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The Western: FPS? RPG? RTS?


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#81 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 11:13 AM

Regarding maps:

I have just written a perl script which automatically fetches 30 meter (7.5 minute) DEM (digital elevation map) files off of the web. There are thousands of these files. Each one represents an approximate area equal to 7 x 7 miles. Each grid point in each map is spaced at 30 meters. This means that there are about 350 x 350 grid points per DEM file.

My perl script fetches the files, as clicking on each link is laborious. I then have another perl script which runs these files through a parsing program to convert the data to height maps.

And finally, a program stitches them together into one seamless map file. Subsets of the final giant map can then be loaded at demand or converted into other file formats.

Right now, my script is currently processing Inyo County in California, which is about a 100 x 150 mile area, featuring Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

I hope to have my scripts process most of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming. Heck, why don't we throw in Montana, Idaho, Texas and a few other states as well.

We're talking gigabytes here, but having that kind of resource is great. One can then select the area they want to refine or develop.

[edited by - bishop_pass on December 16, 2002 6:14:45 PM]

Sponsor:

#82 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 11:43 AM

The script is now fetching all 7.5 minute DEM files for the state of Arizona...

#83 ktuluorion   Members   -  Reputation: 392

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 12:03 PM

quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
The script is now fetching all 7.5 minute DEM files for the state of Arizona...


All i have to say is... you are awesome

#84 ktuluorion   Members   -  Reputation: 392

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 12:04 PM

quote:
Original post by Polish
ktuluorion: Try www.yabbforum.com It's free and I've used it a bunch of times, seems nice. If you have no luck I can set it up on my pc as a last resort. I'm on cable, but I don't have any backup capability right now so it would probably be temporary anyway.





I'm gonna take a break from paper-writing to check it out and try to set it up

Wish me luck.


Update: Being a pain in the ass. I'm workin' on it Hey, it's better than writing about Chaucer anyhows

[edited by - ktuluorion on December 16, 2002 8:07:33 PM]

#85 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 01:41 PM

I guess I should have stated my questions clearer, sorry.

I understand that a procedural system like you described creates an infinite amount of diversity, but my question was how much do you really need and how much will be noticed? At what point do you stop storing textures because it consumes so much space for the sake of diversity? Is it really worth it? I have no idea what kind of footprint a certain amount of textures for models take up, I''ve never designed a game before so I''m just learning here. Maybe you can incorporate hundreds of different skins with no noticeable down side?

When it comes to real-time rendering, my main question was pretty much asking if my horse will look slightly different each time I log in, or if skins will change dynamically when moving in and back out of sight. It would seem a little strange if that was the case, but maybe it wouldn''t be noticeable? Maybe they are dumb questions, but it wouldn''t be the first time...

Each breed can have distinctive coat colorings and markings right? (sizes, shapes too?) I''m not sure what I''m confused about. =)

#86 Polish   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 01:51 PM

Oops, forgot to log in.

I just wanted to add, I''m not knocking anyone at all here. I think the system you''ve described is a really trick way of doing things. I just basically wanted someone to clearly spell out the advantages/disadvantages of such a system, since I''m an idiot.

#87 MentalRotation   Members   -  Reputation: 120

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 02:02 PM

I''d like to help on the project. I think I could help in weather dynamics and/or character dynamics programming. I have about 3 years programming experience in c++, but none with any graphics api unless you count winapi. I have a big interest in AI and weather. Let me know if I can help out. The whole thing sounds like a great idea!

mentalrotation@cox.net

#88 Korvan   Members   -  Reputation: 178

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 02:07 PM

You wouldn''t have to worry about a horse''s texture changing when you turn your back on it. While procedural textures do incorporate some "randomness", controlling parameters can create the same random pattern by just remembering a couple of starting values.

As far as I know, a procedural texture takes up the same amount of space in video memory as a bitmapped one. Of course, if you find yourself in the midst of a large herd of horses, each with an unique texture, your video memory may be taxed. In this case, it would make sense to assign a couple of generic textures to the entire herd while keeping the unique ones for the main character''s horses.

#89 pwd   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 03:03 PM

Only skimmed this just now (have been pretty busy lately), but this seems like a worthwhile venture. I''m all for games in a non-standard setting.

As far as being able to help, I can probably whip together and host a pre-packaged forum in a jiffy as well as potentially offering web/image/file storage. Might be able to fill in some programming holes as well (anything from general systems to 3D) - the catch is that my time is fairly limited, and I don''t do windows (*nix, PS2 or mac would be cool for me).



#90 pwd   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 03:56 PM

It ain''t purty at all yet, but: you can use this forum if you wish.

This at least gets something up now, that can be refined over time as needed (I''m not afraid to crack open the source code of the forum software).

Currently it''s divided into 4 categories (general, setting design, art and programming) with one message board in each category.

Have at it.

#91 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 04:21 PM

pwd, thanks!

Let''s just go with the forum that pwd has so kindly provided. It''s up and running right now, looks good, and is fully customizable.

#92 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 04:40 PM

quote:
Original post by Polish
I understand that a procedural system like you described creates an infinite amount of diversity, but my question was how much do you really need and how much will be noticed?

Do you want your horse to look like your pal''s horse? Do you want your next horse to look like your last horse? While a table, or a gun can often look like another, a horse is a unique individual, and a major component of the game, and an individual to boot, as opposed to something like a car in a racing game. If you walk out of a saloon and see three horses tied to the hitching post, do you want to be able to identify your horse based on coloring? I would think that you would.
quote:
Original post by Polish
At what point do you stop storing textures because it consumes so much space for the sake of diversity?

If the textures are precomputed, but procedural, you need only cache those textures which are currently ''in play'', i.e. - your horse and the other couple horses in view at the moment.
quote:
Original post by Polish
Is it really worth it?

Anything graphical which is acheivable is worth it.
quote:
Original post by Polish
I have no idea what kind of footprint a certain amount of textures for models take up, I''ve never designed a game before so I''m just learning here. Maybe you can incorporate hundreds of different skins with no noticeable down side?

You CAN incorporate hundreds of different skins, but not necessarily simultaneously.
quote:
Original post by Polish
When it comes to real-time rendering, my main question was pretty much asking if my horse will look slightly different each time I log in, or if skins will change dynamically when moving in and back out of sight.

No, they won''t. Your horse always looks like your horse.
quote:
Original post by Polish
Each breed can have distinctive coat colorings and markings right? (sizes, shapes too?) I''m not sure what I''m confused about. =)

Example of coat colorings are sorrels, palominos, bays, and greys, to name a few. These are, for the most part, independent of breeds. But those coat colorings are independent of markings, which are, for the legs, ermine, socks and stockings, and for the face, stars, stripes, blazes, snips, and bald.

Examples of breeds are Thoroughbreds, Quarter horses and Arabians. Most of those breeds can be any of the above coat colorings, and have any of the markings.

And then there are appaloosas, paints, etc. The point is, all of those colorings contribute to graphical beauty and realism and even gameplay.

Oddly, the concept of horse coloring is unique, specific and broad, unlike, say, the concept of zebra coloring, or leopard coloring, or cacti coloring, or whatever.

You might analogize it to sky coloring, in the sense that there is a large set of possible sky colors given time of day, altitude, weather, etc. And within each sky, there are particular colors which can occur at different positions in the sky, such as near the horizon, near the sun, near the zenith, etc.

Just like you wouldn''t make a sky''s zenith yellow and the sky near the horizon blue on a rainy day at 11:00 AM, you wouldn''t just make a horse black with a white rump, and call it a bay.

#93 ktuluorion   Members   -  Reputation: 392

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 04:45 PM

quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
pwd, thanks!

Let''s just go with the forum that pwd has so kindly provided. It''s up and running right now, looks good, and is fully customizable.


works for me! sorry i''ve been a pain in the ass with getting one up..

#94 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 06:11 PM

Ok, for those who missed it, our new forum for this whole thing is right here!

#95 Polish   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 December 2002 - 07:41 PM

Well, that pretty much answers every question I had, and confirms that something like that is achievable, unique, and worthwhile. Thanks for explaining.

#96 Run_The_Shadows   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 634

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Posted 17 December 2002 - 01:11 AM

That is, hands down, the most insanely large forum I have ever seen in my years of travelling this here wide internet.


-Run_The_Shadows@excite.com

#97 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 17 December 2002 - 01:58 AM

You know, since we''re talking about gigabytes here, why don''t we write the software to DVD format? That way a person dosen''t have to download 20 disks just to play the game.

#98 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 17 December 2002 - 10:11 PM

quote:
Original post by Run_The_Shadows
That is, hands down, the most insanely large forum I have ever seen in my years of travelling this here wide internet.

Well, the idea is to separate the topics according to tasks, and prevent pertinent information from getting buried. I suppose sticky threads would have been another way.

But the point is, the forum also serves as a sort of filing cabinent at this point in time.



#99 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 17 December 2002 - 11:08 PM

Some programs I wrote are currently harvesting and stitching together DEM data of the American West for tentative use in this project. Below is an OpenGL rendering of some of the data I have been processing. To go from DEMS to what you see below requires about 3 stages consisting of parsing, stitching, and formatting. It''s part of Inyo County, California.

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/inyomap.jpg>

#100 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 02:42 AM

What maps do you have on the Arizona Plateus? Also, I have an idea to create more realistic figures. I could use ZBrush to model the character''s and create the textures that will be applied to them.




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