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Level Design

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Using an X file for level design would be the same as using any other 3d format, such as md2, md3, 3ds, ect... However, most engines use special formats just for levels that contain data specific to the game, and not just the vertex information.

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What Circlesoft said, but also keep in mind that .X files are just raw polygons. If you''re talking about a great big level where can walk around in like an FPS, then .X files are about the worse possible way you could store the data. You REALLY need some kind of visual culling system to chop off some of that geometry you''d be sending to the GPU once per frame. Otherwise, your frame rates will be sucky.

For example, Quake uses BSP-based levels. There are other methods for space partitioning, like quad-trees and portals. (And some games use a combination, for example portals with BSP trees within each portal.)

Have you checked the articles here on Gamedev? I''m sure there has to be one about space partitioning algorithms...

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Thanks for help. I found the articles u mentioned and reading it.
If i have a model made in 3ds Max, i can convert it to x file and load it. Can we convert the max models to the other formats u mentioned like md2, md3 etc and what about their loading?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Milkshape can import a 3DS ASC file (and several other formats) and export as an X file. Its for low-poly modeling only, though.

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quote:
Original post by FenrirWolf
X files are just raw polygons. If you''re talking about a great big level where can walk around in like an FPS, then .X files are about the worse possible way you could store the data.


I have just read the TOC of the book "Programming Role Playing Games with DirectX" and also its reviews at GameDev. It looks Jim Adams have used X files for level design and also collision detection etc. I wanted to ask if someone has read this book, particularly the chapter on 3D Engines where the writer discusses level design etc and confirms me that levels are designed usin x files or not? If its true then how efficient this code is?

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The Unreal engine uses BSP for making zones, blocking volumes for collision detection, etc. They can be used for large flat walls too but the docs advise you not to use too much BSP blocks for geometry. Instead almost everything is a mesh. They have their own format but you could just as well use x files.
A good combination of meshes and (invisible) volumes for collision could be a winning combination.

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I highly recommend Jim Adams RPG book. It sounds like what you''re after. He discusses using X files for meshes and, in the case of levels, he demonstrates how to use the X file mesh by dividing it up in to a quadtree or octree (for culling purposes).

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