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2.0 Shaders for Complex 9
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Based on the below information, would 2.0 Shaders be a worthwhile addition to Complex?
Yes! Certainly.
95%
 95%  [ 230 ]
No - it isn't worth the work.
4%
 4%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 242

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Walkop2011

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canada
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:48 am    Post subject:  2.0 Shaders for Complex 9
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As many may have seen in the past, at the Relicnews forums, there is a mod for vanilla Homeworld 2 called
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It adds new shader standards to HW2 - in essence, a brand new; updated, shadow, explosion, and lighting system. To get a better idea of what this really entails, take a look at the video
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as well as the pictures in the above link. It looks pretty great, doesn't it?

When I saw that video again, it got me thinking about Complex. It's got great models, great ships, and incredible design. However, there's only so far you can go with the graphics; unless you update the core behind it. Something like this would revolutionize the game graphically - imagine what it would be like with the added realism. It would be an incredible addition to the game, imho. Imagine the campaign for Complex 9 - in full per-pixel lighting (i.e. each pixel has its own light effects, instead of just each side (or face) of a ship - the entire thing is dynamically lit). This apparently is done through a process called Parallax Mapping. Now, I don't know how difficult this is to do - but it seems to be done through a methodical process. There isn't too much creativity involved - so, based on my current knowledge, it should be quite a bit easier than texturing. It seems that Supernova (someone who worked on the project) completed an entire half of the Hiigaran Mothership in only just over two hours. Considering the size of the ship, that gives a hint to the difficulty of such a task. It shouldn't be a massive undertaking.

I myself would certainly say that it doesn't seem to be too difficult of a task. There was one user on the RelicNews Forums - Turambar - who mentioned one day that he wanted to help out with the work on the shaders. See the middle-bottom of
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He figured out how to do this, and finished the Hiigaran Scout, Interceptor, Bomber, AND Gunship Corvette in 1 day! That gives a hint as to the difficulty of the project. For anyone wanting to try something like this, there a bunch of information throughout that thread.

There is also some information on the subject
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at the Relicnews forums. In addition, apparently CnlPepper (a dev for CFHodEd, for those who know the program but do not know him) added some specific sections into CFHodEd to assist in the Parallax Mapping process some time ago, which is referenced in the above thread. Of course, such a project as converting all Complex shaders to 2.0 would take quite a large amount of time, and wouldn't be required to be done right away - but, perhaps, something that could be reserved for Complex 9? That would be quite a nice present for all Complex users; a campaign, and a new graphical system. Wink It might even be possible to recruit some of the original people who worked on the mod for this task (Supernova, Sky_Walker, Turambar, and Sastrei) - of course, that might not happen. Now - for those worried about that all-mighty foe - the one we all know:

Lag
Some may be worried about lag. In a certain test that was done a short time ago, the general CPU (General Processing) load while playing a normal game of Complex was compared to GPU (only Graphics Processing) load. During said game, the first thing to get bogged down was the CPU - strongly. However, the GPU was only loaded around 15-20% if I remember correctly. Hence, graphics aren't a bottleneck for Complex - the processing of other information (crew, calculating build queues, unit caps, research scores, ship weaponry stats, and much more) is the cause of lag. So, the new shaders wouldn't pose any problems to most computers as regards lag!

So - what do you the rest of the Complexians think about this? Is it a worthy undertaking for the team; if not now, sometime in the future of Complex?



Edit - Typos, added section on Lag
Edit 2: More information, re-wording and lag title
Edit 3: more information.


Last edited by Walkop2011 on Tue May 03, 2011 9:09 pm; edited 4 times in total
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ireland
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject:  
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It certainly does look pretty. But I vote no, for the simple reason that although it may be worth the work it would add to lag on some systems.

EDIT: Heh (after looking at results), looks like I'm way off sentiment there with everyone voting yes so far Wink

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germany
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:38 pm    Post subject:  
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wow...This look...amazing =O

I'd say: Go for it, this will make Complex even more awesome Wink


Just on a side note: I think there should be more maps that aren't surrounded by dust clouds and flashy bright things. It makes it feel too happy. I like the atmosphere in EVO. Darkness, Cold utter darkness: You're alone in the vast nothingness of Space. THAT'S what space is: Vast...empty...dark and dangerous Wink

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ireland
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject:  
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Yes in space no one can hear you scream, unless you leave the com link open...

Perhaps we could have an on/off switch for the 2.0 Shaders. It would be nice to have them. It's just that I remember some of the shading effects causing problems way back in HW2. Still, hardware has advanced so much since then.

Rats, I should have voted yes! Exclamation Shocked Confused Laughing Laughing Rolling Eyes Mr. Green
Still have to have at least one negative, for a valid looking poll.

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canada
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject:  
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Quote:

wow...This look...amazing =O

I'd say: Go for it, this will make Complex even more awesome

Yeah, that basically sums it up Very Happy

Quote:

Just on a side note: I think there should be more maps that aren't surrounded by dust clouds and flashy bright things. It makes it feel too happy. I like the atmosphere in EVO. Darkness, Cold utter darkness: You're alone in the vast nothingness of Space. THAT'S what space is: Vast...empty...dark and dangerous

That's strange - I've always wanted MORE maps with the flashy bright things! Wink I see you're point, though - there's only a very small amount of maps with truly black space; more of them could be a nice addition.

Quote:

Perhaps we could have an on/off switch for the 2.0 Shaders. It would be nice to have them. It's just that I remember some of the shading effects causing problems way back in HW2. Still, hardware has advanced so much since then.

Would be nice to have a switch - might be impossible, but then again it might not. You remember problems with some of the 2.0 shaders? Wait a second...you remember problems from way back in Vanilla??? Mr. Green

Anyway, on the topic of lag - If I remember correctly, it was determined that the processor is what is taking most of the load (and hence, causing most of the lag) in Complex - GPU wasn't even taxed 10% in that test, apparently; so new shaders shouldn't be much of a problem!

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ireland
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject:  
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Walkop2011 wrote:
You remember problems with some of the 2.0 shaders?
I remember a problem with shading effects way back. It used to give the HW2 'eek, eek' alert sound. I think it was a vid card issue.

Walkop2011 wrote:
so new shaders shouldn't be much of a problem!
Agreed.
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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:27 pm    Post subject:  
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It would need to be integrated into some type of "video quality" "High" or "Low" option.
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ireland
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:55 pm    Post subject:  
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This is what the Vanilla HW2 does I think?
It knows whether high or low quality will work on a user's machine.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:52 am    Post subject:  
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ALC wrote:
it would add to lag on some systems

No, hw2 engine is cpu based mostly. My GF280 never exceed 55 degrees boundary. All lag problems are CPU based. Complex has too many objects to operate during gameplay and the game engine is not optimized to use modern multiprocessor systems. Shaders will do no harm actually, its just an opportunity to give VGA some work
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject:  
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No, hw2 engine is cpu based mostly. My GF280 never exceed 55 degrees boundary. All lag problems are CPU based. Complex has too many objects to operate during gameplay and the game engine is not optimized to use modern multiprocessor systems. Shaders will do no harm actually, its just an opportunity to give VGA some work

Exactly my notion. Good point, there - Homeworld 2 puts most of the load on the CPU - not the GPU. Theres barely any load on the graphics department (at least, for almost all newer systems).

Edit: On the subject of shading: Does anyone know how to perform the things necessary for converting shader standards on any model to 2.0? Saying you know how to do it doesn't mean you have to or you have a responsibility to, its just useful to have an idea if there is anyone with the skills to do so in the community. I don't know if this is in any way similar to UV mapping, either. I would even be glad to learn, if I knew where to start Wink
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject:  
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No lag? Good!
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:12 pm    Post subject:  
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To the lag problem does it also happen in multiplayergames or is it really just a AI problem?

the Schaders look good and there seams to be a massive fleet fighting in the video all without lag. looks really good but its too dark for my taste.

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject:  
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Lag would adversely affect multiplayer games badly if one player's machine was suffering more than others as it would drag down all of the players. But I think that with modern computers this isn't going to be an issue with these 2.0 shaders.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:23 pm    Post subject:  
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Quote:

looks really good but its too dark for my taste.

...and and a few dozen people in the comments agree with you Wink
Apparently they just used a dark map, to be able to better show off the new lighting effects.
Quote:

No lag? Good!

Yeah - I know. Makes a great thing even better Wink

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germany
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject:  
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is it just the light-effects that changed?
or what else changed in the new shader?
i can't see a very big dfference. can anybody tell me where to focus on when watching the video?

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