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Archives  News  Diablo III: Blood Pools, Health Bars, Tomes Of Knowledge  

Monday, June 29, 2009

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Diablo III: Blood Pools, Health Bars, Tomes Of Knowledge
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In recent posts on the official Diablo III forums, community manager Bashiok discussed how long blood will remain on screen, the implementation of floating health bars over monsters, and how tomes of knowledge will be used in the game. Diablo III is Blizzard Entertainment's long awaited return to the popular action RPG franchise.

On keeping blood on the floor:
Even decals, which are textures, impact performance. So there has to be some limit on how many of them are allowed to linger and for how long. We have to try to strike a balance somewhere. Also, a ground literally covered with corpses or blood becomes less and less interesting, more and more confusing, and can actually create some frustration.

Regarding visible markers, we put a lot of effort into building rooms and areas to ensure that the randomly generated dungeons are indeed random, but also not confusing and maze-like. We don't want everything to look the same. So in that respect a visual marker of a blood spot or corpse really shouldn't be necessary.
Ok, you guys pushed and pushed, and now I have to talk about things I don't understand! HAPPY!?

Julian Love, our lead tech artist and forum lurker extraordinaire offers some additional insight into these things we call graphics:
Every independent thing that we show in the game has to be put into a special package that we call a "draw call," which is then delivered to the 3D card to be rendered on screen. Itís not too different from preparing xmas gifts in that everything you want your relatives to receive must be packaged up in some way and then driven across the country in order to arrive there on time. Your CPU does this packaging and delivery and it takes a lot of bandwidth, so it ends up being one of the most crucial expenses to manage. Now, the truly horrible thing is that from a draw call cost perspective, each individual splattering of blood on the floor is every bit as expensive as a character or a dead body: they both cost one draw call. Beyond that, the differences tend to be somewhat trivial.

So, that's a lot of words just to say that blood splats can be every bit as expensive as, and in some ways, more expensive than dead bodies. It's counter intuitive, but this is the way it actually works.

Thanks JLove.
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Archives  News  Diablo III: Blood Pools, Health Bars, Tomes Of Knowledge