Half-Life 2: Lost Coast : Half-Life 2: Lost Coast Half-Life 2: Lost Coast So viel Trubel um einen einzigen Extra-Level: Auf der E3 war Lost Coast spielbar, der Level zu Half-Life 2, den Valve im Sommer kostenlos über Steam anbieten will. Unser Eindruck: gut und aufwändig gemacht, spielerisch aber natürlich nichts Neues. Ist auch nicht schlimm, denn bei Lost Coast handelt es sich im Grunde um eine Technik-Demo; Valve führt damit zahlreiche neue Effekte in die eigene Source-Engine ein. Die basieren auf HDR (High Dynamic Range), einer Technologie, die es erlaubt in Spielen realistische Überblendungseffekte bei grellen Lichtquellen und ein weites Spektrum der zu sehenden Farben zu erzeugen. HDR findet unter anderem in der Unreal-Engine 3 Verwendung. Einige technische Fakten dazu gibt's hier aus Zeitgründen ausnahmsweise direkt auf Englisch von der offiziellen Info-CD:

Blooming. Used by designers to create a "blurred effect" on the bright edges in a scene, emulating a camera's overexposure. This feature has been added to applications and is often mistaken as a full implementation of HDR.

HDR Skybox. Authored by painting multiple exposures of the sky to allow for real-time exposure adjustment. For Lost Coast, over 16 variations of the HDR skybox were created.

HDR Cube Maps. Generated by the engine, using the HDR skybox in conjunction with the HDR light sources and HDR light maps. HDR Cube Maps allow for an object's reflection to be cast in a manner that more accurately corresponds with the brightness of the source.

HDR Water Reflection/Refraction. Wherever the reflection of a light source is extremely bright, "white hot" spots occur along with blooming on water. A similar effect may be witnessed when under water looking out toward the sun.

HDR Refraction Effect. HDR light is transmitted through refractive materials, and takes on relevant properties of those materials (as when sunlight passes through the stained glass in Lost Coast's Monastery and then casts colored light).

HDR Light Maps. Generated through a radiosity process, taking light bounces/global illumination into account. This may be witnessed inside the Monastery on Lost Coast, on walls opposite the windows where the sun is "blowing out" the wall.

HDR Light Sources. Uncompressed light values provide a higher range of light values for designers to draw from in any given scene.

Exposure Control. Enable "eye adjustments" to allow you to see a different range of details in dark scenes than in overbright areas.