[PD] Pd in video game Spore

Andy Farnell padawan12 at obiwannabe.co.uk
Sun Nov 11 12:59:30 CET 2007

On Sat, 10 Nov 2007 20:30:07 +0100
Cyrille.Damez at laposte.net wrote:

>  Some procedural graphics are used in some games.

Have you seen .the.product ?

There's is no better example than the work of Farbrausch Group imho
( .the.product, .kkrieger, .debris). Their first person shooter occupies
97kB without a single bitmap texture, mesh or sampled sound. It's entirely
procedural, a true synthetic world with everything generated at runtime
as needed. I think some of this demoscene crew then went on to work on Spore.

>  but I guess I am kind of frustrated that there isn't more 
> widespread use of procedural techniques in computer games than a couple 
> techniques invented in the 80s. Change is coming though, but it is not coming 
> fast enough to my taste ;)

You and me both in our respective fields. The video game business has
become really quite conservative, but these things move in cycles.

> The advantages of procedural techniques aren't limited to topology issues. The 
> ever increasing size of assets (geometry, textures, etc.) in computer games 
> is becoming very difficult to manage (during development, for distribution, 
> and most of all when playing because of bandwith problems). Procedural 
> techniques offer an elegant solution to these issues.  

Exactly. I've mentioned this on numerous occasions in talks and papers. Sound
is particularly relevant because it has a high order polynomial (potentially
worst case factorial) growth for asset/world size. Procedural audio solves
this nicely ;) Another advantage in terms of development is automatic generation
of content, freeing the sound designer up to do what their real (human) talents
are best at, focussing on key sounds to hand craft.

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