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maya18222

3d level design

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I was wondering how you guys cope with developing the level enviroment, currently im building the scene via modelling in 3ds max and then exporting each component to an .xfile and then loading them back into the game. But i have 2 issues with this, 1. Its a pain having to export each item, when you change it 2. If there are multiple mesh instances of the same mesh, you are wasting memory by exporting each individual one. Such as when building a scene, with lots of lampost meshes, i didn't want to export from max 100 different files of the same mesh, (just in different locations), so i opted to just export one, and then in the scene, have a bunch of objects with different transforms, with their mesh pointer all pointing to the same mesh object. Which works, but not very interactive. I would like to place the level objects interactivly in max, and use the max features for their placement. but cant think of a way to get the data back to the game in an optimized manner.

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If the lamp posts aren't interactive at all, then you're probably best off exporting them as part of the map geometry. It'll waste some memory, but really not enough to worry about. If they're interactive, and you can blow them up or knock them down or whatever, then I'd recommend placing them as marker points in the map and then rendering them seperately.

Usually you'll have some way to place markers in the map that are exported seperately from the geometry (E.g. start and finish locations, weapon pickups and so on).

One way to remove the tedium of re-exporting everything would be to use a macro or something (Maya has MEL scripting, I believe 3DMax has something similar) to do that for you, or to use another tool to cut the exported map into chunks.

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hmm,

so you mean export a map with simple objects in max ie

pointertype1 = lamposts
pointertype2 = drains

etc etc

and then read in the xfile, testing for object names, and replacing with appropiate geometry?

hmmm, thats sounds like what i want,

but is it possible to read in static object names in .x files?, i thought it was only possible for animation objects in x files.

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