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Old 12-23-03, 07:59 AM   #169
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Rockford, IL
Posts: 624
Default Re: Re: ...

Originally posted by saturnotaku
Perhaps had it been done properly (y'know like I'm sure what Bungie wanted to do before the switch to Xbox) then we wouldn't have these problems. I don't think being able to get 30-40 fps consistently at 1280x1024 on a 9800 Pro w/o AA or AF is out of the question considering that Halo's engine is quite a bit more than a year old.

The FPS sucks at high res not because the coding has be done poorly, but because it's a console port - console games are engineered to take advantage of the fact that they only have to display at TV resolutions, and therefore pump a ton more stuff through at minimal performance cost. When you blow that up to 1280x1024, the hardware demands get very unreasonable - year old engine or not.

I think that if Gearbox had ripped the thing to shreds and then rebuilt it (we have the technology), it probably would have ended up with much better performance. GB did good things with the Half-Life engine - they're capable. But MS wanted a port, and that's what Gearbox signed on to do. That's what they did.

The problem with porting an FPS to the PC from another system is that PC FPS games have a whole host of features that are considered absolutely basic - so much so that no one really considers them features anymore (no thanks to Carmack ). That's a lot of things to be adding to a body of code that wasn't originally designed to use or even need such things. And to boot, Gearbox gave Halo configurable controls - which goes a long way towards making Halo not feel like a console port. Console ports generally have poor control schemes and you can't change them to anything useful (see the Spiderman-movie game for an excellent example).

So, after a bit of adjusting, Halo doesn't feel like a port anymore - when you sit down at the computer, you're using the same control scheme you've been using to play FPSes for the last ten years. But there are netcode problems. And the textures aren't as high res as, say, Call of Duty. Since it's slowly becoming more like a PC game and less like a port, the deficiencies are much more glaring.

And Gearbox has the uneviable position of making Halo feel more like a PC game and less like a console port, thus making the contrast sharper and drawing even closer attention to the remaining problems. I think they're doing a pretty good job - and I applaud them for taking the time to do so, 'cause most developers that do ports just throw it together and have done with it. They don't re-engineer with the mouse and keyboard in mind. And they sure as heck don't rework the UI for the mouse.

I ain't sayin' that Gearbox has done a perfect job w/Halo, but blaming lower average FPS on them might be going a bit far, considering the roots of the code and the fact that GB had to recreate all the graphical goodness of the Xbox (at variable resolutions) without sacrificing vehicle physics, draw distances, poly count, AI, dynamic sound, inverse kinematics, or unlocking the framerate.
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