Tech That Powered Milo & Kate Makes Xbox 360 Look Brand New

Tech That Powered Milo & Kate Makes Xbox 360 Look Brand New
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Fable developer Lionhead was working on an ambitious Kinect-controlled game, Milo & Kate, and developing new engine technology to go with it. They showed off some of that new tech at GDC and, well, it’s really, really good looking.

Ben Sugden, lead programmer at Lionhead Studios showed off Milo & Kates’ world at GDC in his talk, “Mega Meshes – Modelling, rendering and lighting a world made of 100 billion polygons.” Sugden says Lionhead wanted to “render a world seen through the eyes of a young boy,” Milo, developing new megatexturing tech, new lighting and new levels of realism.

“We decided the world needed to have a hand sculpted feel but have the softness and subtlety of realistic lighting,” Sugden explains in his talk, adding “we really wanted to try to make the world to appear be a coherent, single whole, like one huge painting or sculpture.”

“One thing in particular that we wanted to try to avoid were hard polygon edges when objects are obviously placed onto of other objects, or when two objects are intersecting rather than nestling together naturally,” Sugden explains. “These obvious sharp edges give a very unnatural interface between two surfaces, and break the illusion of the world being real…”

While close study of the Milo & Kate engine’s capabilities does reveal some visible geometry, there’s an impressive softness and roundness to it all. Sugden says the above video capture of that tech is “really sucky” and that the engine runs at 30Hz.


  • wow, absolutely amazing, the foliage especially looks good. Crappy plants and trees with 2D foliage is something I really don’t like in games.

    problem with this kind of quality I’m sure is the amount of time it takes to create a small area. Every step in that garden was different, every wooden board on the pier.

    They obviously didn’t repeat resources everywhere and just tile everything, would be totally mind blowing to see that level of work in a retail title.

  • Wow, games are getting much closer to reaching animated movie quality. This footage – it almost looks like a camera moving around a world from a Dreamworks or Pixar film.

    I’m guessing the absence of physics, AI, multiple characters contributes to making worlds like this a little more possible.

    Impressive demo.

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