GameZone chats with Brian "Psychochild" Green, Co-founder Near Death Studios, Inc., about Meridian 59. This interview includes details of the new engine and the state of the genre in general:
Q: Tell us about the new engine? What does it allow you to do and what do you think will be the first thing that bowls players over about the new look of the game?
Brian: The new engine is rather interesting. It uses the same room layout information, same textures, same sprites as the current game. But, the game now renders this information through a 3D engine that supports hardware acceleration. We also added modern features such as dynamic lighting and bloom effects on the sun, as well as new skyboxes to give a better impression of the sky. The difference is simply amazing.
The biggest thing it allows us to do is show off the great artwork in Meridian 59. A lot of the textures are actually very nice looking, they just are not presented well in the DOOM-like software renderer we currently use. We are also able to use features built into video cards to smooth out the game world and make it look much more impressive.
I think the biggest thing that blows your mind about the engine is the dynamic lighting. Seeing a fireball travel down a room casting a radius of light is impressive. Wielding a torch and seeing the edge of the light fade out in front of you (instead of the palette swapping tricks used previously) is very cool. Dynamic lighting really helps make the game look a lot more attractive.