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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Next-Gen "Not Just About Pretty Graphics"

So says Chris Williams of LucasArts. What's interesing, though, is the common theme of what Williams then proceeds to show:

To demonstrate this, Williams showed a level from the Xbox 360 version of the Indiana Jones game. He highlighted the many different and unpredictable ways enemies will fall when hit, or grab out for something to hold onto when falling.

"There are different payoffs for every action in the game," Williams explained, adding, "When you are creating these moments that are truly your own, you are telling your own story."

Williams then demonstrated some impressive physics effects in a new, as yet unnamed Star Wars game from LucasArts. R2-D2 was shown being repeatedly thrown into planks of wood, which broke in realistic and different ways depending on their thickness, and a similar demo followed featuring the character of Jar Jar Binks encased in carbonite ("arguably where he belongs"). To conclude, Williams played a short video highlighting 'force power', which allows gamers to release bursts of power, pick up enemies and objects and slam them into walls
-- Indy Jones dev talks next-gen

So apparently pretty graphics isn't what it's about - but physics and interactive environments certainly might be what it's about. I suppose Half-Life 2 (or I would say Psi-Ops, but still) showed that this could be a sign of things to come. As graphics get more and more expensive to produce but physics (especially once aided by hardware) levels off ... will games get less pretty but more .... physical?

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