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yckx

Advice needed on a file format for 3d beatemup levels

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I'm looking into map file formats for a 3d beat'em-up/platformer style game, and I'd like some advice before I decide. It's difficult to find info on a format other than BSP, but I was under the impression that was not good for a long, straight map. I've also seen references to people using X files, but I'm unsure about it's viability as a level format. The levels will basically be linear--imagine the player walking down a street, for example. I'm envisioning some ladders/stairs going up or down, but no real left/right turns for the length of the stage. The camera will view the action from the side, in a point of view similar to the old Ninja Gaiden or Double Dragon games. So, can I effectively use BSP files? Are X files a possibility? Or is there another format I should consider? Also I was wondering about partitioning the map for visibility determination. Since I'll be viewing the map from the side, only a small portion of it will be visible at anyone time. So I was thinking some sort of bin-tree. Anyway, ideas and musings are most welcome ;) yckx

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Hi

Both BSP and.X files are mesh storage files. They are usually used to store only mesh information. I'm not sure about them storing user information but I suggest you to write your own level editor format. You can use 3D Studio Max to export your meshes as well as user defined data fields. These user defined data field can be used to store the properties of each entity e.g. ladder, wall, collision object, etc.

As far as scene management goes, I suggest quad trees. It is very easy to implement and maintain.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I'd use 3ds as intermediate file format and write a converter to your own format so no one can steal your levels :)
And I'd use either quad- or octrees.

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Original post by sriniatig
Hi

Both BSP and.X files are mesh storage files.

Eh, The games Quake store their levels in a BSP file. I thought they contained more than simple mesh info, for existence moving entities (doors, etc.), and triggers.
Quote:
I suggest you to write your own level editor format. You can use 3D Studio Max to export your meshes as well as user defined data fields.

Well, that would require access to 3DSMax... I could probably do that, but I'd like to stay legal ;) I could use Milkshape maybe, but there's no real way to enter user-defined data. Unless I can do it through a plugin.... (hmmm)
Quote:
As far as scene management goes, I suggest quad trees. It is very easy to implement and maintain.

Well, that was my thought, but since the levels will be linear, I was thinking I could collapse it, and just divide the level along the long axis, hence bin-trees.

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
I'd use 3ds as intermediate file format and write a converter to your own format so no one can steal your levels :)

Well, I was hoping to use an existing file format (I'm not terribly concerned with level theft :P) but I may end up having to do this.

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
And I'd use either quad- or octrees.


An octree would be overkill for a game that's played in essentially two dimensions (or 2.5)... Most full 3D games can get by with just quadtrees :)

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The camera will view the action from the side, in a point of view similar to the old Ninja Gaiden or Double Dragon games.

I feel anything other than sectors would be overkill for this kind of game.
For storage, why not just make your own format wich stores the tiles position and type.

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Original post by X-0ut
Quote:
The camera will view the action from the side, in a point of view similar to the old Ninja Gaiden or Double Dragon games.

I feel anything other than sectors would be overkill for this kind of game.
For storage, why not just make your own format wich stores the tiles position and type.

It looks like that's what I'll end up doing. But it's not going to be a tiled level--it will be fully modelled.

yckx

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It is not illegal to access 3D studio max. You cannot access 3D studio max directly. You will have to use Max SDK which comes with 3D studio max to write your plgin. It has a very good set of tutorials. I recommend you to go through it.

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Original post by sriniatig
It is not illegal to access 3D studio max. You cannot access 3D studio max directly. You will have to use Max SDK which comes with 3D studio max to write your plgin. It has a very good set of tutorials. I recommend you to go through it.

Eh, that's not what I meant :P I know plugins can be written for 3DSMax. What I meant was that I can't afford the $3500 to buy 3DSMax, and I don't have access to a computer that has it installed.

yckx

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