Icon ASCII : A Love Letter


Icon My Neural Network isn't working! What should I do?


Icon Phase-Functioned Neural Networks for Character Control


Icon 17 Line Markov Chain


Icon 14 Character Random Number Generator


Icon Simple Two Joint IK


Icon Generating Icons with Pixel Sorting


Icon Neural Network Ambient Occlusion


Icon Three Short Stories about the East Coast Main Line


Icon The New Alphabet


Icon "The Color Munifni Exists"


Icon A Deep Learning Framework For Character Motion Synthesis and Editing


Icon The Halting Problem and The Moral Arbitrator


Icon The Witness


Icon Four Seasons Crisp Omelette


Icon At the Bottom of the Elevator


Icon Tracing Functions in Python


Icon Still Things and Moving Things


Icon water.cpp


Icon Making Poetry in Piet


Icon Learning Motion Manifolds with Convolutional Autoencoders


Icon Learning an Inverse Rig Mapping for Character Animation


Icon Infinity Doesn't Exist


Icon Polyconf


Icon Raleigh


Icon The Skagerrak


Icon Printing a Stack Trace with MinGW


Icon The Border Pines


Icon You could have invented Parser Combinators


Icon Ready for the Fight


Icon Earthbound


Icon Turing Drawings


Icon Lost Child Announcement


Icon Shelter


Icon Data Science, how hard can it be?


Icon Denki Furo


Icon In Defence of the Unitype


Icon Maya Velocity Node


Icon Sandy Denny


Icon What type of Machine is the C Preprocessor?


Icon Which AI is more human?


Icon Gone Home


Icon Thoughts on Japan


Icon Can Computers Think?


Icon Counting Sheep & Infinity


Icon How Nature Builds Computers


Icon Painkillers


Icon Correct Box Sphere Intersection


Icon Avoiding Shader Conditionals


Icon Writing Portable OpenGL


Icon The Only Cable Car in Ireland


Icon Is the C Preprocessor Turing Complete?


Icon The aesthetics of code


Icon Issues with SDL on iOS and Android


Icon How I learned to stop worrying and love statistics


Icon PyMark


Icon AutoC Tools


Icon Scripting xNormal with Python


Icon Six Myths About Ray Tracing


Icon The Web Giants Will Fall


Icon PyAutoC


Icon The Pirate Song


Icon Dear Esther


Icon Unsharp Anti Aliasing


Icon The First Boy


Icon Parallel programming isn't hard, optimisation is.


Icon Skyrim


Icon Recognizing a language is solving a problem


Icon Could an animal learn to program?




Icon Pure Depth SSAO


Icon Synchronized in Python


Icon 3d Printing


Icon Real Time Graphics is Virtual Reality


Icon Painting Style Renderer


Icon A very hard problem


Icon Indie Development vs Modding


Icon Corange


Icon 3ds Max PLY Exporter


Icon A Case for the Technical Artist


Icon Enums


Icon Scorpions have won evolution


Icon Dirt and Ashes


Icon Lazy Python


Icon Subdivision Modelling


Icon The Owl


Icon Mouse Traps


Icon Updated Art Reel


Icon Tech Reel


Icon Graphics Aren't the Enemy


Icon On Being A Games Artist


Icon The Bluebird


Icon Everything2


Icon Duck Engine


Icon Boarding Preview


Icon Sailing Preview


Icon Exodus Village Flyover


Icon Art Reel




Icon One Cat Just Leads To Another


Created on Oct. 25, 2011, 8:02 p.m.

RAGE. What a weird one. The main feeling being the development team must have been sitting in a bubble for the last five years. It is missing many of the features of modern shooters, and in many instances that isn't something to complain about. Similarly the engine is like nothing that has been done before or will probably be done again. Almost all the engine developments that have happened in the last few years seems to have passed them by.

Impressive as it is, the engine isn't just about the Megatexture technology - and the Megatexture technology isn't just about what gets displayed on the screen at the end of the day. RAGE took a fundamentally different approach to constructing a virtual world.



Unless the Megatexture stuff went over your head, or passed you by, this is the basic idea. Every texel in the RAGE world is unique. There are no tiled textures or repeated objects. Each unique meter of texture across the whole landscape is stored somewhere in memory. This texture data is then loaded and unloaded dynamically depending on how close the viewer is to it and what they are looking at. What this means is that the artists have essentially total control of every millimetre of the environment. Something almost unheard of before. For development id employed a host of "stampers" who's job it was to place small objects and also add "stamps" to the scene - by which I mean decals, dirt, rubbish, cracks and grunge - stamped directly onto the world. RAGE's environments are by far the richest I've ever seen.

I can't say what impact this process will have on future developments. What will be adopted, and how it changes the roles of artists. The whole process is so orthogonal to what is current it is almost impossible to evaluate. What is clear though is the fact that the world id created is amazing.

As well as the environments the character animations are some of the best we've ever seen. NPCs seem to react appropriately according to what they are saying and enemies will run, hobble and stumble in a vast number of ways depending on where they are shot. The music is fantastic and sound satisfying.



So you'd think RAGE is shaping up to be one of the most involving and atmospheric games out today. Sadly it isn't. The environments may be rich but due to the nature of Megatexture they are static. Lighting is baked into the scenes and almost no objects can be interacted with. The world is plagued with invisible walls and there are not even the basic physics objects we have come to expect so readily. It feels weird walking up to a crate and not being able to push it. Outside the skybox is a still image. Time of day and lighting cannot change. Plants don't sway in the wind and terrain is not destructible. Finally there is my pet peeve - the tireless color correction - throwing everything into sickly shades of blue or green.

Painterly is an appropriate description for RAGE - if only in describing how static it feels. It is a beautiful game but it does not feel right at all. I hate knowing that the box in the corner can never be moved, knowing that the time of day will never change, that those shadows will never drift across the ground as it reaches evening. I hate knowing that the book on the self could never be taken down, not within any context of the story, knowing that the lights will never flicker out. It feels like the whole world is made out of painted cardboard and your character is a miniature figure - the toy of some kid.

A friend told me once "Carmack is sick". I'm starting to believe him. You play an id game and there is only one God. Carmack. When I play games I don't want that competition. Half Life may be old, but at least I can pick up that can; or turn on my torch and let there be light.



Screenshots thanks to Dead End Thrills - well worth a read.

github twitter rss