1. ctlaurin says:

    Notch disagrees.

  2. ECA says:

    YOU DONT WANT HIS DEBATE!!

    I want an AI, that wont shoot me from across the map in Pitch black.

    I want a Map comparable to 200miles x 200 miles..NOT 1×1 mile.

    An environment that will let me Drive/fly/walk/swim…

    AND I want it to work on a 10 year old video card.

    When Im driving/tanking/running/shooting/… IM NOT looking at the Garbage floating across the lawn.

  3. jim says:

    Won’t this only work on very fast PC’s though?

  4. Impressive, and so is every other piece of unverifiable tech.

    What hardware are they going to use? Will it run on OpenGL compatible hardware using point-sprites to draw the atoms, or are we going to need a new video card.

    Also, there was a lot of texture data in those demo scenes, are we going to need a new type of motherboard with a new bus?

  5. B. Dog says:

    That sure looks promising. Good luck to them.

  6. Michael_gr says:

    Here’s the catch:
    they claim that there’s a lot of repetition because they’re a software company, not a game company, and they don’t have a lot of graphics resources. All well and good – but there’s this thing called instancing, which to put it simply means that drawing repetitive elements is much faster than drawing unique elements. Since normal games and virtual environments tend to not have such a high degree of repetition, the actual performance might be significantly lower.

    There’s also the aspect of object creation and animation which they don’t really bother discussing – I assume normal polygonal models are converted but current animation techniques won’t transfer that well to a voxel based system. And then there’s disk space and memory allocation. What is the memory footprint of one of their models, let alone a complete environment? It might be too big to fit in memory (again, instancing means you only keep a single element, but render it hundreds of times on the screen – which doesn’t happen that often outside demos).

    There might be something to this, but currently I’m taking it with a grain of salt.

  7. Adam Johnston says:

    I dont see any shadows… Just flat lighting. When you start bouncing light between elements to create reflections and shadows things will get exponentially worse… ?

  8. Cursor_ says:

    But here is the real rub.

    They can make the graphic better, they can tweak the shadows, lighting, all that.

    But unless the game is good. Unless it is something that immerses the player and unless it can be something that casual to hardcore player can get into, it doesn’t mean a thing.

    Nice looking is fine. Being able to lose yourself takes storytelling. And with the current crop of writers putting out rehashed 80s rubbish, endless sequels and translated foreign shows, I don’t hold much hope for them.

    So far the majority of it remains vacuous content that wastes time and money. Fuck FX, I need some Shakespearean level story.

    Make Me Believe Your Story.

    Cursor_

  9. bobbo, not a tech guy says:

    I find the presentation confusing. The alternate back and forth between unlimited detail and not having enough detail. billions of “atoms” to make anything real but only two shades of gray? Seems inconsistent. Like talking to a stock market analyst. All hype, no blow.

  10. Uncle Patso says:

    New game and graphics software is always written for _next_ year’s hardware, or even the year after that. This will probably require at least 2 SLI video cards, if not 4, dual-core or 4-core or higher CPU, 2-4GB DDR4 RAM, etc.

  11. Uncle Dave says:

    bobbo, you didn’t watch the whole thing where they show the full color models.

  12. Skeptic says:

    I can’t help thinking that this will just be another atom bomb.

  13. Brian says:

    I don’t understand how they plan to get rid of the polygons, but maybe it’s just another bookkeeping trick for the video card. I mean, GPUs are already dynamically calculating portions of scenes that it won’t render to cut down on processing time (I assume it’s by calculating whether the normals have a projection in the +Z user coordinates) and dynamically load higher/lower detail models or cut polygon counts based on distance. If this is another bookkeeping trick that isn’t dependent on a particular new instruction set for the GPU, then it should provide benefits across all cards….even if they’re 10 years old.
    The most troubling thing to me is that there are numerous references to their team performing “polygon conversions” and it sounds a LOT like they’re performing map and model conversions for specific games from polygon-based to whatever their revolutionary new tech is. that is absolutely not a workable model unless they do plan to only market it for n+1 generation games and not even all of them because of manpower constraints.
    lastly, it is quite possible that this is an implementation of a voxel engine. that would explain how “everything is made up of atoms, just as you’d find it in the real world”, but it doesn’t explain how the grains of dirt also have detail and some apparent uniqueness unless the scaling for the demo allows for a detailed voxel map at the dirt level, in which case world size would suffer, but would suggest that scaling for games would allow that 200miX200mi size that a previous poster suggested.

  14. deowll says:

    Nice but I did notice they didn’t explain the kind of resources needed to run this.

  15. The0ne says:

    big failed PR imo. Nothing but talk.

  16. erucolindo says:

    This is a lot more impressive, working and made by one guy in his spare time:

    http://atomontage.com/?id=dev_blog

  17. Drive By Poster says:

    All that potential detail is probably moot. Those high end games are expen$$$ive as hell due to all the heavily mentioned detail. And now this guy is saying game companies can now easily blow ten times as much money on visual realism when they can hardly afford to model the current level of detail.

  18. Miguel says:

    Amazing. And in 5 years any Playstation Portable NXT will be running this king of graphics…

    Pity that I’ve lost all interest in games, being 45… I only still find mild fun in 30 year old Sinclair ZX Spectrum games….

    Oh well, that’s called aging 🙂

  19. f_w says:

    Man, he shows a work in progress, and people complain when it dose not look ready to use.
    And 10 year old graphics card?
    For real?
    Who in their right mind would think a 10 year old card would work good in even todays new graphic intensive games?
    Everything moves forward, 10 year old computer anything is WAY out of date.
    Heck a 5 year old computer is showing its age.
    And usually if you are not a gamer, or have those needs, you do not even get the high end stuff when you visit the store, witch influence its life sustainability..
    When this ships(if it dose) the new computers may handle it just fine.
    And perhaps the little older gaming rigs.
    But who knows, perhaps they have solved the scaling thing and have stuff that lower the load on the pc enough on lower end systems.
    Speculating is really pointless at this time, perhaps fun, but really pointless as the thing is not even done, and we do not know enough on how it will work when it is.

  20. Animby says:

    This will improve Angry Birds, how?

  21. So what says:

    I call both vaporware and fake. Why? cause the narrator sounds like a douche and the graphics were not that impressive.

  22. Mikey Ate It says:

    Funny! It sounds like a Monty Python sketch. It’s a goof.

  23. Skeptic says:

    Okay, my previous joke aside, this technology is for real. I just asked my 22 y/o gamer son about it. The technique uses voxels (Volumetric Picture Element), and many game engine programmers are already working on more advanced engines. The link in post #17 above illustrates the very same technology. Calling voxels “atoms” didn’t help this presentation for believability, but nonetheless it’s genuine and not so ‘new’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voxel
    (excerpt from Wkp)
    • C4 Engine is a game engine that uses voxels for in game terrain and has a voxel editor for its built in level editor. C4 Engine uses a LOD system with its voxel terrain that was developed by the game engine’s creator. All games using the current or newer versions of the engine have the ability to use voxels.
    • Atomontage is a hybride (voxel & polygons) game engine project.
    • Upcoming Miner Wars 2081 uses their own Voxel Rage engine to let the user deform the terrain of asteroids allowing tunnels to be formed.
    • Many NovaLogic games have used voxel-based rendering technology, including the Delta Force, Armored Fist and Comanche series.
    • Westwood Studios’ Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 use voxels to render most vehicles.
    • Westwood Studios’ Blade Runner video game used voxels to render characters and artifacts.
    • Outcast, a game made by Belgian developer Appeal, sports outdoor landscapes that are rendered by a voxel engine.[2]
    • The videogame Amok for the Sega Saturn makes use of voxels in its scenarios.
    • The computer game Vangers uses voxels for its two-level terrain system.[3]
    • The computer game “Thunder Brigade” was based entirely on a voxel renderer, according to BlueMoon Interactive making videocards redundant and offering increasing detail instead of decreasing detail with proximity.
    • Master of Orion III uses voxel graphics to render space battles and solar systems. Battles displaying 1000 ships at a time were rendered slowly on computers without hardware graphic acceleration.
    • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri uses voxel models to render units.
    • Build engine first person shooter games Shadow Warrior and Blood use voxels instead of sprites as an option for many of the items pickups and scenery. Duke Nukem 3D has an optional voxel model pack created by fans, which contains the high resolution pack models converted to voxels.
    • Crysis uses a combination of heightmaps and voxels for its terrain system.
    • Worms 4: Mayhem uses a “poxel” (polygon and voxel) engine to simulate land deformation similar to the older 2D Worms games.
    • The multi-player role playing game Hexplore uses a voxel engine allowing the player to rotate the isometric rendered playfield.
    • Voxelstein 3D also uses voxels for fully destructible environments.[4]
    • The upcoming computer game Voxatron, produced by Lexaloffle, will be composed and generated fully using voxels.[5][6]
    • Ace of Spades uses Ken Silverman’s Voxlap engine.

  24. nilum says:

    This tech is nothing new and the commentator admits that this same tech is used in the medical field.

    While the detail created using voxels is amazing, the animation with this tech is incredibly difficult. Complicated animation can be much more CPU-intensive than polygonal animation. The primary problem is on-the-fly deformation of voxel-based objects.

    There is a reason nothing is animated in the video.

    I have some hope that we might have a mix of both polygonal meshes for animated assets and voxel-based objects for static assets. That’s probably as far as this tech will go in the near future and I believe that is the goal of this company, to create voxel-based environments.

    Also the number of objects drawn on screen at once is not very impressive. This is just a use of instancing which we use for polygonal meshes as well. If any of you have access to a editor like Unreal Ed, try making a map with the same mesh repeated numerous times. Then try it with many different meshes, you will see a huge difference in performance.

    They did that in this demo. Numerous voxel assets were instances several times to create a very bland and repetitive looking environment (despite the detail in each asset). Had they tried to make their demo look varied it would have hurt performance.

  25. Dexton7 says:

    Just port over a poly game vs. an atom game. Have them do battle and see who is the victor. Eyecandy counts

  26. Skeptic says:

    Sorry about my last post. I thought by now someone would have corrected me. The elements used in the Euclideon video featured are actually different than voxels. The somehow use only 3-D points in space relative to each other in a ‘cloud’ rather than on a polar axis. Similar to voxels but far less cpu intensive.

  27. rick says:

    You would think this is easy with upcoming processors having 8, 12 or 16 cores now per socket.

  28. Elvis63 says:

    I am sure the 2 giants ATI and nVidia will come out with something amazing soon. Either one of them

  29. its2mc says:

    I think its awesome that such an approach has been used by this company. Tho I dont like how they are so secretive.. I bet if they had joined hands with Sony by now we would have a working game using Unlimited Graphics.. I have my own thoughts on how to make it even cooler.. One thing they say is that they can convert polygon graphics to voxel based graphics.. using this and a search algorithm.. they can have games developed soley on polygons and then the GPU converts and displays the necessary graphical details according to the users perspective. in this way a game like Tomb Raider one.. even though the physics may not be 100% accurate can be made to look lifelike.. I think they need to increase their staff and look at more ideas..


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