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hybrid Twisted Metal/Smugglers Run

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Hey all, well as you have seen by the title this is the type of game im going to develop, ive started the engine, and ultimatly I hope a game like so shall result It is aimed at, at least geforce 2 hardware, but will be quite scalable; just some BG info for ya. Ok so Smugglers run was quite repetitive, cool, but the funness didnt last all that long, and twisted metal was pretty cool. So I hope it to be somewhere in between, ie. superlarge outdoor, style enviroments, but instead of just racing round getting from checkpoint to checkpoint (which good real old, real fast) you have to battle other enemys by picking up weapons and stuff, so it wont really have storyline, just be pure deathmatch styles... so I was wondering if this sounds good? how could I improve? what would you like to see? eg weapons, gameplay, anything. Thanks.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Um, without the checkpoints, isn''t it like Twisted Metal only? For a hybrid, doesn''t some part of it need to be like Smuggler''s Run?

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well I was plaining to have possibly a simple time battle mode where you raced through the checkpoints, but its more like smugglers run in that its large outdoor (rural) landscapes than in twisted metal where they are smaller urban enviroments...

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quote:
Original post by glassJAw
So it''s Twisted Metal Black

heh, not really... like my game will have practicly no urban stuff, just the odd building about in the middle of nowhere...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
yeah that sounds really cool! i mean, think about it: having to drive around from weapon to weapon and then shoot them at other players is soooo much better than driving checkpoint to checkpoint and out maneuver other players!

One thing i absolutely HATED about twisted metal was the fact that you had to drive around and pick things up. so basically, a round would start, and then i''d drive towards an enemy, unload homing, fire and power rockets and a few specials and then i had to spend a couple minutes re-acquiring things i already had. oh and then what about those special attacks? waiting an hour so i could have a weapon which was the same as one of the regular weapons was lots of fun! like with shadow, the ghost thing was just like a gas tank. and then Sweet Tooth, just like the zoomy pickup. and then Mr. Grimm, with the power missiles. wow. really, really lame.

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I''ve recently played both games.

Smugglers Run is fun in the sense that you have large outdoor environments, civilians, great vehicle dynamics (very fun), good rhythem, fast paced...

It does get a little old, but when playing against someone else, it is fun.

Twisted Metal Black seemed a little less fun, not as good vehicle dynamics, too dark and urban, but fun nonetheless.

If you could take Smugglers Run, make the environs even bigger, add a few more small towns, increase the traffic level a smidgeon, add specular lighting to the vehicles, and add weapons, I think you''d have a fun game.

Instead of running around grabbing weapons though, how about a pre-customization of your vehicle before the action starts? Maybe during the action, each car has a home base/shop where they can go to get more ammo, but not necessarily upgrade weapons.

Keep the checkpoint concept in, but perhaps make it less linear. Player one could be fulfilling checkpoint mission #2 while player two is fulfilling checkpoint mission #4. But they are both simultaneously trying to disrupt the other''s activities.

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quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
If you could take Smugglers Run, make the environs even bigger, add a few more small towns, increase the traffic level a smidgeon, add specular lighting to the vehicles, and add weapons, I think you''d have a fun game.

Ok, dude, ive been thinking about this. Smugglers run must use already use at least a 1024x1024 heightmap, unless you have a supercomputer I dont see you going any bigger than that...

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I don''t believe maps exceeding 1024x1024 are a tall order for next year''s computers, or even this year''s computers, or, frankly, last year''s computers.

Off the top of my head, I''d venture to say that 4000 x 4000 maps are possible today with lots of information per cell.

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... And with adaptive sampling for plains vs. mountains, you could go significantly higher. I''m not talking about at render time, but before render time.

If you divide the land into 64 subgrids, each with a resolution commensurate with its height variance, you can save memory.

A square mile of plains can get away with cells spaced every 64 feet with height differentials stored to an accuracy of 16 feet, thus being 4 bits.

Other areas would benefit from cells spaced every 8 feet, with height differentials stored to an accuracy of 64 feet, thus being 6 bits.

These values are unpacked during the tesselation stage, where they are placed into a dynamic LOD structure such as a quadtree or ROAM bintree.

Unpacking height differentials need not be expensive. If an absolute altitude anchor point is guaranteed to be every 8 cells, an unpack operation can occur relatively quickly.

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quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
I don''t believe maps exceeding 1024x1024 are a tall order for next year''s computers, or even this year''s computers, or, frankly, last year''s computers.

Off the top of my head, I''d venture to say that 4000 x 4000 maps are possible today with lots of information per cell.

You''d have to be careful with that. A 4000x4000 array with only a single byte per cell will take up just over 15.2 megs of memory.

With a single int per cell, you''re looking at about 61 megs of memory.

4000x4000 is probably fine as long as you dont have lots of info per cell

Anyways, somewhat off-topic, the Future Shop by my house is selling Smuggler''s Run for PS2 for $34 CAN (that''s including tax). Worth buying?

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quote:
Original post by glassJAw
You''d have to be careful with that. A 4000x4000 array with only a single byte per cell will take up just over 15.2 megs of memory.

I personally don''t have to be careful with that. But if it was a personal project, I wouldn''t be thinking about being careful; I''d be thinking about being smart.

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Precisely. You''d probably do dynamic loading from disk, possibly data compression, etc. There are loads of ways to reduce memory usage, especially with today''s hard disk speeds.

- JQ
Full Speed Games. Are back.

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quote:
Original post by JonnyQuest
Precisely. You'd probably do dynamic loading from disk, possibly data compression, etc. There are loads of ways to reduce memory usage, especially with today's hard disk speeds.

- JQ
Full Speed Games. Are back.

dude... this is a deathmatch racing game... not a massive adventure/RPG like Jak and Daxter or Zelda64!



[edited by - elis-cool on December 12, 2002 7:52:35 PM]

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quote:
Original post by elis-cool
dude... this is a deathmatch racing game... not a massive adventure/RPG like Jak and Daxter or Zelda64!

4k x 4k is possible, unless you insist that it run on a 350 mhz machine with 64MB.

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But dont you think that 4K x 4K is a little excessive for this type of game?
ok, lets try a few calculations...
3* normal + 2* texture + 3* vector = 8*4bytes = 32 bytes per vertex.
4096*4096*32 = 536 870 912 bytes.
thats 537 megs of info just for the verts... you gotta be joking... see, you need a super computer

[edited by - elis-cool on December 15, 2002 5:16:28 AM]

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You''re not thinking the way you could be. The normals and vertices don''t exist explicitly, and never exist explicitly all at once. The LOD algorithm dynamically builds a tree structure of the terrain at runtime.

The only thing which is cached in memory is a 4k x 4k cell map, encoding either differential altitude information, or absolute altitude information, and texture information.

Alternatively, you can remap the full map to a delauney format, if you feel so inclined.

I don''t think 4x x 4k is excessive at all.

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Im sorry, but I still dont get it... if you mean to create the quadtree leaves at runtime... then that means locking, and locking == sloooooooow (DirectX), plus it goes against the point of having a quadtree in the first place...

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Only a few leaves are add/removed per frame.

Besides, you don''t need to store the normals. Precompute the lighting and store the lighting as a lightmap, eliminating any reason to store the normals. This way, the only normals you need are for physics, and that only relates to where animated objects are.

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