I'm worried about lag

Kevin Caccamo

Rear Admiral
Because I've seen some of those models you've made. They look too highly detailed to use in a game, just like the original model for the SWC Rapier is still to highly detailed to use in a game without the framerate going down. (although I was able to import the rapier into Flight Commander and experience little or no lag.)

Also, if you're trying to render too many ships at one time, you'll end up with massive lag, unless you implement some smart code that only renders what the player "sees," or the models that you rendered are models that you aren't using in-game.

Also, will I be able to mod this game when you release it?
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
Shouldn't be to bad, the biggest ship we've got only has about 10,000 triangles or so, and the capital ships (not many) and stations (one in the local area you'll be in) are around abouts 20,000 tris. As far as modding goes...i'm not 100% on where we stand on that. The last time we discussed it, I think it was at the 'not so much' point. But, yeah. The ships are really, really, really (can't stress really enough) well built poly wise. If it doesn't belong, it's not there. A lot of the detail (pretty much all of it) is in the wicked, wicked texture jobs. Howard rules at textures.

Brad
 

Eder

Mr. Standoff
Keep in mind that the original SWC models simply weren't built to be used in real time. It's not that they have too much detail, it's that they lack any sort of optimization. People could come up with more detailed models that use a quarter of the polycount if they had to.

Also, from what I saw so far, the textures are indeed where Howard's work really shines. They are more important than polygons when you want to make every tiny bit of detail really stand out.
 

Pedro

Vice Admiral
On even a relatively modern graphics card in a well designed engine they should be able to push those numbers no problem.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
The engine is designed to completely scale based on your available hardware. I don't believe you even have to have a 3d accelerator to begin with! You'll be playing in 320x240 with all the cool stuff turned off, of course - and those cockpit displays might be a bit hard to make out, but it should run. Also, the earlier posters are correct - most of the detail is in the textures, not in polygons. I should probably post some wireframes - I've been a bit absent recently, and I should probably show more of the ongoing work.
 
I'm kinda surprised we don't see those kinds of engines more often -- game engines that are scalable, so the game will play on older computers as well. Wouldn't it potentially widen the costumer base if new games didn't necessarily require top-of-the-line systems from the consumer?
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Well, no, it wouldn't, because the consumer base for all the latest games happens to be the same group of people that has all the latest hardware - so all it would achieve is much longer development time, not to mention testing time. It's bad enough having to deal with the everyday annoyances like seemingly basic things that work on Nvidia but not on ATI or vice-versa - testing a game to clear away all the bugs on a non-3d accelerated cards would be a nightmare.

(which is not to say that the Pioneer folks can't achieve it - but it's one thing when you develop an engine in your spare time, and another thing entirely when you have the publisher breathing down your neck to get the game into shops on schedule)
 

Eder

Mr. Standoff
I should probably post some wireframes...
Hehe, that would be pretty cool. Maybe you should follow it up with a texturing tutorial. :p

...it's one thing when you develop an engine in your spare time, and another thing entirely when you have the publisher breathing down your neck to get the game into shops on schedule
And I guess it's yet another thing when it all happens within a week? :p
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Another thing is that the big game companies (and the big hardware manufacturers as well) are hoping that game sales will drive hardware sales--they want you to go out and buy the latest video card or upgrade your RAM or whatever. If every new game were playable on a five-year-old machine, then a lot of people would upgrade their hardware less frequently.

For example, if you could play PS3 games at a downgraded graphical level on your PS2, then how many people would choose to do so and skip buying a PS3? Enough to make a significant dent in PS3 sales, I would say.
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Damn it. Sorry about that. I'll do the Dralthi, how's that? With full source? That should do it. Would you like a simple How-I-do-it Photoshop tutorial? Or would you like the more full-fledged "This is how I make a model, from beginning to end" tutorial? The first one is simple, and I could probably have it uploaded by this evening...the other is a lot more complex.
In the mean time, here are some wireframes of the Tarsus, along with it's most recent progress pictures. The show off the same thing some of the earlier Phalanx pictures did - the cockpit interior (rough, but there) and the missile and other add-ons.
Enjoy.
 

Attachments

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Would you like a simple How-I-do-it Photoshop tutorial? Or would you like the more full-fledged "This is how I make a model, from beginning to end" tutorial?
Speaking for myself, the issues I have are all texture-related, both unwrapping and artistic-wise (and from a practical point of view, I already have the models I'd be interested in applying this information to). Though I was under the impression that you bake the textures onto the low-poly model? Or are we talking about seperate things entirely?

If it helps jog your memory, the ship you were planning to do the tutorial about (in... 2005?) looked like this.
 

Eder

Mr. Standoff
My problems aren't so much with Photoshop - I'm sure if I stopped being a lazy bum and actually made totally unique textures for each ship, they'd look much better already... my issues are in MAX, as in which map types to make use of if I want to maximize details minimizing map usage, and specially, how to unwrap most efficiently and what to bake into what for final textures.
 

HammerHead

Rear Admiral
Would you like a simple How-I-do-it Photoshop tutorial? Or would you like the more full-fledged "This is how I make a model, from beginning to end" tutorial?
in the hopes of not sounding too "impudent" - I love to see both! :)

I've been trying to teach myself, but have nothing to show for it so far...:(
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Okay - so I'll run through a high-level example of the texture process, from start to finish. I'll include mapping techniques, bake settings, and methods of getting the object set up to bake in the first place, Max materials, and tricks therein. This will take a bit to get into shape, so give me a couple of days. I will be posting updates on how far I've gotten.
Eder: Yup - Tractor beam. We're slightly different in that regard to Privateer - A tractor beam doesn't take one of your missile mount points. I don't know if we'll keep it that way - I think we might want to limit the player's offensive punch if he decides to pull in "debris". Heh. Pirates.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Sounds like you will write some kind of tutorial?! That will be interesting...but most likely won't solve my problem of haveing no tallent ^_^
 
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