Author Topic: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface  (Read 3372 times)

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Space combat simulators like FS2?

 

Offline Bryan See

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Space combat simulators like FS2?
Yes. And Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous to name a few.
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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Space combat simulators like FS2?
Yes. And Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous to name a few.

The relevance of this post to this thread is = 0.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Not to derail, but /me grabs popcorn.

Dying nephilim looks like he has done the most with planetary surfaces in-game, would he have any insight?



What about a fractal bumpmap / vertice matrix?  I'm only going by limited experience in after effects generate height effects here.
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Offline Zarax

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
20 years ago I would have said this could have been a good use case for... Voxels. 20 years later I know it's a crazy idea but I still secretly hope for someone crazy enough to tinker with it.
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Offline The E

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
What about a fractal bumpmap / vertice matrix?  I'm only going by limited experience in after effects generate height effects here.

The problem is that we currently do not have a way to get geometry into the game that doesn't involve loading POF files. It's not impossible to add, of course, just complicated (as any alteration to the engine that changes one of its core concepts is).

20 years ago I would have said this could have been a good use case for... Voxels. 20 years later I know it's a crazy idea but I still secretly hope for someone crazy enough to tinker with it.

Voxels are kinda dead as a technology for gaming, as GPUs are optimized for completely different workloads these days.
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Offline Zarax

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
I know, just shooting in the dark. Could this be useful? https://developer.nvidia.com/gpugems/GPUGems3/gpugems3_ch01.html
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Offline The E

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
No, not really. The problem isn't the specific techniques used to generate terrain, that's an easy thing to research and relatively straightforward to implement. The problem is integrating this tech into the engine so that it works as expected (i.e. with the terrain having collision detection and so on), and that's something that you won't find in any of the generally available textbooks (unless there's a "The Developer's Guide to what Volition was doing back when they originally wrote this thing" book out there that I missed).
Let there be light
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Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
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Offline Zarax

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
My apologies, it's been too long since I coded anything. You guys are perhaps the most competent open source game community around (along with the Zero-k team) and if it was easy you would have solved it already.

From a non-coding point of view, what is your experience with very large objects in the engine?
I know the Inferno team did at least experiment with ships in the tens of kilometers range, but what about mission area-wide surfaces?

With a reasonably low poly-count and a reasonably high distance to hide that, it could be possible to tweak the primitive proximity damage "planet" parameters to keep the player away and a sky-box to emulate the idea that one is fighting in the upper parts of the atmosphere.
Gravitational pull might be trickier to emulate but I'm sure some approximation could be hacked in.

Anything closer to the ground would be a very different ballpark but then FSO is not meant for that anyway.
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Look at the videos in this thread for some examples of huge terrain models.
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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Experiences of someone who's been frequently playing with huge things.

-When you're putting too many objects more than 100km from mission center or if your ship is more than 100km from mission center the skybox starts to shake.

-Models larger than 100km have rendering issues (according to The_E it's a physics problem). Textures start to flicker. INFR1 for example had a real-sized 3D model of Earth for "Nemesis", which worked fine in Retail but looks broken in FSO.

-Gravity can be scripted, there's atleast 1 working script.

 

Offline Bryan See

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Experiences of someone who's been frequently playing with huge things.

-When you're putting too many objects more than 100km from mission center or if your ship is more than 100km from mission center the skybox starts to shake.

-Models larger than 100km have rendering issues (according to The_E it's a physics problem). Textures start to flicker. INFR1 for example had a real-sized 3D model of Earth for "Nemesis", which worked fine in Retail but looks broken in FSO.

-Gravity can be scripted, there's atleast 1 working script.
These two issues may need to be addressed. Particularly the number of stars and the FS1-style nebulae. And the draw distance. Geometry instancing, occlusion culling and image-based rendering, where 2D elements are manipulated to appear in a 3D world.

For image-based rendering, in the context of a 3D game, it delivers a significant performance boost by replacing 3D geometry that is far enough away for the transition to be imperceptible with a 2D image. Implementation of the technology in this role can be found applied to Rome: Total War's soldiers, Far Cry's forests, and various objects in Guild Wars' environments, such as buildings and flora. FSO can theoretically implement this to faraway ships and objects.

FWIW, many modern game engines as of now can render large distances. FSO needs to address these issues based on experiences of someone playing with huge things as Nightmare provided.
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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
I have no clue what you're trying to say to me, I'm just wondering that olde Retail exes were able to do something FSO can't (rendering the 12000km Earth model without trouble).

 

Offline The E

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
*words*

Bryan, you're doing that thing again where you are saying words with no understanding of what they mean. Stop it.

And by "stop it", I mean "do not post in this thread again". Noone has the time or patience to keep to explaining to other people why and how you're wrong (since explaining it to you doesn't seem to work).
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline The E

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
I have no clue what you're trying to say to me, I'm just wondering that olde Retail exes were able to do something FSO can't (rendering the 12000km Earth model without trouble).

There are many variables at play here. FS2 ran on very different graphics APIs, on very different hardware; the basic issues that cause rendering errors in FSO (that is, floating point inaccuracies being multiplied over and over by the renderer doing math on very large numbers) were present back then as well, even if it was not noticeable.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Aww, that sounds like the kind of things that can't be fixed. :(
(in particular if I'm the only one with use for that) :lol:

 

Offline Bryan See

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
I have no clue what you're trying to say to me, I'm just wondering that olde Retail exes were able to do something FSO can't (rendering the 12000km Earth model without trouble).

There are many variables at play here. FS2 ran on very different graphics APIs, on very different hardware; the basic issues that cause rendering errors in FSO (that is, floating point inaccuracies being multiplied over and over by the renderer doing math on very large numbers) were present back then as well, even if it was not noticeable.
Then you should know these should have addressed earlier when the source code released back in April 2002.

Here, I'm suggesting ways in relation to the procedural planet surface generator as the thread starter mentioned.
Aww, that sounds like the kind of things that can't be fixed. :(
(in particular if I'm the only one with use for that) :lol:
If you were to fix things, it will likely take longer.
Bryan See - My FreeSpace Wiki User Page (Talk, Contributions)

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
I have no clue what you're trying to say to me, I'm just wondering that olde Retail exes were able to do something FSO can't (rendering the 12000km Earth model without trouble).

There are many variables at play here. FS2 ran on very different graphics APIs, on very different hardware; the basic issues that cause rendering errors in FSO (that is, floating point inaccuracies being multiplied over and over by the renderer doing math on very large numbers) were present back then as well, even if it was not noticeable.
Then you should know these should have addressed earlier when the source code released back in April 2002.

And? :wtf: Are you blaming The_E for not having fixed :v-old: bugs before releasing the source code??

Aww, that sounds like the kind of things that can't be fixed. :(
(in particular if I'm the only one with use for that) :lol:
If you were to fix things, it will likely take longer.

I can't code so it'll take like, forever.




TL;DR 2 good reasons to follow your personal warning. :rolleyes:

*words*

Bryan, you're doing that thing again where you are saying words with no understanding of what they mean. Stop it.

And by "stop it", I mean "do not post in this thread again". Noone has the time or patience to keep to explaining to other people why and how you're wrong (since explaining it to you doesn't seem to work).


 

Offline Bryan See

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
I have no clue what you're trying to say to me, I'm just wondering that olde Retail exes were able to do something FSO can't (rendering the 12000km Earth model without trouble).

There are many variables at play here. FS2 ran on very different graphics APIs, on very different hardware; the basic issues that cause rendering errors in FSO (that is, floating point inaccuracies being multiplied over and over by the renderer doing math on very large numbers) were present back then as well, even if it was not noticeable.
Then you should know these should have addressed earlier when the source code released back in April 2002.

And? :wtf: Are you blaming The_E for not having fixed :v-old: bugs before releasing the source code??

Aww, that sounds like the kind of things that can't be fixed. :(
(in particular if I'm the only one with use for that) :lol:
If you were to fix things, it will likely take longer.

I can't code so it'll take like, forever.




TL;DR 2 good reasons to follow your personal warning. :rolleyes:

*words*

Bryan, you're doing that thing again where you are saying words with no understanding of what they mean. Stop it.

And by "stop it", I mean "do not post in this thread again". Noone has the time or patience to keep to explaining to other people why and how you're wrong (since explaining it to you doesn't seem to work).


Nightmare, when you mentioned "experiences of someone who's been frequently playing with huge things," you overlooked my attempt to play with huge things involving fighter speeds at 500 m/s and capships at 350 m/s (besides the other one who called himself MetalDestroyer77).

It was my mistake of saying words without understanding of what they mean to you all.
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Offline m!m

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Re: Idea: Procedural Planet Surface
Aww, that sounds like the kind of things that can't be fixed. :(
(in particular if I'm the only one with use for that) :lol:
There are some ways to reduce the effects of floating point inaccuracies while rendering the game but that still leaves the physics code which still only uses single precision floating point numbers so even if the rendering code could handle larger distances from the origin, the physics engine would still break down.

And again, there are ways to improve this by using higher precision data types for doing physics but that would come at a performance cost and a huge amount of changes required to make it work so it is highly unlikely that this will ever be done.