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neo72

Maximum triangles per model for a 64 players MMO ?

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Hi

 

Is there a rule of thumb as to how many triangles a models should be made up from if it is intended to be used in an online game ?

 

The reason why I'm asking is that I often look at game models for sale on turbosquid and wonder which of them are usable for a MMO.

 

I'm also asking because if I order some custom models I would like to be able to tell the artist the maximum allowed triangles per model. 

 

I would like to have up-to 64 players per game.

 

I'm sorry for not being able to provide more detail than this.

 

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Rendering is independent of networking.

Networking is just the minimal communication needed to keep simulations in sync.


You write of an MMO. You could have a rendering engine that moves millions of polygons per frame with highly animated models. You could also have a rendering engine for the same simulation that displays a simple unanimated box for each object.
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Hi

 

Thank you for replying

 

So You're basically saying that I shouldn't worry about the number of triangles of each model and just go and purchase the ones I like - or am I wrong ?

 

What information is actually exchanged then ? - ie. it only players' position, current health, weapon damage etc ?

 

I'm sorry for asking, but I simply don't have much knowledge on this subject...

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 You could also have a rendering engine for the same simulation that displays a simple unanimated box for each object.

Most advanced MMO ever.

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Hi

 

Thank you for replying

 

So You're basically saying that I shouldn't worry about the number of triangles of each model and just go and purchase the ones I like - or am I wrong ?

 

What information is actually exchanged then ? - ie. it only players' position, current health, weapon damage etc ?

 

I'm sorry for asking, but I simply don't have much knowledge on this subject...

 

Mostly correct.

 

Your artists absolutely should be concerned about the number of polygons.  As part of the design of the engine you will need to figure out what your minimum spec machine will be, and roughly how many polygons you can render on that machine with your engine, and then divide by how many objects can be an a region, and then figure out your maximum polygon count and texture size based on that information.

 

The networking code has absolutely nothing to do with the rendering of graphics.  It has everything to do with keeping simulations in sync.  Please refer to the Forum FAQ (especially Q12) for what should actually be exchanged.

 

 

 You could also have a rendering engine for the same simulation that displays a simple unanimated box for each object.

Most advanced MMO ever.

 

Actually it is a realistically good part of an advanced game engine.  A simplified renderer is ideal for debugging and for running a bunch of automated tests on a single machine.  Often time the complex graphics just get in the way when you are debugging a network simulator or other part of the system.

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I agree with the could be boxes - as a lot of games I've "messed with" have had an option to only render the bounding boxes in them. You should set a limit on how many users can be rendered at once, either with a hard coded limit, or by having a logical limit such as only render persay - the highest level player within each group of N units, and if you know how far you draw players, its MaxUserPolygonCount*N*(DistanceDrawn/UnitsPerUser) = AllotedUserPolygons. Or something along them lines
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Hi

 

Thank you all for sharing your insights on this subject, I think I actually learned a little here - which means that your posts wasn't written in vain !

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May also depend on your target hardware (minimum requirement you wish to have work reasonably at lowest quality settings)

 

Tablets and Smartphones  ...   Basic computers with default low-end (on motherboard) GPUs ....

 

Also another  consideration is texture sizes that will be aplied to those triangles.  Some MMORPGs Ive played recently have started getting aborts on DirectX  when new game areas with more details (Expansions) have been added recently  (which never had any such problem at max settings years ago).

 

Fancy animated textures for clothing...   Cloth effects maybe also.

 

 

There is also - what budget do you have for the models after whatever the terrain budget is found to be ....

 

Also can you count on some forced maximum number of player objects (models)  SHORT of the 64  or will their be a possibility all 64 will show up so that they will be in view at once for a client??

Edited by wodinoneeye
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The reason you're asking this in context of "MMO" is that player characters are generally customizable, and there might be many of them on the screen?

The triangle count is ALMOST not important anymore. The number of materials (draw batches) is much more important -- make it a low number (1 material would be ideal; with heavy customization, getting to that point might require some fancy on-the-fly texture coordinate re-mapping and texture atlasing etc. You do want LODs, for characters in the distance, and also so you can "scale down" for Intel integrated graphics users by drawing everything at the coarser LOD.

Number of bones is also important -- you don't want your character to have so many bones that calculating the animation pose takes too much CPU, nor too many bones to fit in a single shader pass. Depending on how your shader works, this may limit the number of bones to 27, or up to 120 or so. If you target only higher-end cards, you may get away with render-to-vertexbuffer methods that remove those limitations.

Amount of texture space used is actually more of a problem for most games. As is the ability to draw objects in level-of-detail. If I were designing this, I'd probably give instructions something like:

- The entire character, with weapons, armor, hair, accountrements, etc, should render using a single 2048x2048 DXT5 texture. Weapons, armor, upper body, lower body, hair, etc, should all map to specific well-defined areas of that texture, that can be swapped out by the CPU at character-load-time.
- There should be two LODs; one at no more than 12,000 triangles for a full set of weapon/armor/character, and one at no more than 2,000 triangles. The more detailed LOD should use no more than 60 bones; the less detailed LOD should use no more than 25 LODs.
- Define skeletons: will you re-use animations by re-targeting, or will there be a matrix of separate animations for attack-with-spear-as-ogre; attack-with-sword-as-ogre; attack-with-spear-as-elf; ...

If you want to feature character customization, and have not yet implemented how that will work technically, you are not yet ready to outsource any art. You have to work with a technical artist to define the art path for this, first, because it's a highly complex and resource-intensive part of an MMO (that, and building the large world, are the two biggest challenges!)

Finally, I'm moving this to the Graphics forum -- it really doesn't have much to do with Networking & Multiplayer.
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