Graphics engine choice (RE: [MUD-Dev] size)

Paolo Piselli ppiselli at
Mon Oct 6 12:22:35 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

--- Derek Licciardi <kressilac at> wrote:

> Lastly, You're already behind on the content race. Why waste a
> huge segment of development time waiting for the engine to be
> stable and developed to the point where your entire art pipeline
> is complete?  The 12 months of idle art time could have been put
> to far better use.  It doesn't make sense.  Buy the engine and
> implement 100 new quests and I am sure your players will thank you
> for it with their wallets.

Derek makes an excellent point, but its not just about time cost.
In the coming years the cost of producing content will explode
faster than the cost of developing graphics engine n+1.  Doubling
polycounts, texture resolutions, texture-passes, number of
pixel-shader instructions, etc. will only yeild some small epsilon
of improved visual quality compared to the geometric increase in
artist-hours required to produce said content.  Combine these
requirements for improved visual quality with an escalation of user
expectations with regards to quantity of content and unique artistic
stylization, and you have a colossus of art assets needed for
generating graphical MUD n+1.

WoW comes to mind as an example of the rising bar for quality,
quantity and stylization of artistic content.  They seem to have
made a smart move in specificly _not_ choosing to spend their effort
on pixel-shaded-bump-mapped-graphical-engine n+1 to gain epsilon of
visual quality, but rather to put their dev time into creating a
richly-realized world with a unique stylization to set it apart from
the pack of Tolkein n+1 graphical MUDs.

- Paolo

Paolo Piselli
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