Latest round of "Evil Within" previews

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Grabthehoopka
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Re: Latest round of "Evil Within" previews

Post by Grabthehoopka » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:11 pm

Well, we can agree to disagree, but I think the graphics have aged well, not only because the pre-rendered backgrounds look really good, but more importantly, the dynamic lighting on the character models matches the backgrounds so well that they really sort of seamlessly feel like they're part of the world the backgrounds are in. Any SFX person will tell you that lighting is the most important part of keying anything onto a background, which is why, despite how phony everything looks, Sin City is so much more believable than, say, that dinosaur stampede part of Peter Jackson's King Kong that everyone always complains about. I can't say how well it looks on an emulator, however, but my opinion still stands, and I wonder why more games haven't tried to follow suit in this day and age, especially with the emphasis on photo realistic graphics that publishers make such a suicidally big deal out of.

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matt
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Re: Latest round of "Evil Within" previews

Post by matt » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:29 pm

The problem is that fixed camera angles for pre-rendering seems really limiting. I played the Asylum demo and was kind of frustrated by the lack of real time rendering because it makes the game feel like you are navigating through a series of quicktime panoramic shots rather than moving through a 3D world. The kickstarter was more successful than Neverending Nightmares, so maybe I'm in the minority on that. (I backed it anyway, so I still expect the game to be interesting)

I guess if you just compare it to other GameCube games, which all run at a max of 480p, than yeah, it aged well, but I was comparing it to PC games from the time, which you can run at higher resolutions and other generation games in emulators. Fatal Frame 3 looks AMAZING running at 4x resolution. I guess that may not be a fair comparison because I don't think the developers were planning on making the game look great on future computers. hahah
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Harry Sunderland
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Re: Latest round of "Evil Within" previews

Post by Harry Sunderland » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:59 am

matt wrote:I guess that may not be a fair comparison because I don't think the developers were planning on making the game look great on future computers. hahah
Just a curiosity, do you think future computers will enhance or hinder NN? I don't know anything about graphics, so I'm just curious.

Grabthehoopka
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Re: Latest round of "Evil Within" previews

Post by Grabthehoopka » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:37 pm

Harry Sunderland wrote:Just a curiosity, do you think future computers will enhance or hinder NN? I don't know anything about graphics, so I'm just curious.
I think one of the reasons they settled on the look of Neverending Nightmares, other than it being less work than working with 3D models, is that it is so stylized that it will probably never look "aged", not until we develop holodeck technology, anyways.

Unless computers advance so much that it effects the performance of the game. I tried to play Quake on my computer and it turns out you need to download and install some kind of CPU-limiting program or else the game runs at Benny Hill speed.

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matt
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Re: Latest round of "Evil Within" previews

Post by matt » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:24 pm

We did indeed design Neverending Nightmares, so it'll look good on low end hardware. We render the characters as texture mapped polygons, so we could add things like 16x anti-aliasing. we currently run with 4x on all PCs, 2x on Ouya just because the characters really stand out with no AA since they are polygonal. I guess we could add anisotropy as well. We also require vsync (although a lot of drivers ignore the app's settings these days)

So the short answer is that future computers couldn't make Neverending Nightmares look much better. I could probably expose all the options to make it ever so slightly prettier on modern hardware, and that seems like the maximum quality that the game will run now and forever. We probably won't expose the graphical options - at least not at launch just because there is so much to do.

Over time, I suspect it may be difficult to run old PC games no matter what. I hope that they come up with good virtualization technology. Running Windows 95/98 games can be really challenging, so it's possible in 20 years, Neverending Nightmares is tricky to run.

Updating the game will become an increasingly large pain in the ass. Retro/Grade will only compile with an older DirectX SDK and Visual Studio than I'm running now. I can only imagine trying to do an update in 5 years. It sounds like a nightmare... It probably won't be much easier on Neverending Nightmares, but at least we are starting with a newer version of Visual Studio, but we have a lot of open source projects, which potentially could be troublesome on future compilers.

One would think that C++ wouldn't change very much, but there are all sorts of problems. We made the choice in Retro/Grade to stay with Visual Studio 2005 even though we released in 2012 just because we knew all the compiler bugs we had to work around and we didn't have to fix any compatibility issues.
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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