*Game Development Issues*

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by valioso, Oct 29, 2007.

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  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Which companies provide wrong informations, and why is it huge? Upscaling had been going on all the way through last gen and no-one batted an eyelid. We also have PR screenshots of way more than in-game quality, and it's just accepted, rather than viewed as a lie. Alas, ignorance was bliss. Before all this internet rubbish devs could just create the game and people would either like what it looked like or didn't. Now with metrics and people can compare numbers and let numbers tell them whether they should like it or not instead of relying on their own visceral response. Now devs are being bitched at for developing no differently to last gen. the choices devs make regards upscaling are interesting and worth pondering. Making a big business hoohah out of it is crazy internet overreaction. If you want to start a thread on the business impact of game upscaling and resolutions, that's fine (and I'll move these posts there). I just think it's a silly topic!
     
  2. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
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    joker,

    I don't think the devs should be playing peace keepers. The ones with large internal teams should focus on the strenghts on each console. If the PS3 version allows for better AF and AA then use it! If the 360 version allows for better textures or higher resolution, then go with that. These are 2 difference pieces of hardware and should be optimized accordingly instead of finding a common ground just for the sake of keeping the peace amongst rabid fanboys.

    Also, fanboys need to do a better job of slamming MS and Sony for making bullshit promises. Not at the devs. It's not their fault that the hardware and/or software is upto the tasks you were promised. Make these companies accountable so the next time around they're more realistic with their promises and dont' roll the dev community under the bus.
     
  3. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    How are they going to make them accountable though? Make worse games than the hardware can achieve? Or make bad ports?

    It is not Sony or MS that will be considered accountable. It will be the devs. And they will hinder the consumer and the platform he/she has invested on
     
  4. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
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    Read the part about big budget studios with good sized teams per platform.

    By being vocal about it. Instead of saying "oh we love both/both rock/both awesome" call their bullshit. Lay it out "hey with this hardware and tools, this is what we can give you. ask MS and Sony to be more honest with you in the future."

    It always amazes me that fanboys are so protective of the manufacturer and quick to blame the dev. How is the consumer hindered when they're getting a version of the game that is best fit their console!?
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    OIt's not about keeping the peace but getting the best ROI. The costs of optimizing for both platforms isn't worth it. If you have a budget of...$10 million, and it costs $2.5 million to reach an acceptable standard on Platform X, and $7.5 million to reach the same standard optimizing the bejeesus out of Platform Y, there's nothing to be gained by spending more on Platform X. That's why XBox got cheap ports. Rather than recreate the engine to best suit the platform, you work with what you've got, use the same low-res assets, and just enable whatever easy features you can. With the current gen, an unhappy middle-ground sharing common features across both platforms is probably the best ROI you'll get, leaving much of the best performance untapped because investment in one platform gives no returns on the other platform. That is to get to good, 75% of perfect, quality on both platforms might cost $5 million overall, and to get the next 10% improvement might cost $5 million for each platform as the techniques are disparate...that extra investment just isn't worth it. If the optimizations were cheap, it'd be worth considering. But in all developments there's the budget that needs to be consider above and beyond giving the end user the perfect experience. Good enough is...well, good enough!

    The community does this with their money. As long as people pay the money, the companies (all companies. When has a washing powder ever performed as well as the TV spots?!) will carry on with their salesmanship. Writing rude letters isn't going to change anything.
     
  6. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    As nobody has commented yet may be you're right.
    But something is new here as both systems are so close, editor put a lot of efforts (all kind of efforts it looks) at making games at parity.
    For gta IV the word on the street is still that ps3 version is superior. The impact won't be trivial.

    But there is no need to be specific, what the internet press should when this kind of situation happens?, people of knowledge should do? I'm sure Quaz51 question it self a lot and I wait to be sure which is a respectable attitude and the most responsible I think.

    it's all about responsability, and it's difficult when your opinion (journalists or others) can impacted the busyness incomes of a company or just the work they pushing in the street and I feel they should be proud of (GTA IV is nothing close of decieving on both supports) or their image.
    But on the other side there is the truth.

    These are the kind of questions journalists have dealt with every days, but for something as irrelevant as video (except in term of income) it's the best this way.
    But I think that it's not the best way to address fanboys stupidity.
    I feel like trying ta accomodate everybody will finish worse in the long run.

    I also wonder what people might think at MS HQ, they obviously can't do anything that would have hurt Rockstar. But If sales are not up to their expectations it will be tough to make up for DLC investments.

    etc. I think there a lot to discuss GTA IV specific or on a more general manner (what about madden a huge seller in US // fifa // if sony loss F1 exclusivity) how the press will deal with that? And people of knowledge?
    And accomodating editors is not that tough what when manufacturer will get into the game if this have some relevant impact on systems sales on top of royalties).


    If the press start to accommodate too much, they will in an awful situation.

    etc.

    I felt there was stuffs to discuss, but I also know that while interesting the discussion would need to draw comparisons at some point...

    I won't open the discussion., especially as my English would deserves it ;)
     
  7. Corwin_B

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    I agree with the general sentiment in this post, and think blaming devs is unfair (especially since they work under time and business contraints that they didn't set themselves), but I still think MS and Sony deserve a little bit of flak for the whole marketing rush centered on the "HD" moniker. While there as always been a lot of importance accorded to graphical evolution between two gens, I think this gen it really went overboard on the marketing side. I remember MS boasting about 720p with AA as a requirement for all 360 games, Sony countering with 1080p gaming...

    Personnally, I don't care much as I'm much more sensitive to art direction than to technical prowess (although I don't downplay what advanced rendering technology brings to the table).

    With the specific example of upscaling and its analysis, I think upscaling is a fair tradeoff that devs can have to make and always had to make, much like disabling AA, lowering some texture res, or disabling Vsync (which, for me, has a worse impact on my enjoyment of a game than some slight upscaling). My problem comes from fanboys using it as cannon fodder in their usual chest-thumping and mud-slinging, and I think the videogaming "press" (using the term loosely here) goes along not as a matter of "truth-seeking", but in order to rake in the hits a good, old-fashioned fanboy controversy can bring. Some really talented devs are victims of that, and it sucks.

    Edit : also, many people accuse devs of being "sneaky" if there is some upscaling in their titles. I certainly don't remember a dev ever boasting about a sub-30 framerate, or disabling V-sync, or having some texture popping... Don't get why upscaling is seen in a different way...
     
    #607 Corwin_B, Apr 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2008
  8. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Corwin_B I'm not blaming devs.

    But I feel that yes something is huge here, at first I was careful because of some DMC4 review.

    But the more I think the more I think that Rokstar play this really well.

    Lot will call me a fanboy etc. I don't care.

    The whole press know that Rockstar didn't want us to shown screens of the 360 version.
    I guess that even the less technical journalist on the internet had some clue about why.
    the press has been complacent with Rockstar.

    I wonder if rockstar has made some push in direction of the ps3 depending on how the pre orders or whatever marketing they have at hand seemed to indicated.

    OK the version might be equivalent or the ps3 could have a tinier edge but buy know the resolution now I wonder about all the comment about sharpness of the ps3 version etc.

    Or I'm right about sub HD rendering (I ve been though this quiet some time here and always felt ... alone) people migh prefer the blurier look than the more pcish surgical look that high resolutions bring (would make me way more happy than making my point here given that the stress that surrounds this conversation )

    Anyway I still wait for a properly done video, it tooks some time and efforts to dot50cal to deliver last time.

    All in all it's may not be relevant as some of the best sellers this gen are sub HD and my own opinion is that I would prefer lose some sharpness for Vsync, better shader/etc.


    But as more and more video will pop up, if my doubt are confirmed, I think that some @ MS HQ should be peace off.
    MS can't speak about what the downloadable content will be.
    Rockstar makes sure that the sales will be even between the two systems (in regard to instal base).
    I have the clear feeling that Rockstar has been really really clever.

    Anyway sales will speak for themselves ;) (and might be wrong especially as MS marketing push is impressive).
     
  9. RobertR1

    RobertR1 Pro
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    In that way, it's nice to see the most honest company dominating the other 2. So maybe there is hope in the consumer.

    As much as I enjoy the "HD" consoles, the constant bickering and dick slinging contests are pathetic and frankly flow down from the companies themselves.

    This gen I feel bad for the devs. For every CoD4 level success, you'll have many more failures and with the cost of development sky rocketing you'll see a lot of them go out. I know many will say "oh well, they deserve it for making shitty games!!!" but that would be like saying "I do everything great in my first try." A lot of them might not get more chances. Hopefully the Wii becomes a good platform for them to grow on.
     
  10. Darkon

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    Nintendo ? really ? Did someone hit you on the head or weren’t you a gamer back then ?
     
  11. nAo

    nAo Nutella Nutellae
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    This is correct, a per pixel occlusion value was stored in a 720p texture.
    The texture was sampled with bilinear filtering and centroid sampling to reduce artifacts.
    I also experimented with a 720 4x occlusion texture but it was too expensive memory and performance wise..
     
  12. Mintmaster

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    This never gave you any artifacts? Imagine, for example, a red object, completely shadowed by something else, in front of a lit white background.

    How did you sample Z to determine 3D position? Did you just pick any of the 4 samples or use an average? From what I remember you didn't use the KZ2 technique of dividing the shadowmap lookups among the subsamples.

    Regardless of what you did there, wouldn't you have the possibility of red/pink pixels being lit and very obvious, along with edges being aliased?

    So by that do you effectively mean a small screen-space blur of the shadows?

    Wow, it's rather surprising what you can get away with in terms of shadows.
     
  13. nAo

    nAo Nutella Nutellae
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    It gives artifacts :)

    I used another trick but I don't think I can mention it without violating some NDA.

    This was definitely happening.

    Yeah..but just a pixel wide, while centroid sampling was en-forcing texturing coordinates within the boundaries of a primitive (it works in some cases).

    Isn't compute graphics the art of fooling and deceving? :)
     
  14. Mintmaster

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    Okay. Good to know I'm thinking about it properly.
    :sad:
    Of course, and I'm a heavy subscriber to that philosophy. I'm still surprised that it doesn't harm your image, though. Between these artifacts and the edges that don't get antialiased properly with a logluv framebuffer, most devs in your position would probably just skip MSAA altogether.

    Given that it works decently, you should give Epic a call, as this is the reason they avoid MSAA in UE3.
     
  15. Heinrich4

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    I have a question.

    How much performance overal it lost/spent with SPE/SPUs cycles processing security keys,protections etc (this is visible or not for developers ?)?

    (it seems some developers especting "X" performance in sdk and only reach "Y" in real world performance because some or many cicles useing in SPEs for protection)
     
    #615 Heinrich4, Jul 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2008
  16. Brad Grenz

    Brad Grenz Philosopher & Poet
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    It was interesting to see on G4's coverage that almost all the multiplatform developers demoed their games using the PS3 version. I asked one of the producers for X-Play about it on another board and he said it was up to the devs. He also mentioned there was some panic when they couldn't get the Resident Evil 5 demo working in their 360 debug unit until someone realized it was a blu-ray disc.
     
  17. Jedi2016

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    It's interesting to note that about the floor demos, though.. a year or so ago, it was the exact opposite, the majority of show demos were on the 360.
     
  18. eastmen

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    Looking at past e3s and g4s coverage that is nothing of note. They have allways been more sony centric . Man you should have seen e3 2005 and e3 2006 , they were extremely hard on ms . I'm suprised they even said that ms won the show . That is not something they would have said 2 years ago .
     
  19. assen

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    Now that everybody knows the PS3 ports are problematic, the developers are trying to negate that perception by demonstrating their PS3 proficiency - cf. joker454's explanations.
     
  20. Brad Grenz

    Brad Grenz Philosopher & Poet
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    Yeah, that was my guess. Developers this year were doing their best to make sure people know the PS3 versions of their games were at parity with the 360.

    I'm not sure what you mean. G4 didn't have anything to do with choosing what version to show during their live demos.

    Incidentally, I think their E3 coverage was outstanding this year. Really fantastic work.
     
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