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Arma2 in perfection

ArmA 2: Maxed out graphics

The tactical shooter ArmA 2, also known as Armed Assault 2, is quite challenging for the hardware if the video options are set to the max. PC Games Hardware presents some impressive screenshots.
Armed Assault 2: Maxed out graphics (9)
 
Armed Assault 2: Maxed out graphics (9) [Source: view picture gallery]
In Germany ArmA 2 has been released more than a week ago and caught some attention with incredible hardware requirements (see our article Armed Assault 2: Graphics card benchmarks and visual quality compared). Customers are already selling the game again because it is apparently not running on their systems. Although the first Patch 1.01 for ArmA 2 has already been released for download, the game is still most challenging for the hardware.

Currently a lot of people are angry about the state ArmA 2 has been released in. Furthermore it is interesting to see that the military simulation has been released in Germany (May 29, 2009) three weeks before the game hits the rest of the European markets (June 19, 2009) and even a month before Armed Assault 2 will finally be released in the US.

Regardless of all the drawbacks it is nevertheless possible to reach hardly matched graphics in Armed Assault 2. Screenshot specialist Jay.Gee, about whom we already reported several times, shows, what visual quality can be reached with the Real Virtuality Engine.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

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Author: Thilo Bayer (Jun 09, 2009)






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Comments (14)

Comments 11 to 14  Read all comments here!
Timber Re: ArmA 2: Maxed out graphics
Junior Member
16.06.2009 19:30
Quote: (Originally Posted by ruyven_macaran)
Well, if you don't care for bugs...
Imho even a very few unfitting game elements have a severe impact on my game experience.


The "complexity" you are describing isn't "complex". It's just big.. *snip*



While I do get what you are meaning, I have to disagree on the 'it's just big', in comparison to RCT (which I love BTW, my daughters make some wicked coasters just trying to make me sick, ) Your examples have a lot of 'just's in them (implied simplicity). 'Just make a graphics engine, tie the spacial aspects of that into the occlusion mapping for the sound, and AI logics for nodeless cover and in-building positioning, and ballistics, and distance for the sound.. AND make that optimized for 1000's of troops.. AND make it optimized (cpu loading auto adjust) so I can see everything 10k out. And the rest is easy. Just make the AI work alone, or as a team, or as an army, as close to lifelike response as possible, in an open, all possibilities exist, non scripted environment, whether under my command or that of an AI commander (initiative) to my satisfaction. And just make your sound system capable of handling all these units, and said spacial anomolies, scale... I'm tired, there is simply too many subtleties when you play, to ignore that the scale alone, and allowance for it's effect on EVERYTHING else is simply staggering. And no, just no. It's not something that simply works again and again like in BF/COD on a 500x500m map. The fact they programmed past the 32bit memory limitation alone speaks of complexity (see the BIS blog).

The 'one success means all success engine' argument doesn't hold water. As a fact to that point, you are about to find out how hard it is when you see the neutered outcome of OFPR. They followed your idea, the simple 'pop it out of the can and put it in the pot' method, using a successful game engine- Ego, for something it's just not meant to do in scale. May be bug free out of the box, but will not -at all- be capable of what Arma II does.

IF/when you get OFPR, please place even 600-700 units in a pitched battle and fight it out in MP with 40-50 of your mates, THEN we can chat about simple or complex, and why it's bugged and being repaired. So, for what it delivers, I can deal with the birthing pains, hope you can manage it too. Hope to see you in the field.

Have a good one.
ruyven_macaran Re: ArmA 2: Maxed out graphics
Super Moderator
14.06.2009 14:18
Well, if you don't care for bugs...
Imho even a very few unfitting game elements have a severe impact on my game experience.


The "complexity" you are describing isn't "complex". It's just big.
But big doesn't mean a lot more bugs, especially it doesn't require more testing. Wether the GFX system renders 10m correctly or 10km - I just need to look at the rendering and I see, wether there is a bug or not. As well with the streaming: Make a map with the maximum number of handles and test, wether it works - the process ist the same, no matter how this number actually is.
So while a game of this style is definetly a pain in the ass to optimize or, more correctly, to develop an engine, that makes it playable at all, it shouldn't be so much harder to debug. Especially as any program running so many times to handle all these objects should be a quite short program.
You might even raise the point, that a sandbox game is a whole lot easier to debug, as there is no linear sequence of actions expected anyway. (again: It can be a lot harder to develop, for example every script has to be bound to an area and this area must suit it from every angle, while in a limited corridor you can place a single switch at "the" entrance - but once you have it working, it works you don't have to care for people finding a way of skipping your "entrance". The only way I could imagine for this to result in an increased number of bugs, is when you don't fix them on purpose -because of complex code?-, but deliver a program with known bugs. But this certainly doesn't attrack my sympathy...)



BTW: RCT has to handle AI for well over 1000 independently operating visitors, basic physics of dozens of attractions and an I-suppose-extreme-streaming-load, as every single animation step, movement or change in viewing angle is not a simple command to the GPU, but requieres the display of a different, prerenderd sprite.
Admittedly there is no 10km view distance and destructability, but still some high numbers giving the impression of complexity. (and certainly a lot more of optimization, as all this runs fine on a couple of 100MHz)
Timber Re: ArmA 2: Maxed out graphics
Junior Member
13.06.2009 16:44
Quote: (Originally Posted by ruyven_macaran)
You don't have to look back this far. Famous American McGee's Alice was already quite sophisticated and "needed" exactly one patch - to fix a few graphic-glitches on exotic matrox-videocards. And for small companies: RollerCoaster Tycoon is still consiederd a very good game and was developed entirely by practically one person. Oh and as far as I see, theres only one patch and that this deals with a minor bug, that can appear in a few scenarios in an add-on and only unter Win2000.
So while its certainly not easy, to make a complex, bug-free software - it's not impossible to have practically everyone enjoy your product.
(if you don't decide to safe a few bucks in testing and instead shut down the developerstudio, as happened with Troika Games of the still very good, very ambitous, but only half-ready and bug-infested Vampire Bloodlines)



You speak of two different things, enjoying the product (which depends almost entirely on the subjective experience and tastes of the user), and bug free. Not the same thing. With Arma2, I'm having a absolute blast (subjective), with a reasonably bugged product.

And Sooo.. These games you speak of had the complexity of:

1- Entire core processes to handle streaming terrain with over a million 'destruction interactive' objects on it?
2- Supports 1000's of unique AI (700-800 visible at any moment, much more and you'll melt an average GPU) that use raycasting to find cover, and can engage on the ground, fly, and drive (def. needs patching, but you get the idea)
3- Optimized GFX system that can render all this to 10km, and is quite future proof. You get more bang for your buck over time.
4- Ballistics for ALL those units over ALL that space (you can cover the entire island with artillery)
5- Burdended by that, you still can reasonably have 50-60 people playing tactically with or against AI/players using the existing netcode.

Of course, there's more but I'll leave it at that.

I think not. You are compairing a neatly packaged shoebox for one person, with an open sandbox for the whole damn neighborhood. Honestly there is nothing that you CAN compare this to. OFPR isn't going to come close to this level of burden, or possibility. This really is the only game of it's type with the scale and flexibility it shows.

My opinion of course,
Cheers

System Specs:
ATI 3870
Phenom quad core
6gb memory
1.2TB RAID array

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