RIFT Behind the Scenes: Lead Rendering Engineer ZorbaTHut

Posted by on 22 April 2014
Categories: Community News.
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CM Ocho here! One of the things we’re constantly working on here on the RIFT team is ways to make RIFT run better. That’s where Rendering Engineer ZorbaTHut comes in. I’d been hearing about some recent improvements ZorbaTHut had made recently, so I sat down with him and chatted about what he had been up to recently.

ZorbaTHut

Ocho: Can tell us about what a Rendering Engineer does?

ZorbaTHut: the basic idea is that 3d computer graphics are all made up of a huge number of triangles. So we need to get those triangles to display on screen, make them pretty, and make them draw quickly. So I write that code – the code that makes all the things you see visible.

Ocho: That seems like pretty important stuff. So you’ve implemented some upgrades in Game Update 2.6; can you tell us a little more about them?

ZorbaTHut: We’ve been making upgrades pretty much every patch, all the way back to Game Update 2.2, a lot of refinement, as well as fixing the occasional bug. Right now our focus is optimization, and making things faster.

Ocho: So I’ve heard around the office we’ve done something with shader parameters…

ZorbaTHut: As I mentioned before, graphics are made up of a whole lot of little triangles. There is also a program called a shader which lives on the graphics card and takes all those triangles and tells the graphics card what to do with that mesh. For example is that object shiny or not.

We wanted to improve how efficient that code is, so we’ve re-written most of it to run a whole lot faster and better. The actual difference that it will make depends a lot on what kind of machine someone is running RIFT on, and the drivers that players are using.

Ocho: When would these sorts of changes be most noticeable for players?

ZorbaTHut: The most likely times to notice changes would be in busy combat situations with lots of stuff up on screen, with lots of stuff going on.

Ocho: That’s the time it’s most needed, so a big win!

ZorbaTHut: We’ve been rolling out a lot of these changes over time. Because every person’s computer is different, we’re attempting a lot of little ways to make things better. Over time these add up and help make the game run smoother and better for more players.

Ocho: Well thanks for taking the time out to chat, I’m sure players will be happy to hear you are working on this kind of stuff!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse behind the scenes at RIFT, and hope you join us for future installments in RIFT Behind the Scenes. We’ll also be continuing to work on future graphics improvements; and will be sure to let you know when these are implemented.

 

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Log in to RIFT this weekend and claim a free gift!

Posted by on 18 April 2014
Categories: Community News.
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Spring has come, and the sunny weather has us feeling joyful and generous. What better way to celebrate with our players than by giving the Gift of Spring?

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Battle all-new versions of Akylios and Greenscale!

Posted by on 16 April 2014
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Mysteries abound in the Runic Athenaeum, where a dark foe attempts to change the fabric of history itself. Prepare to travel back in time and assist the original Heroic Souls in binding some of Telara’s greatest threats: the Dragons of Water and Life! Will you emerge triumphant, or be crushed under their scaly grasp?

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The Budgies are Back in Town

Posted by on 10 April 2014
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Budgie week has returned, with adorable Budgie mounts and racing! Ride them in daily races for special loot, or acquire the brand new Umbral Budgie from the Limited Edition: Umbral Budgie Trove!

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Savage Swords and Noble Staves: it’s time for a RIFT concept art contest!

Posted by on 2 April 2014
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Calling all artists!

Do you have an amazing idea for a two-handed sword, two-handed staff, or cape that you’d like to see us make? Want to leave your mark on RIFT with an item you helped create? Well we’ve got a contest for you!

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