LOD system usage

2010-05-27
2013-04-23
  • Marco Leise

    Marco Leise - 2010-05-27

    First of all, I like it much how much effort was made to keep the game compatible with even old hardware. While my laptop is in repair I resorted to an IBM of 2000 with an S3 SuperSavage 16MB. I had to disable the shadows to avoid a crash, but besides that the game runs ok. That's especially because you can limit the rendered tiles!
    What did not go so well was the masses of pine tree tiles with 3000+ triangles each at the first corner of the default track and rendering the cars. I used the 3d editor to make the pine trees only show up on the closest LOD and it became playable again (around 20 FPS).
    At first I thought the trees consisted of no more than 40 tris each, but there is a lot of barely visible details that really fit well in the close up view, but don't need to be used all the way down to LOD level 4. Then again it is obvious that this is a place holder model and I don't know if you have anyone working on the models with a good tool.
    Anyways, try to make good use of the 4 LOD levels, including low detail versions of the same primitives. They are there for a reason!
    Btw. If you want to improve the rendering - and I found a todo entry in the source code ;) - there are Vertex Buffer Objects (VBOs) which store all the vertex, normal, texcoord, … data on video RAM without even the need for a local copy and you could try multitexturing for the reflections which would half the drawn polygons.
    If the project is abandonned then - never mind.

    Best regards,
    Marco

     
  • CJP

    CJP - 2011-01-11

    Hello Marco,

    The project used to be abandoned, but I recently started working on it again.

    Thank you for your suggestions. Yes: the LOD system was meant for exactly this purpose. The reason why the pine tile, like many other tiles, does not use it effectively is that it is very time-consuming to make all those different LOD models. The only reason why the pine tile is 3000+ triangles in the first place is that it is one of the models which I received from another modeler, instead of making it myself. For me, the priority is in building a nice collection of tiles, and efficiency of the models is a secondary objective.

    Thank you for mentioning that the pine trees are a priority when it comes to triangle counts. I'll have a look at it if I have time for it.

     
  • Marco Leise

    Marco Leise - 2011-01-12

    That reply came unexpected after more than seven months. I didn't play the game any more since my latop returned from repairs. Instead I installed Tile Racer, which is also a remake of the famous Stunts game (I never played). The two projects are distinct enough though, so I cannot say one is better than the other.
    Tile Racer in comparison to Ultimate Stunts has no AI, requires a modern GFX card, uses PhysX for the car physics, challenges you with some difficult to complete maps or the ghost car of your previous best run, has no alternate routes, no laps, makes uses of a checkpoint tile to keep you on track (which works so so), has two terrains (gras & desert) consisting of low hills with randomly placed trees and bushes which cannot be altered.
    You probably know it already, but in case you didn't you might find it interesting and get some inspiration from there. From my point of view Ultimate Stunts looks to 90s for most people who compare both games and bought/upgraded their computer in the last 3 years. On the other hand you have branches, more diversity in the scenery and the game runs on old hardware, too.
    If you asked me what I would like to see in the next version, it comes down to this:
    - the car handling could be easier (with the keyboard at least)
    - the tracks need some sort of natrual border (cliffs, forest, hills, ocean, …)
    - settle with a theme for a track and create some tiles for that
    I think three or four tiles with a common theme could make your maps a lot more interesting. The wind mills for example could go with a corn field or river tiles. The acropolis with some pillar ruins and rocks. Nothing too fancy, just a little immersion.
    And of course have fun and good luck with the next version.

     

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