Little iron revolution.

Little iron revolution.

When you first heard about the 3D-accelerator chipset 3Dfx Voodoo? I bet recently. In a relatively short time of its existence, a small American company 3Dfx has become world famous, very rich set of partners and respect for playing public. Coincidence? Performance Big American Dream? As you may be skeptical relate to the development of the company 3Dfx and followers, can not be denied is already quite obvious fact: another small revolution in the field of computer games and gaming hardware was accomplished.

Many people are very interested in, will the products 3Dfx standard in its field. So as among the Sound Blaster sound cards or modems USRobotics among-who-work-in-Moscow. The developers have made our choice — more on that later. The rest depends on the rank and file members — such as we are.

Meanwhile 3Dfx is not the first company introducing special accelerators for processing three-dimensional images. Ironically, the first attempt made Creative Labs.

Remember what happened with the Decembrists? They awakened Herzen. Or vice versa? Or are they not allowed to sleep Herzen? Not the point. Some time ago, Creative Labs has stood firmly on his feet and had almost no competitors in the market of sound cards for the PC, specialists of the company decided to go on a crusade to conquer new areas. That’s when the stores appeared strange card Creative Labs 3D Blaster. It contained the standard 2D-chip … and the first 3D-accelerating chipset company Rendition (an analogue of such a map is now Stingray chipset 3Dfx Rush). «Artifact" nobody bought, since no one had no idea why you need 3DBIaster. You understand? Creative Labs has released iron, but absolutely did not think about how to win the support of game developers. As a result — special "play" 3D Blaster card just could not be used for other purposes. No game did not suspect the existence of your computer wonderful accelerator, so — could not use its services.

After such a failed launch direction withered. The Creative Labs gather dust on the shelves, and users quickly changed one processor after the other, in order to keep up with growing resolution graphics and a little lift fps.

To succeed only required to analyze the experience of Creative Labs, and identify the main error of the firm. Little 3Dfx did it first and Chen skillfully. Long before the Voodoo chipset was presented to the public, experimental cards got game developers. To honor 3Dfx should be noted that Voodoo was the fastest in its class (of course, worked on the 3Dfx 3D-accelerator is not one — and there have been opponents).

Anyway, to the date of release of the first two Voodoo-Card — Diamond Monster 3D and Orchid Righteous 3D- account 3Dfx were already several dozen gotoayh games supporting accelerator and a huge list of upcoming titles. Moreover, the company to take care of the support Voodoo drivers. From the outset, I was ready for use Direct3D, a little later appeared version of OpenGL-drivers. Thanks to the latest, 3Dfx Voodoo accelerator was the first who worked with Quake. And let’s 30+ frames per second, SVGA-resolution and 65,535 colors!

If you are still hesitant to purchase, for you have only one option — to see. All the press writes and tell friends, might sound very good, but not good enough …. Believe me, this is a must see. I myself hesitated before buying. A friend of mine who works in one of the largest computer companies in Moscow, in every way extolled strange graphics from the company Diamond, recently «arrived» at the warehouse. It was a trial batch of ten "Monsters"And the price was very serious. After much hesitation and exhausting struggle with their own laziness and greed, I went to the office in order to see a new piece of metal …

Quake summer! Laser beams were made in the sphere of great fire, and the walls were not pixels. Well, a Descent on quality graphics looked like a full-fledged «prefix". It was enough to recall the sad braking Quake in 640×400 resolution at P133 and cutting eye pixels in the corridors Descent’a — solution came by itself. Known for you Motolog initially laughed long become a traditional question, «something for 3Dfx there?". Fun he briefly

— Before the first shots GLQuake. Then drooling, whining and harassing bosses. So, please — Mr. JM It acts as the initiator of the current «theme rooms", Being a chief specialist of the magazine and the publishing house all the native technology 3Dfx! Handling was quick and almost painless.

Shows like EZ or ECTS, which I visited during the preparation of this issue .EXE — is not only a demonstration of new toys. Tendencies of development of the industry of computer games, as well as each genre separately, will become apparent after a few days spent in a noisy computer market. Remember Gorbushka and imagine that each tent — stand developer and publisher of computer games. The fact of placing all «Tent" closed pavilion only aggravates the situation. Computer speakers yelling, advertising agents fill your hands with paper, and all around you are interested you should definitely stands a huge crowd who want to play. One consolation: if the game supports 3Dfx, then on the corresponding monitor you’ll find one or more labels with the familiar logo.

Please note, that this phenomenon is absolutely unprecedented. No PowerVR, or Rendition, no VideoLogic not worthy of such an honor! All these firms exhibit modest support their iron play at his stand, in special rooms.

Stand 3Dfx — the whole exhibition.

It is clear that at least 97-98 years season will take place under the sign of 3Dfx. If the company time to release the promised Voodoo 2 and did not throw work with publishers of games, then a cozy classic (standard) accelerator videoanaloga Sound Blaster’a, for its products provide.

What brings us a new day to come? 3D-acceleration enters the different game genres is very uneven, and this is easily explained: affect established traditions and unofficially adopted the Standard charts for each genre. It combines all the same "Accelerated" games are just a few things — a high resolution of 640×480 or 800×600, shestnadtsatibitnaya palette, filtering, and a standard set of 30 (x-effects including fog, translucent or transparent surface, the effect of «lenses» and many other things. That is why, in describing seen on ECTS games We will not list every time all standard 3D-effects. Is that something exceptional …

Action Games …

Naturally, 3D shooter’oB cards like 301h — the gift of God. With the transfer of games of this genre in the three-dimensional reality of the requirements for graphic engine’y much tougher. 3D-accelerator is a must — which is why some very famous projects will be proud to carry on the box label "3D accelerator only".

From 3D-arcade monsters on ECTS most clearly looked only three games: SiN, Unreal and Quake II. Latest Toy privileged to closely «at first sight" Game.EXE, and look where it is.

SiN, Shooter very modestly perched just two cars from the huge fleet Activision. People generally passed as a place for SiN was chosen very unsuccessfully. And in vain — the game deserves serious attention. Before the eyes of your humble servant appeared darker level, vividly reminding the best traditions of Quake-palette. But the similarity ends. The design of a completely new level. And thank God instead of strange dungeon SiN hero running around the skeleton of a huge building. Hence the terrible number of rooms — almost eight to ten levels. They connect the remains of stairs with beautiful but uncomfortable railing that prevent fire. In other cases, we have to climb the girders. Careless movement and the beam loses its delicate balance, crashing with the player on the bottom of a deep well. The only thing more annoying, because it is water. Developers (yet?) Be content with only a semitransparent plane crossing you find yourself in the water.

But the thing — the strange surface is again the air! Specific effects of image distortion (sorry), or even just a lack of visibility available. It’s a pity. At the same time, and weapons, and enemies was a delight. A common feature for all new 3D shooter’ov that takes the weapon and space in an original form, and it’s not like anything he had seen before. This applies to SiN. The size of the gun is not possible to determine its power — as in the old days. But the enemy is determined. They move very quickly and run. Anticipating the shot (how? I do not know!), They are either strafe’yatsya (!), Or squat, or hide in the shelter. And do not tell me that I have not played with a live opponent!

Unreal. While Activision attendants had just stood there, looking after playing in the SiN, GT Interactive guys worked hard. They worked monsters enemies. That’s right: Unreal run at the fair in deathmatch-only mode. And whatever spoke Motolog, Unreal is very similar to Quake. Yes, great player models are made and beautifully run. Yes, weapons diverse and very unusual. However, the level can easily be confused with any DM-old map of Q.

The level consists of three floors — «attic", Filled with secret passages and teleporters and «cellar", Parts of which are connected by tunnels, filled with water. Match starts quite funny. Imagine you have no weapons! Nothing even fists! All pressing «Ctrl" computer meets an ugly sound that new gaishnaya «Fords" disperse the cars on their way. "Unit"Strongly «bloated" pistol, as usual, can not hurt the enemy. But «deuce" very effective. Still — it looks like a favorite shotgun, but called a rifle. Little difference! Very well made water — both visually and physically. I run in the bottom of the enemy is easy to see and to fire. Although the bullets and other ammunition somehow refracted and not always hit the target. Moving under the water made a very cool. On their own skin, you can feel the «viscosity" substance. Your movements are constrained, and the response to pressing buttons slow. Very nice.

During the game Unreal dropped out several times to normal, neakselerirovanny video mode. And you know what? He looked and ran very mediocre. But the game was on the Pentium II266.

Since the advent of Lara Croft, «Rader Tambov", Arcade-adventure game «in the third person" again in vogue. Even the great Nehen 2 has a special "back view" a hero. You should not even think about how the need to accelerate the magnificent complex three-dimensional levels of the game, fully animated through motion capture polygonal model of the hero and the monsters. Without 3Dfx is not life!

Die by the Sword. A game that will make you hold your breath and softly rolling his eyes start salivating. Excuse me. DbtS embodies the dreams of so many players, as well as several genres. The idea is this: take the standard RPG-dungeon, and do it in style "Nehen 2 «. For the main type accept "dangling «chamber of Tomb Raider, but leave it to the discretion of the player setting. Further, the furnace should be a complete set of stock&On-characters: soldiers, magicians, skeletons, orcs, trolls, and others. All are polygonal; texture «Hurrah!».

And it starts: you Maze, just in case, swinging the sword. It can be alone, but you can with your friends. Cave? Pretty creek flowing lava, and on top of your company falls skeletons headed giant. Last waving ambitious club. Lord! They attack all together! From different sides! The camera pulls back and you will find … the standard form for the most famous console "fights. » You have to fence with several enemies. The main thing — to knock out of the clutches of a giant club. While he was her the creeps, you can manage to handle the rest. In the arena there is one more player and the closest skeleton shatters. Strike while fending off again kick. Cornering, the scoundrels. The main thing is not to get into a rope trap. Once povisel head down and tried to fence in such a position. It did not work — it is better to get around by her side. Across the river is not to jump

— At this point it is too wide. A bad block (Cell #!) — And the head flies off the shoulder and flies beautifully!

Die by the Sword of Interplay will be the first game "from a third party «which allows deathmatch-scale fights. Also, do not forget the amazing dynamic battles, a variety of movements, the ability to raise and drop the weapon to cause pinpoint strikes, cut off limbs, and even create their own movements using a special editor (!!!).

Dreams to Reality. Very unusual project from Sguo Interactive. A striking example of lateral thinking developers. In the story, there are four sorcerer, who, living in dreamland, run it available only person phenomenon. Somehow, inexplicably falls in the land of dreams, our hero, the man with the figure of the Greek god of hair and an Indian tribe of the Iroquois. It is clear that in dreams there is no limit your possibilities. Hence — dizzying action. Terrific (truly so) Rendered hero demonstrates the wonders of plastic and pulls out all the deep reserves of 3D-accelerator. He can walk, run, fly, swim. For each style — their own animation. Since enemies have to fight just like in reality. That is, with their fists, firearms (man shoots fashion, turning a gun in a horizontal position), laser sword (!) And, of course, magic. Well, if you get tired of the old body, your soul is restless easily find yourself another. Unfortunately, the exhibition was shown only a tiny part of the vast world of dreams. But each picked up in the air was breathtaking. The hero flies into a cloud of fluffy velvety, enveloping it from all sides. Through the lower translucent cirrus clouds (residing in motion), we notice a small island suspended in the air. Once a human foot steps on the ground, there are guards — two ugly creatures. And then — as usual. We talked, quarreled, and pulled from his belt beautiful and big lightsaber. There is a problem? In fact, no longer.

…and other arcade.

Today is accelerating everything that can (and should), and that could well rest. However, there was no such game, which greatly damaged the 3Dfx support.

Forsaken by Probe. Death of Descent’ov combined. Graphics amazing. In contrast, Die by the Sword, which was supported by excellent graphics solid content, Forsaken may not even care about the game. Monstrously colorful and three-dimensional 200% (with capital letters), graphics just kills everything seen until now. With rare exception. Four people sat down at the huge monitors with a diagonal of 21 inches — and … gone. Small boats are almost invisible in huge halls and corridors. The spacecraft, dungeons? The place does not matter. No «stray» pixels — perfectly straight lines and curves from any angle. Ship easily sways in place, demonstrating the speed demon graphics. You say colored lighting? Go and take a look at the Forsaken — in order to understand what it is. When shooting on the screen erupt such special effects and color schemes, which could not be expected from a small PCI-card 3Dfx Voodoo. Just a rainbow of fruit flavors, and only.

And all this celebration of life is accompanied by top-notch animations of interior and stereo sound. The heavy double doors clanged open, and slips into another player on the move deftly missile launches. One of the cockpit immediately begins to spin wildly, just smearing the image on the screen. One begins to understand that he felt miserable Darth Vader, when Tie Fighter was shot down by insurgents. One of the four always had bad luck, and it revived in the meager weapons on the part of the site. Immediately I flew some wise guy and count imagine another frags. However, permanently dying was not offended — the most spectacular fountain effects the authors have saved the game in case of death of the player. Originality! And amazing clarity. Sorry, Motolog but GLQ — sucks.

Flying Saucer. In one of the issues of our magazine we have already written about this game. In simulyatornom department. But this product of Software 2000 is yet to pick up a master aviamodelnopodvodnogo Andrew Lamtyugova sport and to give «Zulus Motologu" (quote). The idea of ​​the game is very good, and the execution of at least extraordinary. Have you ever tried to control a flying saucer? Better not try. You find a lot of bad habits and complexes. Here’s an example: turn your unit by arrows, and he, spinning around its axis, is flying in the former direction. It turns out there is a special button — push and immediately rushed to the side, where watched. As for graphics, it is just the sort who could live without a special acceleration. The terrain is hilly, but without much detailing (trees, bushes, people, cows), weapons of all three species, artlessly done. Explosions unpretentious. Enemies scurrying around in helicopters, airplanes, boats, cars and are prevented to fly. The employee promised to stand an opportunity to steal government officials and pry secrets, but do not let this vppotnuyu.

Overboard! One of the highlights of the arcade genre by Psygnosis. A person yearns for «Pirates!"Always encouraging to see the ancient boat. Especially galleon. And so cool like this. Generally, the word "cool" very suitable for the game in general. She wondered with a twinkle, and is made with all the special effects 3D-accelerator, ie, clear water, which scurry sea monsters, translucent clouds in the sky, and lots of beautiful explosions and bursts. Agree, this purely arcade isometric view rarely receives support in the form of a solid accelerator. Why is this so smartly galleon prowling the harbor and the Straits? Because it is equipped with a nuclear engine! How is it that our small boat strikes fear in marine life, other vessels, and even aliens? Because we have available guns, mines, flame throwers and homing missiles! Beware of the enemy, stand still and lie down! Any decent galleon at sea extremely busy one — the search for the treasure. Our too. The road to wealth is divided into stages, each of which is teeming with enemies, traps (volcanoes, coastal batteries, etc.), and even puzzles.

In ECTS it was introduced just one landscape, tropical. The guys from Psygnosis promised three, all of them will be the detail of no worse than the first. It means living creatures in the skies, on land and on the ground, a lot of bonuses (for our turbocharged engine — no kidding!) And more evil enemy galleons. Oh yes! Get used to the commands "the left side, fire!" and «starboard, fire!». Still ancient ship …

Have multiplayer-games for up to five players improves the already high spirits.


Another fertile ground for 3D-accelerator. With the advent of the latest simulators creepy love to vyrisovyvaniyu every leaf on a tree, and each spot on the grazing cows, the number of frames per second, began to fall sharply. Especially when the weather is good, there is no cloud cover or low-level flight. Despite this — difficult — situation, a rare simulator comes with a ready-made support 3D-accelerators. And, interestingly, the greatest number of simulators, in concert with 3Dfx, — it’s motorcycle racing. What the Commission, the creator ?!

Redline Racer. Criterion. This simulator can be called "Forsaken by motorcycle". At least ECTS game managed to gather a crowd of no less than Quake II. And even more. The reason again was unprecedented graphics in the game. Vibrant, individual, caressing the right neurons in the brain. For a selection of authors palette is already possible to give a toy «Oscar".

Road spreads between hills and groves, on city streets. Sails background blinding flash remains in your head. To the question «What is seen?» The answer is standard: Redline Racer. The camera smoothly flows from one position to another — from a place at the helm and the dial to the position of the helicopter lunatic who tries to crush motorcyclists for its skiing. The figure of the rider on the motorcycle never freezes: hand fed gas desired deviation when turning head movement. Types insanely good. Especially at night, when the lights dim haze of tears pieces of the very charming landscape (it does not seem flat, standing on the sidelines as a billboard!) And quickly puts them back. Somewhere ahead rave light beams of other motorcycles. Very poetic. Criterion did podnapryagsya "ultimate" motosimulyator. No matter how good Moto Racer GT, it can not compete with Redline Racer. Not the caliber.

Wing Commander V: Prophecy average user belongs to this series by Origin quietly or with caution. For a veteran, passed all four parts — a thing for the soul. The developers promise a lot of change and go back to basics, but left FMV (Full Motion Video). On the other hand, videos with animation (fly in space, in a word, everything that does not touch the live actors) as never spectacular.

Weep, my friends! Col. Blair ever came out of our control. You have heard that Mark Hamill still withdrawn in the game? That’s right — and the role of the former. That’s only YOU have now become young talented pilot and to worship his previous «ego.» The trouble came. It takes a lot. For example, the ability to select the answer in the conversation — now the course of the conversation depends on your success on the battlefield (as in the old days). You will not be able to choose a partner, as many of the events taking place during the flight, fixed and should happen anyway. Maniac dies — hence Maniac dies. Moreover, there are new enemies of humanity. It turns out that the good old Kilrathi, in spite of the peace treaty, again built a huge military armada. Alarmed by the bosses send you understand. Arriving at the place, you see only the skeletons of ships. The entire fleet of the alien dies. Did you find a new race, so badly that even her fear militant Kilrathi.

Care Chris Roberts marked change in the graphics engine’a. Old version of WC 3 and 4 was finally scrapped. The new sample can be characterized by concise English expression "kicks ass ». With the support of 3Dfx fifth "Visyuk" It may be the most beautiful simulator series. Forget the dark as an abyss, the sky. Galaxy is beautiful. The sky is filled with a myriad of stars forming clusters, nebula and those of education, whose names I have forgotten at school. Special catapult fighter shoots into space, and by pressing the familiar click «Autopilot ‘, we get to the first skirmishes. Models of ships rather unusual texture «stretched" very well. And this trick enemy ships! In the eyes of the amazed public three little villain deftly gathered in a medium-sized frigate. That was not very nice, considering the modest resources of the ship in the ECTS-version of the game. The enemy ship deftly maneuvered constantly find themselves outside the zone of fire. After a few minutes of futile activity had to throw. Judge for yourself: the game is left unfinished, joystick uncomfortable chair without a back. How in these conditions to shoot down the enemy? And do not stutter about bad dancers — another challenge to a duel in multirlaueg mode (finally!).

Jane’s Longbow 2. Firm Jane’s serious as ever. After only a year after the first part of the Longbow, continued almost ready to eat. This time with a graphical engine’om who envied many makers of flight simulators. The graphics are so navorochena that Longbow 2 could not do without the very same piece of iron, which is a «theme rooms".

It seems that, satisfied with realistic flight model, Jane’s programmers decided to come to grips with graphics. It’s a hit, gentlemen!

Longbow 2 System has a delightful lighting’a, which far surpasses anything ever made in the genre. Especially good night flight — it seems that the mission is a favorite of developers. In order to get maximum pleasure, enjoy a take-off after setting the camera. It switches from the internal form (2 pieces — the first and the second pilot) on the external. There are several: a pair of standard behind the helicopter, and the vehicle … on the wing, just above the pylons. The last position is clearly visible transparent cabin of the helicopter pilots and figures. The pilot looks (looks great!) In the direction of rotation, while the shooter manipulates the gun. Bottom view — and you can see how the turret rotates, spitting queue. Each flash illuminates the belly of rotorcraft and ground segments, careening very close. Start rocket. Helicopter easily shudders, bright flame momentarily blinding "an observer on the wing". Then follows the arc, and on earth with a roar arises fiery flower. Air defenses fired at the helicopter, there is a fight. Explosions occur here and there. Reflections dance on the body and are reflected from Longbow plexiglass cockpit. It is a pity that the pilots do not smile …

Statement of pathetic, do not deny it. Unfortunately, this is the only way to convey the admiration of the work of specialists from Jane’s. To all It should be added only one detail. Longbow 2 has excellent multirlaueg mode, allowing you to fly together on the same machine, a couple of helicopters on different (especially their in game three models) and, of course, act against each other. Just have reserved a sufficient number of 3Dfx-card.

You can be sure that the games support 3Dfx, on ECTS was much more. I had to choose the most unusual or known. Thanks 3Dfx once and for all solve the problem of optimizing the code specifically for slower machines. Of course, each has its own accelerator hardware requirements, and in particular to a processor. Fortunately, 3Dfx Voodoo Rush and practically do not depend on the speed of the CPU and internal bus. And that — unlike some other cards, who prefer to use the internal bus computer to transfer images. 3D-accelerator not only solves many problems associated with the speed of your computer, but also radically changes the appearance of a toy.

Is that enough? If the answer "Yes" — Read the material on the technology of 3D-accelerators. Unconvincing? Can not be. Pay attention to our own and third-party tests. 3Dfx Voodoo was created some time ago (by the standards of fast-growing computer industry), but straight from the tin PowerVR RSKH2 still can not compete with our beloved card. But on the threshold — Voodoo 2, a response the company NEC. What will it be? In an interview workers 3Dfx «leaked"The next chip will be at least two times faster. So that. Little railway revolution continues …

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