Uber Mega-textures!

We had a brief chat with the duo about the mega-texture technology which the game will be showcasing on release. It was obvious that the technology has come on a bit since the E3 trailer of last year and jumping in to the game as it is now really shows that.

“The mega-textures in the game are now about twice the size as they were in that trailer. Todd Hollenshead said proudly as he sat down to play a game with us. “The technology renders the entire battlefield un-tiled and unbroken to the horizon, representing terrain with inch-level detail.”

“Levels are about a mile across diagonally,” Paul told us as he no-clipped around the mountains, looking for a good place to deploy an artillery turret, “There’s no fog in the levels now. So, if you get into a dogfight with people then they don’t keep disappearing and if you’re in a good spot you can snipe across the whole map.”

One thing that worried us though was how the mega-texture technology, which uses massive (32768 x 32768, reportedly) textures across a whole level to make sure each area appears unique and without repetition, will affect mod makers. These textures supposedly take up 3GB in their raw form after all.

“We have a tool called MegaGen that allows level designers to geometrically distribute textures around the map based on things like altitudes and inclines. So, they can start with a world mesh they’ve created in either TerraGen or World Machine and then they can select our texture sets which have preset properties. MegaGen knows grass stops growing at certain inclines for example and that weathered rocks go at high altitude and so on, so it can apply these rules with our dozens of textures to give a realistic pallete.”

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars preview Megatextures and Movies Enemy Territory: Quake Wars preview Megatextures and Movies
The gameplay is built from a system of counters and counter-counters.

“Designers can then load this up in game and literally paint detail like tire tracks onto the world. It’s actually pretty easy to put a mega-texture together.” Paul told us as he ran up and down the beautiful Japanese mountains.

“The game will be shipping with an SDK and source code, plus some map media” Hollenshead chipped in. “Plus, the system requirements will be similar to how they were in Quake V”

Wait a minute, I said, stopping the game for a second. Did you say Quake V?

After a moments laughter, Hollenshead conceded his mistake. “There isn’t a Quake V, if there was then this would be it.” Still, sniffing a juicy rumour we pressed a little further and asked about the possibility of a Quake movie.

“Well, Hollywood’s a funny place and always wants to know what you’ve done for them recently. We’d only be ten percent of the way there if we sold the rights to somebody interested in it. I think when Enemy Territory comes out it’ll provoke a lot of interest but we still own the rights for now. There could be a Quake movie and you’re spot on in that we want to base it on the Strogg/Human conflict.”

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars preview Megatextures and Movies Enemy Territory: Quake Wars preview Megatextures and Movies
The maps cover a wide range of indoor and outside locations, with real geographical significance.

A juicy rumour indeed, and the speed at which Hollenshead answered the question leads us to think that there may be more than just what he's said. With Raven already at work on a Return to Castle Wolfenstein sequel and definite rumours of a Wolfenstein movie planned for the near future, but which Todd wouldn't comment about on the record, it seems like the big brains at id Software may be thinking very seriously about a Quake movie in the foreseeable future.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04