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Rugby League Live 2  by Hodgman    *****


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Date Added: Jul 20 2012 12:35 AM

These images are from an upcoming "low budget" (i.e. not EA, Activision, 2K, Ubisoft, etc...) Australian sports game for PS3/360.
The graphics programming behind them was done by forum member "Digital", myself and our great tech-artist "Lived". Our goal was to basically take the previous graphics pipeline and "make it next gen, like FIFA". Hopefully we've succeeded in reaching a good 360/PS3 standard of quality.

The main features in the image that contribute to the kind of "cartoon hyperrealism" art-direction are:
* Physically-based BRDF's
* HDR tonemapping (photographic/filmic)
* a lot of post-processing
...which turned out to be a challenge to implement at 30FPS on ~6 year old DX9c/SM3 GPUs! But we did stumble onto some novel optimisations along the way that hopefully we can share at some point.

P.S. If there's any experienced graphics-programmers or tech-artists reading this, who want to work on this kind of technology in Australia's best city, Melbourne, then get in contact with me Posted Image
N.B. the usual disclaimer: Any views expressed are my own, and aren't endorsed by the publisher or developer. The publisher, Tru Blu is responsible for releasing information about the game, so I can't share any information beyond what they've already made public. I'm re-posting these images from their Facebook. If anyone has any technical questions, I'll probably have to get permission before answering, but I'll try.

If you want news from the horse's mouth, head to TruBlu on facebook, and if you're a Rugby League fan then some Australian retailers are taking pre-orders Posted Image  

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/ Guest
Jul 21 2012 05:12 AM
How does the game play compared to say Rugby Challenge? Do you think its the best League/Rugby game so far?

Would be interested as the budget would be some what similar as Sidhe is based in NZ.
Jul 21 2012 06:32 AM
That looks pretty awesome! I've always loved your input in this community and it's great to see some of your work :). In comparison to the previous graphics pipeline I'd say your goal has been accomplished, nice work.
Jul 21 2012 08:29 AM
This looks awesome. I think every time you post something (IOTD or not), you blow my mind, Hodgman.
Jul 21 2012 10:32 AM
port it to PC pls :D I don't have a PS3 / Xbox
Jul 21 2012 10:07 PM
@all - thanks for the feedback Posted Image

@Guest - I'd be stepping on Big Ant's and Tru Blu's toes to talk about the gameplay before they've released any word on it themselves.
All I can say is that I am actually looking forward to the reviews/previews appearing (I think they'll be favourable), and am really looking forward to getting my own copy on release day! But then again, I'm of course biased, so you're best off waiting for independent reviews Posted Image

@Yours3!f - The Tru Blu press release only announced a PS3/360 version, but some retailers are taking pre-orders for a PC version... So a PC port is kind of unofficially assumed, I guess ;)
Jul 21 2012 10:46 PM
Jul 22 2012 03:01 AM
yaaaay thx
Jul 23 2012 07:24 AM
Two not-quite-professional critiques: Hair, on the whole, looks rather flat and could do with some anisotropic BRDF love. Faces/skin look pretty good on the whole, but the lack of sweat/flush adds a sort of uncanny valley effect (esp. considering how good the base looks!).

Otherwise, damn, son. Keep on truckin', Hodgman.

EDIT: And digitafragment!
Jul 23 2012 05:33 PM
Thanks for the props Hodgman, and cheers @InvalidPointer Posted Image

I agree with the remark on the hair. Time constraints versus the feature list ended up meaning that the hair improvements get left till another project unfortunately.

Hmm, hadn't considered skin flush from exertion, its written down in the notebook for consideration now Posted Image

That said, there is sweat - the public screen shots didn't feature it as a focal point, but you can see it on this one.

Hopefully once this game is released we will be able to show off some shots demonstrating the individual techniques - but no guarantees.
Jul 24 2012 01:31 AM
Woo trailer was released today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T0Xn1E46_E

Good critique InvalidPointer Posted Image As Digital said, we would've loved to have more time to iterate on hair and sweat. Sweat turned out to be hard to balance, and yes the hair BRDF is very, very simple. Something for next time ;-)
Jul 24 2012 08:14 PM
You guys are amazing. Great job!
Jul 31 2012 03:03 AM
Pro :)
Jul 31 2012 01:26 PM
Really nice, hope you guys are proud!
Jan 23 2013 08:29 AM

I'm late to the game but this looks amazing. Any chance you can write a good, realistic Rugby union game! :)

Jan 23 2013 10:06 PM

I'm late to the game but this looks amazing. Any chance you can write a good, realistic Rugby union game! smile.png



I personally don't have control over what games the studio makes ;)

The way it went last round, was that the publisher Tru Blu got the rights to make a Leauge and a Union game, and they got Sidhe to do the Union one, and Big Ant (where I was working) to do this League one.

AFAIK, Sidhe are pretty much stepping out of the console developer realm because their mobile arm, Pik Pok is doing so well, so I don't think they'll be making any console sports games going forward. At the moment, Big Ant are working on a cricket game for consoles, and it's impossible to say what their future plans are ;)