Valve is soon going to present Half-Life 2: Lost Coast. This will be a playable tech demo incorporating many new technologies like High Dynamic Range Rendering (HDR) and other things like amazing textures and high quality models. This demo won't be for mid-range systems as it is expected even high-end systems will have problems running it well as the system requirements knew no bounds, according to the developers from Valve.
Following the release of Half-Life 2 worldwide on 16th November 2004, a group of programmers and artists at Valve sat down to create the ultimate level, incorporating ultra high resolution textures, models and adding High Dynamic Range Rendering (HDR) to the Source engine. Their aim was to create a technology showcase: a no-holds barred level that would set new standards in image quality and realism; something to really push even the highest of today's high-end systems.
High Dynamic what now?
HDR represents the greatest leap in in-game image quality since the advent of Anti-Aliasing. It adds depth and character to a game such that once you have played with HDR enabled for a period of time, switching it off reveals a flat, dull scenery and lifeless characters. So what exactly is HDR and what does it mean? Paul Debevec, a graphics researcher from the University of Southern California, is seen as the Father of HDR, and world expert in the field..