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Intel17
04-14-05, 04:24 PM
According to Anton Bolshakov's Designer Diary...http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/stalker/preview_6099542.html


S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is capable of more than 2 million fully bump-mapped polygons per frame as well as true per-pixel complex light-material interaction.
By targeting the latest hardware we have been able to base the engine fully on HDR (High Dynamic Range) lighting to increase the quality by addressing unnatural over- or under-exposed visuals found in traditional renderers.
Natural render of complex materials with proper light interaction, such as rusted metal, natural flora, glass, skin, and so on. In addition, every pixel (not texel) can have its own material with several coefficients.
The custom-built dedicated renderer is capable of real-time dynamic lighting, soft (physically correct) shadows cast from every object onto every other object, true per-pixel lighting, physical umbra/penumbra computations, and hundreds of lights per frame--all in real-time.
Frame buffer postprocessing and Photoshop-like effects.

Also, check out this DX9 video which is absolutely stunning...http://stalker.filefront.com/files/Stalker/Media/Video;3783

It's at the top, the one with DX9 in the title.



To be honest, this engine is most probably more advanced than UE3, and does all the things Carmack wanted to do in his next engine!

Imagine that!

Realtime soft shadows everywhere from ALL geometry, based on all realtime lighting! HDR, SM3.0 etc...

superklye
04-14-05, 04:33 PM
Yeah, but I still think it only looks "meh"

stncttr908
04-14-05, 04:46 PM
The outdoor environments still look a little shaky, but the indoor DX9 effects are pretty damn good. This game had better deliver in the gameplay department, since we've all waited long enough already.

AngelGraves13
04-14-05, 04:56 PM
I had almost forgotten about this game until I saw this topic.

Yes, it is a great looking engine!

brady
04-14-05, 05:00 PM
i still think the cry engine is going to be the most advanced engine for AT LEAST the next 25 - 35 years.

:D sorry i couldnt resist. but now im curious about stalkers engine and im gunna try to download some of the vids.

CaptNKILL
04-14-05, 05:11 PM
Can someone explain the "2 million polygons per frame" thing to me? I dont understand exactly what thats supposed to mean, or what Im supposed to compair it to.

Big numbers like that make me think of a game running like crap because the graphics card and CPU cant handle the load. Thats just what I get from it though...

That said, this game is still in my top 5 for games this year. I cant wait :)

brady
04-14-05, 05:16 PM
wow i have to say that the screen shots ive seen do not do the game justice. i dled the dx9 demo video and the indoor environments are amazing. it really its exciting to every object casting a real time soft shadow. and in some of the scenes where there are what seems like dozens of pipes coming out of a wall it was very cool to see everything casting realistic shadows. im impressed.

incase you want to see the video i recommend dling it from stalkers (http://www.stalker-game.com/index_eng.html) page by right clicking and doing a save as instead of from filefront. its faster imo.

brady
04-14-05, 05:32 PM
just thought i would post an interview with the lead programmer. its very interesting i think.

modDB.com: Thanks for taking the time out of your no doubt busy schedule to do this interview.

Oles: Sure, you are welcome. Sorry for the delayed reply.

modDB.com: Firstly, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself to our viewers at home.

Oles: I’m Oles Shyshkovtsov, Lead Programmer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

modDB.com: Two years ago, if I mentioned the name ‘GSC Game World’ or ‘S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’ to most people, I’d receive only looks of bewilderment, but now almost every hardcore gamer out there knows about you and your game. However, for those of us who have been living under our respective rocks for the past few years, what is the basic idea behind the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?

Oles: Thanks for the compliments, much appreciated. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a prophetic game that warns mankind of the dangers of carelessly playing with the powers of nature, like thoughtless experimentation with radioactivity. The game is set in a near future, after a mysterious second accident in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. This forms an open-ended world of 30 sq. km or 18 levels joined together in a global map. So the player has total freedom of action and movement as he can go wherever he wants to explore this world. His day-to-day tasks are collecting ‘artifacts of the Zone’ (objects which absorbed anomalous energy) and selling them to parties interested – ‘stalking’ therefore. The player’s ultimate goal is to solve the Zone’s puzzle and unveil the mystery behind the place.

modDB.com: You recently changed S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s subtitle from “Oblivion Lost” to “Shadow of Chernobyl”. Why the change?

Oles: We decided to change the title as now it gives people a better idea of the setting and what to expect of the game.

modDB.com: Will S.T.A.L.K.E.R. ship on DVD, CD, or both? Will you consider online purchasing options, similar to what Valve has done with Half-Life 2?

Oles: We are thinking to release on several CDs. Possibly DVDs on certain territories, which depends on THQ’s, our worldwide publisher’s decision. On-line selling, no, don’t have a technology like that, you can only buy through traditional on-line stores.

modDB.com: We’ve already seen some of the impressive features of the X-Ray engine demonstrated in various videos and screenshots, but what would you say are your favourites, and what features can we expect from X-Ray that we would not find in other competing engines, such as Unreal Engine 2.5, Source, CryEngine and the Doom 3 engine?

Oles: We aim to ship with two versions of the engine – DirectX 8 and DirectX 9. Pretty much everything we’ve shown (bar a very few exceptions) has been from the DirectX 8 renderer and that alone has really stunned people with it’s quality. The DX9 plans are much more ambitious. There you will have up to 3.000.000 polygons on screen rendered in real time, totally dynamic lighting as well as soft dynamic shadows. We are using advanced shader technologies and virtual displacement mapping. One feature unseen in any other games yet is huge outdoor areas where all the lighting is processed dynamically will come with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Find the full list of engine features at the main game’s web-site www.stalker-game.com.

modDB.com: How long have S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and the X-Ray engine been in development?

Oles: Oh, it’s been a long time by now. We started from scratch creating the engine back in late 2000. By now it’s four years of development, two game concepts tried, many nights without sleep and too many gallons of beer consumed.

modDB.com: Does GSC currently have any plans for a sequel, or expansion pack for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? Also, are there any other games planned for the X-Ray engine, licensed or in-house?

Oles: We can’t think of anything else before we let the original game go. As for the engine, yes, we plan licensing it to third parties, so everybody interested, please, feel free to contact us.

modDB.com: What are the minimum system requirements to play the game? What about for servers?

Oles: We don’t know for sure until we are complete with the game. It’s expected that for a minimum you could do with GeForce 3-type card and 1.4 Gig processor. Ultimately, the more high-end PC you have, the more eye-candy you will get. For a dedicated server you could do with a machine with even lower specs than the minimal ones.

modDB.com: How scalable is the X-Ray engine; would I be able to run the game on older hardware smoothly, for example DirectX 7 generation video cards, by sacrificing a lot of detail, or does it rely heavily on more modern hardware?

Oles: Initially we supported the DX7 hardware, but at some point had to sacrifice it as we decided to put stake on the cutting-edge technology, and therefore DX8 and DX9 only.

modDB.com: Are you planning to release an SDK? If so, when do you plan to release it, and what goodies will it contain?

Oles: Yes, we intend to please MOD-makers with a pretty robust SDK, containing several editors (level, character, particle and shader), as well as AI, physics libraries and all necessary to create your own MODs of the game. The package should come either simultaneously with the game or shortly afterwards.

some things to point out:

1. Pretty much everything we’ve shown (bar a very few exceptions) has been from the DirectX 8 renderer and that alone has really stunned people with it’s quality

this explains at least why i was underwhelmed by most of what i have seen up untill now. and why i was blown away after viewing the video.

2. One feature unseen in any other games yet is huge outdoor areas where all the lighting is processed dynamically

this is true and very exciting. far cry does not implement 100% dynamic lighting in outdoor scenes (or indoor for that matter). i think this will be very interesting to see. as far as i can tell none of the outdoor videos or screenshots show this. but that is just my perception. and although doom 3 can do this, it wasnt done. im sure we have all heard about the project to make large outdoor areas though.

Mr. Hunt
04-14-05, 05:55 PM
I think it is overrated... everything I have seen from it so far just looks terrible... if it is so great... they should hire good modelers/texture artists... because their current textures/models... suck.

Intel17
04-14-05, 06:49 PM
I think it is overrated... everything I have seen from it so far just looks terrible... if it is so great... they should hire good modelers/texture artists... because their current textures/models... suck.

If you've watched the video, the DX9 stuff looks way better than the DX8 stuff, and almost 99% of the stuff shown is DX8 :-)

Bad_Boy
04-14-05, 07:50 PM
lots has changed since that leaked alpha...lets just hope the framerate is still high in the final :p

brady
04-14-05, 07:54 PM
everything I have seen from it so far just looks terrible

i guess thats kindof my point. most of what we have seen is from dx8 rendering. i agree it doesnt look very impressive. but the dx9 looks much better i think.

but i know everyone is entitled to an opinion so if you still think it looks terrible even after viewing the dx9 demo thats ok by me. i just disagree. but only time will tell. it could come out and suck really bad. im excited for it right now though.

brady
04-14-05, 07:56 PM
guys, have you played the alpha build demo of stalker?

i havnt heard of the demo...were the dx9 effects available? maybe thats a stupid question but im stilling wondering.

jolle
04-14-05, 08:02 PM
The alpha build didnt include any DX9 stuff..
Dunno if it was the older DX7 mode or if it was DX8 enabled in that build tho..

I always thought the game looked great tho, gritty and filthy..
Atleast compared to HL2 it looks better IMO, lot more polygonal detail and stuff..
Looks like its going to be a great game anyhow, be it great graphics or not..

brady
04-14-05, 08:05 PM
ahhh thanks for the answer.

Sazar
04-14-05, 09:01 PM
That does indeed look very nice :)

The HDR effects really look good and the shadows are not bad.

Character models could be better as could outdoor environs but not much was shown in that viddy.

Still impresive.

Vagrant Zero
04-14-05, 10:13 PM
Yeah, but I still think it only looks "meh"

Seconded.

Greg
04-14-05, 10:16 PM
Can someone explain the "2 million polygons per frame" thing to me? I dont understand exactly what thats supposed to mean, or what Im supposed to compair it to.

Big numbers like that make me think of a game running like crap because the graphics card and CPU cant handle the load. Thats just what I get from it though...

That said, this game is still in my top 5 for games this year. I cant wait :)
I program games. I assure you numbers like that mean absolutely nothing. Any game engine that is not complete crap should be able to render close to a particular cards practical performance limits (in a contrived situation). You simply pay for what you ask for. Want a big bunch of tiny, flat triangles, it won't cost you much. Want lots ofscreen size, fancy shaded triangles, that will cost you heaps. As you note, numbers only have any relevance when appropriately compared, and system specs are listed. To tell you the truth, I'd rather show you an impressive screen shot and boast about how FEW triangles I'm rendering to achieve it.

holmes
04-14-05, 10:44 PM
Looks good.. not much better than some of the stuff I've already seen. Some of the indoor scenes look really nice though. This game seems to have some really nice effects intermingled with lower quality Dx7 looking graphics, kinda like HL2. I will give it credit though... however they need to get this thing out already. The Xray engine, nor I, am getting any younger...

AthlonXP1800
04-14-05, 11:27 PM
To be honest, this engine is most probably more advanced than UE3

:rofl No you got it wrong, I saw the clip, it somewhere at Far Cry and Half Life 2 level of polygons. X-Ray engine handle 2 to 3 million polygons, that are no match to Unreal 3 engine's 200 to 250 million polygons that are huge enough to create believable life like graphics that blow everybody mind. :)

shaker718
04-14-05, 11:49 PM
the shadows are amazing in that game. so far im impressed but i think there are issues as far as textures and such but again its hard to tell from a fairly low res quick time movie. all in all im excited to see it.

Intel17
04-15-05, 04:46 AM
:rofl No you got it wrong, I saw the clip, it somewhere at Far Cry and Half Life 2 level of polygons. X-Ray engine handle 2 to 3 million polygons, that are no match to Unreal 3 engine's 200 to 250 million polygons that are huge enough to create believable life like graphics that blow everybody mind. :)

That's incorrect. The engine doesn't push 250 million polygons, but making 250 million polygon models, making a normal map textures from those and wrapping those around much lower ones.

And STALKER DX9 renderer can push 3 Million polygons PER-FRAME. Multiply that number by 60 (180) and that's how many million polys X-Ray can push per second.

Epic has said that the entire outdoor scene in the techdemo is about 1 million polygons total.

brady
04-15-05, 05:48 AM
who has viewed the dx9 video?

Toss3
04-15-05, 06:37 AM
That's incorrect. The engine doesn't push 250 million polygons, but making 250 million polygon models, making a normal map textures from those and wrapping those around much lower ones.

And STALKER DX9 renderer can push 3 Million polygons PER-FRAME. Multiply that number by 60 (180) and that's how many million polys X-Ray can push per second.

Epic has said that the entire outdoor scene in the techdemo is about 1 million polygons total.
PWNED!! :D

|MaguS|
04-15-05, 07:47 AM
That's incorrect. The engine doesn't push 250 million polygons, but making 250 million polygon models, making a normal map textures from those and wrapping those around much lower ones.

And STALKER DX9 renderer can push 3 Million polygons PER-FRAME. Multiply that number by 60 (180) and that's how many million polys X-Ray can push per second.

Epic has said that the entire outdoor scene in the techdemo is about 1 million polygons total.

And yet it still looks worse then many of the current games available... so who cares about the numbers if they can't produce the visuals...

BTW, I did watch the dx9 video, and it still looks like crap. Crappy Textures and HORRIBLE Models...