Archive for the ‘programming’ Category

FarCry Predator water technology demo

February 16, 2006

Some coworkers made a technology video of the water used in the upcoming FarCry Predator game for the XBox 360. I know a lot of people will say that you can’t really compare graphics with a game released 2 years ago but the water in Far Cry realeased on PC is still the reference in terms of water rendering. This feature won’t sell the game by itself but it’s a nice eyecandy showing off what can be done with the extra power of the new generation of consoles. The original movies showing off this feature can be watched here but you can watch a lower quality version right here. Enjoy!

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Multithreaded Cold!

February 13, 2006

Got back from my ski week-end with a cold :(. However, temperature was perfect and the conditions were awesome. I stopped skiing 2 years ago because it got boring but I must say I really enjoyed it this time!

Lately, I’ve been monitoring a thread on the GDAlgorithm mailing list about multi-threaded game engine programming. This is quite the hot topic these days with dual core processors becoming more and more mainstream and the next-generation gaming hardware like the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

I’ve always been more concerned with the rendering part of the engine and used to get away only knowing a little bit about what else was going on elsewhere in the engine. However, with all the problems multithreading brings, from a design perspective, you need to be aware of a lot more and design really carefully. Otherwise, you’ll be in a lot of trouble later on when weird things start happening and you need to spend hours trying to figure out why you get a certain deadlock and find a way to fix it in a flawed design.

Nobody can claim to have the solution to all the problems because this entirely depends on the technology (read engine) you’re using. Of course, when designing and building an engine from the ground up, you can plan ahead, but oftentimes you have to refactor and re-enginner what you have on hands and that’s where the nightmare begins!

Here are a couple of links to multithreaded programming where you’ll be able to gather more info on the problems and techniques this new challenge brings:

David Wu’s GDC talk – http://www.pseudointeractive.com/games/DavidWuGDC2005.ppt

Article on Kyle Wilson’s site – http://www.gamearchitect.net/Articles/ManagingConcurrency1.html

Herb Sutter – The free lunch is over: A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software

Insights on how Ageia does it – http://ageia.com/pdf/NovodeX Physics SDK Documentation.pdf