Procedural Textures

you guys know how much i think procedural techniques are going to revolutionize game development.  here’s another example where these guys are making textures 90% smaller.

We recently published a widely debated news story about one company’s claim that its new texturing process will make games 70% smaller. That company is called Allegorithmic and the technology the guys there are developing is designed to keep texture quality standards as high as they are now, whilst making the size of the texture files 90% smaller. The key to all this? A little thing called procedural textures.

i guess that means a dvd9 disc can hold … what? … a procedural 90 gigs of textures?  oh, and, since they are all automated-funky-cool, there’s less artist time involved in applying them.  hmm.  less time means it’s cheaper.  less assets on the disc mean it’ll fit on standard dvd (just think about the killer arcade titles!).  less assets on the disc also mean vanishing load times.  we need blu-ray for games why?

math ftw.  bloat ftl.

m3mnoch.

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7 comments so far

  1. gaminghobo on

    I read that interview too. One does get the impression we’ll be seeing more and more of this in the coming years, especially as the 360 gets older.

    As for Fall of Man it always amuses me when I hear that is uses 16GIG’s or whatever it does. However, as the devs freely admit, a lot of this is taken up by putting all the language localisation and what not on one disk.

  2. m3mnoch on

    oh, did you get to watch that quicktime? i couldn’t get it to play. but, the concept of on-the-fly texture modification is awe-some.

    m3mnoch.

  3. covert.c. on

    I wrote an article on procedural content in the September “Gamers Quarter”. In my humble estimation, it’s the next logical step in truly shunting gaming towards “next-gen”.

  4. m3mnoch on

    amen.

    m3mnoch.

  5. Andrew F on

    Have you seen Roboblitz? Its uses the Unreal 3 engine (meaning it looks good) AND it’s going to be an XBLA game (meaning only 50MB). That’s impressive.

    http://www.roboblitz.com/

  6. m3mnoch on

    yeah. i’m totally excited to get that from the arcade.

    m3mnoch.

  7. Isaac on

    Long time no posting here. I do think it is important to put all the languages in one disc. Not only because I personally prefer it, but also because having a single SKU for every game is simple.

    Anyway, procedurally generated content sounds good, but isn’t it too taxing for the machine to do it everything procedurally? Also, isn’t it too difficult for the developer to do EVERYTHING procedurally? For what I know, you can save some RAM for other things of course, but you should always find balance to optimize any game. That’s where the true power of any machine comes in. Well, you probably know more than I do on that, so if I’m wrong, feel free to tell me.

    I think it’s too early to call DVD9 “enough”. Sony may prove that wrong (I’m not saying they will). Who knows? There are some examples of where Blu-ray could save the day, but of course, how good the use may be subjective. Some developers are using FMV inside the game, which is liked by many gamers as shown in a relatively recent poll made by Joystiq. Other developers are using video files for in-game TVs and such (but other’s are doing it all real-time; supposedly, in the first MGS4 trailer, Otacon was rendered real-time even when he was being shown on an in-game video camera).

    As long as PS3 remains competitive by bringing some value other than Blu-ray for that cost (like a bigger hard drive, and have all the freedom that Linux can give a system), and games don’t cost more (unless they are killer apps, I guess), then there isn’t much reason to complain.

    It’s worth mentioning that a few developers praised Blu-ray’s capacity. Kojima mentioned in an interview with Wii60.com that MGS4 would be impossible without Blu-ray (and that it is being pushed to run at 1080p). Mark Rein also said that their games should reach 30 GB or so (but he has never had any credibility). EA is backing Blu-ray (but I don’t understand why, since their games are cross-platform). Some Square-Enix reps also mentioned something good about it. Anyway, I’ll try to find the link to all sources that said something good about Blu-ray and its capacity for games.

    Another thing perhaps worth mentioning, is that Zelda got an 8.8 review score by Gamespot. The argument was crappy sound and textures. Since it is a gamecube game, I doubt they used the whole space a DVD9 offers. Maybe that’s why music and textures were limited. I’m not saying they are necessary, I’m saying a great game like Zelda would have given no excuse to reviewers to recieve such a “low” score for a highly hyped game. And perhaps it’s better not to limit developers with disc space, even if it’s “just high quality audio” or “just cut-scenes”.

    Of course, eventually discs will be obsolete, as everything will be streamed real-time from servers, but at this point, internet is too slow, CPUs aren’t that fast yet, and hard drives are still very expensive.

    Sorry for that long as post. Greetings, m3mnoch.

    And by the way, I haven’t signed in to XBL for two reasons: 1. because I’ve been busy, and 2. the Xbox 360 HDD failed and I can’t play XBLA games right now ( microsoft doesn’t want to pay for shipping of their own faulty drives 😦 ).


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