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The Tech of the Colossus

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the specular-fur-make-me-smile dept.

62

Via a Cathode Tan post, a gloriously in-depth look at the technology behind the PS2 title Shadow of the Colossus. From that article: "In games such as DOOM3 on the PC, the model used for generating the shadow volume is almost equivalent to the character itself. But with SOTC, in order to speed this up, we made use of a simpler model with much fewer polygons in. The main character generally consists of 3,000 polygons, but the colossus can be around 18,000 polygons, depending on the type. But the model used for shadow generation will contain a substantially lower amount than this. For example, the simple model seen by the player will probably only use 1/40th of what the original model contained."

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poly counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14877577)

It's hard to count the polys in a model when all you see is a washed out screen.

Cock (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14877581)

Nothing but miles of cock, thank you!

Re:Cock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14877799)

mmmmm tastes like chicken...

Seems to be a trend in games lately (2, Interesting)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877643)


I see this in lots of games these days.

It's a very neat effect. But I find it distracting, and my eyes are constantly trying to focus, and I end up getting a headache after a while.

Shadow of the Colossus (5, Funny)

tengennewseditor (949731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877644)

So Shadow of the Colossus is only 1/40th as complex as the real thing?

Re:Shadow of the Colossus (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877688)

Well, around noon, the shadow of the colossus can be very small indeed...

Re:Shadow of the Colossus (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14884280)

I can't help but wonder if Mr. Forbin would approve?

Letdown.... (2, Interesting)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877672)

... From the subject I was anticipating something about either the Colossus computer [wikipedia.org] or the Colossus of Rhodes [wikipedia.org] .

Or even something about this [wikipedia.org]

Re:Letdown.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14877909)

wait, swap that, reverse it...your links that is.

Re:Letdown.... (1)

nan0 (620897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878042)

indeed!!! Collosus: The Forbin Project [imdb.com] .

not sure how popular (or good) this movie actually is ;)

but the scene where the two AI go through human history - and beyond - in about 2 min is worth the time spent, even if it ultimately ends up in cliche pulp robo-fascist territory...

Re:Letdown.... (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878290)

Maybe the nifty little icon denoting the category wasn't enough of a clue?

Re:Letdown.... (1)

crimson30 (172250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881170)

It still had me misled. I thought it was going to be about the Java client of Titan [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Letdown.... (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14882296)

Oh cool. Thanks for the link :)

Re:Letdown.... (1)

dannycim (442761) | more than 8 years ago | (#14882385)

No, the
  • other
right, bubba! Good job getting those links mixed up.

SoC (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877692)

SoC is a great game but I have to ask why they used the PS2. When you look at resident evil 4 on the cube, you're almost drooling at how great it looks, then you play SoC and go "well.. that's nice.. but the hero runs like a retard and it's really muddy and blocky". The screenshots in the article really do seem selected to avoid showing this, but a couple show you how bad it is (http://www.dyingduck.com/sotc/3dwa03.jpg [dyingduck.com] for example).

It's a great game and I'm not trying to put it down, but it's the type of game which the PS2 just can't do justice to, so instead all the blur effects mentioned are covering it up. On the cube or Xbox it might not of sold as well, but it would of been ten times better looking, which is basicly the big selling point of the game.

Re:SoC (3, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877735)

SoC is a great game but I have to ask why they used the PS2.

Oh, I know the answer to this one! It's because the game was made by Sony. I think it's highly unlikely that they'd spend their resources developing a GameCube or xBox game. Although this game would've been awesome on either of those two platforms. I got through 9 or 10 of the colossi before getting my nice new 32" LCD HDTV. This game is just painful to look at on that screen now because all the flaws and uglies are so apparent.

Re:SoC (1)

Sabotage (21481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877786)

I'm with you.

I had a friend tell me this was the greatest game ever. I picked it up when I had some store credit at Best Buy thanks to an Xmas gift error. I took it home and put it on my 52" widescreen TV, and the graphics were horrible. Add to that controls that I personally think suck royal ass, and I wonder how this game got so much drool factor from the gaming community.

Granted, I've never seen it on a blurry old-school TV, so I have no idea if that helps to make it look better or not. Even so, I hate the controls and what seems to me to be a lack of emotion through the whole game.

Re:SoC (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877833)

The controls do take a little while to get used to, but you eventually do learn to deal with them. The camera gets kinda wonky at times, too. As for playing on an SDTV, it helps a whole lot. The overall appearance is much softer, which fits with the mood and tone of the game. Overall, it is a pretty fun game. Maybe I'll fire it up again this weekend and try to complete it...

Re:SoC (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14877917)

"SoC is a great game but I have to ask why they used the PS2. "

Are you joking?

The Xbox couldn't handle SoC. The GC maybe.

The only thing the Xbox hardware is good at is bumpy/shiny multipass effects. Outside of those types of effects it is significantly weaker than the PS2. That's why games like Halo that have crappy engines but things like the shiny main character are touted so much by Xbox/PC fans.

The PS2 is amazing fucking hardware. It is a testament to Sony's graphic prowess that the brute force Xbox which was designed two to three years after the PS2 has been canceled while the PS2 is still flying off the shelves with games like SoC and Burnout looking better than anything on the Xbox.

Re:SoC (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14878036)

Awww...did I hurt some Xbox fan's feeling.

So sorry...

But, hey, what do I know, it's not like I've written graphics engines for multiple PS2/GC/Xbox titles or anything like that.

Re:SoC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14879171)

It's just that most people think that the PS2 versions of multiplatform games look like shit compared to the Xbox and Gamecube versions. Resident Evil 4 is a good example.

Re:SoC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14878675)

In terms of graphics, the gamecube blows the ps2 out of the fucking water.

Re:SoC (1)

inkless1 (1269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878051)

They talk about that somewhat in the article.

And for the record, "well.. that's nice.. but the hero runs like a retard and it's really muddy and blocky" isn't how I'd describe the game at all ... or anyone I've known who has actually played.

Re:SoC (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878124)

I got a demo a few weeks ago. The way the hero runs really is off IMO and basicly the world feels "dead" to me. It's pretty but theres just no life in the place, so it's just "hey lets dash across a crappy textured floor". The distance is great and the collosus look fantastic, but when you get close all the effects die and it looks PS1 quality.

On the other hand I adored the ICO demo which came with it and just ordered it from Amazon.

Re:SoC (3, Interesting)

Knos (30446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878644)

Maybe it's simply because you are meant to sink in this atmosphere of dread. I mean, it's bound to be voluntary for this particular universe to be almost devoid of any advanced lifeforms. The way you have to wander around in those deserts, making you feel like if you were even more dead than the one you are trying to revive. Even the colossi are ambiguous.. part machines part animals. Golems of some sort.

It does create more sensations than it tells a story.. I think it does it pretty well even.

Re:SoC (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879719)

I think the feeling of desolation is completely intentional. The world you are in is not supposed to feel natural and full of life. You constantly feel like you don't belong there.

As for the graphical quality of the game, I can somewhat agree with you. When I described the game to a friend, I said: "It looks like total ass, and it is beautiful." I got the impression that they overstepped the bounds of the system. The textures were just too detailed for the PS2 to handle, as there was no AA or Ansio to bring out their clarity. But overall the artistic style of the game is rock solid. They did an amazing job with what they had to work with.

I cannot imagine how good that game would have looked on next-gen hardware, but I bet it would have been beautiful.

Re:SoC (1)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879076)

I killed the first 2 bosses and then put the controller down. It was too frustrating trying to figure out the controls while trying to maintain a decent camera angle.

Mario 64 got it right 10 years ago. You'd think somebody else would be able to do it by now.

eww, you suck (2, Interesting)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878528)

Eww, you suck :)

I think SotC would have been a real letdown on any other console. The effects, which are nothing short of amazing, may have been used to cover up the lack of a huge poly-count in some cases, but they're really what gives the world in SotC it's beauty. The main character, I agree, does look kinda crappy. The horse isn't too bad. But the world looks absolutely amazing, and so do the Colossi.

The PS2 doesn't have the raw power of the Xbox or the Cube, but it is capable of some really amazing visual effects. It's really a shame that most developers haven't taken full advantage of it. OTOH, there's still some great games coming out on that ancient thing.

Re:SoC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14878692)

When you look at resident evil 4 on the cube, you're almost drooling at how great it looks, then you play SoC and go "well.. that's nice.. but the hero runs like a retard and it's really muddy and blocky".

Instead it would have had equally as bad textures and the Gamecube's annoying dithering.

On the cube or Xbox it might not of sold as well, but it would of been ten times better looking

I don't know what fantasy dreamland you're living in, but the reality is that it would have looked almost exactly the same. Look at all of the multi-platform titles and show me which ones look "ten times better" on the GCN or Xbox. In fact, the ones that have lots of physics and particle-effects like Burnout (and of course SOTC) look just as good if not better on the PS2.

Re:SoC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14881559)

There are a hundred squillion PS2s out there. That's why you're silly to release on anything else.

Re:SoC (1)

Axmondo (654473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881861)

Yes, the tech meant that a few cutbacks were made. The main character is strangely blocky, but if you can get over that tiny detail everything else is utterly sumptuous. The artistry of this game is second-to-none, showing a kind of attention to detail in envoronment that out-does what Nintendo managed in Zelda Wind Waker and Namco's Resident Evil 4. Maybe Resident Evil 4 has a bit more texture detail and polygons, but it can't match the feel of the enviroment in SoTC. RE4 feels like a traditional computer game enviroment, with strict, defined edges, SoTC you never feel that, you only feel that you're exploring a real place. With the exception of the lead-charater, the animation is also the best I've seen in any 3D game. Take some time to observe how the birds fly across the horizon, how Colossi move, how you move as you're thown around by a beast, how puddles splash, how things look when you get dragged underwater by that big sea-eal, it's the work of real artists. In short, it's easily the most immersive gaming world I've ever played in, in my 20+ years of computer-gaming.

Playstation 2 at it's best (5, Insightful)

jshackles (957031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877788)

Games like SoC, with "tweaks" like this article suggests, remind me that the current generation of video game platforms is going to be dying in a pre-mature, marketing-driven, death.

While developers are finding things like this *still* that will optimize the code on a 5 year old system, tell me why I need to rush out and buy a PS3 right away? I keep hearing that the cell is hard to develop for. This same thing happened between PS1 -> PS2. A lot of the "fluff" games in the PS2 launch were not as good as some of the titles being released for the PS1, and I think we'll see a mirror of that between PS2 -> PS3

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877904)

Why? Can't tell you, but the general video console generation is 5 years. MS did a great disservice to the industry by bumping the XBOX 360 to 4 years. Hell, Sony should have had the PS3 out last November if they were keeping it up ;)

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (4, Insightful)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878180)

"...tell me why I need to rush out and buy a PS3 right away?"

Texture quality. The PS2 has always had a deplorably pathetic amount of video RAM, and it shows - especially in big games like SoC where the same tiny aliased texture is reused and remapped all over the place. The PS2 has had a lot of really, really fun games that were just painful to look at because of this, and since Sony actually has competition this time around, they've been forced to give developers enough VRAM to make games a hell of a lot less ugly.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14878492)

"Texture quality. The PS2 has always had a deplorably pathetic amount of video RAM, and it shows - especially in big games like SoC where the same tiny aliased texture is reused and remapped all over the place. The PS2 has had a lot of really, really fun games that were just painful to look at because of this, and since Sony actually has competition this time around, they've been forced to give developers enough VRAM to make games a hell of a lot less ugly."

Please stay the fuck out of console technology discussions.

Why the fuck do idiots like you feel like every console article is your opportunity to prove what a fucking retard you are to the world.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14878526)

32 MB is all it has, and it's all usable all the time, whereas the other systems have 128, etc, but have to scan through it at like 8 MB at a time.

There are some incredible and complex games out there for it, when the programmers know what theyre doing.

Play GT4, it almost looks real.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14881510)

Texture quality. The PS2 has always had a deplorably pathetic amount of video RAM, and it shows - especially in big games like SoC where the same tiny aliased texture is reused and remapped all over the place. The PS2 has had a lot of really, really fun games that were just painful to look at because of this, and since Sony actually has competition this time around, they've been forced to give developers enough VRAM to make games a hell of a lot less ugly.

Have you ever developed games for the PS2? I'm guessing that you haven't.

Although it only has 2MB of VRAM, it has a very high bandwidth bus for uploading things to that VRAM - the idea is that you setup huge DMA chains to repeatedly fill and refill the VRAM when drawing a frame (while the main processor is off doing setting up the DMA chains for the next frame), and this double buffering can be very very effective.

While 2MB of VRAM on a PC video card isn't very much, the PS2 is a fundamentally different architecture and the same metrics do not apply.

You seem to be talking from the perspective of someone who does not understand what they are talking about.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881970)

The PS2 has always had a deplorably pathetic amount of video RAM, and it shows - especially in big games like SoC where the same tiny aliased texture is reused and remapped all over the place.

No it doesn't. The artistic design more than makes up for the lack of texture quality. A higher res game with less creative scenery would look a lot worse.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (2, Interesting)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878719)

Well, imagine how good the game would look with the following changes:
  • Instead of being designed to run anywhere between 15 and 60 frames per second, put out a solid 60fps at all times.
  • Instead of having to trick around with "superlow" backgrounds and composited rendering, have a greater normal draw distance for fewer artifacts and a less complex engine. Not only can the graphics card keep up with this now, you can hold far more data in RAM and stream off a faster drive.
  • Instead of manually placing scene boxes and using a hacked bloom effect, do true HDR rendering.
  • Increase detail of shadow objects, fur shader hack, etc without noticeably performance cost.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

ChildeRoland (949144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879183)

What's the point of having a game put out 60fps if your TV can only display 30?

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879234)

None.

However, most (NTSC) TVs can display 60.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881671)

Standard TVs do display 60 (or 50) updates a second. The whole interlaced / progressive and fields / frames thing can be confusing though.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881987)

Duh. Get a second TV. Split the frames between the two.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880424)

I agree, especially with point 1. SoC was beautiful but you could absolutely tell that the PS2 hardware couldn't keep up. Framerates got so bad sometimes. Fortunately, the problem usually came up while you were riding the horse around, not during battles ;)

As to HDR rendering, that would be great, but they did do an awesome job of faking it.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879545)

Games like SoC, with "tweaks" like this article suggests, remind me that the current generation of video game platforms is going to be dying in a pre-mature, Microsoft-driven, death.

Fixed. And if you think I'm hating on Microsoft, you may be right, but maybe you should go look at some historical console releases first. Specifically the time between PS1 to PS2 or Famicom to Super Famicom. Both were over six years, compared to four (!) for Xbox to 360.

Re:Playstation 2 at it's best (1)

grahamwest (30174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880167)

I wouldn't count on the PS2 dying a premature death. Publishers feel that they "left money on the table" by moving away from PSone too quickly and they'll be looking to PS2 sales to help smooth the transition to PS3 and Xbox360. A Sony guy once told me they half of all the PSones after the Japanese PS2 launch and there's an enormous PS2 installed base (100 million, I believe) which won't be going away any time soon. I completely believe that people will be making PS2 games through 2008.

Now, it won't be at the same rate as now, and a significant percentage of those games will be budget titles, children's titles, highly established franchises and greatest hits. Retailers only have so much shelf space for videogames and they'll want to cut back how much PS2 product they carry so they wanted the least risky product. A good game can still punch through and be profitable despite the higher hurdle - there's so much existing code, art and knowledge that development costs should be lower. Marketing costs are also likely to be low, making the break-even point much more reachable.

The interesting thing to me is that most of the techniques described in this article have been known in the PS2 development community for several years. It's just that no-one working on a PS2-exclusive game has put them all together at once.

w00t... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877831)

I really hope more techniques like this one are applied in more games... I wonder how Prince of Persia would look with this stuff.

Re:w00t... (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878577)

Well, considering that the latest installment of PoP looks like shit on all the consoles, and even the PC, I wouldn't hold my breath for anything so magnificent from Ubisoft. It's a damn shame too, because PoP:WW is one of the most beautiful games I've ever played - I played it on GC, I hear the PS2 version had serious framerate issues. T2T just looks like shit by comparison. Good game though, just could have been better. With everything they had going for them... it's almost as if Ubisoft was determined to not make a perfect game.

Good to see optimizations are still being used. (2, Interesting)

Josiah_Bradley (867692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14877977)

It's a good thing that developers keep developing for older hardware and game consoles as it allows for optimizations that can be passed onto newer hardware for visuals that could not of been achieved before. If software developers were to keep relying on the hardware to improve to get better visuals, then people would have to spend 1000s each year just to see a game that looks moderately better. While playing SOTC I was amazed at the way they did the lighting and how the landscape was so vast and looks so real. It is a real treat to read how they actually achieved such awesome graphics.

This was via... (1)

inkless1 (1269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878022)

As mention on the post, that I found this at Pixel Kill: http://www.pixelkill.com/2006/03/05/shadow-of-the- colossus.html [pixelkill.com]

Too many visual effects. (2, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878217)

People will likely disagree with me on this, but I'm convinced that these kinds of games are completely wasted being developed for a console. They really belong on a PC instead of being hindered by the limitations of consoles.

As for the light bloom, blurs and other effects, while producing a neat result, especially in stills I tend to find distracting during gameplay. I've seen several games with these kinds of effects and the majority tend to overdo it. It's like I have cataracts or something. Someone with good eyesight doesn't see the world that way. I realize they're going for a cinematic feel, but at least don't overdo it.

I think Guild Wars, for example, has a nice glow that adds to the visuals without overdoing it. Then again, some of the problems here may be due to the low resolution of the PS2.

As for motion blurs, I've never liked them especially in driving games. If the world starts blurring around you because you're driving too fast then you probably shouldn't be racing at all. Imagine if the world turned to a haze for Formula 1 or WRC drivers.

Despite that, I'm impressed by how much they reveal about the game. It's an interesting read.

Re:Too many visual effects. (3, Interesting)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878607)

As for the light bloom, blurs and other effects, while producing a neat result, especially in stills I tend to find distracting during gameplay. I've seen several games with these kinds of effects and the majority tend to overdo it. It's like I have cataracts or something. Someone with good eyesight doesn't see the world that way. I realize they're going for a cinematic feel, but at least don't overdo it.

Amen. "lens flare" effects are overdone to DEATH...I love how it seems that in games, all the "lenses" have nearly circular apertures, a bad problem with internal reflections/ghosting, and what look like dozens of air/glass interfaces. It seems to me that if you care enough to put flare/ghosting effects in, you should at least bother to make them believable (polygonal apertures instead of circular, effects of flare on overall image colour/contrast, etc).

Re:Too many visual effects. (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14878933)

Guild Wars is a great game sure, but the bloom effect is totally overdone there as well. Find a nice scene and sit there turning it on and off, and note the difference.

The first time I ever played it I thought I'd rubbed Vaseline into my eyes or something.

Re:Too many visual effects. (4, Insightful)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879898)

Why should a game, any game be wasted on a console? If people want to put the time and effort into creating a good game, why shouldnt they do it? Your statement sound's kinda snobbish to me.

The great thing about consoles is that they are relatively speaking a stationary target, ie the technology stays the same for several years. Its nice to see that despite the age of the PS2 now that its developers are still manging to push the boundaries of the machines capabilities. Perhaps some of the skills learned from making more efficient use of console hardware could be translated to PC games. Lets face it develpers can be a hell of a lot more complacent on the PC platform, especially when Next-Gen 3d cards are being pushed by ATI or NVidia. Limitations and constraints breed creativity and that is a factor that can never be underestimated.

Re:Too many visual effects. (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880618)

I dunno, I like "art" games like "Ico", quirky games like "Katamari Damacy" and "Stretch Panic". If they were developed for a Windows PC, I wouldn't see them.

Re:Too many visual effects. (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881420)

People will likely disagree with me on this, but I'm convinced that these kinds of games are completely wasted being developed for a console. They really belong on a PC instead of being hindered by the limitations of consoles.

Don't you really mean, they belong on a console, instead of being hindered by a system like PC where everyone has a different card, and each card has different capabilities and different means of accomplishing the same effect, so you can't rely on any of it for artistic benefit?

Re:Too many visual effects. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14882063)

People will likely disagree with me on this, but I'm convinced that these kinds of games are completely wasted being developed for a console. They really belong on a PC instead of being hindered by the limitations of consoles.

You are seriously, seriously, overestimating the ability of PCs. With a 3GHz, dual core, 2GB RAM, Top level graphics card with VRAM, Shadow of The Colossus would crawl, crawl to a halt unless the graphics were turned down to a level where 10 fps and heavy pixelation was acceptable.

To suggest that a game as technically complex and visually stunning as SOTC would look anywhere near as good running on an modern OS with all the overheads that entails, verses running on a "bare metal" console, is ludacrious.

Basically, it's like saying that C++ numerical code is going to run faster than FORTRAN. Good luck with that,

The tech of the colossus (3, Insightful)

Profound (50789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14880130)

Maybe I've been playing Civ 4 too much, but after reading this title I immediately thought of Bronze working.

Re:The tech of the colossus (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14882069)

I was thinking the same thing, that this was an archeology study of the ancient wonder of the world, where trying to build a statue like the Statue of Liberty with Bronze Age tools might have been a very major accomplishment, and it would have been "How did they do that?"

A cool engineering topic in its own right.

The other thought I had was that perhaps this was all about the WWII computer that was developed by the British Government to reverse engineer the Enigma Machine (German encryption device that was in widespread use by the Nazis). There are some aspects of the design of that computer (Colossus) that could still be followed through as it was on the bleeding edge of computer hardware and software at the time it was built. Some assumptions were made about computer design since then where older designs like this computer might suggest a very different approach to computer hardware design to consider. It was also some incredible technology for the era, with debates as to if it were even a computer in a strict technical sense.

An 18,000 polygon model of either Colossus would be a cool thing to see in a virtual world as well, as would shadow rendering for both of them.

Oops, wrong Colossus (1)

TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14883719)

I clicked on this in the "Older Articles" sidebar, expecting it to be some sort of new archeological info on The Colossus of Rhodes [wikipedia.org] .

/bummer
//Slashies!
///Wait...where am I?

A big problem with games these days... (1)

Kittie Rose (960365) | more than 8 years ago | (#14898264)

Around the time of the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube Developers started getting lazy. Why? Because instead of using all this power to craete incredibly new experiences, they split it half and half between "Shiny visuals" and "Room to be lazy". Look at the Xbox 360. Sure it has some amazing visuals, but nothing much better than last year's good PCs. While this is often the case with consoles, 3 3.2 Gigahertz cores and the "Latest" ATI chipsets should be providing better performance than this! Sometimes I prefer older games because I can appreciate the love and care that was put into each model, and I myself "an" modelling for games like Quake 2 was desperately trying to move corners around so they didn't poke out and make the model look silly. But it was great to achieve this. Now they just make big fully textured roundy meshes with pretty much even polygon distrubution. No more clever techniques. Everything is built off the latest inefficent graphics kits, though I suppose that falls on people like Microsoft as you can't expect most developers to write that kind of stuff. Developers NEED to learn to be more efficent and conservative with their console's power if they want to bring it out. PC Developers are the worst though, absolutely by far. So many wasted resources. Has anyone played Ultimate Spider-man on PC? Ridiculous. Looks worse than the PS2 version, and at half the framerate, on PCs only a couple of years old. I am glad that the developers of this title realise this. There are a handful of amazing looking games, mostly because the development teams focuses their efforts on more efficent techniques instead of cheesy effects.
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