Have you guys really looked at those movies ?
They are damn amazing - and this is just video, it's not the game.
I'm amazed too, but not by the visuals.
The thing that interests me the most is how much the AI is able to take the physics system into account when making a decision.
We still haven't seen the high-res footage in the city center, the low res stuff was quite simply jaw-dropping.
Not to critizise anybody, but what could change in the vids when watching them in higher res? What I saw wasn't jaw dropping, but it looked like a damn fun game to play.
No pun intended.
1. Physics - everyone is saying 'ah, it's just the havok2 engine', seeming to completely forget that it has to be incorporated into the HL2 engine and most likely heavily tweaked and modified.
I think the hardest part is to teach the physics to the AI not the integration in the game engine itself from a technically standpoint where it comes to call function somewhere which get's handled by the physics engine.
2. .wav speech syncronisation - which looks very impressive.
Still the thing that interests me the most.
Imagine how CS modders will drop out from the scene in an instant when they have to set up 40 bones alone for the face
The amount of people bitching about complexity will by far outweight any "Who is the develope who makes a game with the Doom3 engine" discussion.
3. Highly detailed models with facial muscle animation - sure, they are not Doom3 quality, but they are still very impressive.
I think the characters will come closer to Doom3 characters when you see it ingame, but the whole style is so different from Doom that things look seriously off when you compare them next to each other.
HL2 eventually will suffer more from it's backward compatibility regarding the world geometry rendering to cheer the established hl/cs crowd than from the character models.
On the ohter hand Valve tries to be innovative in other fields (facial expression), so a lightmap based world geometry isn't something I can't live with.
4. A flexible shader solution - some of the best water effects etc. I've seen for a while - and what about the camera projection stuff ?
I've seen better water effects two years ago in countless shader demos at very very high speeds, but as an ingame implementation it looks very spiffy. Unfortunately only when you look at the water from the outside - from inside out the view isn't as distrorted as I'd wish (afaik).
That camery projections stuff is neat but I'm very certain you can do this in Doom3 + many other games also.
5. Transforming landscape (dunno what this is called technically)
- morphing ?
No big deal nowadays but cool notheless - not meant to diss the engine.
I think it may be harder to redetect the world collision model than to displace the geometry.
I've seen very very cool displacement mapping demos applied to characters - now that would seriously rawk!
Sorry to mention Doom³ agian, but not in a competitive way this time...
Since the Doom³ engine renders the whole scene blank into a buffer (der_ton may want to explain the correct buffer for us:) ) before it calculates the lights it may be too much of a performance hit to perform and redetect displaced geometry. Also vis and collision data may change.
I for example have made an .lwo landscape lately which I want to animate in MAYA in several different ways which could be triggered later.
Different technique, but the outcome should be pretty good (aside from potential texture stretching).
The insane texture resolution of 2048*2048 allows almost unique texturing wich is not only a great thing, it's damn cool in fact. Terrain without a green grass pattern ...
You can also renderbump it for additional detail... blahh - you know.
And then, what about the game concepts, storyline etc. and the implementation of that ?
Looking very much forward to play an interesting story!
It's not like you get all your tech sorted out and your done - you actually have to create a detailed believable world - probably the most time consuming factor of all.
We all are mappers and get told 24/7 by the regular players who couldn't start up a level editor even if it would creep up their ass that making a huge detailed level takes up maximum 3 to 4 hours!
By the time DoomIII is released, it will have also been in development for 5 years !
Isn't more like 3 years ?
The rendering tech from John Carmack is a constant evolution and I supect we only see one of many renderes he has coded till he got one sufficient enough to achieve what he did foresee.
Also the first year of after-Q3 dev. was split between Q3:TA dev and The Quest dev which got changed to Doom³.
All we've seen of half-life so far is a handful of short movies, so how can you judge what they've been up to ?
Because we are the best forum in the world...?
Simple answer - you can't until you play the game.
No - the fate of every game get's determined the day it gets announced.
I remember when Doom³ got announced how the whole Shackcrowd was making statements that they would only by it if it has feature a or b and even then it's very questionable. Viewed from this angle it would be much easier for developers to just announce games and feature lists instead of writing software and creating art assets.