Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Conduit does full screen Normal Mapping

This is a portion of a new interview with Matt Corso and Eric Nossinger from High Voltage with respected site "thatvideogameblog".

Thought the Wii wasn't really capable of full screen/scene Normal Mapping? (Matt Casamassina I'm looking at you) Read on:

TVGB: High Voltage has mentioned before that the Quantum 3 engine allows the use of bump-mapping, but how about normal mapping? There’s been great debate whether this technique can be used extensively on the Wii.

MC: The technique that we’re using to generate the character models are exactly the same for a PS3 or 360 game. All of our models are being built in z-brush and the we’re applying them to the lower res models. What you’re seeing in the game are normal mapped characters. The thing we need to work out is the lighting systems. The more we continue to tweak, the better it will look. I don’t know what the debates are but we are in fact running full normal maps on everything not just characters.

EN: In the game when you run up next to a wall it clearly has it on it and that’s true of pretty much everything in the game.

TVGB: What about aliasing?

MC: Like everyone, we’re restricted to the 480p resolution that the Wii puts out. As far as dealing with that we’re coping.

EN: There are some hardware limitations with the system and we’ve said from the start that we want the game to look as close as possible to the 360 and PS3. We can’t somehow do a pack-in that will allow us to kick out at 1080p it’ll look as pretty as it can look within the resolution.

TVGB: Sounds like you’re promising a lot with this game and as you know gamers can be demanding. Got any worries that you won’t be able to deliver?

EN: All we can absolutely guarantee is that what will be in there is going to be the best in there. The things we’re leaving off the table can’t be done right now in the time frame. The things we are targeting are what are important to the game and we know we need to do them very well. Our expectations are very high. That goes not just for the leadership level at High Voltage but every person on this team. They all want to make this the best game they can possibly make. We’re about 9 months out from shipping and we’re going to be working hard to get everything as perfect as possible. The short answer is yes we are making a lot of bold claims and yes we think we’re up to the challenge of delivering on those claims.

MC: There’s no benefit for us to build hype and make a bad game. It’s going to be good.

EN: All the things we have been claiming in press we feel confident we can deliver. We’re aware that’s a lot but we’re all gamers here too and we want a lot out of our dollar too.


When Nintendo announced the "Revolution" back in 2005, Nintendo's president Iwata said that when played on a standard definition TV you wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference between it and 360/PS3. We may finally see that statement proved true when the Conduit releases early next year. It's just a shame that no else took advantage of the Wii a lot sooner and actually had some faith that the system could produce some great graphics.


Anonymous said...

the wii has lots of horsepower. I knew it. Spread the word to all3rd parties

Metaldave said...

hahaha, what do you think I've been doing for the past two and half years?

The Wii is efficient, raw horsepower is not what it has but like the Gamecube it is made extremely well and developers have to learn to "forget" what developing for the other systems is like and take the bull by the horns and just focus on Wii and Wii first.

The Conduit will show why doing this is important all while putting other developers to shame with their third rate not trying efforts.

Travis Hendricks said...

I am super excited for this game. I love FPS and looking at my Wii library I only have one FPS game. Not only is this an FPS game, it is gorgeous, it appears to be very customizable in the controls department, it's suppose to have LAN and online modes, but its also a third party offering.

Anonymous said...

its not full seen normal mapping theres no such thing his just bigging up that theres a lot of it and wii is fully capable of it......

why xbox fans feel the need to say wii doesn't bump map/ normal map is more a reflexion of them selfs than it is wii fans

anyhow to use pc terminology with custom hard

ware is a tad silly it may not be normal mapping but it does what normal mapping does....

custom and efficient are two key words wen talking wii hardware

pc graphics cards fanboys can argue shaders till there blue in the face

wii could argue wheres your TEV unit

this is were the doubters are wrong they carnt see wii is not a pc it just doesnt sink in.......

its like a diesel mechanical fitter arguing that petrol powered motors dont exist just because they dont use diesel

xbox1 fsb 133mhz=1gb bandwidth

wii fsb 243mhz plus max 4to1 compression= 7.7 gb bandwidth

cpu and gpu bandwidths are like 8 times a xbox1

wii can kick out near x360 visuals at true 480p resolution it can even upscale to hd 720p 1080i/p if developers put the upscale in
scalling costs nothing in console power as your native resolution is still 480p

they said looks great on big flat tvs so clearly its aimed at hd tv sets and big screens in true widescreen........

RED KNIGHT said...

so would you say that this game will look better than call of duty world at war?
also can you explain what full screen/scene Normal Mapping is so that i can get a better understanding of how it will make it a Wii game look more 360/ps3 like.

im so excited for e3 and the future of Wii.

Metaldave said...

Normal Mapping is a technique thought to be only used extensively in Xbox 360 and PS3 games. The reason why it is a big deal that The Conduit does Normal Mapping on all objects, is that basically that means that it will look like a "Next Gen" game on Wii. Normal Mapping gives objects a more real look with the advanced shading combined with lighting to make everything appear more "deep" or "full" and not so flat and blank like most Wii games.

Take a look at some good examples of Normal Mapping from the PC version of Prey:

You see in the second picture how the ground and walls have these little "shines" about them? Those give the environment depth because if you played the game you'll know that when you move around in that area, the "shines" move or rotate along with your every movement. This makes the game look extremely real because seemingly all objects have some sort of light reflection that gives depth. This is the same technique for character models and creatures but executed in a different way for each.

Normal Mapping is basically "the" effect of Next Gen graphics since it gives games a very noticeable boost visually and something that Gamecube and PS2 couldn't do. You add that along with HD and more polygons and textures and you have Next Gen graphics....The Wii is capable of all the above minus the HD. This is why the Conduit is such an interesting game to watch for since everyone wants to know: How good can a Wii game look? Can the Wii actually look like a 360 game in SD? etc.

Will Call of Duty World at War look better than this game you ask? Hey thats a good question and I'm glad that both EA and High Voltage are claiming what they are claiming for each game respectively since it finally creates some competition for companies to see how much more they can push the Wii than the other guys so each can boast that they have the best looking Wii game. It's all good as far as I'm concerned, and I'll be happy to buy both games!


Metaldave said...

What I mean by "Full Screen Normal Mapping" is that High Voltage is not just putting Normal Maps on some walls here or there, or some enemies. It means that everything you see in the game has Normal Mapping, if that is not full screen then I don't know what is. Regardless if there is no such technical name of "Full screen Normal Mapping" that is still basically what it is....

RED KNIGHT said...

thank you for the great explanation.
i remember playing prey on 360 and now i see what Normal Mapping is.

so all the conduit needs now is to get all of the lighting right and the game should look great.

Anonymous said...

cod5 vs conduit
moon vs core

fps looking cool for nintendo