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What should be in a 3D engine

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Hi I have started working on a feature list on the 3D engine we are going to build. It is going to be built with D3D. What do you think should be in the engine what kind of effects and features would you expect from a modern engine today. Here are a few to get you started: Alpha blending Environmental mapping Fog Bump mapping Curved surfaces (we'll see about that) Regards /Joachim Edited by - WonderWorld on 5/15/00 1:19:16 AM

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Just a thought, but you might want to look at something like CrystalSpace. Just steal their function list. Also look for the LithTech engine.

Another thing: You might want to implement a more basic engine before you start adding features like EBM and curved surfaces.

Best of Luck


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Start from the beginning and think about what is needed to model a realistic environment. Here's a suggestion for a priority ordering for features.

  1. Geometry, you'll need plenty of polygons to give a nice representation
  2. Textures are nice
  3. Colored lighting
  4. Alpha blending for windows, water, spidersweb, trees etc

Those four features are the basic engine today, and you should be able to render just about any environments you need.

Here's the features that give the really beautiful environments and effects:

  1. particle engine, can be used for just about anything
  2. decals, for bullet holes, blood splats etc
  3. volumetric fogging, for those eerie graveyard places, or morning mist.

Then there are other features that aren't that noticeable in the engines, but people like to talk about. I have not ordered these but in my opinion Level of Detail is the most important feature (if done right):

  • Level of Detail, to increase the detail of the environment and characters
  • curved surfaces, they are really overrated but can give an subtle effect if used properly
  • Environmental mapping, use carefully (Raven Software were way too fond of env mapping in Soldier of Fortune)
  • Bumpmapping, expensive

Either way, it is not so much the engine that makes the game, you'll need good texture artists and level designers as well. No amount of features can make up for poor textures or level designs.

- WitchLord

Edited by - WitchLord on May 15, 2000 7:43:49 AM

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