It has been a slow news month, although E3 sure did impress i thought i write a little about what i have been going for the last month or so.
You see a while ago gamedev.net aquired the rights to Neon Helium productions or NeHe for short.
And with that came the promise to revamp the website and lessons, this is now being done with the help of a handful of community regulars, and this includes me.
Currently we haven’t gotten that far as we are currently discussing things like writing standards and functional specifications of the base code to lesson 1, and on top of that our dev wiki apparently died a day ago, but i hope that soon we will start to get things together an actually produce something.
Now the new lessons won’t be like the previous ones (well ok, some will) but i think that they will rather follow the current developments in real time computer graphics, for instance vertex buffer objects are now on lesson45, this was fine like 5 years ago, but today most if not all software use vertex arrays and vertex buffer objects, so one person suggested that vertex arrays would be moved up to like lesson5 and VBO’s shortly thereafter, i agree on this.
Another thing to consider is the span of hardware people use, on the Nehe forums i have seen everything from the latest of the latest of the most powerful and hardware that was hardly top of the line during the voodoo days (as in 3DFX voodoo, not the religion, but it may as well be that since to run modern stuff on that stuff you will need some real magic).
Now this span is troublesome to game programmers and artists out there since you always want to use thee best of the best and still have as many players as possible, one great indicator of this is World of Warcraft, for all it’s greatness it is still the definition of low poly modeling, they could have done it better.
Instead game developers are now trying to add as many add on effects for people with the graphics power to turn on.
The new lessons will also reflect this need of graphics throttling, i am pretty sure that supersampling, true motion blur and FSAA tuts are needed, but we also need to make sure that whatever can adjust the quality/speed ratio should.
Along this the new lessons should teach the proper way to do things according to the strengths and weaknesses of modern graphics accelerators.
To tell you the truth, i am a bit exited about this, NeHe is a pretty popular place and whatever we produce it will have an impact on a lot of new openGL based software, in fact it will have a slight effect on how real time graphics are developing, this has an undeniably great coolness factor to it.
It would be cool if ATI and NVIDIA started to request custom lessons from us, or if the ARB asked us to write a new extension or two.
And on an related issue, tutorial 03 (HDR) is in the works, but don’t hold your breath just yet, i need to build and texture some custom geometry first to really show the power of normal mapping, tut 02 a-c will also get updated geometry, textures and normal map as soon as i complete the high def base mesh of around 10 million polygons.