Anyone who has played Age of Conan can take a guess why (26GB install? anyone?) but Funcom is looking to reduce client install footprints on their games. To accomplish this, Funcom has licensed a middleware toolset called Substance Air developed by Allegorithmic to do just that.
The technology uses procedural rendering to vastly decrease the size of a game's textures, all without giving up graphical fidelity. There is no word on whether Age of Conan will be able to be retrofitted with this technology, but expect Funcom's future games to eat up a lot less space on your hard drive!
As a huge advocate for the potential of procedural rendering in videogames, this is some pretty interesting news. For those who are unfamiliar with the technology, well, you've heard the saying "Seeing is believing" right?
So, with that said, I'd like to share my favorite demo of what procedural rendering can do:
Check out what can be accomplished with as little as 177KB using procedural rendering in this amazing demo by demo group Farbrausch. Simply run the program, and enjoy. Also, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!