Thursday, 22 November 2007

Day321 Big Crysis, Bonus Stuff & Notebookcheck

Crysis : BIG and Beautiful
In the office I connected my Dell M90 to the Mitsubishi 46" LCD and then dived into Crysis where I bravely set the res to 1920x1080 and all the graphics options to HIGH. Well that isnt quite true as it wouldnt let me set all of them to high. Dont forget there is VERY HIGH as well which is all nicely greyed out for me - my guess is it would need DX10, which would be a test for another day.
So with everything as high as I can get it - it really is beautiful. I was impressed before - but like this it is visually superb. The game itself is completely unplayable at these settings on my machine - but who cares - it just looks great. I captured a few shots of how it looks at this res - be warned these are bigger pics than normal (they are still JPGed at high, but are at full res). When looking at these remember that the trees are waving in the wind, the waves are sliding up and down the beach and there are nice ambient sounds to go with the birds and fish.

[big full 1920x1080 res screenshots from Crysis with things on HIGH]

As far as playing goes atm, I find myself in a tank - not so much subtlety on display. I loved the bit where the mountain shook and huge chunks fell from the peak, sliding and tumbling down - neat.

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Crysis : Bonus Material
I started looking through the bonus material CD that came with my Special Edition box of the game. The actual case btw is the nicest I think I have ever seen, very nicely constructed metal and the hinge is clever.

Concept Sketches
This section has a suite of images (which could well have been online already). There are some nice artwork ones and then the development sketches are cool. I like the way these show design investigation, iteration and development rather than being just a neato sketch.

[concept sketches from Crysis via their bonus material cd]

Making of
The Making of Crysis video is short and sweet. The discussion on level design (catering for the suit abilities and the open gameplay) and technology was good to hear in the cute german accents. The neatest bit was perhaps the commentary on the cry-x video that was made using traditional animation which they outsouced and 2 years later they supassed that with their realtime engine - inspired.

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Notebookcheck
The notebookcheck site's graphic card list is great for seeing what is out there (thanks Michael for the tip on this one). I have been very keen on the laptop profile for computing in general and keeping up with how things are going on the graphics grunt side is a critical part of that (esp since graphics grunt is really surging ahead these days).

Now we can get the likes of an 8800M GTX beasty pumping out almost 9500 on 3DMark06 into a laptop - yowzers. The Dell 3D beasty laptops we will be getting the set of here at work will sport the dual GeForce 8700M GT SLI config found in the Dell XPS 1730. I cant wait to put these babies (with the physX added as well) through their paces. One such pace will be running Crysis at high res with things set to VERY HIGH *chuckle* :-)
[pic of the XPS1730 from the Dell website]

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Bloggy Bits : Slideshow
I noted that Blogger have added a pic slideshow element for Blogger now. This trend for giving us little page/location bits we can add to things is pretty neat. OsX, Vista, Googlepages and Blogger amongst many others have taken this on which is pretty cool.

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Fav Westerns and Ideas
I have a few ideas half brewing in my mind for a machinima or animation or game or something that might use the idea of characters (perhaps tv-like robots) that talk by using sound bites from movies - perhaps from a genre that relates to their character. This is a pretty cool idea and though the concept sketches I have thus far need some work - they could be fun.

Anyhow, taking this idea in an almost Westworld direction for a sec had me thinking about a character whos speech was fueled by westerns. This in turn had me wondering about the complete lack of westerns in our DVD collection... So what should I be hunting down (or at least keeping an eye out for a bargain on) as far as this genre goes. I am not sure why I like westerns - I will have to think that through some more I guess... Here are the ones that spring to mind for westerns I liked: The Quick and the Dead, Dances with Wolves, Silverado, Unforgiven, Young Guns even - then there are things like The Mask of Zorro which I loved. (these seem a little superficial now that I have written them down :-) There are plenty of older ones that I have seen bits of, but I cant tell them apart in my brain. 3:10 to Yuma is a new western coming our way and we have The Assassination of Jesse James ... as well - fun times.

A search in Google-land reveals stacks of people's lists of their favourite westerns. Seeing Ennio Morricones score come up as a deciding factor on people's lists is neat as well - love his stuff.

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