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Author Topic: Final Fantasy XIII Demo  (Read 17598 times)
Wild Armor
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« Reply #75 on: May 14, 2009, 11:48:05 PM »

I'm just looking for a good gameplay, story and soundtrack.
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« Reply #76 on: May 26, 2009, 09:24:36 AM »

Instead of talking about rocks, and if you're interested in the more technical aspects of game development, read this article:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/final-fantasy-xiii-how-will-it-work-on-360-article

Check out the videos. This should definitely allow us to take the debate to another level.

He usually does this kind of stuff when comparing different versions of the same game. He is really good at this stuff. Keep an eye on the frame rate in the upper right corner as well as his comments. You wont find a more in-depth analisys of this demo.

See the second video? The game consistently drops to 20 fps as soon as 2 faces are shown on the screen. Like he says, the amount of detail in the faces is far superior to the rest of the body. A great part of the backgrounds is 2D and low res textures. The lighting effects are very good though. He actually says that theoretically the 360 will have it easier with this engine than the PS3.

The girl with black hair in the second video is hot :-)
« Last Edit: May 26, 2009, 09:40:26 AM by CDFN » Logged

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« Reply #77 on: May 26, 2009, 10:14:41 AM »

Regarding the blu ray vs dvd issue:

The one thing that surprised us about the demo more than anything else was its incredible reliance on streaming HD video from the optical disc. Even in a demo you can finish in 30 minutes, there’s a ton of it. Assuming the final PS3 game is on a single layer 25GB BD, conceivably the game would work as is across four DVDs on 360. But all bets are off should the game migrate onto a dual layer 50GB BD as has been suggested.

Lower quality video is of course an option, but the real question has to be why the FFXIII team is using video at all for most of this stuff. There’s really nothing here that couldn’t be done in real-time. The pre-rendered sequences are more effects heavy than in-game, with higher levels of detail, but Resident Evil 5 is a supreme example of how the carefully stage-managed cut-scenes allow for more expansive LODs and more ambitious effects – exactly what’s going on here. Our guess? Such scenes will indeed be real-time on Xbox 360, saving gigabytes of data over the PS3 version with only minimal amounts of difference in the quality of the visuals. Streaming in new game assets may well require additional loading time, however. Of course, it may well be the case that these videos are only there to supplement an incomplete engine, and that they will be replaced with real-time engine-generated scenes in the final PS3 game too. However, our bet is that Square-Enix will make use of the storage on offer and keep them as excellent quality video sequences.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cutscenes with less detail seems to be the answer because apparently there's a huge amount of cutscenes that aren't processed with the engine allowing them to look even better which is no surprise considering that the BR has the storage capacity.
As for the in-game graphics, it's the same as always, the eDRAM directly connected to the Xenos GPU gives the 360 a big advantage, though the lighting effects may not look as good as on the PS3.

The demo isn't the final code though but uncharted 2 is really raising the bar on the PS3, as you can see in the article Richard posted next to this one.

In the end what we really want is good story and characters though.
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« Reply #78 on: May 27, 2009, 03:49:06 PM »

I've been watching these videos very closesly and rewinding to see exactly what Richard is talking about. Generally, the quality is quite astonishing, however, there are some things that bother me, if ever so slightly.

First off, I've always railed on Sony for not putting their full weight behind anti-aliasing. They've always been resistant to it, and it really impedes on the smoothness of the graphics. Back in the day, I always wondered why it was that there were a few less-complex N64 games that actually looked cleaner than PS2 games... the answer was that the N64 actually had hardware-based antialiasing, whereas the PS2 did not. The cleanliness in comparison between the PS2 and GameCube was even more severe: Okami being a good example (Nintendo's Okami is technically on the Wii, but it uses purely GameCube graphics processing). All outlines and edges tend to look choppy on the PS2 because they're simply being handled (at the topmost level) on a pixel-to-pixel basis, where-as systems that utilizes hardware anti-aliasing maintains the vector data all the way to the final output so that an anti-alias routine can interpolate the data between pixels. I was sure that Sony would realize this and implement some robust anti-aliasing routines on the PS3, but for some idiotic reason, they didn't!!! So now you have games at 8x the graphical resolution on the PS3, that look choppier than simpler ones on the Wii... this is just plain stupidity on their part. The 360, thankfully, has builtin 2x multisampling anti-alias (as mentioned in the article), so regardless of texture detail or lighting effects, the 360 will likely have cleaner lines than on the PS3. Now, I think that FF13 may utilize some software-based antialiasing (I was a little unclear about this in the article), but the framerate may take a hit due to this.

Secondly, motion blur is still bizar and disgusting. I work with AfterEffects CS3 on a daily basis... and yes, I have the luxury of pre-rendering all graphics, unlike in-game engines. But AE does fabulous motion blur sampling, so I'm really spoiled. Some of that motion blur doesn't even look real to me. In real life, when an object moves by a camera quickly, it doesn't appear as a series of individual ghost images, it appears to be "out of focus" along the axis of its movement. This was especially evident during large, quickly moving explosion effects done in real-time. These are simply particle effects that are bloomed and then blurred by the motion blur engine, with a bit of fractiline displacement mapping to animate tounges of fire. The initial explosions (with tendrals of particles flying outward) sometimes look really strange because they're so fast, the motion blur engine isn't doing a very pretty job of sampling them, so they appear to be just a series of resized ghost images instead of one continuous mass. There was one explosion toward the end of the second video that made me really cringe.

The final thing, for those of you who are more interested in the artistic direction, rather than the graphics processing, has to do with movement realism. For the most part, FF13 does an INCREDIBLE job animating the characters so they really feel like they're reacting to the physics of the environment, both in cut scenes and in battle. The characters feet remain planted on the ground while walking (they don't slide along like in many games, even in this generation), they appear to bounce and react to stimuli. Even if their jumps are unbelievably huge, they actually feel like they're real. However, one move that Lightning does completely destroys this sense of realism, and that's a move where she jumps up into the air and fires her gun. For a split second (even before firing), she sort of hangs in the air and moves a bit backwards. This was a move highlighted most fully in the Devil May Cry series, where you could actually float in the air for long periods of time by firing downward. In a comic bookish game like DMC, it works because of the style of the game, and they did a fairly good job on the timing. Here, however, it just looks strange, and the fact that she hangs a split second before actually firing just makes you're mind go "this isn't real", in an evironment that, for the most part, completely suspends disbelief.
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« Reply #79 on: May 28, 2009, 03:40:45 AM »

I agree, during all those years playing on the PS2 the one thing I wish I could make go away is the lack of anti-aliasing. It makes a big difference in how good a game looks. But it was an integral part of gaming in that gen just like pixelization in the 32 bit days. It never crossed my mind that this would still be an issue with the oh so powerful PS3.
But like they say in the article, the art department really did an excellent job here and overall the game looks pretty damn good, though if you really pay attention you'll find some aspects that don't look so good like those rocks :-)

I agree with what you said about the animations, they're great. I can't wait to play this.
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« Reply #80 on: May 28, 2009, 06:21:15 AM »

What a lot of people don't realize is that motion graphic artists (myself included) and video effects artists have a lot of tricks up their sleeves to make things look realistic or cool that don't necessarily take the most advanced or complicated procedures. The 3D models in front of the matte painting during the fight sequences is an EXCELLENT example. Honestly, they did a great job pulling it off, but it's actually not that surprising. I spend a lot of time over at creativecow.net, which is an online community for motion graphic artists and 3D animators, and I go through tons of tutorials on how to get interesting effects and simulations in After Effects. One thing I've noticed is how much cutting corners there is, and how good it can really look if done correctly. For instance: setting up a "planet zoom" effect where you go from watching a spinning earth down to seeing a single building in a city (using satellite photos), can be an enormous pain in the ass... but, create a fractal cloud layer for the camera to pass through, and you can dissolve between two images, while the view is obscured by the clouds: it not only looks neat, but saves a lot on processing and editing time.

I just did a tutorial just the other day on constructing a 3D night cityscape. It basically consisted of creating a few really realistic looking foreground buildings, and then throwing them in front of a flat photograph of a cityscape, for the buildings to sit in front of. It was amazingly realistic looking, and meant that you didn't have to created thousands of buildings.

Now, I'm mainly a motion graphic designer, and have done a bit of visual effects... so I have no experience in 3D polygon modeling. So a lot of the stuff they're talking about is still beyond me. But it was still absolutely fascinating.
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« Reply #81 on: May 28, 2009, 06:43:12 AM »

I'm just wondering and I just skimmed through everything and didn't look at the video review of the demo thingie.

Are the Xbox 360's graphics and PS3's graphics same quality and the differences are very miniscule?
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« Reply #82 on: May 28, 2009, 10:49:33 AM »

I'm just wondering and I just skimmed through everything and didn't look at the video review of the demo thingie.

Are the Xbox 360's graphics and PS3's graphics same quality and the differences are very miniscule?

The demo is PS3 only. Nothing has been seen of the 360 version. What the article says is that the 360 will most likely look just as good as the PS3 version but the cutscenes may have to be rendered with the in-game engine because of the dvd's memory limitations.
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« Reply #83 on: May 28, 2009, 01:47:10 PM »

Re-reading again, I noted the point about them having to shoot emails back and forth between compitent game journalists and graphics geeks, trying to figure out whether FF13 is using HDR lighting or MDR lighting. Bottom line: if the 360 version goes MDR, you and I aren't going to notice the difference.

Regarding the possibility of some of the pre-rendered cutscenes going real-time on the 360, I read a bit of the commentary following the article (mostly uninformed idiot drivel), and noticed one post that noted that many game developers are now using pre-rendered cutscenes to cover up the loading of one scene to another. This was not something addressed in the article, although it makes a lot of sense. Video playback requires almost no processing, and can allow the system to pre-load the next bit of real-time telemetery. Translation: the 360 might have extra load screens. Just a possibility, and one that would only be influenced around the time of heavy cut-scene activity, but a possibility nevertheless.
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« Reply #84 on: May 28, 2009, 07:43:50 PM »

So  the Xbox version will be slower then? Hmm... I'm not sure but do you think it will appear in more than 1 discs for the Xbox?
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« Reply #85 on: May 28, 2009, 11:06:18 PM »

So  the Xbox version will be slower then? Hmm... I'm not sure but do you think it will appear in more than 1 discs for the Xbox?

Does this even need to be asked? I think the question is, "Will it be more than 4?"

And just to make sure wild rumors don't spread: no, there is no existing evidence that the XBox version will be ANY slower (in fact, it appears that it may have better framerate), I was simply speculating at a POSSIBLE (but unlikely) loadtime increase.
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« Reply #86 on: May 29, 2009, 02:03:19 AM »

I see, guess I'll be getting it for the PS3 then anyway.

PS3's got Versus also :D so... there!
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« Reply #87 on: May 29, 2009, 04:07:12 AM »

I hope Lightning lives up to my expectations. I'm expecting one of the best FF protagonists ever.

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« Reply #88 on: May 29, 2009, 05:31:50 AM »

If you have both systems I'd just get it for the PS3 anyway. At worst you're simply getting the game for the platform it was originally intended/released for, and probably not have to worry about disc swapping.
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« Reply #89 on: December 04, 2009, 10:16:34 AM »

Hello

Well my demo is going to be here this morning. I found one on Ebay, is bundled with the Blu-ray Advent Childeren, I'm sure you all knew that:) Anyway, is going to be interesting for me to try and play it, I watched some of the demo being played on youtube and kinda get where some of the commands are....
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