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Rendering in Mafia 2


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Someone brought up the idea of computers eventually being powerful enough to render the world and since i had been watching a Mafia 2 walkthrough and being blown away by the rendering performance and attention to detail by the dev's, I thought i'd post a video of it for those that might be interested. A drive through the city. Starts at about 1:00. Theres not many people on the streets either, since its night time. During the day, the city there are tons of walking NPC's.


FTR: The guy is hilariously terrible at driving in Mafia 2 86% of the time.

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Actually there's TONS of pop-up/fade-in going on there - you can see cars fade in at only about one block away, street lamps only light below themselves about two lamps out, a whole fence just appears out of nowhere at about 3:04, etc etc etc. So it's the same as any other game, LOD and pop-up/fade-in optimizations. I agree that it's done somewhat well I suppose, but one of my pet peeves is pop-up.


I would far prefer lesser polygon/detail combined with further out pop-up or virtually no-pop up. Basically, my personal tolerance for pop-up is much lower than the average gamer audience that designers are making games for, whereas my tolerance for lower polygon and other details is higher.

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Many of the newer games are very aggressive with LOD because they blur the hell out of the distant objects with DOF. It was much better when fog was used for this purpose.


Some designers and engines are better with hiding LOD transitions than others, it comes down to whether they care about what the game looks like in action verses screen-shots to sell the game.


Of course, having more play-field opens up some nice game-play possibilities so sometimes these artifacts are just a deal with the devil to make certain game styles possible. (Certain game genres, like forest dwelling RPG's, MMO's (Oblivian) absolutely depend on LOD ).



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Mafia 2 is pretty cool. But yeah it does look like GTA, so much so that it could pass up as a mod. :P


Did anyone else notice how the police in games like that and GTA 4 just simple stopped caring about how the player drives? :laugh:

Or maybe GTA 4 still had aggressive police? Don't remember.


I remember back in the day with the Driver (Driver 2 I think) games they absolutely went haywire just for bumping into a curb or something.

Edited by GameDevGoro
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"The Mafia 2 police still cares a little."


OK. That's kinda cool then. GTA 4 does not, though, I did a lil' research. :P


But anyhow. The rendering is pretty cool actually, but nothing one hasn't seen before. Many people tend to forget that the reason why any game looks better or worse is because of the artists that worked on it, some know how to use their tools, some do not.

But I personally think his coat, which looks to be simulated by some physics engine or similar (maybe not fully simulated but definitely around there), is cool. And the artifact-lacking, perspective shadow-mapping from the streetlights looks great.


Oh, the lockpicking system displayed in the video pretty early on, for the locked car was unexpected and pretty awesome. xD

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Driving in NYC in the 30s, and right by my former apartment. :wub:

Not like the pseudo-NYC in GTA4 ... though the GTA influence is almost laughably transparent. (I don't like the consolisms either. Always a turn off for me.)


I've been watching videos on the open-source Unity Engine for a while, and they also have some massive open worlds, with LOD definitely contributing ... interesting just because it's open-source & they're homemade games. One demo I saw had a guy driving through the streets of Moscow for 10 minutes (I can't find it now).

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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