Game Development Reference
good idea in the design of a game that is intended for Internet distribution
to provide cut scenes that use very little additional resources over and
above your central character. If you use the strategy of loading this
character early, then you can rely on it being there to at least play some
trailer-style animation, a few splash titles and the like while your central
character struts their stuff.
Displaying lower resolutions before full load
Gif files can be stored where a download adds progressive detail to an
image. The user sees a crude image first and as the file continues to load
detail is added. This strategy can be used with 3D imagery. If you store a
scene so that the first load is bounding boxes and a camera, then you
could start to display an indication of the scene with very few bytes of
data. The next element in the file could be motion files. Then your
bounding boxes can start to move. The human eye can detect form from
movement. Take a look at some of the motion capture scenes in Chapter
12; some of these are displayed using just null objects yet the character
still shines through. As the scene download continues, the next section
will bring in mesh detail, so that your character will have form. Then the
background meshes will arrive and finally textures and lights. Although
this approach will not work for every game, it does mean the player is
viewing animation almost instantly.
Figure 18.3 Progressive refinement.