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Graeme
25th Mar 2011, 12:03
Could someone fill me in on this...are consoles capable of running the same huge maps as PCs? Meaning, can we expect to see maps like the Hell's Kitchen warehouse district (when you disable the generator)? There is a huge map for the city hub, and then there are a number of places where you can load into the warehouse district which is another huge map with the rooftops and the alleyways and the basement routes all in the same map.

Liberty Island was quite expansive as well. Paris. Vandenberg. You get the idea.

The reason I ask is that all we've seen in terms of DX:HR maps seem have been either interiors or compounds (like the warehouse in some of the first gameplay we saw). The demonstration of the 'extreme long range sniper rifle' looked like from a range where I could use a pistol from.

Should I expect to see maps where there will be some serious distance, both horizontal and vertical? Or is that out of the question with consoles?

Brockxz
25th Mar 2011, 12:13
Consoles are capable to support huge maps with streamlining the map loading - for example Far Cry 2. The thing is that consoles are restricted to the point how much elements you can add to those maps and how persistent is the world there. For example if i destroy that tree go to the next end of the map and go back, will that tree will be destroyed? Mostly it won 't be because consoles don 't have enough resources to store such info for a long term use.

K^2
25th Mar 2011, 12:20
Consoles have significantly less video memory than modern PCs, meaning they cannot store as much texture data at once as a PC does. So a game running on consoles needs to deal with that somehow. Almost invariably, you end up with lower resolution textures on consoles. This doesn't always save sufficient amount of space, and so yes, level sizes are often reduced.

This is not as big of a problem with current generation of consoles. First of all, the gap between mid-range PCs and consoles isn't as big as it used to be. Secondly, there is streaming. It allows some texture data to be loaded as needed, significantly increasing the potential level sizes.

Human Revolution runs on a heavily modified engine from Tomb Raider Underworld. There is a demo for that game for PC, PS3, and 360. I'm sure you can download it for system of your choice. In all likelihood, HR utilizes the same streaming approach as TRU. Demo gives you some idea for what can be done with that in terms of map sizes. Potentially, HR maps can be even larger.

Effectively, what's going on is that instead of having entire level loaded at once, each level consists of multiple zones. When you enter a zone, zones connected to it are being loaded, and other zones discarded. It allows a moderate amount of memory to be used for rather huge maps.

So the short story, yes, there are real limitations on consoles that sometimes force smaller maps, and no, it shouldn't be a problem with Human Revolution.

Graeme
25th Mar 2011, 13:58
Thanks you two - exactly what I was looking for.

mentalkase
27th Mar 2011, 10:01
Consoles have significantly less video memory than modern PCs, meaning they cannot store as much texture data at once as a PC does. So a game running on consoles needs to deal with that somehow. Almost invariably, you end up with lower resolution textures on consoles. This doesn't always save sufficient amount of space, and so yes, level sizes are often reduced.

This is not as big of a problem with current generation of consoles. First of all, the gap between mid-range PCs and consoles isn't as big as it used to be. Secondly, there is streaming. It allows some texture data to be loaded as needed, significantly increasing the potential level sizes.

Human Revolution runs on a heavily modified engine from Tomb Raider Underworld. There is a demo for that game for PC, PS3, and 360. I'm sure you can download it for system of your choice. In all likelihood, HR utilizes the same streaming approach as TRU. Demo gives you some idea for what can be done with that in terms of map sizes. Potentially, HR maps can be even larger.

Effectively, what's going on is that instead of having entire level loaded at once, each level consists of multiple zones. When you enter a zone, zones connected to it are being loaded, and other zones discarded. It allows a moderate amount of memory to be used for rather huge maps.

So the short story, yes, there are real limitations on consoles that sometimes force smaller maps, and no, it shouldn't be a problem with Human Revolution.

Somehow the clarity with which you explain these technical problems is really gratifying.

cavefish
27th Mar 2011, 11:57
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel, only slightly more gold.

I just have to comment on that- a paraphrase of a sentence from the first pages of Neuromancer? :)

7h30n
27th Mar 2011, 12:03
I just have to comment on that- a paraphrase of a sentence from the first pages of Neuromancer? :)

Not only from the first page, but the very first sentance in the novel :)

That reminds me, I should finish up the Sprawl Trilogy

mentalkase
27th Mar 2011, 12:56
I just have to comment on that- a paraphrase of a sentence from the first pages of Neuromancer? :)

Yeah it's definately not obscure if you're familiar with William Gibson's work, it's without a doubt the most famous quote from his books.

biofuel
27th Mar 2011, 12:58
Consoles are capable to support huge maps with streamlining the map loading - for example Far Cry 2. The thing is that consoles are restricted to the point how much elements you can add to those maps and how persistent is the world there. For example if i destroy that tree go to the next end of the map and go back, will that tree will be destroyed? Mostly it won 't be because consoles don 't have enough resources to store such info for a long term use.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

cavefish
27th Mar 2011, 13:21
Yeah it's definately not obscure if you're familiar with William Gibson's work, it's without a doubt the most famous quote from his books.
And @ 7h30n

Hehe, I read it a good while ago, so I did not remember where it was exactly in the book, but I knew it was somewhere at the beginning. Yes, the line is memorable for some reason :) That was a good read indeed.

rhalibus
29th Mar 2011, 22:50
The Xbox only had 64 meg of memory, which is one of the reasons (not the only one) that DX:Invisible War was so much more claustrophobic than DX1. DX1 was designed for PC's, which at the time were sporting 2 to 4 times as much memory...So the sequel actually had to be coded for less memory than the original. One of the big issues I hated.

Donvermicelli
31st Mar 2011, 19:51
The Xbox only had 64 meg of memory, which is one of the reasons (not the only one) that DX:Invisible War was so much more claustrophobic than DX1. DX1 was designed for PC's, which at the time were sporting 2 to 4 times as much memory...So the sequel actually had to be coded for less memory than the original. One of the big issues I hated.

you wake up in your room, walk down the corridor, talk to billy, and walk to the elevator to be treated to your first loading of many :)

Belboz
1st Apr 2011, 04:33
You should see crysis 2, no distructable environment due to consoles cant handle it, so its not enabled on pc.
Lot of repeat models to save on memory space that consoles don't have, lot of sounds the same, definately not the sandbox game that was promised a while ago. Very linear, corridor fighting game, with a few arena's but not much in the arena's and linear path through arena. Lot of checkpoints which keep you to the linear path. :mad2:

Ferditjuh
1st Apr 2011, 07:59
There are plenty of console games that have destructible environments, more varied models and more open area's than Crysis 2. That's hardly a console hardware issue, that's design choices.

K^2
1st Apr 2011, 10:44
Most of these sound more like ways to save dev time and costs than hardware limitations, yes. Though, I haven't played Crysis 2 yet, so I can't say for sure.

Like I mentioned above, your main limitation is textures. Models really don't take up all that much space. A high quality 10k poly model is still going to be under 250kB. A single DXT3 1024x1024 texture for such a model would be 1MB. And you'd normally have several of these and some normal maps, which take up 4x more space. So if you want to have several stages of destruction of a single model, it's really not a problem, so long as all of them use the same textures. You can use the same approach to make it look like you have more variety in models. Two trees can look completely different while using the same texture set. Even two vehicles can have some difference in details, just to add variety.