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The Big Graphics Problems Bungie Wants To Solve

Hao Chen, Bungie's senior graphics engineer, identifies the big visual problems the Halo creators want to solve in the coming years, in today's Gamasutra feature
Hao Chen, Bungie's senior graphics engineer, identifies the big visual problems the Halo creators want to solve in the coming years, in today's Gamasutra feature interview, reprinted from sister publication Game Developer magazine. Asked about the big graphics problems that need to be solved in the coming years, Chen's answer focused on Bungie's own graphics and engine. "Number one is removing digital artifacts... removing all the jaggies, having very clean foliage edges, and awesome looking hair with no artifacts. Removing these digital artifacts that remind people you are staring at a computer screen is one of our top priorities." "The other challenge is selling a dynamic world," Chen said. "In terms of what we think is important, we will even lower some of the quality in order for us to have a more dynamic world. This means dynamic time of day, lots of things that move in the wind, lots of things reacting to players moving through them, and when you walk on soft surfaces like sand and mud, you leave footprints. So basically everything we do to sell that this world is moving and dynamic is important to us." "And then perhaps the last one is believable characters. That's still one of the areas where we still spend a huge amount of emphasis in animation, in the rendering of character faces and facial animation, and just characters in general, that's still one of our high emphases. In the end what we're trying to do is deliver the fidelity where it really matters to the end user." Why are these three elements the major targets for Bungie's efforts? Said Chen, "that's the stuff that makes the player not believe they're in this game." The "illusion is broken" when players don't believe in a character's face, he said, and creating the illusion is what keeps Bungie making games. The full feature, in which Chen goes in-depth into just how the developer is tackling its graphics development solutions for its next title and the next generation of consoles, is live now on Gamasutra.

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