Jump to content
Eternal Lands Official Forums
Entropy

Removing the non frame buffer shadows and reflections

Recommended Posts

I was talking with Xaphier about the difficulty of having and maintaining so many different code paths in the game, and one particular aspect we both agreed that should change is removing 3 code paths for now.

 

Those code paths are:

1. Non frame buffer reflections.

2. Non frame buffer shadows.

3. Non deepth shadow map shadows.

 

Personally, I think that if your video card can't handle a frame buffer, you are better off without shadows or reflections (to maintain an acceptable frame rate).

 

I would like some feedback on it, does any developer have some strong objections about it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like some feedback on it, does any developer have some strong objections about it?

My graphics card (GeForce4 Ti 4200 AGP 8x) does not support frame buffers and has a max shadow mapping depth of 768. It currently runs el fine thanks very much, with shadows and reflections working very well. I cap the FPS at 30 to keep my CPU usage to a minimum but it can go much higher. Since the card does not support the vertex programs either, I have been looking at getting a new card. However, better AGP cards are hard to find as the PCI-E has taken over the world. Upgrading my perfectly fine 2.4GHz Pentium based machine sounds a bit of a waste. I'd have to justify it to my wife at least!

 

Personally, I'd be pretty peeved if these features were removed. IMHO, some features currently work better without frame buffer! If the code is working well and in use by more than just me obviously, "because it's difficult" is not a good enough reason to removed the code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Off topic: ATI 9800Pro AGP is around 40-50eur on ebay, at least here (by which I mean Germany).

Thanks:)

Reading back at my post, I guess it was from personal perspective. However, I was really suggesting that many people might be in the same position, el is working fine with their current hardware, removing nice, working features to make the code easier would degrade the experience for us.

 

Entropy, you have the figures about folks graphic card capabilities now. What percentage of people play with graphics cards that would be affected by this proposal?

Edited by bluap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on our statistics, about 48% of the players will lose that ability. However, many of them didn't use it anyway (crappy Intel cards), so in reality maybe 25% would be affected. Most of the affected players can solve the problem by getting a better video card, which can't hurt.

http://www.buy.com/cat/nvidia-agp-cards/61931.html (I am sure you wil find something in the UK too).

 

P.S. One more thing: I decided to enalrge the shadow map frustrum, to avoid those really annoying shadows popping in and out at the edge of the camera, so now the shadow mapping will look even worse with shadow maps under 1024.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I have no objections. I think the multiple code paths were causing trouble on Macs anyhow. Ever since 1.3.0, running shadows and reflections w/out framebuffers was problematic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Based on our statistics, about 48% of the players will lose that ability. However, many of them didn't use it anyway (crappy Intel cards), so in reality maybe 25% would be affected. Most of the affected players can solve the problem by getting a better video card, which can't hurt.

Well 25% is quite a big group of people. Many will not be able or willing to upgrade but it's not as if they will not be able to play. That's one of the many great things about this game; that it can be played on machines with modest hardware. I hope you intend to keep that aspect. Obviously, over time that modest requirement will raise - like the dropping of windows 98. Personally, I have now ordered a new (old) graphics card, something I was considering before anyway.

 

P.S. Thanks for the card suggestion.

Edited by bluap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, like I said, there are few computers that can handle shadows and reflections (btw, IMHO, the shadows look bad with a shadow map less than 2048).

The reflections doon't look so great without shaders anyway, I didn't see other games having reflections like we do right now, because the quality just isn't there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not ignoring them, they can still play the game just fine. Their shadows and reflections are crappy anyway, and most of them do not have enough CPU and GPU power to be able to use them and get more than 20 fps. So in reality, perhaps 10% of the people would be affected.

But this is not the users decision, since it's not them who develop the game and have to maintain several different software branches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ganja

Stable Free(OpenSource) DRI drivers doesnt support FBO or pbuffer, due to crappy old memory allocator/manager, so you are pissing off all gfx cards users under free operating systems(Linux, *BSD) except that using binary blobs from nVidia/ATI(radeons <9550 are not supported). I think that it will be problem for most laptop linux users which have old radeon mobility(most are r200 based), or new trend is Intel card(which has damny good free drivers in DRM kernel modules from svn and DRI part also from there, but most 'users' are using stable which simply suck at features).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a 3D game, and in order to look good, the users need to have a proper 3D accelerator. Intel, SiS and S3 cards are not, so, obviously, the game will not look good on them.

If people have an ATI or Nvidia driver, they will have to use the drivers that provide the most features (the official drivers).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×