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Behind the scenes- terrain!

terrain technical game zombie survival blog
4: Adsense

Hey guys, I want to start a new kind of “series”, where we tell you how we do things technically so you won’t feel that we’re lying about what we can do. So this is kind of like a ‘How will you pull that off’ answering series.
So, today I want to go over how we’re planning on doing the terrain. If you have been following our game updates, you would know that it’s an open world zombie survival game. At that would be one of the big challenges- the world! Our game will be a huge world; with places ranging from big cities to farmland to small towns, it will be massive! So a question may be- how in the world will you pull this off?
There are a couple problems with how the terrain will work. First off is the Unity game engine. It’s a great engine, no doubt, but it definitely isn’t a god, so we don’t know exactly what it is capable of (which is why I eventually want to write my own engine). The second thing is that with a world this big, it would lag on even the best computer. Yea, it’s that big! Anyway, we have a simple solution to this problem.
The solution is this- we break the terrain into bits. Yes, there will be some loading screens, but it will definitely help in the long run. This way, you don’t have to render everything in one scene- it will be in several different ones! This is a very simple solution to a problem.
We wanted to make it where you weren’t just walking into a forest when you randomly hit a loading screen, so we’ve decided to do something. The map will have the boundaries of each zone- so whenever you go the boundary line, you’ll know that it is about to have a loading screen. Even then, we will still have a message pop up, saying ‘Are you sure you want to travel to _____?” This will solve that problem!
Alright guys, that’s mostly it! Hopefully we will finish the terrain soon and then we can have a trailer for you! We will also soon have a confirmed announcement of something great for people with no internet. Thanks for reading, blog to you later!

Dec 05 2012 12:19 AM
You are refereing to zoning, which is a common way to dispatch large worlds. The more advanced way is streaming. Streaming or paging, will give you a seamless large world. But if this is your first title and you don't have much experiences with unity, I would recommend zoning. It is really easy, highly scaleable and still used in many games.
Dec 05 2012 09:56 AM
Thanks for the advice Ashaman!

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