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Game Level Files

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I just finished creating a maya exporter for simple models and am ready to move onto exporting building/ground/interiors data. Are there any formats anyone would recommend I look at? Thanks. -Nick

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I am not sure I understand your question?

Are you looking to find another graphic format to work with? Or or are you looking for a terrain based format to work with?

If you are looking for another format, I wouldnt bother, .ma or .obj are two of the nicest ones to work with, so I would just make your exporter better.

If you are looking for a nice format to put your terrain into, I would probrably recommend using what you have already created ( no reason your terrain cant be created in Maya ). If that isnt sufficent, look into terragen (sp?) or just generic height mapping which seems to be pretty standardized these days.

If I completely misunderstood you, please let me know.

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I want to make my level geometry in maya. The question is what to export it to. I want to start with just interiors, or at least enclosed areas, and later I'll add more natural terrain. But I know a lot of games use different formats for level geometry vs characters. I'm trying to learn about formats for the level geometry.

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Ah ic. Well, it boils down to one of two things.

Games either use an engine based exporter like you have created, and go with that. Or they create level editing tools like the Doom 1/2/3 type BSP editors.

Im guessing you dont want to work with a tool like UnrealED, or whatever, so I would just stick with Maya and your exporter. Your next step would be to make an efficent scene graph mechanism that takes the levels you have exported and culls them based of visual datasets. There is no reason you can use a tool like Maya to do all of your scene graph work.

What you export to isnt really that important, its what you do with that data.

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Well, I plan to create a level editor, but it won't be for editing geometry. It will be used to place game objets, set properties, and hook up events. I figure the work flow will be import level geometry, add game objects, hook up events. I initially wanted to make the entire level one mesh, but I think that would make it difficult to do efficient culling.

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