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 Creating massive game worlds whilst somehow keeping the resources at a minimum

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Tristan
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PostSubject: Creating massive game worlds whilst somehow keeping the resources at a minimum   Sat 8 Sep - 12:34

Just watched this on YouTube.


Now, it doesn't tell you exactly how it's done, but it does mention that Asobo Studios use a procedural terrain generation algorithm to create the terrain when the player actually needs to see it. I don't know much about the terrain functions on the Multiverse Platform, but if it doesn't do something like this already, it should!
So, instead of creating a massive map model and dropping it into World Editor and violating the players FPS rate, it will generate it with a few guidelines instead.

I may be waffling, as I don't really understand it, but I'm sure someone with more knowledge of the area could make good use of it, or at least explain the benefits a bit better?
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PostSubject: Re: Creating massive game worlds whilst somehow keeping the resources at a minimum   Sat 8 Sep - 20:46

I've heard of quite a few ways that game engines handle terrains. One which I find interesting is, Streaming Terrain. That sounds similar to the Procedural method albeit I believe the base data is perhaps a different format.

I saw some UTube promotions of a system called something like Hundreds Of Thousands, which can render millions of polygon equivilants similar to pixel nerbs, whereby you can zoom in from space, right down to the grains of sand that make up the terrain, potentially making polygons limitations a thing of the past.

There is also the 'zone' terrain methods, not dissimilar to SecondLife/OpenSim.
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PostSubject: Our terrain   Sun 9 Sep - 1:59

We actually have the "bones" of "unlimited" terrain with the Terrain Generator produced .mvt.

http://www.multiversemmo.com/wiki/Using_Terrain_Generator
"Height Outside Map: Elevation value to use outside seed map. Mathematically, the map is infinite, even though server has finite bounds to world. "

When you import the .mvt produced by the Terrain Generator into the World Editor, save the world and open the .mvw world in Multiverse Terrain Editor Preview it converts the fractal terrain into heightmap(s) and the terrain is then limited in size. It still seems big to me but it "cuts off" your terrain at a limit, I had props hanging out in thin air Smile

When I first played with Multiverse I created a terrain in the Terrain Generator, imported the terrain into the World Editor, placed props in a straight line pretty far out and saved the world.

I loaded the world back in to the World Editor, reduced camera speed in the World Editor to what seemed like a reasonable walk speed and timed a walk from the first prop I placed to the last.

It took 35 minutes in one direction.


Now the Terrain Generator IMHO is a pita to work with and the fractal terrain isn't the best looking but the tech basis for rather extensive terrain seems to already be there.


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PostSubject: Re: Creating massive game worlds whilst somehow keeping the resources at a minimum   Mon 10 Sep - 2:26

Unlimited terrain like in the video doesn't work with MMOs. Because procedural terrain generates the terrain after an algorithm. This means that the terrain is based on some random numbers which will change the terrain for every player who walks in this direction to the map end.

But an algorithm could be produced which generates new terrain after the map end (like said above) and saves it on the server in the server mapfile. Problem at hand is that the data must be small or new users in this area load sometime the new data.
It could be streamed, so that the user gets only the data which he sees and loads in the background more data for the direction in which he is walking. With this one Problem would be solved, but another arise (which was there before) the server bandwidth and server calculating power bottelneck.

Personally i would like to create a MMO with a complete world in it like our erath, this would be incredible big. Problem is that the data would be giant for the clients this or we invent an new algorithm which creates out of small data over and over the same terrain for all clients which explorer new regions.

I don't know exactly if this would be a great idee, because the server data to stream would be also giant. For this someone would need a cloud farm with the apporiate bandwidth or player expirence lag or fall off the world end.

I hope this explained a bit and was not too confusing.

If not feel free to ask, im not an expert but i know quite much about this materia.

P.S. if you find some errors in the reply send me an pm english is not my native tongue
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