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Author Topic: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)  (Read 7434 times)

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http://www.joystiq.com/2009/06/24/bethesda-parent-company-buys-id-software

Reactions?  To be honest, my first thought when I read the title was "oh sweet, maybe the next Elder Scrolls game will run on the Rage engine instead of that Gamebryo shit" which is a topic they kind of flirt with during the article.

I am pretty positive about the whole thing, I guess?
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jun 2009, 21:51 »

It can't really be all that bad.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #2 on: 24 Jun 2009, 23:47 »

Man, ditching Gamebryo could be the best thing going for future Elder Scrolls titles.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2009, 23:51 »

Elder Scrolls 5 is probably too far along in development at this point for them to switch engines. Fallout 4, potentially.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jun 2009, 01:49 »

You shut your god-damned mouth, Bryan!  I don't want to hear any of that kind of talk! :cccccc
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jun 2009, 04:28 »

Is there any information at all about Elder Scrolls 5 yet?
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jun 2009, 05:19 »

It'll be interesting to see how this turns out. It seems to me like this means id will be going primarily console-based.

On the other hand, it would mean that id is now well positioned to make a strong return to the world of gaming. Their inaction whilst epic took over the market really crushed them and made it harder and harder to finally take action, as their personnel and resources went down the drain with every year they stalled.
« Last Edit: 25 Jun 2009, 05:25 by Spluff »
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jun 2009, 14:59 »

You shut your god-damned mouth, Bryan!  I don't want to hear any of that kind of talk! :cccccc

Sorry dude, but it's been an extremely poorly kept secret that ESV has been in development for over a year now, there's no way they'd start over from scratch at this point. New Vegas probably gives them a bit of a grace period with Fallout, especially since they've been supporting 3 with pretty extensive DLC. If Bethesda does decide to make a switch in technology due to this partnership, it will be for Fallout 4 at the earliest, possibly not even that.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jun 2009, 15:27 »

I figured it was a matter of time. Id's a dinosaur, churning out solid tech, but they haven't put out an awesome game for some time.

John Carmack's still pretty boss though.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #9 on: 25 Jun 2009, 19:28 »

Well, shit :(

I can still hold out hope for future iterations of the series though, right?
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #10 on: 25 Jun 2009, 20:08 »

Well we can hope that the next iteration of Gamebryo isn't total shit.

We can!
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #11 on: 25 Jun 2009, 20:14 »

Quake 5: the Sandbox RPG.

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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #12 on: 25 Jun 2009, 20:35 »

Also happened today - Mythic was absorbed into Bioware. Expect a huge-ass would-be-WoWkiller to hit sometime around 2012 from these guys.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jun 2009, 20:57 »

Well we can hope that the next iteration of Gamebryo isn't total shit.

Well, apparently for Oblivion they made some pretty heavy graphical modifications.  It would be pretty cool to see that happen again incorporating some of id's tech 5 where possible, because from what I have seen of the tech 5 engine it metaphorically chews up parts of GameBryo, shits it back out & rubs the resulting excrement in the rest of the engine's face.
« Last Edit: 25 Jun 2009, 20:59 by est »
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #14 on: 25 Jun 2009, 21:15 »

oh hey also, maybe the mods that Bethesda put into place are part of the problem.  I found this tech demo from 2007 using the GameBryo engine that (in my opinion) looks superior to Oblivion.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jun 2009, 22:22 »

That would have to have been modified, as it has cast shadows and dynamic lighting.

(also pretty water)
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #16 on: 25 Jun 2009, 22:39 »

Gamebryo is used for all different sorts of games. Here's a full list. Includes such greats as Civ IV, and the Playboy Mansion Game.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #17 on: 26 Jun 2009, 02:30 »

My point is that that video is, modified or not, using the GameBryo engine.  If the Bethesda guys couldn't get the same result out of it as the people that created that tech demo then it's their fault, not GameBryo's.

In any case, the version of GameBryo they used for Fallout 3 was superior to the one they used for Oblivion, so hopefully even if there's no improvements via id tech incorporated into the mix it'll still look a little less like ass this time around.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #18 on: 26 Jun 2009, 02:57 »

Also happened today - Mythic was absorbed into Bioware. Expect a huge-ass would-be-WoWkiller to hit sometime around 2012 from these guys.

If you believe the reports coming out from E3, it might just be The Old Republic after all. Just about every single reaction I saw was pretty enthusiastic, and it won the overwhelming majority of publications' PC Game of Show awards.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #19 on: 26 Jun 2009, 06:23 »

As far as using Gamebryo goes, they were making very large open world games.  The only other open world game that used Gamebryo that I'm aware of (or at least they claimed to use it at one point) was Two Worlds.  They probably could have made the animations better (although the scripted animations in some of the scenarios are actually pretty good), but I don't know how much more they could have improved the graphics without it dragging down the frame rate.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #20 on: 26 Jun 2009, 08:16 »

I'm not that tech-savvy, but I know that there's mods out there that makes Oblivion look beautiful. Texture packs and whatnot. Hell, there's even mods that makes Morrowind look prettier than most RPGs out there. You just need the machine to run them. I guess it's not so much a question about the graphics capabilities of an engine, as much as the graphics vs. hardware capabilities? So a good engine gives more bang for the bucks?
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #21 on: 26 Jun 2009, 08:27 »

Even the re-texture and remodeling packs only do so much.  They do improve things a fair bit, but a lot of the problem for me has to do with lighting and reflection-mapping (I think?) which I haven't really found a decent mod for.

I guess all I really want is for both stone and people's skin to not look like it's been carved out of the same shiny plastic?  Everything else is kind of negotiable.  As people should be aware by my constant harping on about the Source engine, I would far prefer a lower level of model/texture realism in trade for a higher level of lighting realism.  When you jack up the realism on the models and textures without a corresponding lift in lighting realism you throw your shit straight into uncanny valley territory, case in point: the absolute abortion that was EverQuest 2.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #22 on: 26 Jun 2009, 08:47 »

I agree.  A lot of engines these days look like everything's been sprayed with gloss.  Rocks aren't supposed to be shiny unless they're wet or, well, glossed.  It worked for games like Mass Effect, though, where everything is futuristic and all the textures are metal or something and everything is reflective.  I've yet to see a game that has reflective surfaces like glass and mirrors and water.  That would make me squirm in my seat with glee.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #23 on: 26 Jun 2009, 08:53 »

Cryostasis actually does a pretty good job with reflective ice and water.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #24 on: 26 Jun 2009, 08:57 »

What games run off that engine?

EDIT - I Googled it.  Nevermind.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #25 on: 26 Jun 2009, 09:34 »

I got it for free with a less than honesty abuse of EVGA, and I have really enjoyed it so far. Very intense, although it really does seem like a niche game.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #26 on: 26 Jun 2009, 18:25 »

Far Cry 2 did an excellent job with lighting/water (made it look amazing during the day - at night, the crappy modelling and textures came out to play). Crysis did well (it did well with everything).

Not too many games with mirrors, though - the reflected lighting from the mirrors would absolutely eat up your graphics card.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #27 on: 26 Jun 2009, 18:34 »

Does Portal count?
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #28 on: 26 Jun 2009, 19:42 »

Morrowind is still the most addictive RPG I've played....so...

I think Bethesda should focus more on putting the same drug on CD again.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #29 on: 26 Jun 2009, 20:38 »

Same here.  I found Morrowind superior to Oblivion in many subtle and not so subtle ways.  The introduction of Havok physics in Oblivion was very welcome, as well as the new setting with new things to do.  The improved graphics were a mixed bag.  I appreciated some improvements, but others not so much.  Magic, enchanting and alchemy were all hobbled.  One could argue that certain things needed to be done in order to unbreak the game, (ie: the bug where certain potions improved your alchemy, then you made another better one and and quaffed, another better on and quaffed, etc until you could crank up your intelligence i think it was to superhuman levels in shorts bursts almost constantly) but there's got to be more intelligent ways to counteract that, such as the Witcher's poison/inebriation level (without effect-clearing potions that people use to rort the Witcher's system) or just simply limiting the the number of potions that can be consumed in a certain time-frame some other fashion.

I also didn't appreciate the dumbed-down skills sub-set they provided us with in Oblivion.  They should have at least kept Axes on their own skillset, as having them paired up with blunt weapons didn't make much sense to me.  Hopefully the next iteration will bring back some of the things people found superior in Morrowind & bitched about missing in Oblivion?  I know that the TES forum community was/is very vocal, but I'm not sure how much effect that will have on Bethesda's choices.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #30 on: 26 Jun 2009, 20:42 »

Does Portal count?

Not actually having looked at how they render the portals in the source code, I believe they just use copies of what is already there.  So they're not bouncing the lighting through the portals or anything.  The scene's lighting isn't changed by having portals open anywhere.  The player might see the effect of lights on the other side of the portal, but the actual lighting of the objects on both ends is unchanged by this.

Most games don't bother with bouncing the lighting off of objects, they just use tricks like ambient occlusion and subsurface scattering to make it appear that way.  Or they give an object multiple light sources to make the shadows appear more realistic.  Fraser or Joe, am I guessing this right?  I haven't really looked into how renderers work that much, this is just a cobbled understanding of where the technology is now.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #31 on: 26 Jun 2009, 23:23 »

Yeah, that's about the jist of it. Dynamic lighting, unlike something like physics, is too complex to process realistically in real time, so a whole bunch of shortcuts that give an approximation of realistic lighting are used in lieu. This is also the principal reason why there is no universal standard lighting system, and why different engines utilize different lighting systems, unlike physics (Havok, essentially): no one has agreed on the best or most efficient shortcuts to take to get the best effect.

The worst problem with lighting is that it is applied to everything in the game world: while things like gravity are easy to apply because they only affect certain objects, lighting affects everything universally, at once. In Crysis, for example, it was not so much the foliage itself that caused systems to grind to a halt but rather that applying dynamic lighting to all of those leaves individually is a computing nightmare.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #32 on: 27 Jun 2009, 07:17 »

I'm not sure if it's off-topic, but here goes: Do any of you think that in the near future, we'll be able to apply dynamic lighting in computer programs? Not even in video games, maybe just a stand-alone program showing off the abilities of dynamic lightning.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #33 on: 27 Jun 2009, 07:20 »

Maybe.  I've had a bone with the Havok engine for while now, simply because objects don't seem to have individual masses.  You can toss around heavy objects just as easily as small ones, like everything is made of styrofoam.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #34 on: 27 Jun 2009, 07:37 »

Doom 3 used some degree of dynamic lighting, but I'm pretty sure it was limited to indoor areas only, and didn't drag much because of how dark the game was most of the time.

As far as other programs go, I'm pretty sure they exist.  However, they probably require you to wait a few hours to re-render every time you change a setting for the lighting.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #35 on: 27 Jun 2009, 10:09 »

I agree.  A lot of engines these days look like everything's been sprayed with gloss.  Rocks aren't supposed to be shiny unless they're wet or, well, glossed.  It worked for games like Mass Effect, though, where everything is futuristic and all the textures are metal or something and everything is reflective.  I've yet to see a game that has reflective surfaces like glass and mirrors and water.  That would make me squirm in my seat with glee.
Really? Lighting in Mass Effect was absolutely goddamn awful, probably the worst I've seen in a blockbuster game. Especially in close-up, where the shadows were "feathered" and all the hair looked worse than any Gamebryo plastic 'do.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #36 on: 27 Jun 2009, 10:32 »

I think he was referring to the shiny-plastic syndrome that's most common with the Unreal 3 engine.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #37 on: 27 Jun 2009, 17:26 »

Maybe.  I've had a bone with the Havok engine for while now, simply because objects don't seem to have individual masses.  You can toss around heavy objects just as easily as small ones, like everything is made of styrofoam.

A few of the Oblivion mods I use are specific to altering the attributes of some game objects (like bodies, traps, arrows, etc) to make them react in a more believable fashion.  As a result I'm lead to believe that Havok has the ability to assign mass to objects and have them behave accordingly, but that for either gameplay reasons or something the developers choose to make things fly around more fantastically.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #38 on: 28 Jun 2009, 01:49 »

Havok's been used in a hell of a lot of things with results varying wildly. I think most of it is down to the implementation of it by the developers and the trade-offs you'd have to make for the sake of performance.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #39 on: 28 Jun 2009, 02:41 »

Havok is like Unreal's little cousin -- it's just as scalable and can be just as ugly or beautiful as the developer cares to meld it to. The point to be made here, though, is that there's very little performance decrease as the complexity of the Havok engine increases: the calculations it makes are actually fairly simple from a computing perspective, and instead the real problem is the number of checks made in a given length of time.

Havok is hands-down the most realistic physics engine developed, and it comes pretty close -- just because games like Half-Life 2 or Fallout 3 choose to utilize only select parts of the engine, or dumbed-down parts of the engine doesn't mean that enabling these features would significantly affect the performance of the software.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #40 on: 28 Jun 2009, 11:14 »

Does Portal count?

Not actually having looked at how they render the portals in the source code, I believe they just use copies of what is already there.

If you bother to go through portal with comments on, they say something about how they made the portal textures or whatnot. If you are interested.
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Re: id bought by ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company)
« Reply #41 on: 28 Jun 2009, 12:29 »

I did go through it, I thought he was asking if Portal had lighting changes due to the opening of portals or reflected light through the portals, which it doesn't.
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Quote from: Johnny C
all clothes reflect identity constructs, destroy these constructs by shedding your clothes and sending pictures of the process to the e-mail address linked under my avatar
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