therefore, a true apples-to-apples comparison of DirectX9 / PS 2.0 features leaves nVidia behind; because it must deal with the "doubled-up 16 bit mode" that it has to run to meet/exceed the spec'ed 24 bit mode. ATi runs this mode natively; and doesn't suffer any performance penalties as a result.

So using the STANDARD as a measuring-tool, ATi steps out ahead of nVidia. Can nVidia beat ATi? Certainly, under certain circumstances: When not using DX9, PS2.0 shaders, or anything higher than 16bit precision for effects - nVidia can still out-perform ATi.

The thing is, as games get more complex, developers are going to have less and less time to devote to "hand coding" alternatives and special code-paths. The "standards" are becoming more popular and more important all the time; and increases in game-complexity will only drive this further along.

Look at how much automation and specialization is being built into art & architecture tools for games these days... Soon, some of those automated / "assistance" aspects are going to need to be incorportated into programming environments, to enable games to be developed on a reasonable time-scale. Engine-licensing was a "first step" in this direction - automation via the use of other people's existing code. However, this can be awkward; and the learning time for someone else's engine eats into the time-benefits of licensing it in the first place. Furthermore, you are constrained to all the limits and compromises someone else made; and they usually made them without ANY idea of what you want to do with their code.

I forsee eventually having integrated development environments that largely automate the basic processes of coding a graphics engine; and the increasing adoption & conformity to "standards" will help this as well - as the compilers and development tools will be MUCH more feasible if they can create "vanilla" code (automatically or with minimal direction) that works for everyone (and since its defined by you, it doesn't suffer the problems of being "someone else's code" like engine licensing). The dominant paradigm will then shift to programming as a means to "define the rules" of the game (physics, interaction, movement, victory conditions, etc); and you will see a "split" in the game-programmer role... Part of these people will end up working on the "developemnt environment" and "tools" - pushing the latest and greatest visuals & physics routines, and optimizing the automated aspects of the development tools. The others will become more like "game designers who code", in a sense that their programming will have much more to do with gameplay, and less with hardware access, memory-management, etc. Art will still be the biggest bottleneck in games development; although the tools for that are getting better - however increases in detail/fidelity are still outpacing the development of most art/architecture tools.

Wow, talk about a rambling topic-diversion!

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
142. Rough Month - Keep your chin up! Sep 18, 2003, 11:24 HBringer
 
Take care Blue - take as much time as you need; and remember that we're all here for ya. You have my sympathies and wishes for the best possible outcome - we'll keep you and MamaBlue in our thoughts this day!

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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News Comments > DOOM 3 & DX9
74. Re: The Impact Effect Sep 18, 2003, 03:37 HBringer
 
Being the quirky type, I have to take up the gauntlet on this one (not that there isn't a lot of bad english around these days!):

Actually, "impacted" is the better word to use here, since we're talking about a detrimental performance difference - and ,when not used as a verb - like an asteroid hitting something, "impacted" carries more of a negative connotation than "affected". Think about it - when the dentist tells you your wisdom teeth are trapped below the gums, he calls them "impacted"; not "affected". "Affected" has more of a connotation of "change" or a relative comparison between multiple things. This was a directed comment about the detrimental performance of a particular object - hence "impacted".

;-P

--Noel "HB" Wade
Devil's-Advocate-In-Training


 
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News Comments > DOOM 3 & DX9
60. Re: No subject Sep 17, 2003, 23:05 HBringer
 
Just to clarify all this precision stuff that seems to be confusing people:

Pixel Shader 2.0 spec is 24 bit minimum - with support for up to 128 bits (that technology's a year or two off, at least). This precision is a hardware issue; it goes beyond DirectX vs. OpenGL. Its more evident on DirectX because there are other things that DirectX does that exposes the disparity more than OpenGL; partly because DirectX evolves a LOT faster these days than OpenGL, so it has standard features that take advantage of new hardware a lot sooner (MS makes all the decisions it wants, which is good and bad; but OpenGL is a consortium, which means committees have to debate and compromise over months or years to get new features or code approved as "standard").

Anyways, you can run ATi at the 24bit spec. From what I understand, nVidia either runs at 16bit, OR 32bit (16 "doubled-up"). If you want to run PS 2.0 / DirectX9 stuff, you have to run 24bit or higher. Therefore, the nVidia cards suffer from a performance hit because of their inability to run the 24bit stuff natively. They have to "double-up" the 16 bit functionality and deal with the performance hit that this entails.

What Carmack has said, is that if you code things especially for "lower precision" (i.e. the 16bit mode that nVidia does by default), then the card works just as well as the ATI - but that running in "full precision" (24 or 32 bit mode), the nVidia will suffer a performance penalty.

In a nutshell, Carmack is basically saying that to get equal performance out of the cards, he's had to go out of his way to create a special set of code for the nVidia hardware; but the ATI can run "standard code" at a decent level. The amount of performance disparity isn't specified - but if it was 1 or 2 frames per second, I'd bet money that Carmack wouldn't have taken the time to write a custom graphics routine for it!

Glad I've got a little time to sit back and watch before I update my aging GeForce2!!

Take care,

--Noel "HB" Wade


 
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