16 July 2006

The new camera system

Eternal Lands was originally meant to be a 3d Isometric game. The reason for this was that at the time I started to write the client I did't have enough experience for fancy 3d stuff such as frustrum culling, binary trees, portals, LOD, and so on.
The Isometric perspective also allowed us to have more polygons in the objects, because at a given time only so many objects could be on a map.

A while ago, I think it was last year, some client programmers have implemented a perspective view, and while the viewing distance increased a little and the distant objects were smaler than the close objects, the looks were still reminescent of the original game. In order to keep the frame rate manageable, someone else has implemented a binary tree system for the objects, so that only the necesary ojects will be shown, based on which objects intersect the view frustrum.

Now someone has implemented a 1st person style camera, and the game looks GREAT with it. Unfortunately, there are many issues with yet, so it can not be used right now.
For example, the speed is really low, just a few FPS.
Some distant objects are improperly culled, and they fade in and out of existence, which looks ugly.
The lack of a sky makes the game look kind of not so nice.

However, once those issues will be addressed, the game will look so much better, as good as the commercial games.
Take a look at the following images.

And this is a fake (photoshoped) screenshot, with a sky in the background. The scene is rendered by the game engine, but the sky is photoshoped.

Nice, isn't it?


Blogger Donny said...

Wow that does look nice, almost the same sort of thing I'm looking for in my engine but I need to fix the terrain system and the fonts. The fonts themselves take up too much of my rendering time because they arn't stored and re-used. Once I get that working and some multi-texturing on the terrain it will look much nicer. Already have my skybox which added to the scenes looks quite a bit. Good luck with that 3rd person camera system.

16/7/06 19:31  
Blogger Radu said...

I took a look at your screenshots. What I think you should do is use some normals, and a different, less grainy texture. That way you can actually see the relief. Then try to display some objects, such as trees or houses.

16/7/06 21:15  
Blogger Donny said...

Yeah I plan on doing that at some point, that texture is just something I took off of the internet, normals will come into play when I actually make the terrain engine use an LOD which should be soon because I'm sick of how slow it gets after going past 512x512 heightmaps, Just doesn't seem like the viewing distance is far enough but I could also scale it as well and make it look bigger then what it is.

16/7/06 22:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


but i worry about navigation given that the game is tile based...

or maybe i worry needlessly...

19/7/06 16:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it looks nice, but my FPS is limited right now so :( I couldn't support it. But all in all looks awsome

22/7/06 02:05  

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