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comwizz2

seamless!... Maybe

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Hi i am curious, are "seamless worlds" possible, if so are they hard? i was wanting to make a wide open plain that is long are far and doesn't require loading screens, please POLITELY tell me if you think this is over my head, there is no need to flame...

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Original post by comwizz2
please POLITELY tell me if you think this is over my head


How can we tell you that without any information about your dev experience? What have you done, what do you know well, and what do you use?

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Entirely possible, and done in many commercial games out there. It's also not done in many commercial games out there, which says something about the potential complexity of the task.

Gamasutra article on Streaming in Games

The basic concept is simple enough: Load data before you need it (e.g. based on camera position and the like), asynchronously.

Of course, if your big large plain doesn't take much data to describe, there's little need to use streaming just to avoid load screens inside the plain itself (e.g. w/ load points restricted to choke points)

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Seamless worlds are indeed possible. The way it usually works is for example by dividing the world into a grid and loading only the nine sectors around and including the player, loading and unloading sectors as the player moves around. If you have ever played Morrowind on a slow PC you may have noticed the occasional stutter as it pauses to load a cell, that's basically what's happening right there. Of course, if you want the player to teleport around in such a world, there will be some delays.

As for whether they are hard... if you don't know or can't judge for yourself after the above description, you probably are not ready to program one just yet. In which case you might want to start with a simpler game.

Edit: got beaten to it twice :D

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They are, but remember that they take up an extremely high amount of memory for stuff like that.

I would go with psuedo-seamless if it is an interior...have corners go to a seperate map without slowdown.

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good point sorry im just used to sites where when you're not an established member you get flamed for asking "simple" questions! (Although this site seems a lot better!)

I'm a C# Programmer who swapped from xna/gse to C++ sdl/ogl I have some experience not a ton but i understand enough to get by and if i don't understand something google and me become best buds until i figure it out!
I am currently in a game project and hope to further my knoledge through it and this site

EDIT
to first reply

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Quote:
Original post by Shlaklava
They are, but remember that they take up an extremely high amount of memory for stuff like that.


There's no implied correlation between world size and memory/disk space.

Frontier: Elite 2 had universe the with 100 billion star systems, all uniquely named. It fit on a single floppy disk, and ran with 4 megabytes of RAM.

Then there's kKrieger, with 90k-something total. And of course, Spore, should it ever see that light of day.

Of more current technologies, BigWorld offers that, DnL also has insanely large, single-clustered world.

Yes, infinite seamless universes are possible. They aren't even "that" hard.

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Thanks guys! Im gonna go with the cell loading scheem it sounds like the best for me (large open spaces with the occasional town which could just be part of the large open spaces!)
EDIT
question is there any way to make it load portions of one big map?

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It's really too early for you to worry about that. Get something on screen first ;). How to load parts of a map depends entirely upon how you create and store the map, which in turn depends entirely on you. If your terrain is a height map, you can clamp that, and the objects you could load depending on which cell they "belong" to.

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Quote:
Original post by Antheus
Quote:
Original post by Shlaklava
They are, but remember that they take up an extremely high amount of memory for stuff like that.


There's no implied correlation between world size and memory/disk space.

Frontier: Elite 2 had universe the with 100 billion star systems, all uniquely named. It fit on a single floppy disk, and ran with 4 megabytes of RAM.

Then there's kKrieger, with 90k-something total. And of course, Spore, should it ever see that light of day.

Of more current technologies, BigWorld offers that, DnL also has insanely large, single-clustered world.

Yes, infinite seamless universes are possible. They aren't even "that" hard.


I meant if he has a lot of stuff in this universe loaded at the same time to make it seamless. I stand semi-corrected.

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Hope I'm not too late to post this, but I used to do some research on implementing seamless terrain. Here is an article that really gave me some good ideas to do. Game Developer's Conference. Click on the "Continuous World of Dungeon Siege". Another good engine that you should look at is the World of Warcraft engine. Even though the game has been out for a couple years, it's stilll a great MMORPG partly because there are no loading times, and the environment is huge, too big to store it in RAM.

It is pretty simple, like what other people have said, at least from studying it. It's not really seamless but it loads/unloads stuff in the background, making no loading screens and it seam seamless. Realistically you could make your world as big as your hard drive can handle then, or if it was procedurally created, it could go on indefinitely.

Hope that helps.

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