Mesh Animation

Development directions, tasks, and features being actively implemented or pursued by the development team.

Re: Mesh Animation

Postby klauss » Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:32 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
charlieg wrote:Open source is meritocracy. There has to be 1) a compelling reason and 2) somebody doing the work. "It'd be cool to use ID Tech 5!" That isn't either #1 or #2. I know I'm simplifying and stupifying your position, but you are thinking aloud rather than making a technical case for it.


Please note however #1 is not so much a question of whether to do this at all (at some point) has merit, but which engine to use. The original choice was OGRE, though this project never completed. But just the same, id Tech 4 would have to have a compelling overall advantage versus OGRE, as well as Irrlicht and Crystalspace and any others (open scene graph? delta3D?).


Any outside engine will find its limitations within VS.

VS (the game) has unusual characteristics not suited for most of the mentioned engines.

Ogre comes prebuilt with 32-bit floating point, which is inadequate for the distances and scales found in VS. It can be rebuilt with 64-bit floating point, but for one, it doesn't solve all numerical issues (since it still relies heavily on GPU math which is normally carries at the lower 32-bit precision) and poses distribution problems (most linux distributions already have some version of Ogre in their repos, but, of course, compiled with 32-bit floating point).

Another issue is dataset compatibility: we wanted to migrate to Ogre's native file formats, so we had to develop conversion tools, figure out how to organize the assets, etc. A lot more work than just switching rendering engines.

The project trying to replace VS' built-in rendering engine for Ogre tried to address those issues, and largely succeeded. There were some unhappy decisions on the way, though, and Ogre was at the time a lot less sophisticated, and the project became too complex for me alone and my limited timetable to finish. For instance, now I believe an intermediate step where VS would load the existing assets into the Ogre engine at runtime would have been better, it would have been a smaller, attainable project. I always dream of re-taking the project and getting it to completion though.

Crystalspace will pose its own set of trouble, probably, if one tried to adopt it. For one, crystalspace is a whole game engine, not just a rendering engine, so we're talking of porting an entire game and its dataset - huge task.

The same goes for ID software's, but add the fact that Doom 3's rendering engine is specifically designed for indoors, it's completely inadequate for space settings.

So, technically speaking, the best candidate for replacing VS's graphic engine is, in fact, Ogre, since it's a) just a rendering engine, b) has comprehensive authoring tools, which we miss, c) has already been studied, and d) introduces a lot of new functionality we want.

The others (crystalspace, ID's, etc) I believe aren't even worth the trouble. Worse, many of them are designed for entirely different game types.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby pheonixstorm » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:05 pm

klauss wrote:The same goes for ID software's, but add the fact that Doom 3's rendering engine is specifically designed for indoors, it's completely inadequate for space settings.

So, technically speaking, the best candidate for replacing VS's graphic engine is, in fact, Ogre, since it's a) just a rendering engine, b) has comprehensive authoring tools, which we miss, c) has already been studied, and d) introduces a lot of new functionality we want.

The others (crystalspace, ID's, etc) I believe aren't even worth the trouble. Worse, many of them are designed for entirely different game types.


I was looking at the id renderer for fps style missions such as sabotage and boarding actions. For that instance it would give us a quantum leap in graphics technology.

For outdoor rendering I would suggest nebula2 (stable) or nebula3 (dev). If I remember correctly they will do outdoors rendering.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby klauss » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:32 am

pheonixstorm wrote:I was looking at the id renderer for fps style missions such as sabotage and boarding actions. For that instance it would give us a quantum leap in graphics technology.

For outdoor rendering I would suggest nebula2 (stable) or nebula3 (dev). If I remember correctly they will do outdoors rendering.


I don't know the nebula engines, though I could point out that having multiple rendering engines for multiple situations could result in undesirable limitations or complications.

For instance, one thing I wanted to be able to do with the Ogre branch, is being able to render the outside of a station through its windows. You could see the traffic around the station, the action (if time wasn't frozen), or at the very least correct context (the right planet).

If you use different rendering engines for different settings, that kind of stuff becomes prohibitively complex.

Ogre can support multiple active SceneManagers, which is great, because what makes indoors different from outdoors lays in fact in the SceneManager, and not the renderer itself. It's how scene elements are shuffled around and how the engine optimizes view culling, which is entirely different for indoors than outdoors.

Better yet, Ogre has a portals-based SceneManager plugin already, a Paged terrain SceneManager, and an Octree SceneManager. First works for closed indoors, second works for outside terrain (planet, moon, asteroid), the last one for space settings. So, Ogre has the flexibility. Other engines not so much, they will limit us rather than the opposite.

Sure, we'll experience a nice gain, switching from an ad-hoc rendering system to a more extensible and well maintained one, but in the end, the limitations might kill our hopes. Not so with Ogre. Not sure if so with others.

Also, don't underestimate the flexibility and possibilities of our current rendering engine. Techniques allow for a great deal of flexibility in mesh rendering, we basically lack in content. Our mesh formats are too inflexible and lack support for needed features, like multiple texture coordinate sets to name one, and we lack content authoring tools. Perhaps adding support for a standard, well-documented binary format (like Ogre's mesh format) is a nice easy step towards a better graphic and modding experience.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby strook » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:13 pm

Note that ogre has it's limitations, too it hasn't got Bone Animation with its mesh Format.
For Maximum flexibility we should in fact use rendundance with a subset of common functions.
I mean more than one game engine. We could for a limited time use ogre, too but for another part of the engine, maybe outdoors. If it runs well we could merge other parts of the project in it.
But also we could use the quake engine.
I think the way to success still is making small steps of running pieces of software.
What we need In the moment is an engine that serves indoor, outdoor, planetflight, tactical view, and spaceflight.
This task is difficult enough and I think we should seperate the engines cause a very few people could maintain all that code.
The graphics designers need to have something to do.
Then we could go to shader explosions etc., that stuff that will seperate our game from the others.
There is one simple codebasis to all: write it shader and call the shader. The rest is just some tweaking/fixing.
@klauss:I didn't know about that, but with my implementation you create one base mesh and import it with all it's unit values to vs, then create a folder in the meshes subfolder and simply copy all other .bfxm files in it. If you want more than one animation for the unit, you copy it into the folder, too with a different extension and call changeAnimation in the code.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby pheonixstorm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:40 am

As I see it we have 3 choices.

Work on getting the current engine working with ogre
Work on fixing and expanding the current VS engine
Work on adding a new indoor rending engine (not to be confused with the term game engine [ie graphics, physics, ai, etc is the game engine]

The nebula device is a commercially used open source engine written by Radon Labs (now backrupt and bought out by another company) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon_Labs
As far as I can remember it is used for indoor and outdoor scenes though I don't know how it would handle space scenes (which we wouldn't need it to do anyway). A nice screeshot can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drakensang:_The_Dark_Eye under the story section. Better screenshots were at the radon labs site but that has been closed. The last release of nebula2 is on sourceforge. nebula3 sdk was last released in november 2009

ID tech 3 or 4 on the other hand are both heavyily tested and abused by millions and proven indoor rendering systems.

Unreal UDK is a heave indoor/outdoor contender that would be nice to use but it definately WOULD break VS and the UDK is windows only even if the engine itself isn't. So while the UDK would be great (see mechwarrior 5 reboot trailer i love the quality in this trailer) I don't believe we could make it work

Ultimately we need to decide how to procede. Ogre, roll our own, or drop in a premade indoor renderer. If we use ogre or a drop in our need to maintain the code is minimal as far as the rendering subsystem goes. Just have to make sure our access code is stable.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby breese » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:37 am

pheonixstorm wrote:As I see it we have 3 choices.

Work on getting the current engine working with ogre
Work on fixing and expanding the current VS engine
Work on adding a new indoor rending engine (not to be confused with the term game engine [ie graphics, physics, ai, etc is the game engine]

How does SDL fit into the picture?

PS: I know what we use SDL for. The reason I ask is because our main loop is based on SDL code (src/gldrv/winsys.cpp)
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby pheonixstorm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:40 am

I think the call to main is defined to run through SDL. Its the same as if we used allegro as our game framework I think. When using allegro you still build main the normal way but sdl redirects main to sdlmain or some such. I don't know the technical aspects but I believe this is how SDL handles all of the hardware calls for mice, joystick, keyboard, etc.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby klauss » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:07 pm

@strook: Ogre doesn't store its animation data inside the .mesh file, but it does have extensive support for even pretty advanced skeletal animation, interpolated morph targerts, and more. Do read the featre list in www.ogre3d.org.

pheonixstorm wrote:The nebula device is a commercially used open source engine written by Radon Labs (now backrupt and bought out by another company) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon_Labs
As far as I can remember it is used for indoor and outdoor scenes though I don't know how it would handle space scenes (which we wouldn't need it to do anyway). A nice screeshot can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drakensang:_The_Dark_Eye under the story section. Better screenshots were at the radon labs site but that has been closed. The last release of nebula2 is on sourceforge. nebula3 sdk was last released in november 2009

It looks nice.

But don't be fooled by those pretty screen shots, most of the niceness of engine screenshots is usually due credit of the artists, and not so much the engine. If you want to evaluate engines, ask the ones that used them. Ask if it was good to work with the engine, or if it was full of isses, limitations o pitfalls.

pheonixstorm wrote:Ultimately we need to decide how to procede. Ogre, roll our own, or drop in a premade indoor renderer. If we use ogre or a drop in our need to maintain the code is minimal as far as the rendering subsystem goes. Just have to make sure our access code is stable.


On the other hand, the current engine is quite adequate for space scenes. As good as adding more eye candy sound, I reeeally think it's time VS focused on gameplay, not graphics. I know graphics mostly, and I tend to work on graphics - and sound - but VS has enough of that. What it needs is gameplay.

Walkable interiors do bring something to the table of gameplay value, but it requires sooo much work to produce the assets, that I'm not entirely sold on that yet.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby charlieg » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:09 pm

klauss wrote:On the other hand, the current engine is quite adequate for space scenes. As good as adding more eye candy sound, I reeeally think it's time VS focused on gameplay, not graphics. I know graphics mostly, and I tend to work on graphics - and sound - but VS has enough of that. What it needs is gameplay.

Walkable interiors do bring something to the table of gameplay value, but it requires sooo much work to produce the assets, that I'm not entirely sold on that yet.

"Build it and they will come."

Just get 1 generic cockpit interior and 1 generic base interior working. They don't have to be particularly beautiful, but a starting point.

Vega Strike's ships were not originally very beautiful, were they? Then the likes of Strangelet and Fendorin showed up.

The important thing is that VS keeps moving in a positive direction. There's been a few years lately where it has struggled as a project due to a tricky-to-understand codebase, retiring developers, and subsequent lack of developer power. I think the VS Ogre3d port opens up new possibilities as well as simplifies the codebase in the long run. It's probably overdue, if anything.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby Deus Siddis » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:17 pm

klauss wrote:Walkable interiors do bring something to the table of gameplay value, but it requires sooo much work to produce the assets, that I'm not entirely sold on that yet.


So this implies when the models and textures for interiors start to come in, you'll be sold on this? :)
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby klauss » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:20 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:Walkable interiors do bring something to the table of gameplay value, but it requires sooo much work to produce the assets, that I'm not entirely sold on that yet.


So this implies when the models and textures for interiors start to come in, you'll be sold on this? :)


LOL - yep.

If we have committed, capable artists, yes.

Someone should build a list of required assets, though, in order to get the full picture of just how much work is needed. Just OTOMH:

  • Base interiors for each base and planet type. Each will need:
    • Rooms: Concourse, trading center, mission center, bar, repair bay, shipyard, extra rooms that would be useful/interesting
    • Furniture: placeable models to "spice up" the place. Ie: what's not stuck to the wall. Tables, chairs, I dunno
  • Meaningless people: to populate places. Automated bots, actual people, with full animations probably, walking, etc.
  • Important people: bartenders, fixers, mission characters

Do the math, that's a lot to model texture and animate.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby pheonixstorm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:52 pm

Do we need that much though? A simple base interface for most occasions will be fine. Its not until we start combat ops that having a fps view will come in handy.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby travists » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:44 am

Pheonixstorm makes a good point. While some areas might be populated, the present setup works fine for most. The main concourse and bar are the only places where one would expect a number of people at any given time. And at the bar most would be sitting on standing in one spot. FPS would be best served on bounty missions in the hotel/barracks, or labyrinth scenarios. Unless an uber-programmer is willing to donate a year’s time to the project, the end all do all be all 3D simulator is likely out of reach. A nice goal, but is it truly attainable? Besides, last I knew home virtual reality systems where still a few years off. So, anything done will still be displayed on a 2D monitor. One of the great principles in life is KISS, and another is "If it aint broke, don't fix it." One renderer for space flight, one for indoors, one for atmospheric and outdoors (unless there is one to handle space and planet side) should be fine. Go ahead and do walkable interiors on a small scale, and see what the feedback is like. If it turns out that those bases are the most popular, do them all. If it's just some eye candy that adds little, back burner it. **Note that I did not say kill it, just develop more boosting things first.**
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby klauss » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:20 am

travists wrote:Pheonixstorm makes a good point. While some areas might be populated, the present setup works fine for most. The main concourse and bar are the only places where one would expect a number of people at any given time. And at the bar most would be sitting on standing in one spot. FPS would be best served on bounty missions in the hotel/barracks, or labyrinth scenarios. Unless an uber-programmer is willing to donate a year’s time to the project, the end all do all be all 3D simulator is likely out of reach. A nice goal, but is it truly attainable?


If you pick an indoor renderer, you should already have support for skeletal animation, so animated characters should be doable. If you don't have support for that, you'll need it eventually for walkable interiors.

travists wrote:Besides, last I knew home virtual reality systems where still a few years off. So, anything done will still be displayed on a 2D monitor. One of the great principles in life is KISS, and another is "If it aint broke, don't fix it."


And what's your point then? Why go 3D?

travists wrote:One renderer for space flight, one for indoors, one for atmospheric and outdoors (unless there is one to handle space and planet side) should be fine.


Ya... just ignore the fact that making them cooperate will take tons of work and spaguetti code :roll:

travists wrote:Go ahead and do walkable interiors on a small scale, and see what the feedback is like. If it turns out that those bases are the most popular, do them all. If it's just some eye candy that adds little, back burner it. **Note that I did not say kill it, just develop more boosting things first.**


You seem not to have any idea of the amount of coding effort having support for said walkable interiors entails. And you want to scrap the idea later if it doesn't work?

No developer will go with that. They'll tell you: dude, figure out if it's worth it first.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby charlieg » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:48 am

klauss wrote:Someone should build a list of required assets, though, in order to get the full picture of just how much work is needed. Just OTOMH:

  • Base interiors for each base and planet type. Each will need:
    • Rooms: Concourse, trading center, mission center, bar, repair bay, shipyard, extra rooms that would be useful/interesting
    • Furniture: placeable models to "spice up" the place. Ie: what's not stuck to the wall. Tables, chairs, I dunno
  • Meaningless people: to populate places. Automated bots, actual people, with full animations probably, walking, etc.
  • Important people: bartenders, fixers, mission characters

Do the math, that's a lot to model texture and animate.

You're over-egging it though. You could start with just 1 base and 1 interior. Most players would appreciate that considerably; then get people to contribute more.

Whilst we're on the subject of 3D engines, this one is looking quite good:
http://www.pixellight.org/site/index.php/page/1.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfwxpwL1KR0
http://www.pixellight.org/site/index.ph ... shots.html

Not that I'm trying to dissuade klauss from Ogre... just adding another to the [long] list of possibilities.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby travists » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:52 am

Charlieg's point is similar to mine, though more eloquent. I'm not saying scrap it, just do one or two first. If the over all response is "This is great! Why wasn't it done before?" then full speed ahead. If it's more like "This is nice, but what's the point?" Then those passionate about it, like klauss, can work on it as they please. Just downgrade it's priority to a when we get around to it status. No spaghetti code is necessary if there are hand-off points. Space and atmospheric flight together would be ideal, and if one can handle all three modes so much the better. But, why haven't the big boys (pros) done it more often?

klauss wrote:No developer will go with that. They'll tell you: dude, figure out if it's worth it first.

Excellent point! This is the catch 22 at the heart of the current debate. How do you know if it's worth it if you don't do it? And why should you do it if you don't know if it's worth it?

@klauss Yes, why go 3D? I'm neither on the fight, nor saying it shouldn't happen. My experience with space combat simulators goes from Wing Commander I to WC 4, including Privateer (and Priv 2 though it's not WC). I do not see where it does much outside of shooting ranges for specific missions. You obviously care deeply about it. I'm rather ambivalent about it, sway me.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby strook » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:12 pm

Ya... just ignore the fact that making them cooperate will take tons of work and spaguetti code :roll:


@klauss: do you mean me, too? :evil:
heh dudes I said something about a "wheel" and "reinventing"... You know?
If you code all those comments in vs you write here vs would already be done 8)

...if we have the code for another engine , I mean a working engine that needs just the model data, why don't fork the engine to vs? It could be started at load in of vs, sleep and started when going indoor for example....
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:16 pm

klauss wrote:
  • Base interiors for each base and planet type. Each will need:
    • Rooms: Concourse, trading center, mission center, bar, repair bay, shipyard, extra rooms that would be useful/interesting
    • Dungeons: giant rats, swords, magic beans, mutated has-beens, enchanted alien amulets
    • Sanitation: Toilets, septic drain fields, sewage treatment plants, new jersey
    • Furniture: placeable models to "spice up" the place. Ie: what's not stuck to the wall. Tables, chairs, I dunno ATM machines?
    • Home and Lawn: Ionocraft cupholders, home holodecks, sprinklers, space rodents, sod mattes, lawn nomads
    • Doors: forcefields, door knobs, hanging beads, liquid metal
  • Meaningless people: to populate places. Automated bots, actual people, with full animations probably, walking, telemarketers, the homeless, etc.
  • Food: Pizza, fine wines, dog biscuits, powdered egg whites, microwave ovens, Space Ranch® homeworld style salad dressing
  • Important people: bartenders, fixers, mission characters, dentists, plagiarism attorneys, tram pilots, interior decorators
  • Obese people: sumo wrestlers, american power eaters, married couples
  • Trading cards: sports, comic, politician, holographic, forestry, polka-reggaemon
  • Roving beasts: lemurs, land sharks, aenethian screech leeches, wild boar, drug enforcement, xenomorphs, mecha
  • Personal items: bluetooth radios, bottle rockets, sledge hammers, acne cream, tasers, sardines, pirated music


:P :mrgreen:

But I do get what you are saying-- you personally will only be motivated to work on this feature once enough content is available for it. However I think the most important information for the near future is what is the minimum content you'd need for this to feel worth like it would really be worth your efforts? (Or to take back up the OGRE project, perhaps better still.)

Basically I'm talking about a content milestone for walkable interiors. Or a realistic and defined challenge for content creators.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:20 pm

strook wrote:
Ya... just ignore the fact that making them cooperate will take tons of work and spaguetti code :roll:


@klauss: do you mean me, too? :evil:


No he didn't mean people at all, he's talking about separate rendering engines not working together.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby strook » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:22 pm

That mean I,too. I mean starting another process (forking) out of the vs program. If you have indoor scenes, for example, you can set up all mesh data anew anyway.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby klauss » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:05 pm

travists wrote:@klauss Yes, why go 3D? I'm neither on the fight, nor saying it shouldn't happen. My experience with space combat simulators goes from Wing Commander I to WC 4, including Privateer (and Priv 2 though it's not WC). I do not see where it does much outside of shooting ranges for specific missions. You obviously care deeply about it. I'm rather ambivalent about it, sway me.


I can't sway you, I almost agree with your point of view.

FPS walkable bases show potential, but exploiting the potential isn't automatic, magic or effortless.

Navigatable point & click 2D bases might be enough.

Navigatable point & click 3D bases are a step in-between. Long ago, I proposed making navigatable point & click 3D bases. For that, minimal engine coding is needed, mostly art assets. That could be a nice way to "try to see if it's worth", less wasted effort if it is not. Or of the artists that committed themselves to creating the assets bail. Which wouldn't be a first.

strook wrote:@klauss: do you mean me, too? :evil:
heh dudes I said something about a "wheel" and "reinventing"... You know?
If you code all those comments in vs you write here vs would already be done 8)

So, basically, stop posting on the forums, start committing?

Deus Siddis wrote:But I do get what you are saying-- you personally will only be motivated to work on this feature once enough content is available for it. However I think the most important information for the near future is what is the minimum content you'd need for this to feel worth like it would really be worth your efforts? (Or to take back up the OGRE project, perhaps better still.)


No, I don't want the content already there, but at least people able and committed to the task.

You've been around enough to know how difficult it is to find quality artwork, and for walkable bases even getting the minimal set would be quite a feat, don't you think?

So, if someone or some group has the ability to model, unwrap and texture a whole base's interior for point & click navigation, I'm willing to provide the engine support for it. But it can't be a half-baked job or a quick & dirty hack, it has to be an enhancement to the game.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby travists » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:28 pm

klauss wrote:Navigatable point & click 2D bases might be enough.

Navigatable point & click 3D bases are a step in-between. Long ago, I proposed making navigatable point & click 3D bases. For that, minimal engine coding is needed, mostly art assets. That could be a nice way to "try to see if it's worth", less wasted effort if it is not. Or of the artists that committed themselves to creating the assets bail. Which wouldn't be a first.


Agreed, throw in the pseudo-3d animated sprites like they used in Duke Nukem 3D, and a reasonable demo of the capabilities would be ready. As that engine was strictly a ray tracer, theoretically a setup like that would be easier to do than full 3d. But, in my own programing I've basically given up trying to do 3d without a prebuilt engine, so don't rightly know.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:40 pm

klauss wrote:No, I don't want the content already there, but at least people able and committed to the task.
You've been around enough to know how difficult it is to find quality artwork, and for walkable bases even getting the minimal set would be quite a feat, don't you think?


It depends on what the "minimal set" is, which is what I was trying to ascertain. (Also the amount of accessible space in the bases.)

So, if someone or some group has the ability to model, unwrap and texture a whole base's interior for point & click navigation, I'm willing to provide the engine support for it. But it can't be a half-baked job or a quick & dirty hack, it has to be an enhancement to the game.


Okay so 1 base for point and click.

However point and click 3D is basically a graphical feature, and as you said yourself, we need more than graphical features. So what I'm interested in over the longer term is support for walkable 3D (preferably through OGRE). That's the grand prize. So is there a content target for this expanded feature?
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby klauss » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:53 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
So, if someone or some group has the ability to model, unwrap and texture a whole base's interior for point & click navigation, I'm willing to provide the engine support for it. But it can't be a half-baked job or a quick & dirty hack, it has to be an enhancement to the game.


Okay so 1 base for point and click.

However point and click 3D is basically a graphical feature, and as you said yourself, we need more than graphical features. So what I'm interested in over the longer term is support for walkable 3D (preferably through OGRE). That's the grand prize. So is there a content target for this expanded feature?


Not entirely... you see... realtime rendered 3D (even if done with a fixed viewpoint) has a lot more composition freedom. You can reuse meshes, and they adapt to their surroundings (lighting, for instance) much easier than with pre-rendered 2D graphics.

In essense, it provides artists with more freedom to reuse assets, and thus more productivity.

Also, from there to scripted movement is a small step. Character movement within the scene, or camera movement, it can all be done in baby steps.

So it's a kind of working base from which to build better stuff.

I agree, reinventing FPS engines would be nonsense, so when the time comes to do a really walkable interior, some engine would have to be picked. I'd favor a rendering engine + physics engine combo, though, instead of a full FPS engine. Like Ogre + ODE, for example, though I'm open to suggestions. But that time hasn't come up yet.
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Re: Mesh Animation

Postby charlieg » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:57 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Okay so 1 base for point and click.

However point and click 3D is basically a graphical feature, and as you said yourself, we need more than graphical features. So what I'm interested in over the longer term is support for walkable 3D (preferably through OGRE). That's the grand prize. So is there a content target for this expanded feature?

A graphical "point and click" 3D base is more than just a graphical feature - it's an important stepping stone on the way. From there, the complexity involved to add the ability to move around the 3D base can't be too demanding, and then everything else is iterating and enhancing the experience. It'd be a very good start.
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