Over the past few weeks, I’ve read many articles on HDR (High Dynamic Range) and have been pretty excited for the release of Half-Life 2: The Lost Coast – a short tech demo of a segment of the HWY 17 portion of the game which showcases HDR.

So, what is HDR lighting and why should you care? In plain english; HDR lighting adds a level of realism to games that we’re yet to experience. Picture yourself walking through a dark hallway. At the end of the hallway is a window and it’s a beautiful sunny day. As you approach the window you find yourself squinting because your eyes haven’t yet adjusted to the brightness of the sun. Give it a few seconds and the brightness will dim and you’re able to see without squinting. The reverse happens when going from a bright area to a dark one. It’s very dark at first, but within a few seconds it brightens up and you’re able to see objects around you. HDR brings this effect to video games, and the result is stunning!

On Monday, September 26, Day Of Defeat: Source was released. Originally a mod for Half-Life. DOD has been revamped and is now powered by Valve’s Source engine… and it also features HDR. I really didn’t expect to be completely blown away by the addition of some realistic lighting, but man was I ever! The first round, I was killed a dozen times easy while playing around with the affects of HDR. It was then I realized you really do need to see this in action, in game. Which is why I’ve thrown together a little sample video so you can see it for your own eyes. Mind you, this 500px wide video hardly does it justice. But you’ll get the idea. If you really want to experience it, order DOD:S from Steam. It’s only $20 after all.


That’s a killer looking vid dude!

The original DoD was the first game that I played competitively online, so I have really fond memories of it.

It’s awesome to get to see the old maps done up all nice and shit… too bad Halo 2 is my only online love. 🙂

Nice, thanks dude!

I never played the original DOD. Actually, the only HL mod I played was Counter Strike, and that was pretty short lived.

There seems to be mixed emotions in regards to DODS – a lot of the dudes like you that played the shit out of the original are complaining about about the flood of n00bs since it’s getting some much attention right now. There isn’t really any guidance at all, so you just jump in and most people don’t realize it’s not a ‘spray and pray’ game. Aw well, give it a month or two and all those dudes will be gone.

Have you got your machine up to speed yet? Pick up a 7800?

Ha! I wish!

We just moved our studio into that old school in South Oshawa that they converted into jam-space, so since we’re actually getting more serious about it, I feel kinda guilty spending almost $1000 on a video card… especially when I still have to get an Xbox 360 and a new HDTV to go along with it.


Wow, will the wonders never end? My brother was actually telling me about this feature yesterday (will we were playing Serious Sam 2 in co-op mode) so this is a nice surprise to find your own write-up along with demo video.

Great looking site by the way – I found it via CSS Beauty.

Hey Neil,

Nice, glad you liked the demo video. I’m actually working on a follow-up to this post entitled "Another Look At HDR" which will be a walkthrough of the Half-Life 2: Lost Cost HDR tech demo. Keep an eye out for it later in the week.