World in Conflict Masstech Q&A

Learn more about the technology and graphics engine behind World in Conflict in this new Masstech Q&A released by Sierra Entertainment.

Q: What is Masstech?

A: MassTech is the name of our core technology, or engine if you like. It includes our DX9 and DX10 renderers, particle systems, vegetation and water rendering and also physics and animation. Tools used for content creation is also an important part of it. MassTech is basically what makes our games look amazing and run very fast.

Q: What were the major changes from Masstech’s previous iteration to its current state?

A: The average length of our shaders is around 10x longer compared to the last version of the engine (used in Ground Control II). This means that materials and lighting looks a lot more interesting. Our particle systems have evolved a lot and now use 4-5 different lighting schemes depending on their type. We have been adding multi-core support to the engine to make sure it runs at its best on dual and quad-core machines. And last but not least we added the Vista-only DirectX10 renderer with some extra eye candy that’s not been possible to implement before.

Q: What are the system requirements for World in Conflict?

A: This is an important question and we get it a lot. We have made a big effort to make the game run well on lower end systems. Without naming any names, I can say that WIC scales back much better than most other strategy games released in the last year. You can even play it on a 2 GHz P4 with 512MB RAM and a GF4 Ti 128MB.

Q: What DX10 features are available?

A: As we’re still working on the DX10 features, we can’t go into any details of what will be available in the final retail version. But you can expect lighting to be even more spectacular than what you’ve seen in any of our screenshots.

Q: How can Masstech display so many units and assets at the same time?

A: It can because we have tailored it specifically for this scenario. You cannot get this kind of performance when you use an off-the-shelf engine.

Q: How was the immense scalability ensured for the Masstech engine?

A: We have several LOD levels for all the different units, buildings and even things such as grass, bushes and clouds. The LOD schemes are completely custom made to allow for this kind of performance, and the textures are constantly swapped back and forth in the background.

Q: What physics engine is used, and to what extent is it integrated with the Masstech engine?

A: We use the Havok physics engine in combination with some custom solutions that we have made to allow for the immense number of simulating objects in the world.

Q: How do the different assets destruct so realistically in World in Conflict?

A: By using combinations of different techniques. Some objects are pre-animated, while others are physically modeled and simulated. And there are some others that still use a cheaper kind of simulation to add volume to the effects.

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