Cool comparison of Skyrim's high vs. low quality settings:
In First Earth, quality settings are limited by two principles:
* Every player experiences the same world
* The world is represented in a realistic way
The realism refers not to graphic quality, but to world essentials being present, such as being able to see whether a mountain in the distance has trees. Here are changes I see in the low-quality Skyrim settings that FE won't use:
* Some trees removed
* Tree stumps removed
* Islands in the water changed
* Shape and snowcover of the mountains change
* Hut and large rocks removed
FE's new quality settings are part of the build that will come out to testers this week.
> * Some trees removed
> * Tree stumps removed
> * Islands in the water changed
> * Shape and snowcover of the mountains change
> * Hut and large rocks removed
Those all just look like render-distance differences. They are still there, they just don't render unless you're closer.
Also the mountains "change shape" because the snowcover is a separate model on the world that makes them look fatter.
That's the case with trees, but it looks like the islands are a change in geometry to simpler shapes, the stump/debris on the right is a removal of nearby detail objects, along with probably the hut as well (since the larger shack at similar distance remains). My estimation is that only the trees and maybe the mountain geometry are distance removals.
FE doesn't remove trees at distance, it turns them into 2D billboards, and terrain geometry remains accurate.
I think simpler shapes for islands work...
from a distance you can't really see exactly what shape something is, but you can see the basic lines that are in your direction. that means if you're on a boat moving toward an island thats off in the distance you can tell its there, but you wouldn't see different terrain heights, and you wouldn't really be able to determine its size.
That's a good point. Something like that may have to be done for man-made distant features like towns.
I'm pretty sure Unity already does it for heightmap terrain. Reducing geometry detail for heightmaps is standard and basic thing, and most 3d engines easily handle it, mipmapping as well.
I've tested it, it does, but not in the way seen in the comparison.
I recently did my own comparison with Skyrim, and the small pieces of land, islands and such just look a different shape because their geometry is being automatically reduced by distance, it isn't always the same (because of the way geometry is being reduced.) The hut and stumps being removed are just distance-draws, they aren't drawn until you're a certain distance (like I was saying originally.) The difference between the hut and the house is the hut is actually a "copy pasted" model on to the surface and not map geometry like the other building, and since it doesn't have a low-poly distance-draw model it is just removed completely.
I'm glad you tested it, that's interesting!
Well if you look at the engine itself it is very similar (core engine is very much the same) as the Fallout engine, it shares a lot of similarites to how it drew it's features. I know they say they built the engine from the ground up and it isn't the Fallout engine, but this is an obvious lie as the maps, loading techniques and a lot of the sounds are very similar if not exactly the same as Fallout.
Maybe they reused some of the code but not all of it, or maybe all the same external libraries. It would be kind of wasteful otherwise, if the engine needs aren't much different.
They never said they wrote new engine from scratch. If you read last paragraph at http://www.officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk/2011/12/05/fallout-dev-explains-why-skyrim-doesnt-work-on-ps3-engine-level-issue/
you will see that they rewrote Fallout 3 engine for Skyrim.
yea you never write anything from scratch unless you absolutely have to! at the very least you're going to use the core from another program you've written/have access to even if you change a bunch of the include files. of course changing includes and graphics give you a basic rewrite for almost every new game...you can change alot doing that so theres really no need writing an entirely new engine.
How dare you criticize the might Bethesda Softworks
More money for a better studio.
> FE's new quality settings are part of the build that will come out to testers this week.
New testers or the present testers? I'm getting antsy for this game
Present testers. We're still waiting on me to get them that build. Once they test it a little, testing will be opened to Founders.