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silhouette detection and tool development

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I've noticed silhouette detection being used more commonly in next generation titles. Perfect Dark Zero uses silhouette detection as a special ability of one of the guns. Here is an example (and yes, this was my camera aimed at the television :P)

Perfect Dark Zero - silhouette detection
PERFECT DARK ZERO - XBOX 360

What is of particular interest here is the way objects in the foreground are handled. Notice in this image how the silhouette of a spacecraft is being detected. However, foliage in the foreground is also being detected as well. I am not aware of any procedural advantage to doing this, but it certainly possible. I suppose this effect could be desirable since its primary utility in the game is to provide easier enemy recognition. I might write an additional post in the forum to see if anyone has any interesting comments on this particular technique.

The other 360 game that I noticed that will be using silhouette detection is the upcoming Ghost Recon. The game has not yet been released, but here is a quick example:

Ghost Recon - silhouette detection
GHOST RECON - XBOX 360


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Engine development has progressed since my last entry and has focused on hammering out the development tools. I now have a workable set of tools to get objects into the entry and saved into level files. One disadvantage of my current toolset is that everything is driven with keyboard commands and there is not GUI. However, since I am the programmer, artist, designer, engineer, and janitor of this project, I enjoy certain liberties. If there were others working on this project, I would wrap these tools into a QT gui.

At this point I really need a basic design document and I should try to decide upon a definite set of game features. I have done a little pre-vis and imagery that sets the mood for the title, and I have a general idea of what I want to go about developing here.

I know the title will be a 3D adventure title that will be rendered from a first person perspective. I am thinking that there will be about seven levels, each progressively larger. Dynamic lighting will play a very important role. One thing that will also play an important role will be text and inventory management. Of course, I will elaborate more on this later.

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And from the gaming front, I have really spent more time with the XBox360 than I should. The achievement system is strangely addicting. Combine this with the COIN-OP classic releases available on Live and you have a dangerous mix. I have spent more time than I would like to admit playing Robotron 2084 trying to beat the high score on the in-game scoreboard to unlock the "high score" achievement. And after numerous tries and a few burst of profanity that frightened my dog, I did. Now I need to channel this Robotron energy into my work...
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Yah, the Xbox360 is really addictive, especially Perfect Dark Zero. Man, I love that game. Live Arcade is sweet too !

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