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Graphics PC Games (Games) Software Entertainment Games

Conflict On Graphic Standards Hurting PC Gaming? 39

Thanks to GameSpot for their editorial discussing graphics card manufacturers, and how their race for revenue could harm PC gaming. The piece discusses the days when "3dfx's Glide standard was the only thing going", and "3dfx even secured deals with retailers to create separate sections for 3dfx-compatible games." However, the author laments: "I thought hardware-specific games were a thing of the past. Then I booted up the demo for Bridge It", an Nvidia-sponsored title which "will not run unless you have an Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti or GeForce FX graphics card installed." The article ends with a hope that "clearer heads will prevail and PC gaming can take new steps toward improving ease-of-use, not balkanizing the platform for business reasons."
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Conflict On Graphic Standards Hurting PC Gaming?

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  • by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:44PM (#7321168) Homepage Journal
    From http://www.chroniclogic.com/bridgeitfaq.htm

    Q: Why does Bridge It only run on NVIDIA video cards?

    A: Bridge It is a collaboration of three great companies - NVIDIA, Auran and Chronic Logic. As much fun as Bridge It is to play, it was also developed as a great technology showcase for NVIDIA and Auran. Bridge It was designed to utilize NVIDIA hardware and the Auran Jet software to achieve its outstanding visual quality. We would like Bridge It to work on all cards (obviously), but Bridge It was specifically designed as graphics demo to show off NVIDIA graphics cards. Bridge It is based on Chronic Logic's game Bridge Construction Set. Bridge Construction Set has very similar game play as Bridge It and supports all brands of OpenGL video cards, you can check it out here.

    Q: What role did NVIDIA, Auran and Chronic Logic each play in the development of Bridge It?

    A: Bridge It is the brainchild of Chronic Logic. Bridge It's design is based on Chronic Logic's game Bridge Construction Set. Auran's artists and programmers, armed with the Auran Jet software engine, consulted with Chronic Logic to transform the original Bridge Construction Set into a new gaming experience. NVIDIA joined these two companies together and provided its 3D graphics expertise, as well as moral support, and turned Bridge It into one of the most compelling 3D games on the market today.

    Q: How is Bridge It different from Bridge Construction Set?

    A: Bridge It is a much more graphic-intense version of BCS. While the gameplay in Bridge It and BCS is similar, the intended audiences for the two games are slightly different. Bridge It was designed with casual gamers in mind and is designed for gamers of all skill levels. BCS is slightly more flexible and challenging and is geared towards the more experienced gamer. Hence, the change of name of BCS to Bridge It (and not BCS 2). See below for more information.

    Q: Will your future games require NVIDIA cards?

    A: No, Bridge It's graphics are based on technology developed by Auran and NVIDIA. Our current projects are all OpenGL based and will run on all brands of OpenGL cards. They will also support Linux and OSX. However our current projects will look great on NVIDIA cards, because of their excellent developer support.

    Q: I understand that Chronic Logic was not involved in the decision to develop Bridge It for NVIDIA cards only. I understand that Chronic Logic did not sell their souls. I understand that without NVIDIA's participation Bridge It would not exist. I understand that serious problems face this world such as wars, nuclear proliferation, world hunger, and Ben and J-Lo's wedding. However I still want to write Chronic Logic and complain about Bridge It (a game developed for NVIDIA) only working on NVIDIA cards. I also want to tell them I will no longer support them by purchasing their products even if I never did (if you have purchased games from Chronic Logic, we appreciate your support very much and feel free to send us your comments). I understand that everyday I purchase products from huge corporations that exploit other humans worldwide while destroying the environment, but I think Chronic Logic is worse and deserves my personal attention. I want to tell Chronic Logic I am so pissed off I won't even support them by pirating their games anymore, what can I do?

    A: Then please send your comments to hatemail@chroniclogic.com
  • DirectX (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CowboyMeal ( 614487 )
    Isn't this the whole reason DirectX came along? I remember trying to get games to work in the DOS days, is that what we're reverting to?
    • Umm, no DirectX was not the first. I'm pretty sure it was SGI's OpenGL, but it may have been WinG or WinToon instead. (It's been a while)

      DirectX!? If you want it to only work on windows, then yea, go for it. Otherwise use OpenGL.

      Sound is a little trickier, but DirectSound isn't exactly all that and a bag of biscuits. Doesn't Creative Labs pretty much dominate the SoundCard industry?

      Reversion? No, we already see diverging codepaths, for instance D3 has different codepaths depending upon the card. On
  • I mean honestly, if some of the prettier features get turned off on the GF4Ti (because they don't have the extras in the FX) how many lines of code need to be changed to get it to run in low-quality mode on a Radeon?

    This is a "marketing alliance" at its best, and just rubs me the wrong way.

    • The Radeon would use standard HLSL code, whereas I'm sure the FX code is all nvidia specific custom stuff. So, while it would be more effort than just replace a few lines I believe most of the Radeon cards have all the rendering extensions the FX line has anyway.
  • by gauauu ( 649169 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:54PM (#7321284)

    This whole story should be modded as -1, RTFFAQ.

    The game was made primarly as a graphics demo for NVIDIA cards. It makes sense, then, that it should be for NVIDIA cards, no?

    From the Bridge It FAQ [chroniclogic.com]:
    Bridge It was specifically designed as graphics demo to show off NVIDIA graphics cards.

    • The game was made primarly as a graphics demo for NVIDIA cards. It makes sense, then, that it should be for NVIDIA cards, no?

      Given that nVidia has tweaked its drivers [hwextreme.com] specifically to make the drivers aware of when the computer was running 3DMark 2003, in order to use specially-optimized code specific to the 3DMark tests to boost its cards' benchmark scores, I'm not surprised that nVidia decided to bankroll development of software to show off its cards... certainly the benchmarks don't show them in a part

  • Ummm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Violet Null ( 452694 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @03:58PM (#7321325)
    It's a game that wouldn't exist without NVidia's financing. That is, and I'll speak slowly, it was paid for by NVidia. It's basically an advertisement for them, disguised as a game. What's the big deal?

    NVidia can (and obviously will) do this. ATI can do this. But, really, will any game manufacturer who is not taking money from either ATI or NVidia do this? No. And even if they [valve.com] are taking money from one side, they still won't chop themselves off at the knees in terms of units sold if they've got a marketable game.
    • Without NVidia's financing, it would be called "Bridge Construction Set", and be available through Chronic Logic's web site.
    • Yeah, I don't see the issue either. From the standpoint of this particular small, independend shareware developer this kind of marketing deal makes perfect sense.

      And if any of you fellow engineering geeks do have Nvidia cards, I highly recommend this game, and the rest of the series of bridge building [chroniclogic.com] games that ChronicLogic produced. Definitely a neat concept for a puzzle game.

      (I am not affiliated with Chronic Logic in any way)
  • A company that creates games only for one card deserves to go bankrupt. Let them hurt I say.

    Valve is an example of an excellent company that codes for more than one platform, and FIRST coded along a non-optimized path. Changes to the graphics engine came AFTER they wrote the game.

    DOOM III is supposed to be OGL 2. That's just about as non-hardware specific as you can get.
  • ATI Wrapper (Score:5, Informative)

    by aliens ( 90441 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @04:29PM (#7321640) Homepage Journal
    There are wrappers to run NVidia's vaunted demos out there on ATI cards (Better too)

    The D3D wrapper might make this game playable with few tweaks.
  • from someone developing their game in DirectX, thereby making it Windows-only?

    Let's let gamers decide which game runs for what system...as they did with 3dfx. No need to whine about it here.
  • I think someone did this with the dawn demo and hacked it to work on ATI cards. Is anyone hacking bridge it?

    As far as the whole ati vs. nvida thing. Im not suprised that nvidia did this, but if thats the case, bridge it should be reguarded as only an ad and nothing else.

    Even more, i've owned cards from both companies. I have found that ati cards although faster, tend to be less stable and more buggy than nvida cards. Other people may have other opinions, thats my experience.
  • Having visited the company's website...
    Having downloaded the Video and watched it...
    Having downloaded the demo and played it...

    All I can say is...... *yawn*

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong