The LithTech Engine
15th of May, 1998
By Rik Wade
|Could you briefly
introduce yourself and your company's work?
I'm Mike Dussault, the lead engineer on LithTech.
I'm John Jack, Project Manager on Riot and LithTech. I basically beat Craig and Mike over the head until they implement everything they promised to implement 18 months ago.
I'm Craig Hubbard, the lead game designer on Riot. I'm an Aries and I like listening to angry music and drinking huge quantities of beer. I'm sorry, what was the question?
Monolith have gained massive popularity on the Internet in recent months with titles such as RIOT:Mobile Armour and Blood2, but possibly more importantly, through the development of DirectEngine (now the LithTech engine). Could you tell us how this all came about and possibly give a little history of your organisation?
The LithTech engine is somewhat different to many others out there in that it is based entirely on Direct3D . Most other companies either decide on a software rendered which they can then adapt to the various APIs, or have used OpenGL. Part of this may be answered above (feel free to reference), but why did you select Direct3D as opposed to OpenGL and do you feel now that it is a more capable API given the working platform (Windows)?
With Microsoft and their associates constantly developing DirectX, how do you think that the LithTech engine will scale with future developments (DirectX6.0 and the future OpenGL/DirectX mix)?
We have seen some amazing work done with OpenGL over the past year or two. Firstly Quake and now QuakeII obviously spring to mind. Do you feel that the LithTech engine is directly competing with this sort of technology? If so, are there any pros and cons that you can realistically cite? (hardware support through windows/flexibility of API/standards based etc.)
We know of RIOT and Blood2 that are using the LithTech Engine. Are there any other titles (under development by yourselves or other houses) that we should be aware of? (We now know of Get Medieval and Grutz.. others?)
Continuing from this, what are your future plans for the Engine? And can you see a "killer application" for your work?
RIOT in particular has been causing a real stir in the first person 3D gaming scene. Probably because it is more advanced than Blood2 (judging from the AVIs that I watched). Would you care to give us a quick rundown on this title and why you thought it would make a good technology demonstrator (and commercial software title) for your Engine?
I think one of the engine's greatest strengths is its flexibility. Riot and Blood 2 are both looking incredible, but they both look incredibly different as well. There are features in Blood 2 you won't see in Riot and vice versa, because we've let game design determine how we use the technology rather than trying to demo every possible engine feature in both games.
What 3D hardware have you worked with while developing the Engine?
Can we expect to see specific support for PowerVR (PVRSG) hardware in future LithTech products?
Any other comments that you would
care to make regarding the PowerVR and its performance (and PVRSG performance) under your
software would be greatly appreciated.
Last but far from least, two brand new shots from RIOT: SHOGO Mobile Armour Division
PVR-NET wishes to thank the Monolith team for taking time to answer these questions, and we wish them the best of luck!
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