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Dynamic, or Instanced loading?
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ShadeofGrey Offline
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Post: #1
Dynamic, or Instanced loading?
Hello again,

I am currently working on a project that requires me to make a decision between which type of loading we should go with. I do not know the full capabilities of Esenthel Engine therefore I would need community input if possible. The following are our options, which one to go with we have not decided on.


Option 1: Instanced Loading

Our game requires the player to be able to explore both outside, and inside of buildings. We have planned to create a model of a building that should represent the building that the player thinks he's entering. The actual building object is just a visual representation of the model, and is basically solid on the inside. When the player enters the building, the engine should unload outside world, and load the "insides" of the building, which can either be same building with fully playable insides, or it can be a sort of like a maze style dungeon, very similar in structure to Esenthel RPG Game. The reason for doing this would be to allow for bigger levels, underground areas, and better performance.


Option 2: Dynamic Loading

Our game requires the player to be able to explore both outside, and inside of buildings seamlessly. That is, as the player walks into the building from outside to inside there is no loading time noticed by the player. The player should be able to walk through into any of the 8 buildings that will be located on a single map. The issue at hand is that most of these buildings will have have around 100,000 polys, and will be somewhat closely located to one another. There is also the issue of not being able to go underground as the ground level would be the terrain. I guess it might be possible to do so if I cut a whole tile under the building, but that would require the building to be quite huge. If this sounds reasonable, please to let me know.


I am really enjoying the current culling system inplace, and must say that it is one of the best systems I've seen. I've tested more than 200 engines already, and quit C4 for this reason alone. Current occlusion system that it supports is horrible.

Anyway, I hope to see what you guys think. Thanks.
07-06-2009 06:42 AM
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Sarora Offline
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Post: #2
Re: Dynamic, or Instanced loading?
Im using the regular world loading system for my game (wip) and i have a map, not too big, but it holds around 30 tree's, 20 bushes (high poly, not low lod things), grass, 4 map zones, and it loads instantly here (max 1 sec load time).

what i suggest, is to create a temp map, and test around what would be best for you, but since it only loads x amount of map zones around player (how usually paging terrain works), it dont need to load much loading time when you change maps (depending on system of course).

I guess its all about if you can live with that ½-1 sec possible loading time, else you need to start adding player prediction so you can predict if player is going to enter the building or not so you can start doing some loading or something before he enters it.

Sys: Intel Quad @3.4 Ghz, ATI HD 5770 OC Ed (pri), NVIDIA 8800 Ultra (PhysX), 4 Gig Ram, 3.8 TB total HDD.
07-06-2009 12:00 PM
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Chaplaindm Offline
Member

Post: #3
Re: Dynamic, or Instanced loading?
Shadeofgray,

I have given a lot of thought to this also. Sorona gave you some good food for thought.

I am going with the instancing option and will live with the additional load times. Oblivion did this and it works but can be a little frustration. What I like is the freedom to do whatever I want in the inside of the building or dungeon or cave without affecting the outside "master" scene. If I mess up a level all I have to do is delete it without the fear that it will affect my master level.

I think it will work well with a RPG (they are normally a little slower) but a FPS may be too fast for this. That is, unless you have a LOT of content in your building.

Anyway, that is my 2 cents!
Chaplain
07-07-2009 01:44 PM
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Brainache Offline
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Post: #4
Re: Dynamic, or Instanced loading?
Regarding the dynamic loading and "There is also the issue of not being able to go underground as the ground level would be the terrain. I guess it might be possible to do so if I cut a whole tile under the building, but that would require the building to be quite huge."


You can use a null texture to make partial holes in the heightmap - it doesnt need to be the size of 1 heightmap tile...
07-07-2009 06:48 PM
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ShadeofGrey Offline
Member

Post: #5
Re: Dynamic, or Instanced loading?
Thanks for all of the kind replies, I am definitely taking most of what has been said here into consideration. However, we are still unsure as to what we should go with. The origional plan as designed in the design doc was to focus most of the game inside various buildings that the player visits, and overtime through various accomplishments more areas should be available to the player. The goal is to make the player revisit areas more than one time, and as he does so, the inside environment should change in some aspect by unlocking doors/areas that were previously closed.

Than there's the issue of loading AI, models, and everything inside each building all at once within a single map. The whole game is planned to take place on one huge map where the player can explore the setting. So what I'm mostly wondering about is if there's anyone out there who has already built such a huge scene, and if so how the game handles using the dynamic loading?


In regards to Brainache, how do you do this, "You can use a null texture to make partial holes in the heightmap - it doesn't need to be the size of 1 heightmap tile..."?
07-09-2009 09:31 AM
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Esenthel Offline
Administrator

Post: #6
Re: Dynamic, or Instanced loading?
Quote:In regards to Brainache, how do you do this, "You can use a null texture to make partial holes in the heightmap - it doesn't need to be the size of 1 heightmap tile..."?
you can select no material (use 'del' on the material quick list) and then paint it, it'll be set to white, but the white area will be invisible in the game.
07-11-2009 01:12 PM
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