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motorsep

Outcast engine or other voxel engines

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motorsep    113
There is two questions in one thread. Technical and business. I hope moderator will forgive me for posting tech question here :)I will take Quake engine as a foundation for the project. But I still wonder about outdoor areas. Therefor question. What's better - polygonal landscape engine or voxel landscape engine? I remember myself playing Outcast. That was _amazing_! So I decided to contact Appeal to ask about licensing cost. I couldn't find link to their (Appeal's) web site. Then I sent e-mail to Infogrames tech support (it was only available e-mail on Outcast web site). No aswer. Does anybody know how can I contact (and who) regarding license for Outcast voxel landscape engine? Does anybody know licensing cost of it? If you have suggestion regarding landscape engines and their cost I would be more than happy to hear it! Thanks!

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Obscure    175
Quote:
Original post by motorsep
What's better - polygonal landscape engine or voxel landscape engine?

Neither - they are just different. Each has strengths and weaknesses and it depends on what you want to do in the game as to which would suit better. One general issue though is that most modern 3D cards are designed to go the poly route and don't support voxels.

Quote:
I couldn't find link to their (Appeal's) web site. Then I sent e-mail to Infogrames tech support (it was only available e-mail on Outcast web site). No aswer. Does anybody know how can I contact (and who) regarding license for Outcast voxel landscape engine? Does anybody know licensing cost of it?

The developer went bust, the technology is no longer being developed or supported. The engine is now so old that there isn't going to be a worthwhile licensing market to make it worthwhile for Infogrames to consider licensing it.

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motorsep    113
Thanks Obscure. I know voxels is not supported by video cards. But modern CPU (at least PC and Mac) powerful enough to handle voxels. I just love Outcast's landscapes and water. It appears smoother that it would appear in polygons. I haven't seen anything like that. Just maybe couple of screenshots of Outcast 2.
I am going to use landscape for a battle of vehicles and a battle of crowds.
It's sad (or may be not) that Appeal is closed down. Do you know any GPL, open source or just inexpensive landscape engines out there? Where can I get info about strengths and weaknesses of both lanscape engines (may be even like comparison table)? Is PS2's, XBox's, GC's CPUs powerful enough to handle voxels?
Thanks.

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Obscure    175
Yes the CPU is powerful enough to do it but the point is that you then have less CPU time to do other stuff. Back before 3D cards the CPU did all the work. The 3D card was like extra CPU power, dedicated to just doing graphics. Any work done by the card was work that didn't have to be done by the CPU and the CPU time this freed up is used for other things. If you don't use the card then the CPU is back to doing it all.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
In all fairness, AAA (or close) titles which are CPU-only do appear every couple of years or so, periodically, and do fairly well (although IIRC no huge sellers, just ones that made a healthy profit for the devs + pubs). I'm expecting some more realtime-raytracing ones sometime soon, since that kicks the **** out of crappy polygons (sigh. many years ago I tried to convince a hardware raytracing card vendor to sell it to the games industry, but their heads were too far up their own backsides to see the opportunity).

(there's the odd RT-RT hobbyist and tech demo game around, but I haven't seen any commercial ones yet?)

re: outcost...why don't you find the game designer / lead developer / most-important-tech-person from the company, hunt them down, and try and persuade them by private mail to resurrect the engine e.g. as GPL? There've been quite a few occasions where this has worked, although it depends on the author's relationship with the publisher, the nature of who owns the rights, and how forward-thinking the publisher is, etc etc.

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__ODIN__    479
Quote:
Original post by motorsep
I am going to use landscape for a battle of vehicles and a battle of crowds.
It's sad (or may be not) that Appeal is closed down. Do you know any GPL, open source or just inexpensive landscape engines out there? Where can I get info about strengths and weaknesses of both lanscape engines (may be even like comparison table)?


VTerrain is a good reference on Terrain rendering systems
http://www.vterrain.org/

We're getting dangerously off topic here, but I'd also mention that picking an off-the-shelf engine that totally crashes with your game-design (i.e Quake1 engine AND Outdoor combat) is going to cause you no end of pain. All the quake-engines are designed primarily for indoor rendering, and trying to bolt a second "terrain engine" onto it will be painfull in the extreme.

If I wanted a good, cheap engine with solid indoor and outdoor rendering capabilities, I'd probably look at Torque (http://www.garagegames.com/). Solid tools, production proven code, and nice license/price.

Allan

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