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oliverkriese

navigation mesh - best middleware

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oliverkriese    100
I am looking for the best solution in generating a navigation mesh? I had a look at havok AI, the solution from xaitment - xaitMap and Kynapse. Which one is the best?

I found some interesting news about a comparison between pathengine and xaitMap and xaitMap was 30 times fast. So what I know about the two other engines, this seems to me that xaitMap is the fastest solution in the market.

Does anyone has additional information? What solution should I choose?

Also the price - xaitment seems to offer the best price / quality relation.

Looking for an interesting discussion.

[Edited by - oliverkriese on October 26, 2010 5:34:51 PM]

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oliverkriese    100
Quote:
Original post by InnocuousFox
Check out "Recast and Detour" by Mikko Mononen.


The problem with these open source solution is, I am responsible for a commercial project with a big budget and OpenSource becomes a nightmare when there is bug or a feature is missing and NO ONE helps you - there is no person you can directly talk to - or make responsible for.

I know a lot of very good game developers and all the serious guys will never think about using open source. There is no support at all and I could not believe that a professional team will risk there company based on saving a few bugs.

So forget open source for professional game development. I made my experience years ago and I can tell you it is a real nightmare.

Also if it come to consoles. All the console provider (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo) do explicit not allow open source. Everything is extremely confidential - better not to make them angry :-)

As far as I understood recast and detour they use the STL from Windows and therefore these system cannot be ported to consoles.

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alexjc    457
Oliver,

According to the author, Mikko, Recast is being used in production for about 10 AAA titles at the moment. Platform owners no not ban open source, that's ridiculous! Rockstar has a version of bullet physics (open source) for instance...


Apparently, the most popular navigation mesh tools these days are NavPower, Havok AI and PathEngine. Also, there was a bit of turmoil among the community recently when we found out that Xaitment started patenting their stuff (it's the only AI company to do so).

Alex

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Quote:
Original post by oliverkriese
The problem with these open source solution is, I am responsible for a commercial project with a big budget and OpenSource becomes a nightmare when there is bug or a feature is missing and NO ONE helps you - there is no person you can directly talk to - or make responsible for.

1 I know a lot of very good game developers and all the serious guys will never think about using open source. There is no support at all and I could not believe that a professional team will risk there company based on saving a few bugs.

So forget open source for professional game development. I made my experience years ago and I can tell you it is a real nightmare.

2 Also if it come to consoles. All the console provider (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo) do explicit not allow open source. Everything is extremely confidential - better not to make them angry :-)

3 As far as I understood recast and detour they use the STL from Windows and therefore these system cannot be ported to consoles.


1. Isn't the whole point about open source that you can hire the author?
2. To me this seems false.
3. Another false. By the way, even if it were true, using a different STL implementation is 2 minutes work.

I don't know what your personal experience with open source software is, but to me it seems you're blaming a bad choice on the whole "open source" idea. UDK is (kind of) open source, I don't see how that magically makes it a bad product.

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oliverkriese    100
1) Interesting business model - offering the source code for free and letting the others pay for consulting a lot of money (hidden cots). In the past IBM did that offering their software for free - not knowing that the support is expensive and running into trouble when not getting any money for the necessary support. It is obvious that all work has it price and people (and companies) need money to do all that great work. IBM lost their #1 position because of that mistake in the 80's.

But this is a different discussion about open source - I guess ask 100 people and everyone has a different opinion :-) For me it is clear, if you pay no money you will not get any support.

And the risk while hiring the author is:
a) it is project work and most don't like it
b) you give away a lot of confidential information and knowhow
c) and the worst thing - you use this software and the author is hired by your competitor - all your knowhow about your game is gone and you will never get any support anymore. Very risky. Buying a company is not that often the case and very expensive :-)

2) I am years in the games industry doing AAA games for consoles. I know the contracts, because I singed them. And believe me, IT IS strictly forbidden to disclose any information from MS, Sony and Nintendo's console. And developing an open source for these console is not permitted by these hardware vendors. The contracts are really hard in that. If it comes out you are using the SDKs not in the way you have signed the contract, they are not happy and the responsible person will have serious problems.

3) what does recast and detour use, if I am wrong?

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alexjc    457
Oliver,

You have strong opinions, though as you said, they're entirely subjective. As for 2), even some first-party developers are using Recast (both MS and Sony), so if it was forbidden they'd be the first to know.

The benefit of an open-source solution is that you can fix it and extend it yourself, as opposed to having a closed library or requiring someone else to extend it. Some middleware companies won't give you the source at all. But of course, if you're not comfortable with pathfinding code, then hiring help makes sense -- though it may not be faster.


If support is so important to you then I'd suggest either Havok (because they've got huge amount of experience in supporting their Physics product), PathEngine (because you'd be treated more personally), or NavPower (which seems to be gaining traction due to its robustness).

Alex

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alexjc    457
I confirmed the open-source license thing, you're mistaken and spreading falsehoods. Re-read your contract again, or confirm it with a native English speaking lawyer. A bunch of other AAA developers said the following about your comments:

Quote:
"What nonsense, most games use freetype, zlib, libpng, and many other open source libraries and credited it."



You mentioned performance originally in your first post. Actually, Recast & NavPower were some of the fastest implementations last year. When Recast was introduced, it caused quite a stir among the middleware companies, and most of them went back to optimize or rework their solutions. Now the results among different solutions are comparable...

I'd be curious where you read that xaitMap was so fast, because if they wanted to release statistics they could compare themselves to Recast as a benchmark. (Middleware companies have contracts that you can't publish performance reports about their solution when you evaluate it, as I'm sure you know since you read contracts so carefully. :-)

Alex

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alexjc    457
Oliver,

Could you post your company name and affiliation to xaitment? Your "reports" of interesting news regarding performance, and subsequent comments are looking more and more suspicious the more people read them. We just had a discussion in the official #gameai channel on Freenode.net and a bunch of guys there thought you basically sign-up to advertise xaitment.


For the record, I run AiGameDev.com and we have very good relationships with Havok, PathEngine, who still sponsor us and support the community. Autodesk sponsored our Paris Game AI Conference. We have no official connection with NavPower, but they're friendly guys too. Also, xaitment has sponsored our site in the past briefly, but we parted ways.

Alex

P.S. To the moderator, can we get Oliver to substantiate his claims about performance and open source licensing, or close down the thread / add a disclaimer at the top? It's one thing to have an "honest discussion," but this is suspicious.

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Katie    2244
"this is suspicious"

Microsoft might want a word as well; discrediting the open-source movement with FUD was their trademark business model, circa 1995... :-)


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memon    152
Hallo Oliver!

Recast & Detour does not use STL. It has been successfully used and compiled on all current gen consoles (ps3, xbox360, and wii). Works on iPhone too. So your porting woes exaggerated.

If you wish to compare the speed of Recast & Detour to xaitmap, I'm up for the challenge!


--mikko

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oliverkriese    100
Quote:
Original post by memon
Hallo Oliver!

Recast & Detour does not use STL. It has been successfully used and compiled on all current gen consoles (ps3, xbox360, and wii). Works on iPhone too. So your porting woes exaggerated.

If you wish to compare the speed of Recast & Detour to xaitmap, I'm up for the challenge!


--mikko


My comments were not meant to harm anyone - I am very sorry for that. Please accept my apologizes.

@Mikko: I will do that - good idea but from the other engines I still don't know there current speed. So I have to wait to get an eval version to make the comparism.

@ WebMaster: Can you please delete this discussion - it went in a complete wrong direction. And obviously - people get me wrong - and I used the wrong words. Sorry again for my mistake! Won't do it again.

[Edited by - oliverkriese on November 7, 2010 2:12:00 PM]

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jbadams    25712
Quote:
Original post by oliverkriese
@ WebMaster: Can you please delete this discussion - it went in a complete wrong direction.
It looks like it went/is going perfectly fine to me apart from the off-topic discussion of you possibly being a spammer. I see people discussion and comparing different available solutions, and just because you apparently aren't happy with how the discussion is going doesn't mean this thread won't be of value to others.

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alexjc    457
Quote:
Original post by oliverkriese
Can you please delete this discussion - it went in a complete wrong direction.


You mean it didn't promote a specific product as well as you intended? It started so well with the 30x performance claim :-)


If you indeed aren't from Xaitment, then the best thing you can do is post your company affiliation to clarify this. (I can't find you on LinkedIn nor Xing.) Otherwise, this will look like pretty bad PR for Xaitment, and I'm not sure what the repercussions could be for you.


If you are from Xaitment (and asking for a thread to be deleted is a sign of that), then I think a public apology would be the best way to recover from this. Maybe that kind of honesty will convince the moderators to remove the thread. Forum marketing is a powerful tool in either direction.

Also, please consider taking up Mikko's challenge as a gesture of good faith. Could be good PR for you if you can pull it off...

Alex

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