March 9th, 2006

Walter

Shadowy Colossi

Here's a neat article on the Making Of Shadow Of The Colossus.

It gets pretty technical, but the overall mechanisms of how some things work (the fur on the monsters, the glow on the skin of the human characters, the way the terrain seems to roll out for miles without slowing down the game) are really interesting. I had noticed some of these in the game (and guessed how the terrain worked), but there were a few things that I hadn't even thought about. They make a good point that it's easy to take a lot of the visual effects for granted, because they're so seamless. It's also impressive that they're doing all these new effects (per pixel shading, etc.) without the specialized hardware that modern graphics cards are coming with these days.

I think there's a lot to be said for making art that looks good, and inspires the sort of feeling you're looking for, without trying (or caring) to make it "realistic". I think this is the same principle that makes World Of Warcraft look pretty and stylized, and Everquest 2 resemble something out of a high school level 3D modelling class.

On days like today, it feels like every time I talk to one of our clients, I end the conversation slightly dumber than I was before.
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