Cargasm’s Tech Is The Interesting Bit

By John Walker on August 16th, 2011 at 12:30 pm.

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I really cannot fathom what’s going on with Cargasm. As we’ve said many times, the way it’s being promoted is foul, with awful allusions toward gathering some sort of harem of scantily clad women and so forth. And we’ve also pointed out that its claims of “photo-realistic graphics” for its iOS version are, well, nonsense. But the biggest issue of all is despite some really impressive-looking screenshots, we’ve still yet to see the game actually show any driving. And that continues in the latest video, with yet more of what I’m pretty certain is an awkward, juddery fly-through in the level creator rather than actual in-game footage, which is clearly trying to look like a driver’s view. However, I don’t post it for Cargasm at all, really. Rather for the extremely interesting tech that’s discussed coming from Near Global. It’s well worth a look.

So this video begins with some boasts about how Cargasm will feature the most realistic depictions of real-world locations in any driving game ever. Accompanied by a crappy fly-through (cunningly at car height – and let’s be frank, if it isn’t a fly-through then the game’s in more trouble than I’d first thought), we then see some of London depicted in near-black shadow. Just the worst lighting imaginable. It looks a mess. However, wait until that bit’s over and the extremely shoddy video suddenly jumps to the desk of someone at Near Global, a middleware developer (as far I can tell) who are using laser-scanning to bring real-world locations into software. And their side of things looks absolutely brilliant. And it’s for this tech, and the potential it clearly has, that I bring this to your attention:

You can download the map of London from Near Global’s site, and then explore it. It’s astonishing, and makes Google’s Street View look archaic. Although you’ll need to significantly fiddle with the graphics settings to get the most out of it. And I’ve no idea why some buildings stay blank. But still, as a free test thingy, very interesting.

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26 Comments »

  1. Teddy Leach says:

    London’s sky isn’t that blue. I also wish they’d get a better camera.

  2. Baboonanza says:

    I had a Cargasm once, it wasn’t pretty. Had to change the gearstick and could never quite get into 3rd gear again.

    It was still better than their Cargasm though.

  3. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    Reminds me of the House of Cards Video

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    Diziet Sma says:

    That’s really impressive, I also like the ghostly people wandering around the model city.

  5. Bodminzer says:

    They did this with the caves that run underneath my home city (Nottingham), it’s incredible: http://www.youtube.com/user/NottinghamCaves

    • identiti_crisis says:

      Excellent!

      I didn’t realise there were so many of the buggers there. Is it odd that the only ones I went in were pubs?

      It’s pretty creepy, for some reason. Might be the photo-realism.

    • Josh W says:

      That’s really good, do you know how they stitched together the veiws from different angles? GPS? Aligning them with an algorithm? Using two tripods and alternating between them sentinel style?

  6. CaspianRoach says:

    Where’s my bump mapping? Where’s my proper lighting? Where’s my post-render effects? WHERES MY LENS FLARES

  7. blainestereo says:

    City looks fine in the level creator, although when camera went to the darker part of the street and suddenly I could see that CEO guy’s reflection on screen, all cringed in concentration, I was kinda spooked.

    Hope this feature won’t make it to the final product.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      I’d love for it to be in the options. “Do you want to turn on random reflections of people playing the game y/n”

  8. Mithrandir0x says:

    [Oops wrong place to place comment. My Apologies]

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    frymaster says:

    “game frame rate… 30 frames per second”

    ouch

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    yhancik says:

    Someone should make a new Micromachines game using this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quGhaggn3cQ as a level editor :p

  11. Kazz says:

    It appears as though the second guys face was designed with the Oblivion character creator.

  12. Xercies says:

    I really don’t get the disconnect between what the game looks and runs like and the really fantastic map thing that the other guys were showing. It looked like two different products(which technical they are but its still the same technology isn’t it?)

    • Baboonanza says:

      The middle-ware is presumably the data capture and (at least some) creation of the assets. The game and the middle-ware demo were running on completely different rendering engines.

  13. Chizu says:

    Seeing the actual Cargasm “footage”
    All It makes me think of is PSone era pre-rendered FMV.
    Its got that same kinda look to it.

  14. Nosslak says:

    I love the obviously identical repeated concrete-barriers!

  15. Navagon says:

    Well I can’t argue with the headline. I’d imagine that using that tech in combination with tessellation would produce some very nice results indeed. But those guys don’t seem to have got around to the whole tessellation bit just yet.

  16. Khann says:

    Haven’t racing simulators (iRacing most notably) been using this kind of tech for a while now?

  17. FunkyPoop says:

    This looks more like a “How to be a game developer without developing a thing” informative video. Or like “Drawing with a camera”. Or “Writing with a scanner”…. I think I’ve made my point.

  18. Dhatz says:

    for that kind of work, the results have one of shittiest graphics i seen in last decade.