My opinion, condensed to its core: voxels are, for most general renderers, vaporware. They have been going around for so much time I don't remember. I don't recall a single demonstration impressing me. I don't even think they are good in concept: we have native support for polygons which are sparse and irregular in nature. Most of the "advantages" I keep reading about voxels come from system limitations, could apply to polygonal systems as well or show up consistent misunderstanding of what graphics is, voxels are natively regular in structure and we have to use hierarchical structures to make them work in semi-irregular ways.
I think it's a great conept but how applicapible is it to truely have a true 100% voxel game? What is everyone else's thoughts about this topic?... Thanks for sharing your open opinion!
Consider: Don't start yet another voxel project.
Let me demostrate some extremely interesting arguments from that thread.
- Q: For pet projects, voxels can make a lot of sense. They allow you to build a world by simply editing a few noise functions and move on.
N: pet projects are special cases. Anyway, nobody prevents you to build polygon meshes procedurally.
- Q: but the idea of having infinite blocks and chunk spawning actually really helped us to define a very robust and capable engine
N: the cool thing is nobody ever prevented anyone from generating polygonal geometry on the fly. Those people keep talking about minecraft. Perhaps they have not noticed minecraft is polygonal!
- Q: Voxels are nice since their a bit like the 2d tiles of old and can help you create a 3d environment without having to get into 3d art.
N: I made my cubic art in blender. I'm not an artist, but I can work my way with cubes. Sure, I have 200% the vertex count now (or perhaps even more), I still get 100+ fps on my machine and over 40 on target ... so I'd say there are quite some way to create 3D environments without getting into 3D art.
- Q: A couple of days playing around... why wouldn't you?
N: maybe i'm just stupid but I don't recall anything taking "a couple of days playing around". But I'd rather "play around" than sitting in front of a monitor.
- Q: My work involves electromagnetic theory and modeling and I have used also finite-difference schemes to model propagation of optical electromagnetic waves. This "voxel" approach is useful, because the fixed cell size, depending on material properties, can lead to implicit time stepping, where only a diagonal matrix needs to be "inverted" at each step.
N: I admit that's very cool. It's also the standard for volumetric fluid simulation using navier-stokes.
- Q: Voxel based games have some interesting possibilities. What I find especially interesting is how it makes it easier to automatically create infinite worlds and how it can support dynamic changes from other players.
N: same as (2).