Tag Archives: back of a napkin

On the Back of a Napkin: Part 1

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 2, released in April 2006.

Wondering why your PC doesn’t play games so well anymore? Trying to decode the latest marketing-speak on the back of a game box? This series is designed to give you the knowledge you need to understand the tweaks and trade-offs you can make to improve your gaming experience. We’ll go through the concepts behind the gibberish on the options menu, without going into all that math!

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On the Back of a Napkin: Part 2

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 3, released in May 2006.

Last week we went over some of the very basics of 3D graphics. This week we take a look at exactly what it is that vertices do for us and how they do it. We’ll cover some more abstractions and end up explaining some of the single-letter terms that kept cropping up a few years ago.

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On the Back of a Napkin: Part 3

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 4, released in June 2006.

Now that we’ve got a solid foundation to work with, we can start looking at more relevant issues in 3D. This week we’ll explore the idea of texture filtering and why it’s a good thing. We’ll find out what the various types of filtering actually do, how they do them and how much of a frame rate hit each one causes. Read on if you want to know the difference between bilinear, trilinear and anisotrophic filtering.

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On the Back of a Napkin: Part 4

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 5, released in July 2006.

Transparency effects in games are very important, not only because they make games look good, but also because they provide a unique set of problems and opportunities for smart designers to exploit. This is because transparency is implemented using a very versatile blending system, which can be put to use in tons of different ways.

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