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Level Creation

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1) When creating levels, i plan to use 3ds max. I use the microsoft 3ds x exporter included with the latest sdk update. How would i go about creating triggers for my levels? It would appear that the 3ds dummy objects dont get exported by the ms exporter plugin. Would this envlove creating a script in 3d studio to export these locations. Does anyone have any other techniques for creating levels for their game? 2) How would i go about finding the bounding box/location of an indivudal subset of a mesh? 3) Once i have the level created, how do i make my charactors/objects react to the level. i.e how do i make the charactors move up along the Y axis when they encounter the gradient of a hill, or move down along the Y axis when they fall down a hole? finally sorry for the massive shopping list of questions, however i just find it impossible to find the answers in any other way! Thank you very much for any help you can offer.

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I cannot tell you much when it comes to the 3dsmax directx X exporter because I do my work in opengl. From what I do know it might actually be best to learn either the 3dsmax sdk, or MaxScript. Maxscript is scripting inside 3dsmax and people use it to export information. The maxsdk you can create your own plugins to exporter or do other work. Personally I chose to create me own exporters and learn the max sdk. This way you control what and how everything is exported so you know how to use it to interact. Again I am not sure the exact power of the .x file format, but I assume it is more geared towards characters and static objects not full levels.
My way of creating levels is to export all the geometry then you can use that information to create a bsp tree or octree for rendering and or collision detection. I understand octrees but I have not done much with them, I think for games today it might be better to go with octrees instead of bsp. I at one point was going to use bsp tree just for collision detection because it makes it faily simple if you have the bsptree created.
For other entities or objects around your level you could use the .x exporter and then inside your level put boxes and give them a name and assign it a user defined property which you can access when you export to see if it belongs to the level or the is an entity.
www.Devmaster.net has good articles about bsp tree creation and collision detection with some collision reactions also I think. Gamasutra has an article about 3dsmax with levels from the creators of mdk. Sorry I cannot provide better links as I am at work. As for my 3dsmax sdk / maxscript there is one book out there that actually deals specifically with that and if you are just starting to learn is probably the best resource. I might be able to lend some a hand if you get stuck at some points but I do have my own projects. Also I am not an expert in the area so look into my advice but also look into other options too.

-THACO

ps feel free to PM me if you want some more info

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Why not just store the triggers in a seperate file that you create yourself? All you could do with 3d max is the 3-d box which causes the event. If you could get the names of the boxes into the .x file, you could put the rest in some sort of script file.

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I agree with Kelly G. I'm not very familiar with the .x format other than it can contain geometry. Storing levels in one large file isn't always the best solution.
I'm personally moving away from a one file solution to a many file solution myself.

Level data is part text, part binary and theres no one file format that is suited to everyone's game. Pick and choose which ones are right for different data in the scene. For myself, I'm putting all geometry, collision[vector] data in binary files, level attributes in XML and scripting in eith lua or python.

Don't be afraid to mix and match. You'll come out with a more flexible solution that way.

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Cool thanks for all your replies! I thought as much about the seperate file thing however i was just hoping that it could all be done in one file (for lazyness reasons!)

thanks all!



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