03-10-10, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dallas, Texas
Metro 2033 could be showcase game for Fermi
PCGH: Besides DX11 and GPU-Physic are there any other visual as well as technical differences between the version developed for PC and the consoles? Which technical features can't be realized with the console version?
Oles Shishkovstov: When you have more performance on the table, you can either do nothing as you say (and as most direct console ports do) or you add the features. Because our platforms got equal attention, we took the second route. Naturally most of the features are graphics related but not all. The internal PhysX tick-rate was doubled on PC resulting in more precise collision detection and joint behavior. We "render” almost twice the number of sounds (all with wave-tracing) compared to consoles. That's just a few examples, so that you can see that not only graphics gets a boost. While on the graphics side (that's not a complete list):
• most of the textures are 2048^2 (consoles use 1024^2)
• the shadow-map resolution is up to 9.43 Mpix
• the shadow filtering is much, much better
• the parallax mapping is enabled on all surfaces, some with occlusion-mapping
• we've utilized a lot of "true” volumetric stuff, which is very important in dusty environments
• from DX10 upwards we use correct "local motion blur” (sometimes called "object blur”)
• the light-material response is nearly "physically-correct” on higher quality presets
• the ambient occlusion is greatly improved (especially on higher quality presets)
• sub-surface scattering makes a lot of difference on human faces, hands, etc.
• the geometric detail is somewhat better - because of different LOD selection (not even counting DX11 tessellation)
PCGH: If you had to advertise the visuals of Metro 2033 what would you mention? Can you list some very modern and advanced rendering techniques that you renderer utilizes (HDR, SSAO, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, Tone Mapping and other post effects...)? Don't be afraid to use technical terms.
Oles Shishkovstov: First and foremost: 3D Stereo. The game was developed in 3D and for 3D. That's the only game developed that way as far as I know. Playing the game under DX11 in 3D Stereo is just mind-blowing, it's much, much more amazing than watching Avatar in IMAX.
Technically interesting things include deferred reflections, analytical anti-aliasing (AAA), screen-space sub-surface scattering for skin shading, etc, etc.
For example, even with multisample-antialiasing disabled player still gets a properly antialiased picture on higher-quality presets. That's only near-vertical or near-horizontal edges which look better with traditional MSAA.
PCGH: You promised that Metro 2033 will support the DX11 API that comes with Windows 7 and will for example utilize hardware tessellation:
Oles Shishkovstov: Yes.
PCGH: What was or were the deciding technical advantages of the DX11 API/Shader Model 5?
Oles Shishkovstov: Although the API is still awkward from pure C++ design perspective, the functionality is here. I really enjoy three things: compute shaders, tessellation shaders and draw/create contexts separation. The most significant of those three things - compute shaders. They enable a whole new class of algorithms and performance optimizations.
PCGH: What are the graphical features that can only be rendered with shader model 5 hardware?
Oles Shishkovstov: We have almost half of the scene tuned for and rendered with tessellation and displacement mapping. That makes a big difference in image quality although comes at some performance cost. Also, don't forget to look at diffusion DOF - that's important to get a "cinematic look and feel”.
PCGH: Can you comment on the rumor, that Metro 2033 is secretly dealt as a launch title for Nvidia's new generation of DX11 cards (Codename: Fermi)? Is there anything true? Have you already had the chance to test the DX11 qualities of the GF100 with the DX11 version of your game?
Oles Shishkovstov: We will not comment on rumors Yes we were able to constantly test Metro 2033 on Fermi.
much more at the link, including screenshots