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Submitted by Kasper Fauerby, posted on September 23, 2000

Image Description, by Kasper Fauerby

I thought it was about time I contributed something to this section too. This picture is an example of what my 3d engine can do at the moment. It's being used for our remake of the classic RPG Ultima 1 and a tech-demo has just been released on our project page along with some more screenshots.

About the image and 3d engine : The engine runs on vertex lighting but with custom calculated vertex-normals and support for smoothing groups. The reason why we are not using lightmaps are that the size of the gameworld will be HUGE so even if we saved lightmaps in 16x16 the game would take up several CD's ;) If someone knows a good and fast way to generate lightmaps on the fly for about 25000 faces per level I'm interrested in hearing about it.

The visibility determination system in the engine is not really implemented yet, so speed isn't too great. Basicly what it got is kind of a flat octree combined with simple frustum culling. Eventually a portal engine will be used for indoors and an octree/occlusion tree(??) combination will be used for outdoor areas like cities. Maybe a dedicated terrain engine will be used for the big outdoor scenes between dungeons and towns.

One word about the tech-release : It loads SLOW ;) One reason is explained in the that comes with it - another is that I was taken by surprise about the overhead of reading from my large datafile.. oh well, more coding to do I guess ;)

- Kasper Fauerby

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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

September 23, 2000, 09:00 AM

If you use a "room" system like half-life and quake, you could load the first room, then load rooms close to it (that the player can get to) as you go, so you don't have to load the whole level at the same time. Nice screenshot, btw. The lighting looks good.

Hannu Kankaanpää.

September 23, 2000, 11:43 AM

I downloaded the tech demo, it was really cool. The loading times were a bit too high, I held my thumbs up so that the game wasn't formatting my hard drive ;).

The game itself ran smoothly on my geforce32ddr/700mhz athlon :)

But why did you make it an Ultima and not just your own RPG?

The Wolf

September 23, 2000, 12:12 PM

Very Nice.
I like the frame rate and the resolution, what kinda system is that on?


September 23, 2000, 12:36 PM

Great pic!

What are you using to edit
the level data anyways?

Could make a sweet game.....


September 23, 2000, 03:53 PM

I like the screenshot. Nice and clean.

I think in the future, as we'll have more detail and LOD switching, there will be less and less need for lightmaps. It's better, IMHO, to have a lot of small goraud shaded faces than one large face with a lightmap. Perhaps the same thing will happen with bumpmaps, though I doubt it'll happen as quickly.

-Greg Magarshak


September 23, 2000, 04:12 PM

Do you divide surfaces up into a grid or do you put more faces where there are sharper lighting changes? Screenshot looks nice.:)


September 23, 2000, 04:18 PM

Nice shot, the lighting looks great..
i'm just wondering, by "flat octree", do you mean a 2d quad tree?


Mikko Kauppila

September 23, 2000, 10:23 PM

Use lightmapping only to those polys which need it (for example if you can avoid tesselation of the floor then please use lightmapping and send hate mail to 3fdx for slowing down the development of humand kind by not having T&L in their cards). A simple flag byte for every poly takes practically no memory at all.

Yes, what program did you use for creating that level, it really looks nice...

Jaakko Westerholm

September 24, 2000, 05:01 AM

GREAT demo! Loading time was long though. If you are going to keep it that long I would suggest that you put some entertainment with it (like tetris! =).. Was those lights really done with vertex-lightning? It looked so good.. Where was the moon?


September 24, 2000, 08:52 PM

Hey there.

It ran on my system:

Athlon 650 MHz
256 MB ram
GeForce256 DDR
WIN 98


Kasper Fauerby

September 25, 2000, 09:38 AM

Hi guys,
I'm glad you liked the shot. Actually I wrote a reply yesterday
but then this page fucked up..

Currently I have my levels in 3 files. One is a 3d studio file
with all the geometry, lights etc. A second contains special
settings which cannot be exported like I want it from 3d studio.
This is billboarding info, tiling info for materials, texture
animation, glows, blinding lights etc.
The last file is the script file where my artist and I can script
the interactivity of the level. For example make switches that
turns light on/off, trigger text-display, teleport player, load
new levels etc...

Good idea with the lightmaps, I'll have to try that as soon as
possible.. Only problem I see with lightmaps are that they are
quite static but maybe they can be combined with vertex lighting.

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