[WIP] New York City... or at least, Manhattan

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
This is for a game that I'm working on and will be for a long long time. This is what I've got done so far, no textures yet and all basic low poly stuff.

I'll be doing more work on the lower parts where the player's camera will be when I finish it, and using virtual displacement (bump, parallax, normal maps, etc) as much as I can to avoid costing too many resources.

You probably noticed pretty big gaps where I haven't worked on them yet. But despite that, it's taken me a little while to get this far.

If you've ever played something like Prototype or the Spiderman games, you might have noticed that the Manhattan they used is no where near complete and stops at Central Park; I intend on having the entire borough, well most of it, modeled as close to possible as I can. It won't match the real city obviously, but I'm hoping that it will be a decent virtual replica. I'll be making models of the surrounding boroughs as well, although doubtfully all of them, for skylines so that it's not just a blank space all around.

Here's the link: http://img29.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=98533083.jpg

Comment if you would, good people.
 

ReVolver

Mega Super Ultra Cool Member
Looks really nice, kind of far away to see the details but it looks really good outlined, did you use Blender? What are you using to make this project? At college we are using XNA environment so we can port it to the xbox 360.
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
No, 3DS Max. I have 5 and 8, buying 2010 whenever I get the money for it.

I don't like XNA very much personally, I'll be using the C4 engine when I finish it probably; I'm not aiming at consoles right now, but that might change when I get closer to completion. I was going to use the UDK but I decided against it because it lagged too much when I made a landmass big enough, and the occlusion would probably render everything. I'm planning on making it a commercial project anyway, so XNA isn't really an option (as far as I know anyway). If I want to port, then I need to get permission from Microsoft or Sony anyway, and then I could probably get some funding to do that. It would take more work than I would want to do though, since C4 uses OGL ES I believe....

Anyway, there's not a lot of detail. Seriously, the buildings are maybe 100 polys max right now. I'm worried that, when I do put it into an engine, that parts of too many will be seen and force it to render hundreds of thousands of polys which would be really really bad. I'll be dividing them up when I get further and adding in details where necessary, but yeah, right now it's just some planes and boxes. I'll put some cameras in the streets and take some there tomorrow so you can see the lack of details; right now it's quantity over quality because of the mass of buildings I have to make.
 

ReVolver

Mega Super Ultra Cool Member
No, 3DS Max. I have 5 and 8, buying 2010 whenever I get the money for it.

I don't like XNA very much personally, I'll be using the C4 engine when I finish it probably; I'm not aiming at consoles right now, but that might change when I get closer to completion. I was going to use the UDK but I decided against it because it lagged too much when I made a landmass big enough, and the occlusion would probably render everything. I'm planning on making it a commercial project anyway, so XNA isn't really an option (as far as I know anyway). If I want to port, then I need to get permission from Microsoft or Sony anyway, and then I could probably get some funding to do that. It would take more work than I would want to do though, since C4 uses OGL ES I believe....

Anyway, there's not a lot of detail. Seriously, the buildings are maybe 100 polys max right now. I'm worried that, when I do put it into an engine, that parts of too many will be seen and force it to render hundreds of thousands of polys which would be really really bad. I'll be dividing them up when I get further and adding in details where necessary, but yeah, right now it's just some planes and boxes. I'll put some cameras in the streets and take some there tomorrow so you can see the lack of details; right now it's quantity over quality because of the mass of buildings I have to make.

Well if you look at games today they don't usually render everything, only the area that is currently visible, just to save memory, if you look closely at some games like GTA you can tell. Just don't make it so grass magicly grows in front of you :p like other games i've seen like Oblivion on xbox360 port.

The only reason we are using XNA is because its easier to work with and we have the budget for it, its not like we are going to be using 3D Max, just blender and XNA with some starter kits.
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
:p


Well if you look at games today they don't usually render everything, only the area that is currently visible, just to save memory, if you look closely at some games like GTA you can tell. Just don't make it so grass magicly grows in front of you :p like other games i've seen like Oblivion on xbox360 port.

The only reason we are using XNA is because its easier to work with and we have the budget for it, its not like we are going to be using 3D Max, just blender and XNA with some starter kits.
C4 is 350 dollars for an indie version, I think 2500 for education for unlimited users, not sure what it is if you want to get it per seat. Why not use the UDK? It's free for educational use, and commercial isn't that bad (well... yeah it is, 25% after the first 5 thousand you make, but until then it's a good deal). I'm not sure about the porting though, you'd have to read through the licensing or talk to Epic.

I never liked Blender. And the grass is more of a decal using alphas usually, not a model; and they use fog which I won't be most of the time. I'll be generating LOD models of course. Right now it's not an issue because if you look down a street you won't see every building in the game and it's so low poly that it'll be fine, but once I add the detail onto it, it'll be a few thousand probably so that'll expand quite a lot. I don't know how XNA works, but like if I have a limit of 2000 polys per building, if you can see 50 buildings you're still rendering 100,000 polys on the fly, which is a bit higher than I want. Plus take into account the people; I'm trying to make them low poly as well because there will be a few hundred people on the screen at times. Plus I'm developing a ballistic simulation for this, which might eat up the CPU pretty badly (I'm not very good with programming, but I'm trying to write a code that interprets the angle, power, and weight of a bullet on the fly, and then takes into account wind speed, to judge the velocity and trajectory so that you need to actually work at it a bit instead of firing shots off all around you; I might only be able to use it for sniping missions though and I'll have to make a different system for normal shots).

It all depends on how it plays out and what kind of technology is out in a couple years. This is more of a side project really, albeit an in depth on; I'm planning a different game after we finish EoE that's quite a bit different, and a lot easier to make.

But... C4 is an amazing engine. It doesn't use heightmaps, it has a voxel terrain system, which sounds kind of useless for this, but with the subway system it will help a lot. You get the source regardless of the license you have, it's just a really good engine. I'll probably try and sell the city model on TurboSquid or something when I'm done with it to get some funding; you think someone would pay 500 bucks for it if I had the textures and ground done?
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
New image. Some of the buildings you can see repeat for placement, which I didn't bother doing right. At about 1.2 million polys right now.
 

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Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
Thanks! I've been working on the normal maps right now, trying to figure out what kind will be best to use. I want to use occlusion parallax mapping but I don't know how many engines support that and I don't want to recode the rendering on them. I've been using the UDK for a while but it won't support a terrain this size without dropping performance immensely, although if I can use a paging system it'll work I think, although I haven't really gotten that far with it yet.
 

quraji

zap
Looks good so far (and by good I mean immense)! Should be really cool with more detail.

What are you doing to try to replicate the city? Google Earth?

As a side note, I don't think NYC will ever get old as a setting for games :D
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
I've been using Google Earth and Virtual Earth and a some maps I made in high school for some CAD classes. Like I said I'm focusing on Manhattan since that's where most of the ideas that this is based around are for, but I still need to make a few blocks of the surrounding boroughs for the skyline. I've got a couple of game ideas in mind and for a while I wanted to make an entirely CG movie, only aimed more towards adults than kids, since I think that with the advancing technology it's a more plausible medium. I have a few scripts laid out that I would like to be able to produce myself, but have no idea how to go about it and don't have millions of dollars to do so, but... I got a copy of 3DS Max, Photoshop, and some texture bases and a program that changes the sound of my voice for me. So I think it would be cool to produce one of them solely by myself... it would be a hell of a lot easier if I didn't sell my damn motion capture set though. I really want that back.
 
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