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First Person Shooters (Games)

Half-Life 2 - Lost Coast Details 69

Posted by Zonk
from the too-much-flare!-i-can't-see! dept.
Eurogamer.com has some more details on the mini-expansion cum tech demo that is "The Lost Coast". The release will be specifically for high-end PCs, and is intended to show off the places that Valve can stretch the Source technology into. From the article: "If you jump out of a dark space into a light area you're going to be blinded. It's going to be really bright until your eyes adjust. It can be used the other way around, too. Hide from a monster in a dark area and it will take a couple of seconds to go from a silhouette to detail..."
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Half-Life 2 - Lost Coast Details

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  • wtf... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Lord Graga (696091)
    ...HL2 cum tech-demo... Some perverts seems to have been poking with the physic engine again ;P
  • Flashbangs... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nos. (179609)
    If you jump out of a dark space into a light area you're going to be blinded. It's going to be really bright until your eyes adjust Is this really any different than flashbang grenades we've seen in CS?
    • Re:Flashbangs... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Grygonos (848602) on Monday April 11, 2005 @12:28PM (#12202383)
      Actually yes it is...I can't remember specifics.. but I had the misfortune of watching Attack of the Show on what used to be TechTV. They previewed the technology and it was quite amazing. The light is just hotter (if you understand hot in terms of light) than light without that technology. Very interesting stuff, but hard to describe until you see it.The flashbang effect is a whiteout, that fades back in. this is totally different.
    • Re:Flashbangs... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ford Prefect (8777) on Monday April 11, 2005 @12:32PM (#12202443) Homepage
      Is this really any different than flashbang grenades we've seen in CS?

      Yes. Very different.

      I've posted links to it before, but here's a great demonstration of high-dynamic-range lighting [daionet.gr.jp], albeit taken to GPU-bullying extremes.

      Basically, lighting in current games has very little range. A seemingly 'dark' room may actually be only slightly dimmer than the bright summer day 'outside'; in the case of lightmaps, it goes from 0 (pitch black) to 255 (as bright as possible). If you've had any experience with photography, you'll know that real life has a much greater range - for example, this [hylobatidae.org] was several thousand times brighter than this [hylobatidae.org].

      HDR can give back that variation, with lightmaps (or whatever) done with floating point, for a lighting range of 'well, lots'. Various post-processing effects are possible, such as 'bloom' and true motion-blur (specular highlights don't get turned into grey for each sub-frame) - basically, it's a much more realistic model of how light works.

      Because output to the monitor is still 0-255 per channel, it gives the player an 'eye' which automatically adjusts to the ambient brightness. So, if you immediately step from a bright, sunny day into a dark monastery (for example), your eyes will need time to adjust.

      Hmm. Someone needs to do a Thief-style game with HDR... ;-)
      • Heh, I recognise the statue in the first photo - I have lunch in that park with friends most days when it's that sunny :-)

        • Heh, I recognise the statue in the first photo - I have lunch in that park with friends most days when it's that sunny :-)

          Heh. I used to walk underneath the arch on the way to (and from) work, so I've seen it in a rather wide range of different weather conditions. Usually damp; it is Belgium after all.

          (And I still reckon City 17 was partially inspired by Brussels [hylobatidae.org], and guess who went on a Grand Texture Expedition before HL2 was announced...)
      • Re:Flashbangs... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by smallguy78 (775828)
        It's not been mentioned that HDR effects aren't going to be visible on flatscreen lcd screens, because of the limitations of the brightness scales they can display.

        More details: here [extremetech.com]
        • It's not been mentioned that HDR effects aren't going to be visible on flatscreen lcd screens, because of the limitations of the brightness scales they can display.

          I'm not entirely sure where you're going to get those magical extra bits of additional brightness on a conventional CRT - unless it's a Special HDR Display (tm) with Hyper-Eye-Piercing-O-Matic-Brightness (R) you'll effectively just be splitting that 0-255 range into further sub-levels.

          Which would be nice, but a 24-bit output is probably good e
      • Those effects are very impressive. One thing that happened that I was completely unprepared for is that when I looked at a few of the screenshots with really bright areas, my reflex was to squint my eyes.

        Given that I'm currently on an all-white background screen and it really isn't that bright, I think that means that they just did such a good job on faking the eye effects in those screenshots that my brain was fooled.
    • well, not exactly.

      with this thing.. if you're in a bright spot it's harder for you to see into the shadows. dynamic range or something is what they call the tech.

      but it's mostly hot steam if it doesn't come into play in gameplay(and in gameplay so that you'd rather keep the details high than low to see everywhere).

      they make it sound as if hl2 would have been a better game if it would have had better graphics.. bzz wrong. the graphics were excellent, choice in how to get forward didn't exist. that, not th
  • by mc_barron (546164) on Monday April 11, 2005 @12:07PM (#12202080) Homepage
    Perchance I am mistaken, but where are these "amazing" screenshots? Oh that's right, they're in the magazine that I have to buy to view.

    So what do I call an article that raves about something that I can only actually see if I pay money? An advertisement.

    How about we start labeling this fluff for what it is?
  • Concept Sketches (Score:4, Informative)

    by karn096 (807073) on Monday April 11, 2005 @12:09PM (#12202110)
    Theres some concept sketches up on IGN heres the link http://media.pc.ign.com/media/492/492830/imgs_1.ht ml [ign.com] the concept sketches are in the center..the others I believe are just typical halflife2
  • High-End PCs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mumpsman (836490) on Monday April 11, 2005 @12:13PM (#12202157)
    The release will be specifically for high-end PCs

    Great! I look forward to playing this in 5 years when the components become affordable. That is if Steam is still running...
    • "By the time Skynet became self-aware it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms; everywhere. It was software; in cyberspace. There was no system core; it could not be shutdown. The attack began at 6:18 PM, just as he said it would. Judgment Day" replace All 'Skynet' with 'Steam'
    • I'll be enjoying it as soon as it's released on the computer I purchased with my measly salary.

      Meanwhile, if Halflife is any indication, HL2 will still be going strong in 5 years.
  • ...I'd play Doom 3.
    Hopefully Valve will make this concept work for the game, rather than the game work for the concept, which is what id was guilty of.
    • I do wish that Valve used id's engines, or that they would work together. A Linux HL3, done right, would be nice.

      Doom 3 doesn't actually do this, it just does dynamic shadows, AFAIK. But everything's so dark that you'd barely notice HDR.

      Anyhow, they already HAVE the game. It's called Half-Life 2. Whatever they do with the concept, I doubt that they will ruin a game that they already have.
  • Interesting... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wowbagger (69688) on Monday April 11, 2005 @01:00PM (#12202867) Homepage Journal
    I've been saying for some time I'd like to see a FPS incorporate light discipline and sound discipline - in other words, standing in a doorway with bright light behind you makes you a good target for the bad guys, waving your flashlight around needlessly lets the bad guys know where you are, making lots of noise lets the bad guys know where you are....

    Imagine having to dive from a brightly lit room into a dark room quickly (in order to not get shot when you are in the door), then having to wait for a while to let your eyes adjust, then flipping a light switch and watching the bad guys shoot out the lights....
    • I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but didn't THIEF do exactly what you're asking (light/sound discipline)?

      What concerns me in terms of gameplay is that rather than design compelling content, we'll see a bunch of levels where the UV level changes eratically, making it difficult to see what's going on. Such a thing will make the game difficult to play, but not necessarily make the game entertaining or intriguing.
    • am I the only one who on first reading thought that it read ...

      "I'd like to see a FPS incorporate light discipline and sound bondage"
  • by ivan256 (17499) * on Monday April 11, 2005 @01:32PM (#12203296)
    If you jump out of a dark space into a light area you're going to be blinded. It's going to be really bright until your eyes adjust. It can be used the other way around, too.

    It seems to me that in real life, it's not the ambient light where your are that causes your eyes to react, but how bright what you're looking at is. Why should it make any difference that you've moved from/to a dark/well-lit area if you're still looking at the same object that is still illuminated the same way?
    • dont you remember in school, going out for recess and being blinded? or vice versa? Thats all ambient light, unless you're staring in to the sun.
    • The ambient light does have an effect - ever looked at the stars for a long time, out away from the lights of cities? What you're looking directly at has more colour, but isn't as bright. Colour is percieved by whatever part of your eye sees what's right in front of you, intensity is noticed in your peripheral vision.

  • They can adjust the gamma.

    Seriously, I'm assuming this is going to be cooler than the description.

    What they described was just adjusting a global gamma based on some simple relation with a running average of light levels.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:1, Redundant)

      by technopinion (469686)
      That's what I was thinking too. I can picture it now, a bunch of programmers and artists are sitting around congratulating themselves on how they used multiple layers and all kinds of mathematical magic to make the fps view adjust to the light levels, and then some smarty-pants pipes up and says "hey, I was just thinking, why didn't we just adjust the gamma?" and everyone else goed "Doh!"
    • Re:Wow... (Score:1, Informative)

      It's not simple gamma adjusting. It's HDR. Big difference. http://www.daionet.gr.jp/~masa/rthdribl/index.html
    • It sounds silly, but in action the effect is very nice and looks significantly better.

      It's just one of those things you have to see in action...
  • by IIDX (873577)
    Great, maybe doom3 can take note of this and make your flashlight worth a damn.

    I can't shoot them since I've got my flashlight out, but at least I can blind them!

    Oh wait, it only worked for a couple seconds, munch.
    • It's only really dark in the beginning. Zombies die with two or three flashlight hits in the beginning, and they have to get lucky to hit you.

      If they were blind, they wouldn't have a chance.

      Of course, I'd rather build the flashlight into my chainsaw. They can't see me until the blade hits their eyeball!
  • Sounds great... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by brkello (642429)
    for single player. Sounds like something that everyone would turn off in multiplayer though so they can show of their l33t skillz. That and turn up brightness so there isn't any shadows, increase thier POV range, and turn off all graphical prettyness so that they can run at 700 fps.
  • HDR's been done (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lucia_Inverse (626540)
    you can see the night and day diffrence HDR makes by loading up farcry 1.31 and entering the HDR lighting command in the console with a geforce 6 series card. also you can google for screenshots
  • Just please say it won't have the bloom effect that we seem to see in every screenshot nowadays... it's okay once in a while, but playing a video game where every frame looks like a capture from "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" can get annoying.
  • Everquest (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kaenneth (82978)
    Everquest had the player characters 'eyes' adjust for many years now, when you step into a cave, the brightness slowly rises, when you step out, the glare slowly fades...
  • It just occurred to me that the true goal shouldn't be showing the world as "Gordon" (or whoever) sees it with motion blur and all, but to create a real environment, where _our_ eyes create the motion blur. Now that would be realism.
  • Does anywhere know which files, with the exception of config files, contain player information such as username, maps used or IP assignments. I'm curious as to what type of information is being stored in my game directory.
  • Okay, given that my 2.5 ghz machine won't be up to this - are there any alternative expansion packs I can download and play that are in a 90% finished state?
  • Strategies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm (591458) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @12:50PM (#12214190) Journal
    Advanced lighting introduce a lot of new gaming strategies that correspond to real life.

    How about having a level wherein a realistic sun moves over time (as it gets towards night). Shadows will move, causing good sniping spots to come and go. On a bright day, you might even want to sit in a corner right near the sun, so anyone looking towards you will be blinded as you snipe em.

    A new function key could be added as well. How about closing your eyes so that you don't get blinded, or perhaps so that you can adjust for an upcoming dark room. Maybe a "shades" item might come in handy.

    A lot of real-life tactical situations can evolve around light and shadows, so they would definately add a lot to FPS games, and perhaps even other genres such as RTS (moving in for the kill when the sun is positioned so that you have shadow from a mountain, etc)

Your own mileage may vary.

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