Excuse Me, I'm Going To Go Lie Down On This Beautiful Video Game Grass

Time to check in again with the Outerra project, an engine that's currently being developed that threatens to make video games more awesome. How dare it.

The last time we checked in, things were on a planetary scale. This time, let's close in, look at some grass. Which may sound boring, but when it's done this lavishly and looks this good, and is procedurally-generated to boot (dropping in "bald" patches and changing the density and elevation), it's super interesting.

Those of a more technical persuasion can read the finer details below.

Procedural grass rendering [Outerra]


    The trees look bad. Why don't they sway in the wind?

      because it's a calm, breezeless day? Where are the trees you've done?

        He's just pointing out that the trees do look rather static and dull in comparison with the grass.

        And just because someone hasn't done X, doesn't mean they can't see flaws in X...

          .. or how about instead of being such a critic all the time, go out and build your own engine with better trees. The engine is still in development, and CM just sounds like yet another spoilt little sh*t pointing out flaws left, right and centre from the safety of his bedroom, all because it doesn't live up to his standards. It's lame. Get out there and develop one yourself.

            Dumb comment is dumb.

            I don't get this attitude. If you release anything into the wild, you have to ride the criticisms, and that goes especially with art.

            That said, I was impressed, and yes - I assume there is work to be done.

            Don't like the current Australian government? JEEZ. I DON'T SEE YOU GOING OUT AND PROVING YOU CAN MAKE A BETTER GOVERNMENT.

              I don't get on internet forums and critise them like they somehow owe me something either.

              Look I'm not saying criticism is bad, just be constructive with it. Give some advise on how they can technically make it better instead of just whinging. I mean have a read of CMs comment, he sounds like a spoilt child crying to his mother.

                Uhh, saying "The trees don't sway in the wind" isn't exactly whinging. Saying "omg ur shit bcus ur trees luk liek they came out of doom or something" is whinging. Saying "The trees look bad" is a pretty valid criticism, and he even offers you the courtesy of explaining WHY, namely, that they don't sway in the wind.

                I don't see anything wrong here.

                He is saying the trees look bad. Relevan to the topic and far less annoying the reading you saying he is a whiner

                no he doesnt. you sound like someone who has way to much invested in this game. all he said was "the trees look bad. why don't they sway in the wind?" seems highly reasonable to me. maybe by him pointing this out they will go ok we can improve on this and make it look even better. just like i think they need a view more levels of grass detail to make it less dramatic the switch between depth levels. pretty distracting as you see grass rendering into more detailed versions as you get closer.

                "Look I’m not saying criticism is bad, just be constructive with it."

                Because suggesting that they sway in the wind wasn't constructive....

                Sketchy you are touchy little moron.

            This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

        So if I eat a souffle and it tastes like the sole of a boot, I'm not allowed to criticise it if I haven't made a souffle?

        That's really one of the worst arguments on the internet. Stop doing it.

          no, for your example to be at all like what sketchy said, you would only be allowed to criticise a souffle if you had first spent several years and millions of dollars invented your own kind of souffle.

          Wow....I think you're looking a LITTLE too much into this one, buddy. I just made a suggestion based on the trees being still along with the grass and then asked him to show me his trees. You might need to just relax there a little, Internet Hero, Im sure there is another forum somewhere that needs your assistance in matters of souffles and boot soles.

            Defending the designers of crap trees makes you the internet hero actually.

      Because this is a GRASS demo. This engine isn't finished yet, although it already looks fantastic. For this video they were demonstrating the grass, not the trees. Keep an eye out for the TREE demo.

    Trees look awful. This is rubbish

      And the award for missing the point goes to YOU!!!!!

      You're not looking at the trees you dick, you're looking at the grass. No crosshatched grass like in every other freakin game. Actual density, actual realistic swaying, actual real looking grass. Trees can be worked on as singular objects but that, the grass is amazing.

        No, I'm pretty sure that award goes to you.

        Hint: Read the comment tree above.

          His comment isn't part of the comment tree above *rolls eyes*

    Consider me impressed.. again. There's a couple of moments there in that clip that could quite easily be mistaken for real life footage. Somebody, please make an RPG with this engine.

      Is it wrong the first thing I thought was "Need to get Jims mowing in..." lol

    Well this isn't a tree tech demo is it? It's a grass tech demo, and that's some mighty fine grass right there.

      The engine ain't finished yet, trees are most likely a 2-second copy and paste Speedtree job. That grass looks incredible! A great technical achievement.

        Exactly, if anything the trees would be a visual cue to give a sense of distance.

    But whats the point of sexy grass when your trees look like shit?

      getting it done in parts, rather than spend 10 years hitting every mark, is practical.
      the point of sexy grass is so you can spend 3 months to 2 years on trees

      and then sand,
      alluvial traces on dirt based on procedural/fractal environment maps,
      ocean depth rendering,
      caves and mountains,
      atmospheric haze and refraction
      dust/snow/fog/fluid vortices and peturbation vectors

      at the same time. people will still post,

      you built an ultrarealistic sandbox world,
      why aren't there dragons in this?
      where are the bikini armor girls ?
      why aren't there health packs, guns and a HUD on this ?

        Given the way they generate land elevation, I'd be interested to see how they would handle something like caves

    I really wish they hadn't shown the three colour thing, all I can see now is detail pop. It's fantastic otherwise.

    i want to play bf3 on that map

    Wow, makes me want to go grab the lawn mower.

    I see this as the total war battlefields of the future.

    The hell with higher polygon counts, what video games need to move into the future is better-looking grass.

    How's something like this for rescources?
    I imagine if you're doing a whole world with this level of detail it aint going to be pretty.

    Awesome. I remembered this game recently and spent all weekend trying to remember its name. I spent ages searching for "planet generating game", "terrain generation", etc.

    Then I come on Kotaku and you've posted me a helpful link. Thanks guys!

    It looks good, yes, but part of me doesn't want video games' graphics to be realistic.

    Things like these will keep on getting better and better as technology advances, but if you can get a distinctive look to your game's graphics then it'll look timeless.

    BEST GRASS EVA!Just like my stoner friend always says, pity the trees,shadows,sky Etc. looks like it game outa 1995.

    And people keep saying that we don't need a new generation of hardware, that the current gen is about as good as games can get ...

    I particularly like how they procedurally generated the yellow, purple and blue grass. That was awesome (dons fire retardant apparel).

    But seriously ,I am all for this and the revolution it should bring to gaming graphics but I still get a bit peeved that no-one has bothered to look into how grass grows, ie thinner under trees where there isn't as much light, almost nothing under pines as their needles acidify the soil to the point that nothing else can grow in competition with the tree, animal trails criss-crossing the landscape across lines of least resistance, occasional clods of dirt ..... I could go on but you get the idea.

    It still looks as sterile and contrived as any grass sprite I've seen. Think outside the box designers.

      That's where the eye of an artist would come into the equation. A coder creates the tech, an artist makes it look interesting.

      I think that a lot of what you're saying could also be procedurally generated down the track, as far as the effect of trees/sunlight/elevated areas are concerned

    All you guys complaining about how it looks, here's some more video footage of what this engine is capable of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L3ZUQUGvxQ

      Thank you!. Now maybe some of these people will actually realise the shear scale of what they are trying to achieve with this, they might even stop crying about the f*ckin trees and give the developers some props.

    I don't understand the point of this, where is the US army and explosions?

    But can you watch it grow?

    Looks better than every Tiger Woods game ever made.

    As soon as that synth bass drone kicked in, I thought ninjas were going to jump out from the trees.

    Even more awesome than swaying trees would be if they looked back and the grass was flattened or had footprints in it.

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