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Thursday, May 27, 2004

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Westlake Talks Apple Dev & Halo
7:16 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

An interesting new article on Halo: Combat Evolved has been posted not in Apple's games section, but rather in the company's developer connnection area. The piece takes a behind-the-scenes look at how Westlake Interactive's Phil Sulak and Ken Cobb went about using Apple's development tools to port and optimize this popular shooter.

While definitely targeted towards developers looking to do a project on the platform, the article also might be interesting for fans to see how the game was put together. Here's a clip with more:

Games today take advantage of very high-end graphics cards, using vertex and fragment programs to talk directly to the cards themselves, and allowing developers to create much richer looking special effects essentially by coding effects on an individual pixel level (thus sometimes referred to as “pixel shaders” or just “shaders”).

“A good example of this is the water in Halo,” explains Ken Cobb, Senior Developer and Vice President for Westlake. “It has a very realistic rippling effect, and reflects light like real water, changing color depending on what it’s reflecting and the angle it’s viewed at. This happens using shaders—we actually program each pixel to calculate how it has to look to get this overall reflection effect. The same thing happens with textures. When you apply a texture, each pixel within that texture is also programmed to reflect the texture appropriate to its position in the scene.”

For more about the porting process, head over and read through the rest of the article.

Apple Developer Connection: Westlake on Halo
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive
Halo: Combat Evolved

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Archives  News  Westlake Talks Apple Dev & Halo