• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
DAVco

Strategic Zoom

1 post in this topic

I've recently been trying to dig up any technical information on how exactly the "Strategic Zoom" is implemented in Supreme Commander.

I'm guessing that the game uses a layer-of-detail system with a large amount of different layers, but one developer quote I keep encountering is "it would be very hard to implement this in [Other game] because they haven't designed it from the ground up with that in mind."

Scaling the terrain effectively would be the biggest challenge, I think. Even at the farthest zoom level, the map still looks intricately detailed. [url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/405249-terrain-texturing-in-supreme-commander/"]This thread [/url]mentions that the maps in SUPCOM use Megatexturing.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Cheers [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know the exact details on how they did it, but I have a pretty good idea and its similar to what you mentioned with "layer of detail", though it's usually called "level of detail" (LOD). It's probably similar to the way [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIP_map"]mip mapping [/url]works, but with models instead of sprites. As you zoom farther and farther out from the surface, the model level of detail decreases. Eventually, the models get so small that you can't see them anymore and symbols would be more beneficial from the UI perspective.

I imagine that the same technique could be used for the terrain maps. The map data could contain multiple layers of terrain detail generated in the map editor. At the highest resolution, you're able to see individual rocks, pits, grooves, etc. and it is a very high vertex representation. As you zoom further out, rendering those millions of verts would become GPU intensive, so you'd switch the terrain to a slightly lower poly version which renders faster but with little or no noticable decrease in quality. The terrain in SupCom isn't deformable and the light source is constant, so as a further optimization, you could even bake the shadows into the terrain texture rather than calculating them each frame. Then, the only shadows you'd have to calculate are unit and cloud shadows depending in your LOD.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0