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07/27/2006

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Twist

I agree that level design on the higher end of the scale has definitely gotten pretty sophisticated. I think the next big advancement is going to be adding realistic material systems into the mix. An example of what I mean is instead of just building levels with materials that look and maybe sound like real materials they will also behave like real materials. For example if you shoot walls in most games today there is really no effect other than maybe an unrealistic bullet hole decal. Go shoot a real wall constructed from sheet-rock with a 12 gauge shotgun at point-blank and see if it just leaves a few little holes in the wall. Having that kind of realism in a game could open up some neat new strategies especially in multiplayer games like Counter-Strike.

Wayne

Hey all.

Twist, I watched and interesting interview a while ago about the Playstation 3, And they were demonstrating what you are talking about in real-time, Real surfaces such as metals, and woods taking damage and so on, gaming of the next-gen, looks too be pretty impressive. Also i recently read an article, about real life damage and physics being created in the next generation of games, there is a video in the article also demonstratiing how this works, looks pretty good, link is below:

http://www.ps3land.com/article-515.php

Take care.

Wayne.

Twist

Sounds pretty cool. Now the issue will be getting level designers to build up realistic layers of materials like we see in real world construction. Think about the relatively simple interior wall of a standard residence. Two layers of sheet-rock, wooden 2 by 4's or metal ones in some higher end construction these days, wires and pipes in some places, and sometime insulation (of which there are many varieties). Some level designers still don't even bother to put bathrooms or closets in houses and apartments. Developers are almost going to need to start hiring architects and interior designers and landscapers to do level design in order to hit the hyper realistic benchmarks that some gamers are expecting from next gen titles.

ArC

Since it's criminally underrated, let me recommended checking out the level designs of JSRF. The first couple of levels are relatively horizontal, but they get very vertical later on. Gunvalkyrie too.

The paranoid's mind in Psychonauts, with its localized redirections of gravity, is another interesting twist.

Skies of Arcadia had a bit of localized redirected gravity and wall-ground shifts in a few of its dungeons.

I was really psyched for Dino Crisis 3, with its promise of a reconfiguring ship, but the camera angles in the demo were so awful I never took a look at the final game.

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