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My 3D MMORPG.... terrain problems

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Well.... recently ( just over a week ago ) I decided to take it upon myself to make a mmorpg ( massive multiplayer online rpg for those of u who don't know ) and its been going pretty well.... in most respects. Firstly I build the networking code basis ( not the fastest in the world, but it works ), and I put in the model loading/animating code ( uses md3 models )... and all that was working great.... but now I have a problem.... im not sure what type of land to use.... All of you who have ever played a MMORPG ( Ultima Online, Legend of Mir , e.t.c ) will know that the land is absolutely HUGE... and seeing as my mmorpg is fully 3d ( i.e not isometric.. its more like q3... but mmorpg... just to give u an idea..... pretty much the same as Warcraft III ), the land detail needs to be "presentable". Oh... just in-case u guys are wondering what took the rest of the week ( evenings anyway ), I also added support for most types of movie file ( all of them except for .rm , .ram , .mov ), and added MP3 support ( DirectX is great for this kind of thing. ) but I digress....... I need to come up with a land format that can be absolutely huge.. texturing isnt so much of a problem..... but I need to know a map format that is.... 1) Pretty easy to load.... just for testing purposes for now.. 2) Can be easily added to ( adding entities, native creature spawns, e.t.c ) 3) Must be absolutely HUGE. Now.... for testing purposes I put in a raw level like Nehe's one from waaaaaay back... and it was fun and everything to run around with someone from scotland doing the same, on a proggy I'd made... but now its time to get cracking on turning it into a full game... and for that I need proper levels that I can use right through to the final version. If anyone has any idea's, or can provide any help it'd be appreciated.. Thanx in advance. ~Cobra~ Edited by - Cobra on September 8, 2001 8:22:02 PM

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Why not just use a regular heightfield (properly compressed on the disk) and just page in and out "chunks" of it as needed? The client doesn''t need to know about what the terrain looks like 100km away, so you break the terrain up into (say) 100x100 meter chunks, you can just page in more chunks as you move towards them, and page them back out when you move away.


codeka.com - Just click it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
In order to get a huge landscape that is in a relatively small file, you need to be able to generate detail algorithmically. You could start with a base heightmap and interpolate triangles between the values by using the normals of the triangles (n-patches). You could describe the entire landscape mathmatically as a combination of functions(like sine waves), or use recursive functions. You can find those techniques under procedural textures, and procedural landscapes. You can also share commonly used structures like houses and trees, and instantiate them as necessary.

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glbook.gamedev.net

go there, and there is source code available with a good example on how to make a terrain, and it has textures. It is very simple to use.Download the chapter 8 source, and use the textureex3 example. You will have no trouble learning to make it look nice.

"I''ve sparred with creatures from the nine hells themselves... I barely plan on breaking a sweat here, today."~Drizzt Do''Urden

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The problem is not making a terrain, he can already do that. His problem is creating HUGE terrain. I like the chunks idea... Kinda reminds me of doing a 2d tile-based game, only worry about drawing certain sectors. And use fog or something so that there isn''t any popping.

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