Then, when I got serious about shipping my first shareware game, Hubie, which shipped in early 96, I stopped upgrading, closed my case, and got down to business. Nowadays I am very wary about opening up my case for any reason, although I did today to upgrade my PSU in anticipation of a nvidia gf8800 gtx video card - was a little touch and go for a while, but I'm glad to report that things are up and running again now.
I made one particular contribution to the g80 series, which was initiating the project that became CSAA. The plan was already in place to do a slightly better 8x aa, but I had been researching AA since the gf2 timeframe, and was convinced there had to be a better way to do high AA sample levels without the usual drawbacks, like order dependency, obvious and jarring failure modes, too much video memory, etc.
My research showed that diminishing returns really set in at each AA sample level. 2X is so much better than no AA, but 4X is not THAT much better than 2x. 6x less so, etc. 16X is way better than none, but it isn't 16 times better, so it shouldn't cost 16 times the memory or speed.
Anyway, a lot of people did great work on what became CSAA, and I am happy to see that people have really responded to it in a positive way. We worked very hard to make it high quality, fast, and compatible. I can't wait to get my g80 so I can actually see it in action on real hardware for the first time since the launch party...
** Quick reader poll - how many of you have your case open right now? **
Regarding Ancient Galaxy, I've been working on the start level, adding engine support for things only as needed. The dust looks good and is fast. The AI much improved as well. The AI will pick up any stray guns on the ground or on corpses if it has a free hand. Gives you an incentive to kill them quickly so they don't go John Woo style on you...
BTW, I will be going to GDC next week, commuting from Los Gatos in the South Bay. If anyone wants to carpool, needs a ride or wants to train commute together, let me know via pm or 'simmer at gmail.com'.