Video games naming trend

Need For Speed Undercover, Shift 2 Unleashed, UFC Undisputed, Ridge Racer Unbounded, Tony Hawk Underground, Sonic Unleashed, Tomb Raider Underworld, Mortal Kombat: Unchained, Rock Band Unplugged


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Gamma control is useless…

…with wrong screen settings.

You probably know that Gamma control among the whole production chain (3rd party tools, level builder, final platform rendering on monitor, …) is a hot and recurrent presentation topic in Game Developer Conferences & Co (I recommend Naughty Dog’s one at GDC10, fairly basic but well illustrated and understandable).

But, here is an extract from the Crytek ‘s Crysis key rendering features document:

“Any color/contrast/brightness differences are most likely due to an improper HDMI setup for the user’s display. To ensure a correct set-up, the user can follow these simple steps:

  1. If the TV supports HDMI 1.3 or higher:
    • 360: pick “Expanded” in console dashboard display setup, in reference levels
    • Ps3: enable “RGB full range” in console display setup
    • If incorrect settings are used, the brightness calibration icon might be always visible (too bright), resulting in a lack of contrast (insufficient darks) and visible (color) banding. This very likely also means the TV does NOT support HDMI 1.3 and higher, or is not properly detected by hardware.
  2. If the TV does not support HDMI 1.3 or higher:
    • 360: pick “Standard” on console dashboard display setup, in reference levels
    • Ps3: disable “RGB Full range” in console display setup
    • If the user has the wrong setting, the brightness calibration icon will always not be visible, or almost invisible, resulting in crushed darks.
  3. Another common mistake from users is not picking the correct resolution to match the display’s native resolution, resulting in an additional image upsample from the TV. If the display monitor’s native resolution is 1080p, the user should pick it as default on either XBox 360 or PS3.

This is something I didn’t know, as a rendering programmer, so I guess most players don’t too… It’s curious if consoles can’t retrieve HDMI protocol version used by the display they are connected on and automatically choose te correct settings.

Now, all I have to do is to find the detailed specifications of my old LG 26LC45 to know if HDMI 1.3 is supported or not…that sounds like an impossible task. Anyone can help ? ;)


::Games:: Shift 2 Unleashed, so am I

I’ve crushed on the new Shift 2 Unleashed, the hidden and unrecognized son of Need for Speed series.
After lot of hours played, I’m convinced this is really the racing game I was looking for many years (since Project Gotham Racing 3 and Xbox 360 launch actually), perfectly balanced between Arcade & Simulation.

I like its cars physic. Slightly Mad Studios did a great job. The game progression is fluid and pleasant, I don’t feel obliged to participate to competitions with race mode I don’t care just to buy better vehicle like a lot other racing games do. Even basic cars are fun to play. “Fun”, that’s the final keyword.

The graphic realization is also wonderful. Developers have understood that the cars must not take all the polygons, details and effects of the frame, environments & circuits also needs them. I just wonder if the rendering pipeline technology is exclusively forward, fully deferred or light pre-pass and I hope to see one day some technical articles or presentations of their engine.

To close this post, you may have read that the developer is in trouble, I hope things will be ok so we could expect a great Shift 3 (cause the perfection could always be perfected ;) ). If EA have to choose another studio for the IP they created brilliantly, we may not expect so much…


::Tool:: introducing GPU observer gagdet

A windows Vista/7 gadget by orbmuk2 that can display various GPU informations in real-time, directly on your desktop, like occupied VRAM amount…very useful to detect when something goes wrong into you program, constantly allocating graphic memory ;-)

The gadget page: http://blog.orbmu2k.de/sidebar-gadgets/gpu-observer-sidebar-gadget
Direct download link (if you don’t understand deutch as me): http://download.orbmu2k.de/download.php?id=49


::Games:: Killzone 3, the casualized one

I’ve just finished Killzone 3 (PS3). I’ve bought it blindfolded as I really liked Killzone 2 (and actually, it was one of the reason that leaded me to buy a PS3)… but now I’m not that enthusiastic.

Aside from that the game is really awesome in some ways such as graphic realization, I’ve finished it after just a few hours (5 or 6 I think) without any real difficulty. I’m feeling like if I was just at half-progression, when things just begin to be harder.
No great battle, no final boss to beat, and no real ending at all…All that was in the previous Killzone 2

Maybe I’m right, the game is just the half of what It should be because of a too early deadline enforced by Sony.
Or maybe this recalibration of difficulty was to bring more casual gamers to the game franchise, as the Move (supported by the game) is also to bring more casual gamers to PS3.
Both are sad.

…Or maybe I’ve raised my FPS skills so much since last year that the game seems too easy to me, but I don’t think so B-)


10 years later…

Here we are, I’m finally opening a blog, 10 years after everyone else.

I’ll talk about games, development (so of course game development), and other pixel food.

I’m working as a game developer for more than 5 years, mainly on 3D rendering programming. This blog will be focused on my personal projects and personal engine.

As any developer and game fan, I have all these secret and terrific personal game projects in my head, that I will probably never finish one day.

To be continued…