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UsingBytes

Design & Implamentation

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Hi everyone, So I am working on I suppose we could say a very small RPG, though right now it comprises of just an editor with various methods for testing out different things such as HLSL, texture splatting etc... I am just wondering what the prefered way is for creating terrain. Basically to give you a better understanding of what I am attempting this game will have a look and feel like World Of Warcraft, with a 3rd person positioned camera. I am just trying to think of the best way to utilize terrain. Weather that be using 3d Studio max to create my terrain and export to an .X file, and then just load up the terrain as a mesh object, Or if it would be best to create my terrain in 3d Studio max export to an .X file and write my own .X parser to get the vertice / normal information, and then drop that data into a couple arrays. I will be using a (terrain streaming) method to present the terrain from the hard drive, and when creating the terrain in 3d studio max I will either use height maps for the displacement modifier or will just push and pull vertex's to create my desired look. I dont really want to use random terrain generation of (hills, mountains, rivers) etc, just because this world will be small enough that I can create the desired terrain look and feel by hand, then just use random generation of trees, rocks and all that good stuff. I am unsure and haveent really tested different methods yet, but I think writing my own .X parser to gather the vertex, index, and normal information from my terrain made in 3d studio max would be the best bet, because I can then drop that information into an [x, y] and [z] array, which would then be very usefull in an array form for my terrain streaming, and (character position / character to terrain collision checking). Does anyone know if I was to go the other route and drop the terrain into an .X file, then create a mesh object from that .X file if MDX 1.1 provides methods or properties for me to be able to access the vertex, index and normal data from the mesh container? That way I could still get the data out to put into an array. Just wondering because I already have code to load an display a mesh object, to load and display a mesh object with animation, and to also load display / call animation by frame names and alter specific matrix transformations on that animation. But I havent really dug around yet to see if I am able to get the vertex, normal and index information out. Well anyway please post any advice, comments about this matter as it will be very appreciated. As you can see I'm a little torn, (thinking heavily) about the most efficient way for creating my terrain. I really want to stick to using 3d Studio Max to create my terrain (not texturing) Just the placement of vertices becuase it is a very nice tool for that. But I really need an effecient way to access the [x, y] and [z] information so I can throw that information into a couple arrays. Maybe there is a another whole method of doing terrain that I somehow missed. Again thanks for any repli's and thanks for reading this long post, Andy

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It seems like this post might get a better response in a programming forum. Anyway, it seems like you're talking about creating the terrain as static meshes in Max rather than generating a heightmap in engine. The obvious advantage of using static meshes is that you can achieve more detailed and interesting terrain.

From a production standpoint though, the downside is that creating a world built from custom geometry takes much longer than a world where most the terrain is created from a heightmap. However, since the game world you have in mind is going to be rather small I think creating the geometry in Max will give you the most desireable results.

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I agree probably MAX tarain would be better

... but take a look at voxel maps.
http://www.home.zonnet.nl/petervenis/
sort of 3d bitmaps ... where you can make holes in the tarrin in real time.

... if you go 2d highmaps becouse of ease of use and speed i sugest hexegoal tiles becouse they create less artafacts when looking at tile directions. Even in Max making tarain out of hexes will improve quality.

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