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L. Spiro

Creating Buildings (Making Custom Format)

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I have decided to give some more love to other areas of my engine since the graphics side has been hogging it all for a while.
Objective: Make an interior/inside of a building with PVS’s and efficient collision data.
Approach: Use data exported from existing level editors such as Hammer/WorldCraft and to make an unprocessed intermediate file. This allows me to easily add support for other editors, and will be particularly valuable when my middleware company starts up and I have the staff available for making an entirely custom level editor.
Then make the tools necessary to convert that into the final format used by my engine.


So my questions are:
#1: Which editor would be considered best for next-gen use? I will be supporting Valve Hammer Editor anyway just because I am so familiar with its format* that I have written 2 different programs that actually generate readable .map files (one is here: [url="http://memoryhacking.com/GEHacking/"]http://memoryhacking.com/GEHacking/[/url] The triangle mesh files are converted to solids by the DirectX Map Viewer and exported to a .map file). It will be a great way for me to test my technology.
But in general maps made with Valve Hammer Editor tend to have a last-generation look, which is one reason for just converting from there to an intermediate format without doing any processing on it. What editors do you think are most next-gen ready and not too hard to parse?

[s]#2: * However in making files, I had no need to handle UV’s etc. I remember reading something about the format in the way to calculate UV coordinates for generated triangles but I can’t find that link now, and I am fairly sure it was not an official document, as I believe I have never seen any Valve descriptions of the .map format. Anyone know where to find this?[/s]
[url="https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/MAP_file_format"]https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/MAP_file_format[/url] will do.

#3: I have my own method for merging BSP leaves prior to PVS generation, which handles the pathological worst case of stairs that otherwise would generate one node per step. If there are 100 stairs, mine would merge them into leaves of about 33 steps each on average cases.
However I remember reading as a child some method that would end up merging them all into one leaf, but I was too young (hardly even a programmer) to understand it in any way. I just remember them being excited about the fact that they could get whole staircases into one leaf.
I want to give that another read now that I am capable of understanding it, and it was also a long time ago so I wonder if anything newer has come out.
What is considered the best PVS method these days?


L. Spiro

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