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Top Technologies of Next-Gen Gaming

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  • by FroopY (873182) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:48PM (#24881909)
    Procedural generation can be used for anything from models to textures to AI. In the case of textures it gives games the ability to generate them on the fly, allowing variation each time - so you can do things like making a different pattern of spots for a creature each time one is loaded. This also saves you storage space as each texture does not need to be kept on the drive, but comes at the cost of some processing power and RAM from generating everything and storing all the information in memory (for an extreme example check out http://www.theprodukkt.com/kkrieger [theprodukkt.com], a game in 96k).

    MegaTextures on the other hand are a way of reducing memory requirements by only loading the needed parts of a giant texture - so rather than have say 20 different ground textures loaded into memory it only grabs the part of the texture corresponding to the ground that's currently in the player's view. The texture file itself still takes up a lot of storage space. You can also use the texture to let the game know what kind of surface a player is walking on - say if you wanted to slow down movement when running over sand or something it's easy to do by checking which part of the texture you're loading.

    Each has it's own benefits and applications, and it's not like using one precludes the other. They both provide ways of making textures unique and non-repeating but this is only a part of what they can do.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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