October 6, 2006 by Tim

Have you heard about this new texture compression technology? I’ve always been interested in the texture side of video games. Some of you know that way back before I started this comic, I used to do a lot of skinning in the Jedi Knight 2 community. Making these files smaller opens up a lot of ideas.

What if you were playing as some armored space marine, and instead of your character displaying one skin throughout the entire game, every time a certain part of your body accumulated a certain amount of damage, the game swapped out the textures to display a more damaged, battle-worn version. So you started the game with brand new, pristine armor, but by the end of the game, through countless battles, your armor has scrapes, chips, burn marks, blood stains; you really look like you’ve just been through hell and back.

It could be possible, if we can compress textures so much that we could fit ten textures in the space that one used to take up.

Of course, then we run into the problem for the texture artists… more hours working, or a larger team of artists would be needed. And that, of course, means more money, more expensive games to make. Longer production times.

But still, it’s cool to think of the possibilities.

I think that, though it would be great to have more room on discs to fill up with more textures, or higher quality textures, the most immediate benefit is for digital distribution.

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