Interesting article on Gamasutra.

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Gubbi, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. Gubbi

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  2. duffer

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    Yes, a good article, with many tantalizing hints as to the hardware capabilities and limitations of the GameCube.

    I wonder if all those shader diagrams were pulled from some internal Factor Five reference manual? Perhaps they are going to make a product out of their shader language, and sell it to other GameCube developers.
     
  3. cybamerc

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    I wonder if they will license their next engine. They seem fairly open to sharing their work with other developers and I'm sure there would be great interest in such an offering.
     
  4. PC-Engine

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    The guys at Factor 5 are brilliant. First they created realtime DPLII used on GC and now licensed to even PS2 developers. Then there's the DivX compression for full length DVD quality video on those little GC discs all in assembly code. If anyone knows the GC hardware, it's those guys at Factor 5.
     
  5. Crazyace

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    They're good, but not that good...

    Factor 5's Musyx code for the GC is pretty cool, but I think you are stretching things to say that they invented DPLII - most PS2 programmers talk to Dolby about implementing that, or use the Sony library code.....
     
  6. Plasmatics

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    "Yes, a good article, with many tantalizing hints as to the hardware capabilities and limitations of the GameCube."

    Due to the fact that I am both lazy and not tech-minded, would you, or anyone else be willing to elaborate on this comment?
     
  7. cybamerc

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    Crazyace:

    They did write the codec and tools for Cube, though... long before Dolby made the technology available to PS2 developers as well.
     
  8. Goldni

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    Someone said that the sample code was how to do slef shadowing and bump mapping. I also heard that ATI is releasing 'shader' tools for upgrade the GCN kits soon.
     
  9. PC-Engine

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    That's correct. The realtime DPLII encoder was created at Factor 5. Dolby then became the licensing administrator for F5's realtime DPLII encoder for games. Even the regular nonrealtime DPLII codec wasn't invented at Dolby. It was invented by Jim Fosgate.

    It has become common for Dolby to be the licensing administrator for various audio technologies many of which weren't invented at Dolby. AAC for example is now licenced out by Dolby. Another example is Dolby Headphone.
     
  10. Crazyace

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    true..

    PLII doesn't really warrent a codec, just crossfading tween 2 samples seems enough - ( though an all pass filter implementation would save a sample ) DD or DTS on the other hand involve a lot more calculations.

    Even the PS1 or N64 can produce DPLII audio - so I guess it will appear in a lot more games....

    DivX is interesting, ( I wonder if any Xbox games will use DivX as the code is already available )

    The most interesting thing in the factor 5 presentation was the use of a dither texture to improve the quality of the screen display, I thought that was a pretty cute idea
     
  11. PC-Engine

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    Re: true..

    Realtime DPLII using movie mode gives you 5.1 channel surround very similar to DD and DTS even though it's not discrete. If *realtime* 5.1 channel surround is as easy as you say then we would've seen it on PS1 or N64 a long time ago. As a matter of fact why haven't we seen realtime 5.1 surround on PS2 until recently? :p How come none of the great PS2 developers figured out a way to do it since it's so trivial? How come YOU didn't go to SONY with your brilliant ideas? :lol:

    You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk. Factor 5 seems to be running 8)

    Can't wait for their next game which will be using extensive DivX video.

    Just like how PS2 can do DICE :p
     
  12. Steve Dave Part Deux

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    I think Crazyace was only talking about standard DPL2, and not the enhanced implementation created by F5.
     
  13. DeathKnight

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    Discrete *realtime* 5.1 channel surround isn't easy which is why, until recently, it wasn't possible. Powerhouse processors were needed such as the MCPX and the unused power inside of the EE (for DTS, though I don't know the bitrate quality of it on the PS2). DPLII is just a "hack" 5.1 surround. Kind of like how Dolby Headphone Surround sounds pretty good with my Sony studio monitor headphones, but it'll never be as good as a discrete surround solution nor does it require anywhere near as much processing power.
     
  14. Crazyace

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    dont get so wound up

    I'd guess the reason DPLII didnt appear in PS1 or N64 games ages ago is that it is a new decoder format, that isn't even widely spread in the consumer market ( cant think of many DPLII equipped surround TVs, although that should change )
    There were tech demos of 3d matrixed sound on PS1 years ago ( using a Sony Music 3d sound system ) but games go for the mass market ( sometimes not even standard DPL )

    How many GC games are DPLII encoded? Probally as many PS2 games with DTS realtime encoding...
    If I were cruel I would suggest that DPLII was important to the Gamecube, as it was a good bullet point for the audio ( there were enough bulletin board postings about how it would be as good as DD/DTS when it was first mentioned ) - I'm sure that there are probally dozens of DPLII equipped games out for the PS2 now, just none of them feel that it's a major publicity point...

    Sound is always annoying, as most game developers on any platform ( not just PS2 ) leave it until the last moment, I'd guess that all of the great PS2 developers are playing around with Vector Units and MSKPATH3 texture transfers.. :lol:


    I'd like to think that the most impressive thing about the next Factor 5 game isn't the DivX video - giving how technically good they are it would be a pity to see some kind of Myst or Dragon's Lair FMV offering.. :wink:
     
  15. PC-Engine

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    DPLII supports movie mode and music mode. Realtime 5.1 works in movie mode. Anything else including, N64, PSX, NES, will be using either *passive* music mode or nonrealtime movie mode like during cutscenes. Those mentioned consoles didn't even support realtime DPLI back then.

    BTW, I think it goes without saying that Factor 5's next game will be brilliant. Adding extensive DivX video will just be a sweet bonus :wink:

    IIRC DTS realtime on PS2 isn't real discrete DTS like DICE is to DD :wink:
     
  16. PC-Engine

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    Comparing DPLII 5.1 to D Headphone is flawed as I don't think there are headphones with 5 separate drivers as in 5 separate speakers :wink:

    Also nobody is saying realtime DPLII is better than DICE but it gets close. Listen to ED and Halo and you'll understand. Arguing over paper specs isn't going prove anything :wink:
     
  17. duffer

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    I think most Xbox games use Bink and/or WMV for their FMV.

    Divx is great for distributing video (typically commercial DVDs copied without permission) over the Internet, but it's not a particularly good codec for video games. It's not terrible, just nothing special.

    (A good video game codec is high quality, low cpu overhead and low ram footprint. High compression ratio isn't as important, because DVDs are huge.)
     
  18. Steve Dave Part Deux

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    You just described DivX to a tee.
     
  19. DeathKnight

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    Well, I wasn't really comparing the two. I was just using them as examples of surround sound "hacks".

    How close DPLII is to discrete surround or how good it sounds in comparison is highly subjective. Just depends on the person listening.
     
  20. PC-Engine

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    When it gets to the point where one has to listen to one channel at a time to hear the discreteness between DD and DPLII, it's close...period. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know the general definition of close or grasping at straws to make an argument out of something that nobody was arguing about. :wink:

    Whether it's a hack or not is moot especially when the end result is nearly the same. Would you like to elaborate on which motion blur techniques are hacks? :p
     
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