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  1. Well this isn't even about performance.  It's about doing the faking in a way that looks good while also feeling like the controls are good.  And it just so happens that this is something that people almost never talk about doing well.
  2. It's one of those things that I feel just adds to the game.  Sortof like having the screen shake satisfyingly when the gun shoots.   In DooM 3 you can force player shadows on which I love, but it's weird looking down and not seeing your legs.  The shadows are coming from nowhere.  That's one reason I'd like to have your legs visible.   Also I was thinking about adding some animations for climbing ladders or mantling walls and have you see your legs while doing it.  I like how in FEAR you could see your body while climbing ladders.  It's a bit odd how in Counterstrike or Quake 2 for example, you kindof just float up and down ladders and have your gun out.     Another issue I've been thinking about is how arms need to work.  Normally the arms render separately from the world so they don't clip through geometry.  It starts to become a bit hard to have the character's arms reach out and grab things, which may be why in Half Life 2 they don't show your hands grabbing the steering wheel.   I guess it may be possible to switch the arms to be rendered as part of the world rather than in front of everything when you want the arms to grab an object.  I'm just not 100% sure that's what they do since no one really talks about this kind of thing.   In Crysis, your character reaches out with his arm to grab weapons and things like that.  I'm guessing that's done with some IK and switching the arm to render as part of the world.   In FEAR the legs looked a bit odd since they didn't seem to have IK on the feet.  The feet would render in front of everything like the arms would, so I wouldn't see my character's legs clipping through objects, but the legs would still magically appear to be in front of some debris or whatever my guy would be standing on.    So maybe render the arms in front of everything, while the legs can be rendered as part of the world which they might be doing in Crysis.  And then if my character is climbing a ladder, switch to rendering even the arms and body as part of the world.  Use some IK to make the arms reach for correct spots on the ladder.  I guess I could place some kind of marker objects on climbable ladders telling the game where the arms should go during the animations.       And another thing I've been thinking about for a while is how weapons make it look like the projectile is coming from the right place.  With hitscan weapons it's not the end of the world.  If looking from first person view, make the tracer rounds originate from the fps view gun barrel.  In third person, do the same.   But if I'm firing a rocket or something, it's a bit harder to keep those in synch.  I've played around with this in UDK and it looks like projectiles don't come straight from the gun sometimes at certain angles, and it's not even noticeable.  I only noticed it when I was specifically looking for it.
  3. Well I just had a chance to replay Crysis for a bit.   What they do seems to work well.  You look down and only see legs from the waist down.   At its lowest point, the camera is looking slightly in front of the legs.  So when I spin the view the crosshair isn't fixed at a point in the world like it might be in Quake 1 for example.  This isn't even an issue like I thought it would be.   I still feel like they most likely omit rendering the body and render the arms as they would normally.  Then there's a shadow that can be seen of the player.  The legs appear  to match perfectly.  The body itself is probably not being rendered, but is still being used for shadow casting.   And I remember one of the devs of FEAR on Reddit said they don't use the third person animations for shadow casting the player's shadow.  They animate the character with the first person animations which aren't necessarily the same ones they use for third person.  I can see why they'd do that, because the arms in third person look better when aligned a certain way and the character would bob around more when running, while it's not as good in first person to do some of those things.
  4. I'm thinking about having my character's full body be visible from the first person perspective.  It's more complicated than showing arms only for various reasons.  I'm using Unreal Engine 4 now so it's more about the core concept.   With arms only being visible, it's easy to just have a floating camera with arms attached to it.  The controls feel very solid since the camera moves exactly how you'd expect.   Most games let you see only legs when you look down which is somewhat doable.  You just have to also have good IK on the feet in order for them to properly look like they're standing on things.   Some games like Outlast and Mirrors edge let you even see the whole body but it may be easier for them when they don't have to show the gun the character is holding.  The gunplay in mirrors edge didn't feel as solid to control either.   I see some games that show only the legs sometimes let you see the body as well, like when you climb ladders in FEAR or when you get blown back by an explosion in Battlefield 3.  In Crysis they limit the angle with which you can aim downwards when crouching probably to avoid having to make your view not intersect with the body.   So when you see the body suddenly, do they normally make the body invisible to the eye and show legs only?   Do they have to pivot the camera around differently so that as you look up and down your eye origin moves a bit with the neck?  And how bout the arms being attached to the body.  How to ensure that as you look around up and down, the arms don't get all misaligned and go all over the place.  And how to do all this while making the look controls still feel as rock solid as when you don't see your whole body.
  5. Hmm I can try that.  I just hope I can work as quickly as I would normally without having a nice script that does this.
  6. It works in some cases.  But have you ever used a level editor for games like Quake or Doom 3 or Unreal?  Their texture mapping tools let you tile a texture with a simple click of a button.  You can say, I want this brick texture to appear on that wall and be tiled 5 times horizontally and once vertically.  This is good for architectural low poly environments like what I'm doing 90% of work for.  Imagine doing this for arbitrary angled surfaces where cube mapping isn't good enough.   Then when you have some high poly model with organic curves, etc...  That's when you need Unwrap.   Here's a good example of a scene in Counterstrike: Global Offensive     The floors and walls would be textured by selecting a face and saying that you want some arbitrary texture tiled a certain way.  Then you have props like couches, bookshelves, doors, the fireplace, which are higher poly models.  For that you use UV Unwrap.
  7. I'm starting to think I'll definitely need a little script.  The absence of a plane projection unwrap like there is in 3DS max makes this work extremely difficult.   The worst was a fairly irregular roof polygon that I just wanted to place a texture on top of.  Even in 3DS max, I'd be able to do that easily, although tediously.  In blender, there's just no way.  With a script that does some of these things life would be even easier.
  8. Yeah I was thinking about this some more and would want a combination of these different tools. So far, as far as modeling packages go, 3ds max's uvw map modifier is the closest thing ive found that works for this kind of thing. Ill have to try the box projection. Is it possible to do box projection per face relative to the face normal? That would probably give me what I need. The texturing was always one of the most tedious parts of level design and I feel like the level editors themselves are the only ones who got it right for plain walls so far. Id definitely go with uv unwrap for more detailed things.
  9. Are there any modern methods or addons for Blender 2.6 that help with the texture mapping process of levels?   UV Unwrapping is good for some types of models, but when I'm designing architecture I want to select a face and arbitrarily tile and rotate a texture over it.  I'd also want some kind of alignment tools.  If anyone's ever edited levels with Doom Builder and used the texture align tool, I'd want something similar.   This is the closest I've found, but it's pretty old.  It probably won't even work with the BMesh system even if I get it compiling. http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/forum//viewtopic.php?t=14441   I'm familiar with the texture mapping tools in editors like Radiant for games like Quake 3 and Doom 3.  Others are probably familiar with UDK or Source engine texture mapping.  I'd want a tool similar to that.   In 3DS Max I was able to use the UVW Map Modifier to do this, and even then it was a bit cumbersome compared to the above mentioned level editors.  It was hard to align textures between faces and base tiling off of real world units.  I'm switching to Blender for now since I'm no longer a student working on student things, and Blender's Python API is infinitely better than Max Script and faster to iterate on than C++ dll plugins.   If no one has any suggestions I may try modifying the above linked script to work with current versions of blender and add a few things of my own if needed/doable.
  10. I couldn't find any info on this, but Crytek's lua code has some pretty useful little functions that would be a pain to rewrite if using lua in other commercial projects.  It's kindof a grey area with a few things to consider.
  11. That's funny.  I consider that a great style.  Also this is the style at Microsoft, and Epic.   I only switched to having the opening curly brace on the same line because I wanted to be consistent with others on a team I was on.  Overall I think putting it on the next line is the most flexible and doesn't require weird special cases like when you start indenting the parameters list.
  12. Oh, OK.  I found this article: http://wiki.ldraw.org/index.php?title=Avoiding_T-Junctions_in_LDraw_parts   I guess it shouldn't be a problem for 3D physics meshes though if I happen to use a triangle mesh of some sort for collision.
  13. So if I model a mesh like this:   http://i.imgur.com/HSb3DBM.jpg   It exports the triangles out like this:   http://i.imgur.com/NKcdVYH.png   It creates a few unnecessary triangles.   I'd like it to be more like this: http://i.imgur.com/KypTs3c.png   Notice how there are less unnecessary triangles by just altering the topology a little.  This means less triangles for the renderer, as well as less triangles for any physics per triangle collision being done.   Is this something typically worth worrying about?  I've never heard anyone mention this kind of thing when modeling static meshes.  Are there any ways to make this automatically happen in 3DS max?  I can probably manually detach vertices on some of the faces and ensure that 3DS max triangulates the faces how I'd want, but that may backfire later when I edit the mesh again and my topology is now all messed up.
  14. Well nowadays you can probably just use OpenGL.  In fact there are many OpenGL powered source ports of games like Doom, Duke Nukem, etc...  They don't have to rely on any tricks for rendering geometry.  They just render a bunch of arbitrary polygons and don't even think about perspective or anything.  Just set up the camera correctly, etc...   Since you have the zbuffer, you don't need to worry as much about rendering polygons in the correct order.  Overdraw isn't too much of a problem either, games overdraw nowadays all the time just fine.  There are ways to prevent it a bit, by roughly rendering polygons front to back.  That requires some sorting though.  Some engines do a depth prepass by rendering the geometry only to the depth buffer with color write off, making the pixel shaders do no complex work.  Then rerender the scene again, and this time there's no pixel shader overdraw on solid geometry.   You can still have sprite based FPSes, just draw a flat billboarded rectangle with the sprite instead of a model.  In fact there's even a killing floor mod with doom enemies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2O7nmuvwDo&noredirect=1   Doom did some things, such as making all walls at 90 degree angles with slightly brighter or darker lighting to add contrast.  Also the diminished distance lighting, making things darker farther away.  Now that's just done with fog.
  15. There's this excellent review: http://fabiensanglard.net/doomIphone/doomClassicRenderer.php   Being that it's from back in the day it's full of a few hax that you can probably avoid nowadays.