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Lizard Engine – Technical Details

Lizard Engine – Technical Details

Ever since the first announcement, Simbin’s self-developed Lizard gaming engine was the subject of much discussion in the sim racing community.

While some doubted it would ever see the light of day, others were thrilled by the prospect of having another engine capable to produce high quality simulation titles other than ISI’s gMotor.

Now that Simbin has official announced their first Lizard-based game and we´ve all seen the first screenshots of Race PRO for Xbox 360 , it should just be a matter of time until the first PC simulation will be using Lizard, starting what console gamers reffer to “next-gen”, in the world of PC simulations.

Browsing on the Simbin website, I found an indepth list of features Lizard offers. Highlights include compatibility for PC and next-gen consoles, HDR & LDR, 5.1 sound and much more. I´m sure the tech-heads among you will find the complete feature list very interesting, to see it please click “Read More”.

Simulation & Physics
* Reality-based simulation of racing cars.
* Takes aerodynamics, propulsion, tires, traction, wheels, brakes and suspension into account.
* It simulates even the minute details such as weather conditions, tire wear and temperature, fuel consumption and a long list of realistic mechanical failures.
* Included are also driving aids, such as traction control, antilock braking system, steer and stability help.
* The AI supports different driving personalities and behaviors.

Rendering Engine
* Support for both HDR and LDR rendering.
* Full use of hardware shaders.
* DX9 and Xbox 360 compatible.
* Cascaded shadow maps with smooth edges utilizing percentage closer filtering (PCF).
* Advanced per-pixel lighting model with support for dynamic time of day and fully dynamic shadows.
* Real-time reflections.
* Dynamic ambient occlusion.
* Advanced post processing pipeline (for example; full screen motion blur and bloom).
* Static PVS.
* Animation with skinning.
* Deformable meshes.
* Undergrowth system.
* Weather effects.

Network Engine
* Advanced client side prediction.
* Bandwidth-throttling.
* Replay functionality, i.e. the recording, synchronisation, and playback of data streams and input.
* True delta compression of data to minimize network traffic.
* Accurate automatic time synchronization.
* Peer to Peer as well as Client / Server connectivity.
* Stats reporting.
* Match-making and LAN host discovery.
* Voice-support.
* Only uses a single UDP port to easily pass through firewalls.

Sound Engine
* Written in C++ and intrinsics (SSE). All sound is generated by software running in its own thread, the hardware is only needed to playback the already fully processed 2 or 6 channels (5.1).
* The sounds are created using custom made graphs with each node acting as a (multi-) sample player, panner, low-, high-pass filter or volume envelope etc.
* Has complete doppler support and makes use of spatial information.

Menu System
* Layout is stored in XML files, which makes editing easy.
* Support for Lua 5.1, a very efficient scripting language. The Lua support makes it easy to expose game functionality to the GUI system. It also makes it possible to embed Lua scripts in the XML files, in order to control the game or the GUI system itself.
* Efficient rendering, which makes the system suitable for both in-game and front-end GUI.
* Highly portable, only the rendering part is platform-specific and that is already abstracted by Rendering Engine.

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