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terrain organisation and terrain texturing method for RPG

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hi, i have some kind of a theoretical question in mind, i''m trying to make a RPG, but i want it to look as close as possible to a commercial game(please don''t argue with me on this) and this is my 4th attempt to (re)write the engine but now i wanna do it right, at least...on the right track. The thing that interests me most now is the environment. I''m thinking of having the world splitted into regions, let''s say 8x8 regions, each region has a terrain associated with it, say 256x256 and each terrain is splitted in 16x16 patches with multiple levels of detail stored in vertex buffer at load time. Also a region contains an array of the meshes associated with it (trees,grass,caves, etc). Now for terain geometry i''m thinking of using a quad-tree and geo-mipmapping and "hierarchical terrain visibility" for occlussion culling. Would this work if i get it right? or should i think of some other approach? But the main problem is terrain texturing. I want very high quality (it''s quite important to me), i''ve tried using a large texture over the terrain and a detail map but it doesn''t look too good, then i tried assigning a texture id to each tile and blend them together (similar to splatting i guess) but it was awfully slow. I was thinking of assigning a different texture for each patch (created at load-time) but that would take up a lot of video memory and even if i''d load them in game, when the patch is visible, would slow down everything. What do you think i should do? Should i use Yann''s technique presented in a post here some time ago? I''d appreciate any suggestion, but i just want it to look good,maybe like in Pirates of the Carrabiens or Gothic 2 at less. And one more thing...is the organising i described below suitable for a RPG game? (1st/3rd person view). And what other things should i consider regardin the environment? Thanks very much in advance.

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Texture splatting isn''t very slow at all. If each splat takes 2 texture units, then the newest cards can render 4 splats at a time. Older cards will still have to do multiple passes so you must be reasonable with the number of splat textures per section.

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One texture per tile/patch should give you pretty good detail - even if several tiles are visible, only one or a few is loaded in full detail, the others will only load smaller mipmapped versions.

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yes, using a texture/patch(16x16) in size would give better detail and faster rendering(than splatting) but wouldn''t it take to much video memory(or texture IDs) and also, as the player is walking it would load every 2sec or some another line of textures, now wouldn''t that really slow down the engine?

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