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The Snowdrop Engine

The Snow Drop Engine is what’s going to power The Division on your console or computer and its one beautiful engine, if for some reason you haven’t seen the trailer or want to watch it again, enjoy:

We all knew that The Division looked beautiful from the initial E3 demo we all saw but we were itching to see more of it and we were not disappointed. The trailer starts with a few images of the streets of N.Y. Piles of garbage, abandoned cars, others with the alarms ringing, the Christmas decorations are beautiful (pity no one is going to notice them in the middle of the apocalypse), widows broken and you even get to see a dog strolling around (but be warned ‘LOOTERS WILL BE SHOT’… comforting) but let’s get to the good stuff.

The Day/Night Cycle is very well done with the beautiful warm yellow of the sunrise and sundown, you have the shades of the tall buildings darkening alleys that get creepier, the small store illuminations, sheds of light on the streets and even the reflections of the light on water puddles. When in buildings, if there’s a widow (or hole in the wall) light will come through but in a realistic way and keeping the atmosphere of the game, something called Dynamic Global Illumination.

Now the damage, it takes it to a new level. The Procedural Destruction makes damage realistic and permanent, bullet holes let light go through and when multiple the effect is really cool, if you shoot a car’s headlights the small glass casing just doesn’t disappears, it brakes off and some of it stays while the rest is blown to pieces, shooting a tire will make the tire deflate and due to the cold you see the smoke, you can do bullet holes everywhere, in a nutshell, destruction baby.

Advance Particle System, to some of you it’s just another technical term, to others, it’s a complex system that extracts the exuberance detail of real atmospheric and climate reaction like smoke & fog. The video also showcases wind and snow, which are constant climate events that couldn’t be left out, smoke from the tunnels gets shaded by the light but when a wall get’s in the way of the light the smoke is no longer yellow but dark whit again, gutters are very common and the smoke (then turning to fog) that comes out of it as well, this simple thing gets detailed in an amazing way, just for the fog to appear and move in realistic way in the air is awesome, but when a taillight of car is flashing red coloring the fog that goes through it… oh my.

Being Christmas one thing is sure to happen, snow, it covers everything white in the world, cars, streets, safety cones, garbage, even dead bodies get a bit of it, they call it Dynamic Material Shaders, and instead of just disappearing it turns into small portions of water.

To finish it off you get to see a chopper on the ground but with the paddles moving making that kick-ass sound and the beautiful Manhattan Bridge with cars, busses, trucks and cabs pilling every inch of road, black smoke coming from here and there, a couple of cars on fire, a huge bright yellow warning sign that reads “NO ENTRY, CONTAGIOUS DISEASE” and, of course, the gorgeous East River.

This post brought to you by: NFPM

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