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Monday, May 30, 2005


Games: The good and bad

A short post, I just wanted to share some neat things that popped up in the news today.

The first is the Gamer's Manifesto, in which the author outlines many of the common problems with videogames. While I disagree with some of his points, he gets most of it bang on. Game developers would do well to heed his advice.

The second is ATI's unveiling of their Crossfire technology, their answer to nVidia's SLI (multi-videocard solution). They do the core of what nVidia does, but they add on to that. The most interesting thing is that in addition to just the usual modes that split up the rendering work between the two cards, ATI has put in shared antialiasing; that is to say that both cards render different sample points to get 8x or 12x AA. This is reported to be perfect for games that don't normally support multi-card rendering, or don't get any benefit; every game will be able to take advantage of this. But most interesting is their new mixed-mode AA which throws in both multisampling and some supersampling (They call it 10x and 14x AA). This means that whereas normal cards just antialias the edges of polygons, crossfire can now throw some antialiasing on textures too, solving stuff like the chainlink fences in HL2. Anandtech has a great writeup Here. Unfortunately as a notebook gamer I'll never be able to use this. But I can still dream about ATI putting the on-core cache they are using in the XBOX 360 into a notebook GPU...

OK, so it wasn't quite such a short post.

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