Yeah no problem
Biggest issues I have currently with wanting to increasing the terrain size, is basically every thing is being render. There is zero optimizing code to deal with objects in the far distance, with the exception of the terrain it self, which has a decent system in place to deal with distant rendering of terrain geometry.
You may not be aware, but wicked engine has no native support for camera clipping plane, either near or far. Object clipping plane essentially excludes objects from being drawn entirely freeing up a bit of resources in the process.Which is a huge problem for max especially if you want to increase the terrain size.Because of the new rendering system we have both shadow draw calls and polygon draw calls.
Based on the resolution of shadows you set, shadow draw calls will bring even the mightiest system to its knees, the realtime dynamic lighting system doesn't allow for shadows to automatically drop the resolution based on camera distance, only has draw distance, whether 1km or 100m away, the resolution of shadows remain exactly the same.
Right now you biggest enemy is going to deal with and keep the shadow draw calls in check.The way the system has been setup, is completely anti "open world" or large terrain areas. This isn't some thing that can be change or modified easily, any changes made to the core wicked engine source code will have consequences, like incompatibilities with future version of the wicked engine. so you would need to either isolate the code from the main engine and treat it as a plugin to the main engine.
You would likely need to update the engine and the specific added code every time you update to a new version of the wicked engine, and probably introduce a lot of bugs all over again.
Right now the wicked source code is in hospitable to certain elements you need and for specific optimization you need for large terrain areas or for specific game types.
The cons of course of having a fixed smaller terrain area is that, would won't be able to get a seamless transfer of level design, terrain and object loading between levels like you would with example a game like skyrim as an example.While the entire skyrim game area has been broken up in chunks that can be easily loaded and unloaded as you approach the boundary of the section you were in. Max lacks many optimizations in this regard.It kinda puts you between a rock and a hard place.
You would definitely need things like draw distance, being able to create a level that can be automatically be broken up by the engine into smaller chunks to be rendered as needed, the list essentially goes on and on with regards to what is needed to keep the frame rate in check as needed and keep an eye on the min system requirements.
Max also uses a 3rd party rendering engine with quite a bit of other stuff as well, not related to the rendering system, which limits the actual overall control you have over how things work compared to having written your engine from the ground up like classic. So there is limitations on the direct control lee has on the engine overall.Obviously lee has made plenty of changes to the base wicked source code for things like terrain, physics ect. But you end up running the risk of the more you tinker with the base code, the harder and more time consuming integration will be with future versions of the engine.
As mentioned before and the latest broadcast there is currently no method to clip buildings to enable working inside of them, like we had in classic which makes things quite hard.I have recommended to lee after the broadcast to use the the camera clipping plane, when setup this will allow editing inside of buildings by clipping walls by using the camera clipping plane distance by using the clipping plane.
Lee accepted this solution as it doesn't interfere with the shaders as mentioned by lee in the latest broadcast, however there is no native clipping plane support and lee has two options in this regard either use add a clipping plane, or repurposed the reflection camera clipping plane to allow editing inside of buildings.Lee him self has opened a request for this on github so you can go check it out, if you want.
The bigger issue is that the wicked engine is mostly vanilla, when it comes to certain things we have become accustom to in classic especially with regards to what game types can be supported.
It is a rather complex issue, then simply increasing the terrain size definitely a fine balance that needs to be walked as any additions could potentially not work as intended or degrade performance, or introduce a lot of bugs in the process.We almost heading for the start of the 3rd year of development of max and barely made it to the first version, and very little has been done to currently reign in the performance.
To be honest the terrain performance is still quite horrid, terrain physics while working is still degrading performance by quite a large margin.There hasn't been nearly enough testing with regards to creating an actual level within 5km space to see how performance and engine reacts to a fully fledged level.
Definitely a problematic issue, as there is no evidence to support even the current 5km area having decent performance, let alone increasing the size.
It is definitely an interesting subject to talk about personally have a lot of concerns with regards to even the current editable area. Once you dig a little deeper, and seeing actually how much is actually missing from the product even for the first release next month.You have to wonder is it even a good idea to release it next month, I think again they are rushing it and under pressure to release some thing, that I feel is quite a bit unrefined and probably not going to go down well on steam.Definitely not a pessimist, but we have been down this road before and feels likes we heading down that road again.
I think it is also difficult to explain why terrain increase at this point or even in future might not be the best idea ever, have to laugh here it is probably confusing for most why I am against it, it is definitely not a simple matter of increasing the size and job done.You will have to apply performance systems in order to do it and that doesn't even exist currently even for the editable area we have now.
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