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Bsp maps like in quake engine versus modeled maps

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I''m pretty new to making 3d games and have been wondering what the advantages of using bsp maps and other structures instead of modeling a map in a 3d modeling package the 3d studio max and importing it into your game. If someone could help clearify the differences and the advantages/disadvantages of each, or better yet, point me toward some articles on the matter, that would be great. thanks KevinCoyle

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you seem to have misunderstood quite a bit here you see BSP isn''t a model format like .3ds or .max. Binary Space Partitioning - BSP is a method to divide your maps into different nodes and leaves so that you can speed up the rendering of your map. You should design your level with a 3d editor like 3d studio max and then you should use some kind of space partitioning like octree or BSPTree to speed up the rendering. BSP is mostly used for culling and collision detection.

// Fredrik

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BSP trees (Binary Space Partition) is a data structure you use to organize your scene. You load your mesh (created in an editor like 3dsMax) into your game or your game's world editor, and process the mesh into your data structure. Then you can save this processed mesh as a .bsp file, but this is just a name. you could name it anything, because your program will open this file. BSP trees are one of the best data structures for First Person Indoor games. The thing that makes Bsp trees good, is it simplifies colision detection, portal generation. The real speed comes from PVS (possible Visibility sets). Pvs is precalculated visibility info. using this, you can decide what to render very efficiently.

Many games implement thier own world editor. If you want to do that, then you should look up CSG (constructive surface geometry) This is just boolean operations, but BSP trees simplify implementing CSG as well.

If you want to make an outdoor or non-first-preson game, I suggest a quad tree. There are many terrain algorithms that provide excelent results.

I suggest you go to GameInstitute.com
they have classes that run about $100. They teach you every thing you need to know, but they do it in DirectX. I don't know if you prefer openGL. If you use openGL then try going to nehe.gamedev.net
there are plenty of tutorials there.

By the way, if you don't use any data structures on you scene, you will get very poor frame rates. To give you an example, When using a BSPtree in one of my levels, I am able to eliminate 90% of the level from any processing. this means that I never cocider drawing 90% of my level. In effect, i can have levels about 10 times as detailed, or big as someone who dosent use any sorting. Keep in mind that since I precalculate my visibility, i don't even have to eliminate the polygons. I just draw what is most likely visible.

Well I hope I have supplied you with plenty of buzz words to search for on the internet. If you want more help, feel free to email me at: nnurgle2@hotmail.com

[edited by - nnurgle on April 4, 2003 1:30:58 AM]

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