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News HDR patch and new 'super level' coming to Half-Life 2

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 1 Apr 2005.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    As we know, Half-Life 2 was arguably the biggest gaming story of 2004, which achieved a status of 'instant classic' and is quite often labelled 'The Best Game Ever to be made'. Last night on Attack of the Show, an American TV show focused on gaming, Valve software unveiled a whole new level for Half-Life 2 that will give gamers a glimpse in to the future of PC graphics, with some immensely realistic lighting effects, known as HDR.

    Valve's Doug Lombardi gave a demonstration of the upcoming 'The Lost Coast' level that utilizes technology that was implemented in to the Source engine which, until now, has not been seen in a game based on the engine. The technique has, however, been seen in the likes of FarCry and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - the full version of the latter is released today.

    HDR is an abbreviation for High-Dynamic Range Rendering, and creates an amazing leap in lighting realism. We saw how Crytek's method of HDR was implemented back in our FarCry patch 1.3 evaluation, which is only possible on video cards supporting an FP16 frame buffer and Shader Model 3.0 capabilities. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory also requires a Shader Model 3.0-capable video card to make use of the lighting technique.

    Valve's HDR method is slightly different in that respect. Half-Life 2 is a title on ATI's 'Get In The Game' program, so it would be a marketing disaster if the new lighting technique did not work on ATI's current video cards.

    "This is targeted at the super-hardcore early-adopter guy who's got the latest and greatest stuff and the horse power to cope with these new lighting techniques," said Doug when asked how demanding this new lighting technology would be on today's video cards.

    The Lost Coast will be an additional level that is free to owners of Half-Life 2 and it will be released via Steam in the next few weeks. There will also be an update to Half-Life 2 that will give the game some of these HDR effects released in the same time frame.
     
    Last edited: 3 Apr 2005
  2. mushky

    mushky gimme snails

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    Sweet :rock:

    It's definately time to sell a kidney or two to fund a nice dual-6800GT SLI system.
     
  3. r3Q

    r3Q Minimodder

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    i wish i had a better computer :wallbash:
     
  4. AsSuLuTo

    AsSuLuTo Boing boing boing!

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    HURRAH!!

    This should rock!
     
  5. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    HDR in SM2.0b eh, should be interesting. Bet the peeps at Vavle with ATi had gone with SM3 from the word go now :p
     
  6. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    I'd suggest you go with the sperm bank myself, you can donate more than once :thumb: I'd also suggest not selling both of your kidneys....

    I'm psyched :thumb:
     
  7. RotoSequence

    RotoSequence Lazy Lurker

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    Welcome to April first, where nothing said today is certain :rolleyes:
     
  8. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    This is for certain, the show was on last night. I had a torrent of the segment from the program, which is where this news came from. ;)
     
  9. ScwB

    ScwB What's a Dremel?

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    This is very real. HDR Lighting has been discussed for a while now, and as the poster above this said, Doug put on a show for it yesterday.
     
  10. mushky

    mushky gimme snails

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    Who said anything about *my* kidneys? :worried:
     
  11. fathazza

    fathazza Freed on Probation

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    id want more than £500 for one of my kidneys :)
     
  12. j.rhy@n

    j.rhy@n What's a Dremel?

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    so when they talk about High End or Super duper powered computers what spec are they talking about. I think Sli is the way ahead once all games are adapted to it but for the mean time a lot of people will have to do with what they got and Im sure this isnt what game producers want as people wont be able to afford their product..

    I guess for a lot of people they will have to wait for the price drop..
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    I would say you are looking at a Radeon X800 XL/GeForce 6800 GT as minimum - we won't know until the patch arrives, though. :)
     
  14. j.rhy@n

    j.rhy@n What's a Dremel?

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    Well we shall see, Im happy I purchased a X800 XT PE but if this struggles (Dont think so) then SLI is coming my way...
     
  15. Darkedge

    Darkedge Minimodder

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    SLI is a dead end - not a permanent solution at all, it's just a fad like the voodoo 2 sli way back. The costs of such a system mean it'll never replace a one video card system (not to mention the bandwidth loss as all SLI is only 8x PCIe not 16x) and as such will always be just high end and not mainstream. I'll give it 2 years of glory now before it dies again.

    I think my FX53 with x800XT PE should manage fine.
    :hip:
    Oh and to those who would prefer shader model 3 - it's not needed, not for far cry either. Nvidia just moved the goal posts unessesarily with introducing it so quick.
     
  16. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

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    Oh, you mean like PCIe altogether? :) We'll see utilisation of SM3 before we see the bandwidth peak of AGP reached.
     
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