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Metroid Prime Partical Effects (Rain)

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Do any of you own Metroid Prime? It''s a beautiful game. In my humble opinion, after way to much time spent thinking about this, it doesn''t seem to be so much technically impressive as artistically impressive. Each object isn''t really what I would consider to be "high-poly", and the visibility in most areas is controlled carefully within its confined environments. There''s not a whole lot intense lighting going on. Many of the textures are pre-baked and there''s certainly no per-pixel lighting going on. The texture resolution seems average for games these days, although the fact that there are very few tiled textures in the game probably up the texel fil requirements significantly. Anyway, that''s my uninformed opinion. Not technically impressive, but rather it''s stunning beauty can be attributed to very, very talented artists. So what kind of confuses me is why they chose to have the rain particles fall straight down, rather than at an angle, which almost never happens. It still looks great, but I''m wondering if perhaps there''s a certain performance benefit to confining the rain drops to the Y axis or not. I''m completely ignorant in this area, and I''m just curious.

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Haven''t seen the game yet, although it''s one of the reasons I''m seriously considering buying a NGC. The only reason I can think of might be accurate colission detection. Only need to test against planes facing up. Could use a data structure for that, which they may be using for updating gravity effects as well. Oh, dunno if the rain splats on the ground when it hits, but falling straight down would also only need one splash method.

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If it where diagonal you would have the problem of it comming through walls. You could move it so it dosn''t get close enough to the side of buildings, but that can also look odd. As for collision detection, a ground plane is usually all that is used, anything else would be a shear waste of CPU time.

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From an artistic standpoint, I think vertical rainfall seems more... desolate. I haven''t played the game, so I don''t have any real context, but I remember the earlier games being in quiet, somewhat creepy places where howling wind andblowing rain would actually detract from the ambiance.

I liked the rain in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was nice to see it splashing on characters and floors alike.

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You know, I did notice that. The way the rain falls gives this area a "almost TOO calm" feel. This game, like Super Metroid before it, does a good job at making you feel marooned.

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"The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time" also had amazing visual effects that weren''t that amazing when you looked closely. Nothing fancy in and of itself, but combined with everything else, it was awesome to watch. B-) I am sure that Metroid is benefitting from the same art.

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