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Unigine's Newest Benchmark Features Huge, Open-Space Expanses

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the free-roaming-but-not-free-software dept.

Graphics 87

jones_supa writes "Unigine announced a new GPU benchmark known as Valley Benchmark. From the same developers who created Heaven Benchmark, the Valley Benchmark is a non-synthetic benchmark that is powered by the Unigine Engine, a real-time 3D engine that supports the latest rendering features. The Valley Benchmark includes massive area of 64 square kilometers of very detailed terrain that includes forest, mountains, green expanses, rocky slopes and flowers. The area can be freely explored by means of walking or flying. All major operating systems are supported."

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My results (4, Informative)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925679)

Are here [google.com] under Fedora.

Re:My results (0)

Cammi (1956130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925765)

Red heads are so awesome!

Heres mine (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925825)

http://burnedchips.com/results.jpg [burnedchips.com]

not to shabby for a 2009 budget box

Re:Heres mine (2)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925871)

Noticing higher results in Windows 7 over Linux (See Windows OpenGL score [google.com] )

Re:Heres mine (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925915)

I just ran it with OGL and lost nearly 100 pts, so that has some effect as well

Re:Heres mine (-1, Flamebait)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926197)

I just ran it with OGL and lost nearly 100 pts, so that has some effect as well

That's funny, when I test my engine on Windows and Linux, it performs better on Linux. Of course, my experimental engine code has a cross platform compatibility layer that re-implements the pipeline in DirectX when compiled for Windows, and uses OpenGL on Linux and Mac, so it's really only the OS/kernel that's different in my test case. Whereas in your case who knows how the Unreal engine is handling things under the hood? It's closed source. For all we know it could even have a time wasting busy loop in the Linux version's render pipeline.

Benchmarking is good to test different hardware with the same software. Not so good at testing potentially different closed source software on different OSs on the same hardware (I mean, HA! Tell me you're not serious?!) At the end of the day my OpenGL code also runs on Windows with little or no noticeable degrade in performance, so I dropped DirectX from the actual builds, and it now exists in an experimental branch -- Along with software-only HaikuOS support. :P

Re:Heres mine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927495)

That's funny, when I test my engine on Windows and Linux, it performs better on Linux.

Do you call it the FAG engine, by chance?

Of course, my experimental engine code has a cross platform compatibility layer that re-implements the pipeline in DirectX when compiled for Windows, and uses OpenGL on Linux and Mac, so it's really only the OS/kernel that's different in my test case.

Yes. It couldn't be that your DirectX code sucks ass. Afterall, *YOU* coded it. It meets *your* high quality standards. Must be Window's fault.

For all we know it could even have a time wasting busy loop in the Linux version's render pipeline.

Right. Obviously sabotaged by Microsoft sleeper agents. Fucking paranoid, delusional zealot.

Re:Heres mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42943179)

Fucking paranoid, delusional zealot.

Said in the tone of the typical Microsoft shill. Lovely representative, aren't you?

Windows 8 vs 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42928271)

Anyone got a comparison?

Re:Heres mine (2)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925885)

No, not at all. Certainly more a more GPU intenesive benchmark then CPU. Your GPU probably does pretty good for a lot of games at that monitor resolution.

Re:Heres mine (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925935)

yea it does pretty ok until it needs the cpu and ram, the 720 isnt the best of the bunch and the ram is 1066 DDR2, even then is usually just a little jitter given the xbox state of most games

Re:My results (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926085)

I must say that looking at your photo, you would make an excellent supervillian. You should consider purchasing a longhaired white cat to sit on your lap, so you could stroke her fur while smiling in an unsettling manner.
    I'd sign up as a henchman.

Captcha is "Angstrom" which would be a good supervillain name. Dr. Angstrom, or maybe Professor Angstrom.

Re:My results (1)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42928473)

Perhaps I should consider a career change....

Re:My results (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about a year and a half ago | (#42929365)

The angstrom is the SI unit for anxiety and turmoil.

Re:My results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926495)

Can't read the specs on your blurry screenshot. Looks like some kind of i5 and and a GF460? Also there appears to be a picture of Sheldon Cooper photoshopped as a ginger on that page. You should work on that.

Re:My results (1)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927263)

i5 3570K + GTX 460

Skyrim (2, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925721)

All they have to do is rename it The Elder Scrolls VI and they have themselves a finished game.

Re:Skyrim (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925763)

Nope. They would still need a test of bucket and body physics [youtube.com] .

Re:Skyrim (1)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925803)

Nope. They would still need a test of bucket and body physics [youtube.com] .

And whatever rag doll physics are needed when someone takes an arrow to the knee.

Re:Skyrim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42925851)

At this point you would have to use kickstarter and drop a few million on Bethesda's lap to make that happen.
Occulus Rift compatibility a plus.

Re:Skyrim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42925951)

Not buggy enough. Ran the whole benchmark and never crashed.

Re:Skyrim (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927777)

Elder Scrolls would fit in a small corner of Tera Online. I spent several hours once just riding up into the mountains outside a city once.

beautiful! here is most of the techniques used.. (5, Interesting)

goruka (1721094) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925793)

-Instancing: For drawing lots of trees without draw call overhead.
-Impostors: For the groups of trees far away
-Vertex Program: For the sway of the trees, probably with per vertex amount of strength
-PSSM: For the shadows
-Godrays: For the sunrays through the trees
-HDR+Bloom with luminance bleeding: For the lighting and skybox
-Instanced Particles: For the clouds

I sure am forgetting some of them, but I think this demo, with huge amounts of instancing, is mainly designed to stress the vertex pipeline of modern videocard.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (5, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925861)

-Godrays: For the sunrays through the trees

Nitpick: that's not a technique. Those rays of light are called godrays, it says nothing about the implementation technique.

I sure am forgetting some of them, but I think this demo, with huge amounts of instancing, is mainly designed to stress the vertex pipeline of modern videocard.

I checked out the YouTube - video and, well, I see huge amounts of people complaining about the apparently-poor texture resolution of this benchmark. IMHO, these people are missing the whole point of the demo as the demo is not intended to show exceedingly impressive textures or such. The speeds at which the engine can manage to do so beautiful real-time shadows and lighting, huge, open landscape with loads of foliage, the impressively realistic fogging in certain areas and so on, these are the focus here. I certainly would trade some texture resolution for more realistic lighting and environmental effects in games if it ever came to such a choice.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926123)

> Nitpick: that's not a technique. Those rays of light are called godrays, it says nothing about the implementation technique.

Indeed. They could be using "Volumetric Light", "Occlusion Stencil", or as a post-process in Screen Space. Hard to tell which algorithm they are using.

Reference:
* http://http.developer.nvidia.com/GPUGems3/gpugems3_ch13.html [nvidia.com]

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926221)

The speeds at which the engine can manage to do so beautiful real-time shadows and lighting, huge, open landscape with loads of foliage, the impressively realistic fogging in certain areas and so on, these are the focus here.

Nitpick: The benchmark misses the point of benchmarks. I mean, instancing is fine, but why include a trick like "imposters" to give the illusion of the visuals being more complex than they are if you're trying to stress the hardware. Seems counter productive to me. I mean, if you're going to make a game, fine, you want it to run great on lesser end hardware, but why make a benchmark that emulates game behaviors? If you want more accurate "real world" use cases, why not just benchmark with existing games on different hardware?

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926331)

It's propably you wo misses the point. The idea is to bench a realistical workload. Since techniques for replacing far away objects are used in almost every game it makes perfect to include it. Besides, you could not render such scenes without it in real time

"realistical" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926689)

LOL.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926617)

You really have to make a new engine from scratch emulating what game developers would do to test the video cards. After all, instancing is a part which stresses the hardware, if you are not using instancing, what hardware are you actually testing? And if you tested just raw polygons, wouldn't you be avoiding the use of most silicon which got developed precisely for these other "tricks"?

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926461)

Or you could go with neither and have hundreds of square kilometers of rock/concrete texture *Cough*MassEffect*Cough*

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42928789)

It still gets a lot of pop-up though. Most engines seem to have this problem where everything far away is okay and every up close is okay, but in the middle ground things just pop into existence and look terrible.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925927)

I think this demo, with huge amounts of instancing, is mainly designed to stress the vertex pipeline of modern videocard.

It actually uses quite a lot of LOD -- even at the highest settings there aren't ever very many triangles on screen. As TFS says, this isn't meant to be a synthetic benchmark. It's not made to stress any one specific thing, and it really doesn't.

Some of the tech it is demoing is pretty cool, even if the resulting image isn't very impressive. In the hands of proper designers, this stuff could be awesome.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926223)

::yawn:: So, it's not a "benchmark" -- it's a tech demo of what you can do with the Unreal Engine?

Never disturb my slumber again. . ..zzZ Z Z

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

dotHectate (975458) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926245)

Read again, not Unreal Engine - Unigine Engine.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926727)

you forgot
-Laggy non gradient detail POPUP: for when you just need to hide grass at a fixed level and look like 5 year old x360/PS3 game
-Microshutter: Why display smooth animation if we can "optimize" code and squeeze few more frames at the cost of consistency.
-Display fixed average fps: least useful number instead of a graph, we dont want to expose our shortcomings.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927181)

Regardless of all of that, I thought it looked wonderful (from the YouTube video). I especially liked the rain effects and the lighting when it was raining. The water running off the rocks was pretty cool too. My engine is around 10 years behind that (!), mostly because I don't work on it full time.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926907)

how is not a synthetic benchmark though? until they got a game going in their game engine it's synthetic demo.. doesn't matter if they realtime generate lot of the stuff.

Re:beautiful! here is most of the techniques used. (1)

Bram Stolk (24781) | about a year and a half ago | (#42928867)

Quite right! It seems synthetic to me as well.

If it generates geometry on the GPU, by using a geometry shader, it makes you wonder:
Do the trees have a physics representation on the CPU as well, so that the player collides with them?
Probably not, which means that despite the marvel of all those trees, you cannot play it like you can a Skyrim world.

Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42925821)

A bit of an oversight - it won't run if security is set to reject unknown developers.

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42925895)

Seems not to be signed on Windows either.

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (2)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925997)

A bit of an oversight - it won't run if security is set to reject unknown developers.

Workaround is to right-click on the icon and choose "Open Application" from the popup menu.

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926361)

So?

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926509)

Yeah it's not signed for "I'm not going to ass rape you and this bogus system says so."

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (1)

biodata (1981610) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926665)

Good. The more people publish unsigned software the more annoying the warnings get, the more likely the whole signing thing will go away. Does it really make anything any more secure? What happens when the signing keys get compromised?

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926757)

Then we might as well get rid of ssl too.

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927177)

Its normally not an issue but when you get a program from a 3rd party such as a mirror or from a torrent, which you would know is exactly this case with this benchmark if you bothered to try to download it, then its nice to have evidence that the program was packaged up using the keys of the developer even if there is some small chance that someone other than the developer might have gotten the keys.

Makes your argument seem a bit silly now, doesnt it?

Re:Not digitally signed for Mountain Lion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926819)

Enjoy the option of switching that security off while you can.

Nice (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925853)

The still scenes on thier website are really nice, some the most detailed and realistic renders from a game engine I've ever seen.

The question is... (1)

mwn3d (2750695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925865)

What did they hide in the valley. Has anyone found anything weird/interesting?

All major operating systems are supported (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42925891)

... as well as Linux.

(quickly ducks....)

Wait (0)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925961)

Since when did Linux count as a "major operating system"?

(I kid, I kid - it's just odd that a) they support it and b) the summary doesn't mention it specifically, given that this is /.)

Impressive (2)

locater16 (2326718) | about a year and a half ago | (#42925967)

Impressive enough, it's always neat to see even programming as utterly performance intensive as a game engine pay off with something so pretty.

Like SpeedTree (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926127)

Nice. Reminds me of Speedtree's demos. [youtube.com]

Camelot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926249)

It's just a model.

I'm guessing I shouldn't use Nouveau for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926469)

Set 1920x1080 fullscreen video mode
X Error of failed request: GLXBadFBConfig
    Major opcode of failed request: 154 (GLX)
    Minor opcode of failed request: 34 ()
    Serial number of failed request: 50
    Current serial number in output stream: 49
AL lib: ReleaseALC: 1 device not closed

Any ideas?

Re:I'm guessing I shouldn't use Nouveau for this (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926557)

I'm guessing I shouldn't use Nouveau for this

Yes, you are probably on the right tracks. I believe that error message comes up because the application is trying to request a higher OpenGL profile than what is supported by your graphics driver.

Re:I'm guessing I shouldn't use Nouveau for this (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42929797)

TODO: make error messages more informative for the end user.

I suppose that in an ideal world, the gamer would program his own games, and contribute well-crafted bug fixes to the games of others, but diagnosing this error effectively requires either sorting through a google search of hundreds of web pages or learning the guts of glx.

Re:I'm guessing I shouldn't use Nouveau for this (1)

neiras (723124) | about a year and a half ago | (#42931421)

Set 1920x1080 fullscreen video mode
X Error of failed request: GLXBadFBConfig
    Major opcode of failed request: 154 (GLX)
    Minor opcode of failed request: 34 ()
    Serial number of failed request: 50
    Current serial number in output stream: 49
AL lib: ReleaseALC: 1 device not closed

Any ideas?

This is because Nouveau doesn't do OpenGL 3.2. You will have the same error with the linux Intel drivers for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. Not a hardware thing, it's a driver support issue.

How to compare it with other people ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926609)

FPS in games can vary a lot depending on scenery and things going on.

I wonder if the results here can actually be compared without everyone using a predefined path for the camera to fly along.

Re:How to compare it with other people ? (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927827)

article says its not a pre-defined path, you have free fly through control, or you can choose 'hike through' control, IE FPS shooter controls.

Why the obsession with faking a physical camera? (4, Interesting)

fantomas (94850) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926651)

Very nice. But I'm really curious: why do video sims have this obsession with pretending to be shot on a physical camera (e.g. rain drops on the "lens", lens flare when looking at the sun)?

I understand it's an aesthetic but it comes over as insecurity: "hey I bet you couldn't tell this wasn't a real camera in a real world". I think sim designers should have more confidence and get over this 'trying to prove we're as good as the real world by simulating failings in cameras'. I think there's some really nice work and they should concentrate on improving their presentation of world rather than trying to reverse engineer the failings of old cameras.

Rain drops on the lens from video shot on real cameras is really annoying. Don't spend energy trying to simulate it, or lens flare. Spend your time improving your new format, do cool stuff the real film makers can't do and take advantage that you're not bound by their limitations. Please don't work on a virtual camera operator's hand cleaning your virtual lens with a virtual disposable tissue when it rains hard....

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926849)

Must admit, things like lens flare and rain on the lens make it look *less* realistic to me. Don't simulate what a camera would see, but what a human eye would see. I want to see a virtual world as if I was right there, not watching a nature documentary.

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42933063)

Must admit, things like lens flare and rain on the lens make it look *less* realistic to me. Don't simulate what a camera would see, but what a human eye would see. I want to see a virtual world as if I was right there, not watching a nature documentary.

Like occasionally blacking out for a frame or two because the eye virtually blinked? Hey, that could provide a slight FPS boost by not having to render those frames ;)

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926893)

Yeah, just show it as it is, without annoying things like depth of field or motion blur, or the above-mentioned things.

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927091)

why use such crap effects?

well, for same reason some movies use them when they could avoid them. you can get away with less actual detail in the scene.

why do you think so many games nowadays use focal effects? well duh.. it used to be common technique to just limit angle of camera to scene in games.. you don't have to draw the sky if you can never look at it. the focal focus shit effect used in so many games nowadays is usually used to blur backgrounds into blur.. like used in some movies to make the painted backgrounds not look totally shit. then you can use more polys in games on the characters in front.

and then you can just focus on all these shit tricks and forget the story like in dragon age II..

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927131)

well they have already faked the real world. might as well go all the way...

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (1)

g00ey (1494205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927259)

While I agree to some extent to what you are saying, I believe that sometimes it is desired to deliver that cinematic experience. Also directors can eliminate lens flares and motion blurs during shootings with the right set of lightings and aperture times but they don't. The reason for that is that they want to emphasize that something is extremely bright or is moving extremely fast. All this is part of cinematic storytelling. Something modern digital cameras such as the over-hyped Red(tm) cameras are lacking considerably compared to traditional film cameras that have been tweaked for over half a century.

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42927561)

Any professional cinematographer or photographer can almost always avoid lens flare, mist or water on the lens, but use it intentionally to convey things that the (audio)visual medium can't: heat and glare of bright lights, the sensation of cold wetness when you emerge from water or are caught out in the rain.

It can certainly be overdone, but used right it's just another tool to tell a multisensory story with pictures.

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (2)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year and a half ago | (#42928181)

Rain drops on the lens from video shot on real cameras is really annoying

Heh. You clearly don't wear glasses. Raindrops on the lens is absolutely normal to me, so it doesn't seem even slightly out of place when I see it in a game.

I agree that lens flare is annoying, though.

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42928825)

It's worse in 1st person games where you are supposed to be looking through the characters eyes, and yet you still get droplet splashes and lens flair effects (I'm looking at you, MW3).

To be fair I do get the droplets on my glasses sometimes, but then again I'm not a cool uber-l33t soldier dude who would undoubtedly wear contact lenses.

Re:Why the obsession with faking a physical camera (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42932205)

And when water gets in his eyes he'll blink and close. Yes that would definitely be less annoying.

I HATE lens flare (1)

Artemis3 (85734) | about a year and a half ago | (#42932499)

I'm supposed to be there, I'm not supposed to be looking at things from a camera, get this right once and for all.

history (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926763)

would love to see this video's 2003, 1993 equivalent.. any good archives of graphics demos around?

Re:history (1)

plonk420 (750939) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927621)

from Pixar-sponsored scene.org [scene.org] , check out (2011) Numb Res by Fairlight (yes, that one) and CNCD; requires DX10 (or check out 2010's Agenda Circling Forth without the GPU-crushing endbit)... Epsilon (2011, 64k) for tasty ray tracying (or google "pouet photon race 2") ... (2010, best effects) FR-063 also has GPU physics. and (2009, 4k) Elevated has an insane amount of content for 4k.

off-scene/pouet, there's Separable Subsurface Scattering (Real Time) [vimeo.com] . semi-raytracingish, there's Rigid Gems [sakura.ne.jp]

Re:history (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927797)

Someone did a ray-traced video of Quake (not real time, of course) with people running around with multiple color sources and so on.

They estimated a real-time version would require a 30,000 GHz processor. Still, it looked awesome.

Re:history (1)

toiletsalmon (309546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42929713)

Here's the closest thing I've seen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bHpUljLVrc [youtube.com]

It's a bunch of benchmark videos saved into one long youtube video. Boring to sit through, but interesting to jump around in.

Re:history (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year and a half ago | (#42934537)

Google "3dmark 2001".

How can I purchase (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926789)

mineral rights to that place? It would look so pretty with a big 'ol pipeline running across it!

Non-violent game (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | about a year and a half ago | (#42926891)

Hope that this could be turned into a non-violent game, a little like "Dear Esther", where you can just walk around and enjoy the scenery. It is now 64 square kilometer, but I guess that with generative techniques you could create virtually infinite worlds.

Re:Non-violent game (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42930969)

Flight sims? Fly a helicopter around to try and rescue some stupid stranded hikers, or do stuff like put out fires? Could be fun if it's done right. (Most flight sims are behind the times now when it comes to scenery engines, would be nice if a new one came out that did some catching up in that regard.)

Not just about detail & scale: realistic geo/b (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42926917)

The thing that impresses me the most is the way that whoever put it together actually knows some geology and biology. The trees, other plants, and rocks are realistically placed. I admit it's kind of geeky, but as a geologist it always bothers me when game designers think any old "random pile of rocks" or "randomly bumpy cliff surface" corresponds to the way geological materials behave in the real world. Same for the shape of mountainsides. They are not randomly steep, planar slopes. Most of them have a graceful exponential kind of curvature. There are similar issues for the distribution of real plants and trees.

If the whole point of a game is to immerse you in an alternate reality, but everything in the "natural" world looks (to the experienced eye) like the building equivalent of walking through a funhouse, it kind of spoils the effect. These people are meticulously observant of nature and actually know what they are doing! Kudos.

Re:Not just about detail & scale: realistic ge (2)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year and a half ago | (#42927877)

I believe the terrain was pulled from GIS data, (the article mentions the creators wanting to show off some of Russia's natural beauty) and the article says they procedurally placed the foliage and rocks, so Its all the work of very well designed math problems. But you are right, they did seem to do a meticulous job getting those math problems to reflect natural patterns.

Re:Not just about detail & scale: realistic ge (2)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42929311)

I did this landscape by a process called "procedural generation":

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-lPWscdDzXM8/TjtfFx12uRI/AAAAAAAACqc/gIukXZ8t0Sc/s1600/TerrainFracta+2l.jpg [googleusercontent.com]

Rather than place hills and grass individually, it uses fractal formulas to create the shapes and textures. The formulas and textures are height and slope aware, and it uses atmospheric haze to give a distance effect. The software is E-on Vue, which is used in professional movie making, but I just diddled around with it for fun.

I was making landscapes like that (1)

MitchTheRvGuy (2714835) | about a year and a half ago | (#42928013)

in the mid 90's using Vista Pro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6gOygLDaww [youtube.com] Talk about a benchmark, each frame would take almost half an hour

Demo is VERY poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42929659)

Randomly generated simplistic mountainous landscapes have been done for years. The Unigine people are not exactly known for the quality of their engine. Take the latest demo.

1) No shadows cast by the land. Indeed, the contour of the horizon isn't tracked by the ray engine that casts shadows from the trees. Move the time slider till the sun is clearly below the horizon, and the trees around you are still casting shadows as if THEY see the sun.

2) There is a major bug is the 'simple' shadow casting. Go to a high spot. Move the time of day to near sundown. Watch how the tree shadows in the distant valley suddenly go wrong as the geometry calculations suddenly use the wrong part of the shadow texture buffer.

3) Lousy lighting model. Of late, it is remarkable how realistic outdoor lighting models have become. Even the Unreal 3 engine now has killer colour quality. This demo seems to think time-of-day lighting is a matter of massive bloom, and white/red saturation. The people involved obvious NEVER read any of the papers available describing the methods to correctly light an outdoor environment.

4) Indescribably lazy 'walk' movement algorithm. OK, this is a minor point, but such code is trivial, and everyone using the demo is going to want to walk through the environment. The model invented by id (where the mouse moves a virtual set of eyes with correct half-hemisphere 'freedom') and the cursor keys move one forward, back and sideways, obviously needed 'reinventing'. After rotating 720 degrees or so, you 'LOCK'. Half the time you cannot look 'up'. This is amateur coding of the like I have never experienced before.

5) No ground water. Unbelievable.

6) No advanced ground texture algorithm. Given the limited types of vegetation (rendered with soft sprites when close enough), there should have been flat ground textures available that made an effort to match the various types of cover, for when the ground was too distant to waste effort rendering the cover. Otherwise, as you approach a distant area, its 'nature' changes when the cover starts to 'pop' in.

7) Poor distant tree sprites.

Let me make this easier. Go seek out the game 'Just Cause 2". This masterpiece was built years ago by Scandinavian 'hackers' and shows just how perfectly an infinitely larger, and more varied open-world can be rendered. JC2 has to run on the prehistoric hardware of the Xbox360, not cutting edge PC systems as does 'the Valley'. By comparison, 'The Valley is 10+ years behind what JC2 did 3+ years ago!

JC2 has a vastly better day/night cycle with much better lighting. Its land actually casts a correct shadow. JC2 combines woods, deserts, rivers, seas, towns, villages, snowy landscapes, cities, etc in a seamless environment. Yes, you can stand on the tallest peak in the game, and look out for tens of miles in all directions.

As a benchmark, 'The Valley' is using rendering techniques that have been obsolete for more than 5 years.But the demo is sold as a professional product, not some amateur-hour knock-out by kids working for a term at uni. Given just how little 'The Valley' actually does, it would have been nice to have seen at least some attempt at innovation in rendering. However, even if that had been beyond the maths skills of the programmers, they could have tried to create a more 'complex' environment, with 'nature correct' randomly generated streams and pools. I'm honestly lost to see even one good thing the designers of this demo tried to bring.

doesn't work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42930271)

.. on Linux (Debian Wheezy amd64), SandyBridge i5-2410 based Intel HD 3000 graphics:
    GLRender::require_extension(): required extension GL_ARB_draw_instanced is not supported
and sure enough:
$ glxinfo | grep -i GL_ARB_draw
        GL_APPLE_vertex_array_object, GL_ARB_draw_buffers,
        GL_ARB_draw_elements_base_vertex, GL_ARB_explicit_attrib_location,

Reverse slashdot effect (1)

antant007 (1702214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42930857)

When someone posts a torrent on slashdot.
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