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Guerrilla: Gaming Will Be Very Different In Ten Years

Killzone 2 blew us all away earlier this year and by the way, it just won Best Competitive Multiplayer Game of 2009 at GameSpot. Guerrilla Games really pushed the envelope but those talented guys can push it even further...the question is, where will we end up ten years from now?

Guerrilla's Jan-Bart van Beek spoke on this issue in a recent interview, and he reminds us that it's difficult to predict what will happen in this industry. Everything is advancing at such a ridiculously rapid rate that what we recognize now as video games may be scoffed at in a decade...kinda like what we do now. Here's what van Beek had to say concerning the future of technology:

"What technology will bring in ten years is hard to predict. Character pipelines and software from ten years ago look nothing like their current-day counterparts, and the character pipelines and software we’ll be using in ten years will look nothing like what we use today.

If I have to make a prediction, it’s that we will witness the debut of a break-through technology like ZBrush. Hopefully, it will be a technology that bridges the gap between modeling and texturing, as the state of this area is still less than ideal at the moment. I also hope that volumetric pixels with rich material data (which are at the heart of ZBrush) will become possible as a real-time format. I honestly can’t wait to get rid of all the baking, downsizing, and polygon-reduction techniques we currently use."

Guerrilla has already said they didn't use the full potential of the PlayStation 3 and we're all assuming they're cranking away on Killzone 3 right now. Some of you who are more technically inclined than others will understand his comments about "volumetric pixels and rich material data," along with the mention of ZBrush and if so, feel free to explain it to the confused. I'm not going to do it; I simply don't have the time. ...really, that's the reason.

Related Game(s): Killzone 2

12/21/2009 9:04:56 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (34 posts)

blitz30952
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 9:33:41 PM
Reply

"...really, that's the reason." heehee :P

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JcBball717
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 10:34:52 PM
Reply

AVATAR!! I WANNA GO TO PANDORA

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:47:07 AM

Not in its game you don't.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/22/2009 12:47:14 AM

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Highlander
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 10:40:27 PM
Reply

I am absolutely NOT an expert in this material. I did a quick bit of reading and this is what I found.

An ordinary image is made up of a grid of pixels. A pixel on a modern computer is usually a 24bit value that defines the color. Pixels are laid on on a 2D grid, they represent a completely flat space.

Volumetric pixels extend this concept adding depth information. Volumetric pixels, or voxels, represent a 3D image map (or space) rather than a 2D image map. Each voxel contains the color information, as well as the depth of the pixel, and it's opacity. The depth (how close to the 'front' the voxel is)and opacity (how transparent the voxel is) information is used to assist in processing the image to it's final form, allowing objects that are hidden behind others to be rendered properly.

Zbrush - from what I could understand, is a 3D modeling tool extends this concept and includes additional data with each voxel that describes the material properties of that voxel and the object it represents. Basically each voxel not only represents the image, but the also the physical properties of that specific point in in the object being modeled. The final render produces an image, but the underlying model isn't stored as images, it's stored as a model that is rendered dynamically.

I don't know whether this is something that they could use in a game, or if it's more a development tool. It looks to me much more like a development tool than anything else.

It seems kinda like this is the 'rocket science' of 3D modeling and game development.

Trying to wrap my brain around this felt uncomfortably close to the feeling I imagine a slice of lemon would have when it's being wrapped around a brick.

Last edited by Highlander on 12/21/2009 10:43:01 PM

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kevinater321
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 11:08:07 PM

I don't get it.

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kevinater321
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 11:08:32 PM

but thanks for trying :)

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___________
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 11:55:02 PM

its just simply using 3D pixels for rendering, where game developers normally use 2D pixels and stretch them out and apply effects to make them look 3D

like allot of graphical effects used these days, are not what they seem like, just tricks to make it look that way.
like it you watch the GOW3 demo closely, you can tell kratos ripping out the trolls eye is not rendered in real time.
doing that would take a immense amount of time, skill and processing power.
one of the benefits of talking graphical designer classes.

thats the only area graphically wise i can think of where we could improve.
move everything into real time, and use volumetric pixels instead of 2D pixels slapped onto a 3D background.
but when you think about it, how much more can we do?
i mean the gow3 demo looks absolutely freaking amazing.
i cant imagine a game looking better than that.

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:28:13 AM

@anon
ZBrush is more than 3D pixels, it's not just color, depth and opacity, there are other attributes.

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___________
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 6:26:17 AM

sorry i should clarify, by that post i was only talking about Volumetric pixels and how they would advance todays games.
ZBrush i have not touched on yet.

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 10:48:29 AM

Gotcha. Sorry this is new to me and not my field, so I'm hitting the learning curve hard.

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ohmikkie
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 11:16:13 AM

Yep Voxels instead of multi-layering textures; which would mean more memory, bus bandwidth and GPU support.

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___________
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 @ 6:20:38 AM

yea same with me.
i just started graphical design second semester this year and in my first test........
well i did not do well thats for sure.
its interesting though im really glad i chose it, but DAM its hard to understand and even worse to remember.

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___________
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 11:48:55 PM
Reply

when i think about it volumetric pixels and such is really the only way we could improve on recent games in a technical sense.
thats why crysis looked so good and STILL looks so good today, because it used volumetric pixels instead of using 2d pixels slapped onto a 3D background.

story wise, fun wise, immersion wise we have a long way to god heavy rain should shed light onto that subject.
but when it comes to graphics and technoligical wise i cant see where we can go from here.
i mean the amount of post effects killzone 2 is running is baffling.
made me crap my pants with all the particle effects going off after a explosion.
truly remarkable!
but hey only time will tell.
im saying now uncharted 2 has reached near perfection graphical wise and GOW3, heavy rain, RAGE, crysis 2 are all lining up to beat that.
so maybe there is room for graphical improvements?

but really who cares?
this industry is far to heffed up on graphics these days thats why gameplay has gone down the sh*tter!
99% of games these days, the gameplay is so repetitive and boring.
the industry has forgotten that storyline fun factor and gameplay are far, far, FAR! more important than graphics.
a game with great storyline, great fun factor, great gameplay but crap graphics can still be a great game.
but a game with crap storyline, crap fun factor, crap gameplay but absolutely stunning graphics can not be a great game.

O another thing i would like to see improved, and often gets ignored is sound effects.
to me there more important with graphics.
battlefield bad company had THE BEST! gun and explosion effects.
fire a machine gun sounds like a machine gun, fire a rifle it sounds like a rifle, fire a pistol it sounds like a pistol.
and than the explosions, there was the initial BANG! than you could hear the shrapnel flying around like wood hitting the walls.
BRILLIANT!
just like how its compulsory to make games in HD (normally) i wished sony, M$ made it compulsory to create games in DTS.
games allways sound better in DTS.
like burnout paradise before the trophy patch, it sounded absolutely fu**ing fantastic and it was in DTS!
after the patch they dubbed it down to Dolby digital and sounded no where near as good.
another 2 perfect examples.
look at the 2 best sounding movies wanted and the dark night.
they both use 7.1 Dolby true surround sound!

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Qubex
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:01:41 AM

Problem is, when you experience Pandora in Avatar, the way it should be experienced; what you wanna do is play in similar game worlds boosting the same levels of photo realism and resolution as one experiences in the film... of course the game mechanics need to work, and the game itself needs to be well designed and satisfying to play. It still needs to be a good game... but I think GG would like to be creating game worlds such as Pandora for us to merrily shoot the Helgahst :)

Q!

"i am home"

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:32:03 AM

Didn't GG use the SPEs on the Cell for the post processing? That seems to be the key onn the PS3 for the best game engines. NG make extensive use of the SPEs for rendering work as well.

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___________
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 6:19:56 AM

yea they did.
i remember them saying most of the time their using 70% of the SPUs but there are times where they are maxed out.
but the post processing effects seriously blew me away with that game.
the SPUs are incrediably fast, even stig assmussen from santa monica said that if you want to make your game run really well you need to optimize the SPUs properly.
thats what SA and ND did, took all the effects, everything the SPUs could handle and threw it onto the SPUs, so they can clear up the PPE for mathematical calculations like the physics.

this is why games ported to the ps3 run poorly because everything is dumped onto the PPE and it cant handle it, it needs the SPUs to piggy back it if you will.
also, you need to use the SPUs to back up the RSX seeing that by itself its not as strong as the 360s GPU, but thats the point the RSX was built in conjunction with the cell to work together.
i know this is a sensitive topic, but graphically wise the only thing i would change with KZ2 is ADD SOME GOD DAM COLOR!
but look at the sand storms in killzone 2 it was amazing, you can almost pick out the particles.
normally when games do things like that its hazy does not look good, even the nuclear blast was incredible.
technologically wise killzone 2 was perfect, well worth the wait.
gameplay wise is a different story :(

Last edited by ___________ on 12/22/2009 6:23:52 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:43:30 PM

As a hardware geek, it's a pleasure to read a comment from someone who get's the architecture in the PS3, it's taken nearly three years for that to happen, but I'm glad it has. I think if you ask the Sony engineers they will say that they have always pushed this idea of using the SPEs to supplement/compliment RSX, but few outside of Sony listened.

From a hardware standpoint with RSX being the memory controller, along with the bus architecture makes it crystal clear that the Cell and RSX are supposed to work hand in hand.

Great comments.

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___________
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 @ 6:18:17 AM

yea but thats the problem.
developers really cant be stuffed doing that because its really extra work, and they cant do anything like that on the 360.

if developers of multiplatform games did that for the PS3 version of there games we would be in for a treat, and the differences from the ps3 and 360 versions of games would be through the roof.
only if.

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Qubex
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 11:50:10 PM
Reply

TheHighlander; the problem is the huge amount of processing you need to actual render voxel-based pixel depth information in real-time.

Actually it can be done quite easily, but at very low resolutions. Heck, the Commodore Amiga 1200 managed to do it at a resolution of 320x240 in a monochromatic sort of way (or rather single colour with shading effects to give the voxel shape and depth). At least it was a better method than doping a 14MHz machine (with limited GPU bandwidth) to try and run a "chunky to planar" routine without any hardware to support it... anyway remember Alien Breed 3D from Team 17 on the Commodore CD32?

I think GG is 100% correct, the Cells and RSXs of the future will not have too much of a problem doing this. I think even the current nVidia's 295's and ATI 5xx series could do some impressive Voxel-based renders if coded for and optimised for their multi-core computational structure; i think resolution and refresh is the bottleneck. You need huge amounts of bandwidth if I am not mistaken.

What GG wants to do is have highly detailed voxel-rendered imagery, complex environments with an insane amount of detail to make it look natural, but to do this; well we just can't do it to the level they want. Taking into consideration light-based radioscopic effects and how dynamic radiosity can make a scene look like "reality", the kind of calculations required are huge. You may as well get rid of polygon counts completely, and go the "Nurbs" route.

Even the next generation will not be able to do it properly. Intel, and other industry players like nVidia/ATI, are looking "real-time" based rendering in the future; real CGI quality - Avatar style... this is where game engines want to get to. Now whether we can do it for the next generation, I doubt it. Maybe on a PC rig; where you can go to town on tri and quad SLI GPU setups with huge amounts of memory required for colour depth, complexity of models and resolution... it's a possibility.

We will get there, but on a console, that may be tough even for next generation hardware. What's the greatest technical problem the PS3 has? Memory of course, or the lack of it.

Cell and RSX currently are very powerful, especially if optimised for as we have seen for both KZ2 and Uncharted; but the lack of memory will always be its achillies heal.

Q!

"i am home"


Last edited by Qubex on 12/21/2009 11:59:03 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:30:12 AM

Yeah, it did seem like the processing required was at least an order of magnitude greater than we currently have.

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___________
Monday, December 21, 2009 @ 11:56:02 PM
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funny how he does not mention 3D ay?

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Qubex
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:02:28 AM

That is a very good point Anonymous! ...or anything to do with virtual reality...

Q!

"i am home"

Last edited by Qubex on 12/22/2009 12:02:51 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:33:29 AM

Does he have to? If their modeling in 3D, then shouldn't the models be sufficient for an appropriate game engine to generate 3D imagery?

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___________
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 6:15:53 AM

no i was talking about sonys new 3D TVs.
having the images coming at you.
one thing im positive or at least hopeful is killzone 3 will have 3D support where bullets fly at ya, just like going to the IMAX.
dunno if they can do things like that, but if they did that would be sooooooooooooooo COOL!

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 10:51:32 AM

That would be very cool. Especially with any explosions raining debris, you'd really flinch when something went bang in 3D...

I remember way back when I first started playing racing games I would lean with the turn. When Doom first came out a group of friends and I would play it in a darkened room, and as nuts as it sounds now, we'd actually flinch or jump when a monster appeared around a corner right in front of us.

3D gaming will take all of that literally to a new dimension. The faint of heart need not apply. LOL!

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___________
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 @ 6:15:16 AM

ha i still do that today while playing the GT academy time trial.
ive never been able to play doom 3 in the dark with the speakers on, just scares the crap out of me.
i wish ID would hurry up and release doom 4.
if there was only one game i could play for the rest of my life its that.
the daddy of FPS and the daddy of scaring the sh*t out of me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 12:48:55 AM
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I totally understand everything he was talking about and can't wait to see what they can do with KZ3. They should get to work on it to get it out before Modern Warfare 16 arrives.

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Banky A
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 2:17:38 PM

16...

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Zorigo
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 10:12:26 AM
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i'm suddenly very interested in killzone 3. one complaint, its very brown.

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Banky A
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 2:19:10 PM
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Yusss, Killzone 3.

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calculator
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 4:14:56 PM
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I miss Killzone 2....
I let my dad borow it.....
Good times.... good times...

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Qubex
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 7:35:06 PM

Its just bad ass, there is no other description...

Q!

"i am home"

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Banky A
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 @ 12:09:25 AM

Talking calculator...
Good times.. good times...

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Solid Fantasy
Tuesday, December 22, 2009 @ 11:01:41 PM
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This is a very interesting article. I enjoyed reading the comments. Hell I might even have understood some of them!

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