Revisit 9 - Buildings

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Revisit 9 - Buildings

Postby adamsderk » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:02 pm

Greetings,

The building object is progressing nicely. I have managed to make the engine code that combines a StaticShape (the model), a Trigger (notification of entry and exit), and a PhysicalZone (slow unit inside object).

In addition, I have added damage tracking (from weapon hits as well as units entering and exiting) and can even pinpoint where in the building it is damaged.

I have stacked levels, using the advanced rules to have each level have the structure of the basic building. And when a mid level is destroyed, the higher levels come crashing down (not literally, they just get destroyed and apply damage to the remaining level).

But I'm still stuck on how to show damage, and I'm looking for suggestions. Remember, these buildings are huge, my "little" building is 32 meters on each side, about a single hex. But new maps have buildings that are many hexes in size and the rules specify buildings up to 30 hexes (about 5 x 6 hexes) and up to 10 levels high. I figure I can build larger buildings, by placing and stacking hex sized ones, so let's focus on a "standard" 32 x 32 x 6 meter building.

The average Mech is 8 x 8 x 12 meters, the average weapon mark is a single point. A Mech will do 2-10 damage when it moves into a building, a weapon will do 1-10 damage each hit.

So showing damage, I can:
1. Show nothing, just remove the building when it is destroyed.
2. Show damage over the entire building.
3. Break the building into areas and show damage on each area. But how to deal with only one area being hit to destruction?

Damage display can be:
1. Change the texture (would require extensive engine changes).
2. Turn off mesh sections exposing "damaged" sections.

If showing damage (assuming a binary non-damaged/damaged state) when does it switch to damaged? On first point of damage? What if there are 50 points of structure left after first point of damage?

Also keep in mind that the method will probably impact other model types, i.e. Mechs, dropships, etc.

Thanks.
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Postby Hana Yuriko » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:42 pm

Your "small" buildings are about the size of a grocery store or mini mall. About 10,800 square feet!
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Postby adamsderk » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:25 pm

Greetings,

Well, I've been looking closely at the Men of War BattleTech mod and it looks like I need a combination of effects. 1. I need much bigger explosions, on the scale of Mech size to cover up 2. Switching to a damage texture and then 3. exploding the building and have pieces fall around.

I'm still open to other ideas, so feel free to post. But I think I'm going to dive into the possibility of dual textures and see if I can do it in the engine.

Thanks.
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Postby Ben » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:25 pm

Any thoughts on windows? Having glass shatter out is always kind of cool looking... Just hide the window and make the shards of glass particles when hit.

The new mech warrior trailer has a cool effect, where a Jenner lands on the rough of a building, and the top row of windows bust out.

Are the walls and ceiling of your building object individual objects themselves? I remember looking in the video to the Men of War predecessor, that had walls falling as one piece when they took enough damage.
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Postby Hana Yuriko » Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:43 pm

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Postby adamsderk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:48 pm

Ben,

Windows will probably be part of the wall explosion. The problem with trying to do such a game is the huge range in scale. If there was only a couple blocks of buildings that needed to be rendered, I could do some really detailed buildings at the scale of a person. But since the Mech visible range is over a kilometer, I have to have a lot of stuff visible, which really cuts into the detail of any one object. I'm trying to figure out how I can balance the need to have detailed objects with the low poly necessary for the number of visible objects.

Don't even get me started on the teasers for MW5, what you can do in "movies" is not what can be done in game. I'll be curious to see how S&T is able to achieve the balance. My guess is that ranges are going to be really short and the computer requirements will probably be beyond my grasp. And, no an Xbox 360 is not an option.

Thanks.
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Postby adamsderk » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:22 pm

Followup:

I just read the game interview http://pc.ign.com/articles/100/1002164p1.html and it answered a few questions. The "movie" is in game footage using the Unreal 3 engine, very impressive then. But my suspicion was confirmed, the battles will be urban with very short ranges. It is easier to do things with a couple hundred visible feet as opposed to a couple thousand visible feet.

The gameplay will be interesting to see and it certainly won't be combined arms, they are seeking to reclaim the "BattleMech superiority" concept.

Thanks.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:41 pm

Yeah, I've been watching the battletech trailer...
Getting a bit excited about BT again, though I'll probably be playing the new game in about 10 years, when the specs are reasonable for the average computer of the day.

I've got some buildings I've been working on, and yes they are modular.

I'll post something when I get a chance.
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Postby adamsderk » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:02 pm

SM,

I'd be glad to take a look. I haven't put the specs for buildings yet, but they need to be 32 x 32 x 6 units. There will probably need to be a bottom level and then 0 or more upper levels all as separate textures.

It might be easier to send you a texture file and have you just paint on those.

Thanks.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:47 am

Yeah, send me a texture file and I'll fill it in. I've also been looking at modular buildings, with different levels of damage...

Each modual would be a single square two/three floors tall, and 4-5 windows wide. They could also be replaced by a single large entrance or feature.

So each module would be between 2-10 polys with a single texture shared between multiple faces.

I'll give some feedback when i can.
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Postby Ben » Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:08 pm

I was just poking around the Tac Ops rules for buildings, and it mentions things like Hangers which can be entered by units, as long as the roof is tall enough, with no movement penalty. Will that kind of structure be possible using the physical zones?
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Postby adamsderk » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:41 am

Ben,

Technically, yes, but the roof will have to be flat as the physical zone is a rectangular solid. And for a hanger, that probably means falling through the top :)

Although, in general, I'm focusing on Total Warfare and not using the optional rules in the later books. Then using Strategic Operations for Aerospace and Battleforce rules.

Thanks.
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