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Did you know that the long-time members of this thread have had a DiRTy Gossip Discord server for a while?

You do now 😉 

 

 

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I posted this somewhere (here?) not long ago, but Ill repeat it here (new record @tbtstt).

Historic rally locations and events?  What I mean - Australia current, but the historic 'mine shaft' stage, etc.  I think this could be done elsewhere too?  I'm not real familiar with other locations, this one always pops up.  Events and places (Kenya) that are not run anymore.

Just a random thought 
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Basically, there are a shit tonne of stages out there across the world, with some pretty spectacular ones either on or off the WRC calendar, and we want them all! Unfortunately we can't get them all, but as long as we get a good selection of some pretty decent stages, I'll be more than happy!
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I dont really mind the locations we got either, but my problem is we have a tendencey to see the same locations in every singe rally game thats out there (This is speaking in more of a video game perspective than a rallysim perspective.) I have lost count of how many rally games that use Sweden for it's snowrallies (The only two that don't that I know of is Richard Burns Rally and Dirt 3) But this is probably a bit of Norwegian jealusy speaking.

And I do get their goal of doing diverse stages, I'm fact i welcome it fully. But what I think they should do in the future is to incluse rallies that has the same characteristics as the WRC callendar, without actually including the WRC callendar. Or something new alltogether. For example Estonia can be seen as similar to Finland. Or Switching the Cataloyna based spanish rally to Gran Canaria instead. Different location and stages, but still similar. Ofcourse now I just switched the WRC rallies with ERC rallies, but hopefully you'll get my point.

Now that I think about this more Dirt Rally could be seen as a fighting game reboot. What I mean by that is that they had to include all the classic characters(Rallies) that everybody know. And then for the sequel they are more villing to branch out with new characters(Rallies)
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By not being tied to a WRC license, they do have the option to go wherever they want. But you can't deny that we got some great stages. For the next game, I think we should either get 6 completely new locations, or a mixture of some new and some old.

Australia or NZ
Spain
Corsica
Poland
Wales (Eppynt)
Portugal or Italy

And then maybe a return of Greece and Finland
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gfRally said:

1)  carrying over locations from DR do other stages in the locations (I.e. Germany wine country). I would guess the assets are there and I would imagine the other areas of the locations where documented and photographed.   I would just guess these would be quicker than creating all new?  Not sure what takes longer Mesh/3D work or environment work.

I would love to see the current stages be added to DiRT 4 (shall we just call it just call it DiRT 4 like pre-DR?), but that means they would have to be redone for a big part. Monte snow banks, and if DiRT 4 gets deformable terrain this would have to be implemented in the old tracks as well.
Also Finland would have to be adjusted (smaller jumps), which would still mean a lot of work would need to be done. I don't have any experience with this but it might be nearly as much work as creating all new ones (if at all possible, same reason they haven't adjusted Monte when the new snowbank tech came out). But if possible and profitable, yes updated versions of current tracks in DiRT 4 would be great. 

Now that I think of it, Shibuya was in DiRT 2, DiRT 3 (dlc) and DiRT Showdown as well...
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I love the stages that the game has now even though they are well known because of the WRC.

Having said that, there are some well known rallies that have never been implemented in a rally title.
Many of them can be found in the European Rally Championship. They really are spectacular and demanding.
Just to list a few of my favourites:

1. Circuit of Ireland (Very fast, very narrow and very bumpy!)

2. Azores Rallye     (Very fast, very narrow, very bumpy, stunning scenery, huge drops on both sides, etc.)

3. Ypres Rally            
                 (Very fast, very narrow, quite bumpy, you can cut deep with the risk of ending in a deep ditch, etc.)
                  It's also my home rally and it starts in just over a week! Yippieeeee!

4. Barum Rallye Zlin  (Very fast, in and out the woods, very bumpy, etc.)

Anyone else who wonders why those haven't been implemented in a rally title yet? Because I do.

Cheers!

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I dont really mind the locations we got either, but my problem is we have a tendencey to see the same locations in every singe rally game thats out there (This is speaking in more of a video game perspective than a rallysim perspective.) I have lost count of how many rally games that use Sweden for it's snowrallies (The only two that don't that I know of is Richard Burns Rally and Dirt 3) But this is probably a bit of Norwegian jealusy speaking.......
Now now, we all know the Swedish event is also in Norway too ;)
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I love the stages that the game has now even though they are well known because of the WRC.

Having said that, there are some well known rallies that have never been implemented in a rally title.
Many of them can be found in the European Rally Championship. They really are spectacular and demanding.
Just to list a few of my favourites:

1. Circuit of Ireland (Very fast, very narrow and very bumpy!)

2. Azores Rallye     (Very fast, very narrow, very bumpy, stunning scenery, huge drops on both sides, etc.)

3. Ypres Rally            
                 (Very fast, very narrow, quite bumpy, you can cut deep with the risk of ending in a deep ditch, etc.)
                  It's also my home rally and it starts in just over a week! Yippieeeee!

4. Barum Rallye Zlin  (Very fast, in and out the woods, very bumpy, etc.)

Anyone else who wonders why those haven't been implemented in a rally title yet? Because I do.

Cheers!

You sure like bumpy rallies! You must enjoy Finland in Dirt Rally ;)
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By not being tied to a WRC license, they do have the option to go wherever they want. But you can't deny that we got some great stages. For the next game, I think we should either get 6 completely new locations, or a mixture of some new and some old.

Australia or NZ
Spain
Corsica
Poland
Wales (Eppynt)
Portugal or Italy

And then maybe a return of Greece and Finland
Hey! I like Greece!
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I'm pretty sure half the regular gossipers are testers now! You can normally tell when everyone goes quiet as soon as speculation for new updates starts! With the exception of a certain someone a year or two back who continued to gossip and speculate before it was announced, despite the fact they were secretely one of the first to see the bloody game!
Guilty as charged! :smile:

Hello guys! Long time no see.... Life is quite different these days with a 6 week old baby - despite the awesomeness of DiRT Rally I'm still going with sleep whenever there's a chance.

I'm missing a bit of Gossip in my life so I'll try and make it back over here to come up with ridiculous theories :smile:

I've had a go at this other Codies game - will have to play a bit more in one of my 30 minutes / month slots and write up my impressions.

Congrats to @Rallycameraman and @KickUp on completing their first rally - Is there a write-up or a video? I'll be very keen to read how it all came together :) 

DiRTy Gossip thread still going strong!
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I'm pretty sure half the regular gossipers are testers now! You can normally tell when everyone goes quiet as soon as speculation for new updates starts! With the exception of a certain someone a year or two back who continued to gossip and speculate before it was announced, despite the fact they were secretely one of the first to see the bloody game!
Guilty as charged! :smile:

Hello guys! Long time no see.... Life is quite different these days with a 6 week old baby - despite the awesomeness of DiRT Rally I'm still going with sleep whenever there's a chance.

I'm missing a bit of Gossip in my life so I'll try and make it back over here to come up with ridiculous theories :smile:

I've had a go at this other Codies game - will have to play a bit more in one of my 30 minutes / month slots and write up my impressions.

Congrats to @Rallycameraman and @KickUp on completing their first rally - Is there a write-up or a video? I'll be very keen to read how it all came together :) 

DiRTy Gossip thread still going strong!
Lukes got a thread about it, he got 2nd place overall I think...
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bogani said:
I love the stages that the game has now even though they are well known because of the WRC.

Having said that, there are some well known rallies that have never been implemented in a rally title.
Many of them can be found in the European Rally Championship. They really are spectacular and demanding.
Just to list a few of my favourites:

1. Circuit of Ireland (Very fast, very narrow and very bumpy!)

2. Azores Rallye     (Very fast, very narrow, very bumpy, stunning scenery, huge drops on both sides, etc.)

3. Ypres Rally            
                 (Very fast, very narrow, quite bumpy, you can cut deep with the risk of ending in a deep ditch, etc.)
                  It's also my home rally and it starts in just over a week! Yippieeeee!

4. Barum Rallye Zlin  (Very fast, in and out the woods, very bumpy, etc.)

Anyone else who wonders why those haven't been implemented in a rally title yet? Because I do.

Cheers!

You sure like bumpy rallies! You must enjoy Finland in Dirt Rally ;)
Actually no, to be honest. Finland is more of a jumpy rally which is a bit different. :lol:

The bumpy rallies don't make the car jump a few metres in the air. You have to be fully aware of the road ahead otherwise the car might step out of line and all of a sudden you end up in a ditch or hugging an lovely innocent tree and wondering: "How the hell did that happen?"

I might take a picture of such a road and post it but there's a thunderstorm going on at the moment. It's not particularly safe to go outside and stand on a road where you are actually the tallest object in the immediate area. :lol:

 
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JZStudios said:
Hey! I like Greece!
Same here. Problem is... Greece doesn't like me xD
I think it actually helped save my ass a bit. Literally. :P Coming into my main street/neighborhood the road gets windy and narrow as it eventually goes into the foothills and ends at a trail head. So instead of doing the suggested 20mph I do like 40-50. Coming back is all downhill so I throw it in neutral and coast, which gets me to about 45. Anyways, on one tight corner there was a bit of loose gravel on the road that I wasn't expecting and it decided "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to make his ass slide out into these conveniently placed mailboxes?" So, Thanks DiRT Rally, I saved my ass because of you.
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I'm pretty sure half the regular gossipers are testers now! You can normally tell when everyone goes quiet as soon as speculation for new updates starts! With the exception of a certain someone a year or two back who continued to gossip and speculate before it was announced, despite the fact they were secretely one of the first to see the bloody game!
Guilty as charged! :smile:

Hello guys! Long time no see.... Life is quite different these days with a 6 week old baby - despite the awesomeness of DiRT Rally I'm still going with sleep whenever there's a chance.

I'm missing a bit of Gossip in my life so I'll try and make it back over here to come up with ridiculous theories :smile:

I've had a go at this other Codies game - will have to play a bit more in one of my 30 minutes / month slots and write up my impressions.

Congrats to @Rallycameraman and @KickUp on completing their first rally - Is there a write-up or a video? I'll be very keen to read how it all came together :) 

DiRTy Gossip thread still going strong!
Welcome back @MastaVonBlasta , good to have you back and can't wait for your wild speculation. It'll be just like the good old days.

Speaking of, maybe if we ganged together and spammed his inbox with #128 emails full of our nonsense, we could get @justbiglee to make a cameo appearance here.

Actually, forget that, that's a terrible idea. *sigh* I'm a horrible person.

Still, would be nice to see him comment sometimes for old time's sake





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Any coment about Paul confirmation of no new content for the game?
https://twitter.com/Kick_Up/status/741225186876362753


The only thing we can spec until a new game release are improved physics and some fixes?

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I don't think if they have made a commitment by now, they are proceeding onto the next title. 

like I said before, I am fine with that, it will only mean that DR2 or D4 or whatever will only arrive sooner (maybe 18 months? probably overly optimistic) 
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grancab said:
Any coment about Paul confirmation of no new content for the game?
https://twitter.com/Kick_Up/status/741225186876362753


The only thing we can spec until a new game release are improved physics and some fixes?

No confirmed content just means it's behind the scenes for right now. It's answering the question, by not answering.
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This:

https://youtu.be/bxL76Xr00uQ

@soundfx Placeholder sounds? Or actual game?


I find it a little exciting that its going to be finally released again on PC.  I don't mind a casual racer from time to time.  Hopefully it will have half decent physics, never played forza on PC since having a wheel, etc.  So will have to wait and see.  

One other thought, maybe for @urgaffel 

Which gives a better result, a great game engine to render a lot of environment features, or a great team of environmental artist to pull off incredible scenery from very few polys.  Is a better game engine allow for more flexibility to simulate an environment, or better to have a group of artist hand tweaking for variable occasions (weather/time of day/season).

Maybe I can rephrase:  Programming an engine takes certain amount of resources (people/time), creating environments takes a certain amount of resources (people/time).  If the engine allows for artist to concentrate on other details that would normally need to be done by hand, is it better?  Or if there is less programming resources dedicated to the engine, and more for the artist to take care of manually, does the end result look better.  Resources are the constant, the amount of people dedicated to each side is the same.

I may be answering my own question, or not making any sense, just wanted to get some conversation going again.
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Windows 10 exclusive? Nope, sorry. Don't care. You'd think we'd be done with exclusives by now because it's f'ing stupid and benefits nobody but the manufacturer of the exclusive platform in question. Exclusivity between different operating systems is even worse.

Sorry for the rant, let the gossip continue. Last Friday I got all bummed when I remembered there wasn't going to be a Road Book. Hopefully we'll get some bigger bits of gossip to make up for that.
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gfRally said:
Maybe I can rephrase:  Programming an engine takes certain amount of resources (people/time), creating environments takes a certain amount of resources (people/time).  If the engine allows for artist to concentrate on other details that would normally need to be done by hand, is it better?  Or if there is less programming resources dedicated to the engine, and more for the artist to take care of manually, does the end result look better.  Resources are the constant, the amount of people dedicated to each side is the same.

I may be answering my own question, or not making any sense, just wanted to get some conversation going again.
I think I can answer that easily. If the resources are down to the engine aka volumetric particles, lighting etc. then it's obviously better for the development time, however they are very heavy on computing resources right now, which is why you don't see them. That means to achieve a certain level of performance in a game you need to have artist that will create details that take a lot less computing power but take more time to place.

End effect is very simple. The same shot can look from one camera angle incredibly, while from another like complete... poo.  As can be demonstrated with the last two pictures seen in this tweet:
https://twitter.com/ForzaMotorsport/status/742399232741658624
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The only reason DirectX isn't backwards compatible is so Microsoft can leverage people into upgrading their OS. Hopefully Vulkan starts getting widespread use so we don't have to deal with that crap anymore.

Ok, no more ranting about exclusivity, I promise this time!
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I might get Win10 separate... on it's own SSD for games only...
Anyways, I just want to say
gfRally said:
I find it a little exciting that its going to be finally released again on PC.
What? Only Apex was on PC ever, and that was just a demo?
Horizon 1 and 2 were really, really good, and I'm hyped that it's coming to PC, provided Microsoft gets their dumb store and it's issues sorted it'll be amazing.
As to your engine vs. environment question, I'll just say it's two different teams/groups of people. Luckily, Horizon 3 has both sorted. And @RyuMakkuro as having played both prior games, I 100% guarantee you those shots are representative, and look great from any angle. Horizon is probably the best looking open world game I've seen, and the dynamic mathematically correct weather is amazing, I love the clouds.

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latest forza on pc was touted the same dx bla bla was not that great looking.

if microsoft wanted they could make win 7 and 8 dx12 already was talked about but you need to sell win 10.

im fine with that forza is just cornbread racing and id rather stay on win 7 then tablet os win 10.

thing is not seen one decent game use dx12 yet.not are much planned that utilize it to make me want to use it.when games just try and force people to use one system it puts more off than it does to upgrade to that platform. for eg if the next dirt rally or dirt 4 did that i would simple not buy it.
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dgeesi0 said:
latest forza on pc was touted the same dx bla bla was not that great looking.

if microsoft wanted they could make win 7 and 8 dx12 already was talked about but you need to sell win 10.

im fine with that forza is just cornbread racing and id rather stay on win 7 then tablet os win 10.

thing is not seen one decent game use dx12 yet.not are much planned that utilize it to make me want to use it.when games just try and force people to use one system it puts more off than it does to upgrade to that platform. for eg if the next dirt rally or dirt 4 did that i would simple not buy it.
I remember DiRT 2 being one of the first games using DX11, but it had a DX9 mode, so I could still play it on my old pc.
I'd like to see the next DiRT game implementing DX12, but with a DX9/11 fallback for older graphics cards and operating systems. They simply won't make it DX12 only, you can be sure of that.
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JZStudios said:
And @RyuMakkuro as having played both prior games, I 100% guarantee you those shots are representative, and look great from any angle. 
Oh yes, the water and sand on the shot with the Lamborghini look great... oh, the first shot is an obvious pre-render btw. If anyone wants to know how the game actually looks, there's already gameplay out there, so no need to fake your opinion with some screenshots. I'm just saying how it is. It looks good, but not great when you start zooming in. More like you start noticing a lot of cheap tricks.

For the best looking (emphasis on looking, not anything else) open world racer you unfortunately would need to go to the last Need for Sales. Even though it's constantly wet and basically night-time only, it still looks way better than any Forza Horizon game. On top of that Forza games were always known that their graphical side wasn't the strongest one (*cough*Xbone*cough*), but their physics, and performance tuning freedom was. In short, the MP experience. They look good but they're not at the top.
dgeesi0 said:
latest forza on pc was touted the same dx bla bla was not that great looking.
Because it was a straight port from the console with upped resolution of textures, nothing more. You still had all the pre-baked shadows that were on the console side. There's literally nothing dynamic about that games graphics at all.

Also, you might want to check this list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_games_with_DirectX_12_support

There are already few great games having the support of it, or running only on it.

As to DirectX12, it's the same story as with DX11. When it came out, no one was using DX11. Now every single game that isn't a straight console port is running on it. In short, it's a matter of time until all games are DX12 or Vulkan.
TURBODEVIN19 said:
They simply won't make it DX12 only, you can be sure of that.
Given that development may take more time, they actually may do that, or go like Rise of the Tomb Raider was and code in added support for other versions later on (in this case DX11 was first and DX12 was added later, kind of feels like on force tbh). But I wouldn't be surprised if the next DiRT title would be DX12 or Vulkan only at the launch. Games on the verge of new DX version tend to have multiple versions of it but a year or two and that trend disappears completely. Again, the ever growing development time is the biggest issue, as you'll spent a lot of time coding for another API support, time that could be spent improving other things or simply adding new stuff into the game.

The biggest difference between DX12 and DX11 is not on the user-end side, but on the developer side. It allows easier access to the hardware allocation for them, so that can potentially shorten the development time but also opens up limitations that are present with DX11 (amount of draw calls for example). Another thing is that the GPU's that truly take advantage of things that DX12 provides are not that common. It's essentially the Maxwell and Pascal family from nVidia and the R9 3XX and Fury from AMD. That's a very high-end bracket for which not many developers will want to utilise features that will put a strain on the performance and be used by a general minority, when they could start implementing more advanced global illumination which enhances the visuals a lot for everyone more than some fancy fire and smoke effects.



Edit: Main site is down. Wonder what's up this time?
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gfRally said:
Maybe I can rephrase:  Programming an engine takes certain amount of resources (people/time), creating environments takes a certain amount of resources (people/time).  If the engine allows for artist to concentrate on other details that would normally need to be done by hand, is it better?  Or if there is less programming resources dedicated to the engine, and more for the artist to take care of manually, does the end result look better.  Resources are the constant, the amount of people dedicated to each side is the same.

I may be answering my own question, or not making any sense, just wanted to get some conversation going again.
I think I can answer that easily. If the resources are down to the engine aka volumetric particles, lighting etc. then it's obviously better for the development time, however they are very heavy on computing resources right now, which is why you don't see them. That means to achieve a certain level of performance in a game you need to have artist that will create details that take a lot less computing power but take more time to place.

End effect is very simple. The same shot can look from one camera angle incredibly, while from another like complete... poo.  As can be demonstrated with the last two pictures seen in this tweet:
https://twitter.com/ForzaMotorsport/status/742399232741658624
  

I am looking at these screenshots and seeing SW Battlefront type of graphics (good).  Not sure how you can see other camera angles, not picking  more curious how you are finding this.  Care to point out?  

So I understand stuff like pre-baked shadows, and I am sure I could find a lot more pre-baked if I know what I am looking for.  However are there racing games out there that are dynamic?  PCars?  You mentioned NFS what graphics/features are dynamic?  

What could be improved in DiRT Rally, if it were only the graphics parts, are they at the edge of technology?  Visuals only, what could be improved with EGO engine?  

Oh to answer my own question about sounds, it seems that they are pretty good in game.  Though not sure how dynamic they are,  DiRT Rally sound (engine?) takes a lot of Qs from physics and the cars engine.  Not really sure how many other racing games sounds are this dynamic, which I believe in this instance is the correct word. 
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gfRally said:
I am looking at these screenshots and seeing SW Battlefront type of graphics (good).  Not sure how you can see other camera angles, not picking  more curious how you are finding this.  Care to point out?  

So I understand stuff like pre-baked shadows, and I am sure I could find a lot more pre-baked if I know what I am looking for.  However are the racing games out there that are dynamic?  PCars?  You mentioned NFS what graphics/features are dynamic?  

What could be improved in DiRT Rally, if it were only the graphics parts, are they at the edge of technology?  Visuals only, what could be improved with EGO engine?  
Look at the sand and water on the Lamborghini shot. It's the same location from the sea shot. Water and sand on the Lambo shot is completely flat, but when you look at it from above, it seems to have shape. You can clearly see how the camera angle affects how the texture looks.
This means the water and the beach is just a relatively flat geometry (which shaves of insane amount of polygons) with a texture over it that makes it seem not flat from certain angles. Anisotropic filtering usually helps with achieving that effect even more.

The thing here is, that if you're not used to catching those things or simply never bothered to notice the differences, everything will seem the same to you. But once you go there, all the cheap tricks start becoming apparent and you literally start seeing them everywhere. It's one of those situations that fits with the saying "Ignorance is a blessing". However, at the same time when someone comes up with things where I can't pick up those things... hats off.

Project CARS is not running on a PBR engine (physically based rendering, google that for proper explanation) that's first, but it doesn't utilise pre-baked shadows, at least not massively. Most are dynamic, which is why it has a huge impact on performance, especially on the higher resolutions. The weather effects are also dynamic, since the tarmac takes a while before it gets wet and the puddles start creating etc.
As to NFS, I'm not 100% sure but it should generally be dynamic in grand majority, given that it has a change of time (well, from dusk to night, but enough to warrant a change from pre-baked into dynamic). It also runs on 30FPS on consoles, which suggests it's definitely running a lot more dynamic things.
However by far the best example of a racing game that has incredible amount of dynamic features in the graphical department is DriveClub. Clouds are volumetric, which means they diffuse the light that goes through them highly realistically. The solid clouds people oh so love in pCARS or Forza or whatever are usually solid geometry that has some transparency and diffusion parameters set to them, aka they diffuse light always in the same way, aka static. Then you have the rain over the cars. In most games it's just a pre-rendered image, most likely .gif  which animation is being synced with the rest (screen wipers for example). In DriveClub all the rain drops are actual geometry that has its own physics and casts its own shadow. Which is why if you're in cockpit mode, you can see the shadow of the rain that is on the windshield on the top of the dashboard. The rain drops themselves move over the car depending on how fast you go, what direction etc. Not follow just pre-calculated path like in Forza.
Another thing that DriveClub dominates over other racing games is the light rendering distance. They are rendering light from 300km away from your point. All so that you're almost getting all the possible light bounces that would affect the light at your location. This includes the light that has to go through the clouds, fog, mist, forests etc.

As with all games, there are spots that will look especially bad when compared with other areas. Those are usually areas that have underwent massive optimisation in order to maintain the level of performance, thus the lighting there is most likely simplified, pre-baked shadows are being utilised (which are very bad when it comes to dynamic camera movement) etc. There are also areas where all the "illusions" can tick in, which means you're looking at all the things on the screen from the best or close to best angle, which makes everything "pop up" more. Fanboys usually concentrate on the "pop up" spots, while haters on the "optimisation" spots. In DriveClub main "optimisation" spots are where they utilised low resolution textures, so in more than majority of times it's going to be some vegetation, a bit into the forests/fields/mountains, which you can't normally notice when racing at above 200 km/h+.

As to DR itself, they have to utilise 2D vegetation to keep the poly count and draw calls low enough, that points out how limited they are right now with their current iteration of Ego engine. PBR is the way forward, that much is obvious. Then is global illumination, but currently only some smaller forms of it are available, namely VXAO. VXGI is still too much of a performance hog to be applied in games. Generally speaking, volumetric is the way forward. However none of this will ever be applied to current DR due to yet again, engine limitations. Heck, no one has managed to found a compatibility flag to inject HBAO+ into DR.

It's a good thing that Evolution Studios joined Codemasters, since they're one of very few developers that can not only push the graphical limits but also optimise them very well. So there's a high chance we'll see some more than amazing visuals in the next Codemaster titles (exclude the F1 2016). @gfRally if you have any other questions, I think PM would be wiser, since this can become quite an "essay-like" post here that is... well, definitely off-topicy, shall we say.

@dgeesi0 You just click on the dots and on "Copy link to tweet"

https://twitter.com/dirtgame/status/742649507096186880

Also, there may be more to this than just a patch ;)
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@RyuMakkuro

ok, thanks!  I grasp most of that, and yes it it's excellent that Evo Stodios has joined CM, hope they are not COMPLETELY separate and they exchange tech.  Heck, with all of that tech, dump EGO and retrofit their engine to DiRT X.  yes easier said than done, but fun to say
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gfRally said:

Which gives a better result, a great game engine to render a lot of environment features, or a great team of environmental artist to pull off incredible scenery from very few polys.  Is a better game engine allow for more flexibility to simulate an environment, or better to have a group of artist hand tweaking for variable occasions (weather/time of day/season).
Tricky question! Speaking in general terms... With the right style, good art direction, a good engine team and good artists, you can create something that looks fantastic without needing the latest and greatest engine/features, you don't necessarily need a huge engine team and a ton of people to make something look good. There's an old saying that with good lighting, shaders and textures you can make a box look amazing but the best model in the world will look pants with bad lighting, shaders and textures. Simulation can help with asset/world creation but it's a tricky balance because simulations can sometimes be not as cool as something handcrafted so you need to have some artistic control letting you enhance and tweak things.
gfRally said:

Maybe I can rephrase:  Programming an engine takes certain amount of resources (people/time), creating environments takes a certain amount of resources (people/time).  If the engine allows for artist to concentrate on other details that would normally need to be done by hand, is it better?  Or if there is less programming resources dedicated to the engine, and more for the artist to take care of manually, does the end result look better.  Resources are the constant, the amount of people dedicated to each side is the same
The easier an engine can make for artists to place, edit , tweak and polish things the better. Hand crafting everything doesn't necessarily mean it will be better, it's down to art direction and the artists. It can make things look amazing of course, look at Uncharted 4, but it does take a lot of effort. There's not really a proper answer because you're always going to have trade offs. It's worth mentioning that doing something by hand doesn't mean it's automatically better.

In the end it comes down to what kind of game you're making and where you want to put your effort. Open world games benefit from a more simulation/procedural approach because of the scale of the environment and the amount of stuff needed to populate it (Far Cry, Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim etc) whereas more linear games like Uncharted and God of War benefit from the more hand crafted approach where you can really fill the world with detail and story telling. Uncharted 4 does an AMAZING job with their environments, the chapters that take place in Nathan and Elenas house blew my mind. When I played through the epilogue my first thought was "I want to live there". It felt real :) On the flip side, you have games like Skyrim which have big beautiful worlds and it's just not feasible to hand craft all of it, you'd be spending countless years on it. You have to be able to quickly paint in forests and vegetation (and have the game know what kind of plant goes where based on elevation and biomes so you don't get a birch tree at the top of a snowy peak), plonk down prefabs to create towns and such so you have some time left to add the hand crafted bits.

Sorry for the slightly rambling answer but it's a question with no specific answer since it depends on what you're looking to make, how much time you have, how much staff you have and what style you're going for.

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gfRally said:
I am looking at these screenshots and seeing SW Battlefront type of graphics (good).  Not sure how you can see other camera angles, not picking  more curious how you are finding this.  Care to point out?  

So I understand stuff like pre-baked shadows, and I am sure I could find a lot more pre-baked if I know what I am looking for.  However are the racing games out there that are dynamic?  PCars?  You mentioned NFS what graphics/features are dynamic?  

What could be improved in DiRT Rally, if it were only the graphics parts, are they at the edge of technology?  Visuals only, what could be improved with EGO engine?  


Project CARS is not running on a PBR engine (physically based rendering, google that for proper explanation) that's first, but it doesn't utilise pre-baked shadows, at least not massively. Most are dynamic, which is why it has a huge impact on performance, especially on the higher resolutions. The weather effects are also dynamic, since the tarmac takes a while before it gets wet and the puddles start creating etc.
Slightly Mad might disagree with that:
  • DirectX 10.1/11/12
  • Fully flexible shaders
  • Tessellation / displacement
  • Ambient cubemaps
  • Support for 1000s of lights
  • Physically-based Shading
  • Ambient occlusion
  • Crepuscular rays
  • Dynamic time-of-day with real-time transitions
  • MSAA/DS X/EQAA/FXAA
  • ...plus much more



http://www.slightlymadstudios.com/tech.html

:)
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urgaffel said:
Slightly Mad might disagree with that:
  • Physically-based Shading
My bad then. Though for a PBR engine, it looks slightly... disappointing? I don't know, there's just something about it that feels last gen, or should I say like not a PBR engine. Hard to put into words tbh. Thanks for correcting though :)
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It's quite possible that they hacked it slightly and that's why it looks off. I think that most people don't realise that it's actually quite hard to do PBR and do it well. It's so very very easy to be ever so slightly off and you end up with something that looks almost right but not quite. It also puts a lot of responsibility on the artists since they have to use physically correct values and if they don't things will look weird.
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Look at the sand and water on the Lamborghini shot. It's the same location from the sea shot. Water and sand on the Lambo shot is completely flat, but when you look at it from above, it seems to have shape. You can clearly see how the camera angle affects how the texture looks.
This means the water and the beach is just a relatively flat geometry (which shaves of insane amount of polygons) with a texture over it that makes it seem not flat from certain angles. Anisotropic filtering usually helps with achieving that effect even more.

The thing here is, that if you're not used to catching those things or simply never bothered to notice the differences, everything will seem the same to you. But once you go there, all the cheap tricks start becoming apparent and you literally start seeing them everywhere. It's one of those situations that fits with the saying "Ignorance is a blessing". However, at the same time when someone comes up with things where I can't pick up those things... hats off.

However by far the best example of a racing game that has incredible amount of dynamic features in the graphical department is DriveClub. Clouds are volumetric, which means they diffuse the light that goes through them highly realistically. The solid clouds people oh so love in pCARS or Forza or whatever are usually solid geometry that has some transparency and diffusion parameters set to them, aka they diffuse light always in the same way, aka static. Then you have the rain over the cars. In most games it's just a pre-rendered image, most likely .gif  which animation is being synced with the rest (screen wipers for example). In DriveClub all the rain drops are actual geometry that has its own physics and casts its own shadow. Which is why if you're in cockpit mode, you can see the shadow of the rain that is on the windshield on the top of the dashboard. The rain drops themselves move over the car depending on how fast you go, what direction etc. Not follow just pre-calculated path like in Forza.
Another thing that DriveClub dominates over other racing games is the light rendering distance. They are rendering light from 300km away from your point. All so that you're almost getting all the possible light bounces that would affect the light at your location. This includes the light that has to go through the clouds, fog, mist, forests etc.

As with all games, there are spots that will look especially bad when compared with other areas. Those are usually areas that have underwent massive optimisation in order to maintain the level of performance, thus the lighting there is most likely simplified, pre-baked shadows are being utilised (which are very bad when it comes to dynamic camera movement) etc. There are also areas where all the "illusions" can tick in, which means you're looking at all the things on the screen from the best or close to best angle, which makes everything "pop up" more. Fanboys usually concentrate on the "pop up" spots, while haters on the "optimisation" spots. In DriveClub main "optimisation" spots are where they utilised low resolution textures, so in more than majority of times it's going to be some vegetation, a bit into the forests/fields/mountains, which you can't normally notice when racing at above 200 km/h+.

As to DR itself, they have to utilise 2D vegetation to keep the poly count and draw calls low enough, that points out how limited they are right now with their current iteration of Ego engine. PBR is the way forward, that much is obvious. Then is global illumination, but currently only some smaller forms of it are available, namely VXAO. VXGI is still too much of a performance hog to be applied in games. Generally speaking, volumetric is the way forward. However none of this will ever be applied to current DR due to yet again, engine limitations. Heck, no one has managed to found a compatibility flag to inject HBAO+ into DR.
Alrighty, I'll try to make this quick. Basically, any game, even with 8k textures will look like crap when you get close enough, especially open world games, but let's ignore that for right now. Horizon still has some amazingly high res textures. Again, based on playing the previous two and spending a lot of time in the photo mode zooming in on things.
I definitely see some variation on the beach, but if you mean you want little sand ripples, that would mess with the physics. it would be too hard a surface and wouldn't act like sand. Not really sure what exactly you want there. This isn't spin tires and that has it's own problems.
I guess yeah, technically you're correct, much smaller more condensed maps set to be continually glossy shiny wet night time will look better, but that's not that hard. It is using the same engine as Battlefront, but I'd like to see how well it holds up on a Horizon scale.
Horizon 2 absolutely has Volumetric clouds, and rainbows that are mathematically correct. And dynamic weather that's actually based on the amount of particulates in the air, which attributes it to raining only in certain areas. Yeah, Driveclub looks good, good they do it in open world? I mean, it'd be pretty sweet (if they changed the weird physics) Also, Forza rain looks better than DC's globby jello rolling around on my windshield. Not sure about the raindrop shadows, but they're also absolutely not a static path tracing .gif. It's definitely dynamic.
Also, fairly certain that for Forza 5 they switched to PBR because they could now handle it and otherwise they have to do all sorts of lighting tricks to make white cars look right in various lighting in 4. Of which carries over to Horizon since they're using the same engine. PCars clouds are also volumetric... so...
Not sure about that light calculation thing.... I mean, Horizons light is based off it's environment, but I don't know the distance. That's kind of a weird stat to put out.
Pre-baked shadows actually aren't a problem. Not really sure why everyone thinks that. If done correctly it gives higher res shadows and there's no way to tell. As long as the objects in the scene are dynamically acted upon.
At the end of all this, I'd like to say you want a PBR workflow, and you also want HBAO+  :|
Oh yes, the water and sand on the shot with the Lamborghini look great... oh, the first shot is an obvious pre-render btw. If anyone wants to know how the game actually looks, there's already gameplay out there, so no need to fake your opinion with some screenshots. I'm just saying how it is. It looks good, but not great when you start zooming in. More like you start noticing a lot of cheap tricks.

For the best looking (emphasis on looking, not anything else) open world racer you unfortunately would need to go to the last Need for Sales. Even though it's constantly wet and basically night-time only, it still looks way better than any Forza Horizon game. On top of that Forza games were always known that their graphical side wasn't the strongest one (*cough*Xbone*cough*), but their physics, and performance tuning freedom was. In short, the MP experience. They look good but they're not at the top.
Wooh, you spent some time. First shot is not a pre render. It looks like PC, but definitely not a pre-render. I'm sorry Ryu, but you're wrong about a lot. Sure there's some optimizations, but there has to be for an open world game. We can nitpick all the same problems in GTAV or Far Cry 4, or any other large open world. Need for speed is quite small.
And I still think Forza looks way better than any of the PC sim games. Which I always find funny when the PC guys make it over to the Forza videos and say RFactor looks better. :P If anything I'd say everyone thinks the physics aren't on top, but whatever.
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Hey I wasn't trying to create a debate (again) about which raindrops are better.  :)

I was hoping to get some conversation going about EVO tech in DiRT and how much programming a dynamic environment cost as opposed to hand crafting it like we have now.

Many of us are looking for a big rewrite of EGO but I have an idea that's not exactly going to happen.  

However, I think there now is a demand for certain aspects and features to be addressed and updated. My top 2 are:. Stage length, and Camera system.  
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I'll be honest, there are a lot of times where when i see it's the long version of a stage, i sigh.

Sorry, i do love the longer stages and it would be cool to have longer still, but having the 3-5 min stages is actually really nice after a while, lets you play more without committing the time if you don't have it.

I do wonder though, is some of that because you try and get the perfect stage?  If it really was longer, would you be 'happier' to continue after an off (such as the real world)
Maybe this would tie in with the desire to have a harsher damage model that the devs took from us in the way of feedback?  Having to take less risks than we do currently?
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