Product Chat (Alpha builds) / GameGuru MAX Live - Broadcast #72 Answers

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LeeBamber
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 16:49
Hi All,

Here is my broadcast for today, join me next week for another TGC broadcast on the internal development of MAX:


Here are the answers to your questions I could not reach:

Q> Will there be a feature for easily customising HUDs?
A> Yes we have a whole screen editor system as part of the Game Project Storyboard which allows you to edit every game screen. As to HUDs, such as weapon/health, this will come after EA.

Q> Can you add a option in GG Max in the terrain settings to start with water, because at least what i see with only gives a option to the terrain be empty or with the terrain generator?
A> You would use the terrain generator to create a biome that had lots of water, then you generate that and that is your starting water level.

Q> Will the imagezone be fixed for ea relase? Like, now the image is ahead of the player hanging and not in the hud?
A> Yes we have plans to make the image full screen with some options on how to exit.

Q> Will there be more door models (like from ggclassic wooden doors with many colors)? And double doors?
A> There are no plans to add any more doors or windows to the current collections.

Q> Will we ever a get a draw distance slider, It would greatly increase performance?
A> There are no plans to have a draw distance slider, but there is a camera far plane setting to cull distant geometry for faster rendering.

Q> Does the grass move? And trees?
A> Yes if you look closely as I paint down grass in the broadcast, you will see the grass swaying. Trees do not currently animate.

Q> Do you plan make gui/hud editor? it would be very good to make custom hud elements for games.
A> HUD Editing, such as weapon/health, this will come after EA.

Q> I saw a video where zombies got stuck in walls. Is AI going to be good soon?
A> Work is continual on the AI, and yes we will make zombies, soldiers and allies behave themselves to provide good game AI for your games.

Q> Will terrain painting be improved? Now the texture change when painting is too sudden, for example from grass to sand or anything else there's no smooth texture borders, it looks unnatural and odd.
A> The current terrain painting is our baseline technique which provides excellent performance and memory usage, and is intended to be used in concert with grass and other scenery elements. We are now looking at use cases to see where specifically we need to focus to add polish.

Q> When will it be on sale on Steam?
A> Look for the EA version of GameGuru MAX in March 2020.

Q> Kindly explain what the byc file is, is that the ingame behavior editor, file that is created. Does that tell the script which animation to play?
A> The .BYC file that sits alongside the .LUA file is the byte code for the LUA interpreter that runs any behavior logic created with the Behavior Editor.

Q> Trees are more or less evenly spaced can we get it more randomized and maybe a bit thicker tree coverage based on terrain height?
A> We are continuing to tweak our biome generation, and tree/grass selection is something we will continue to tweak until each biome is convincing.

Thanks for all your questions, more answers next Wednesday at 4 PM GMT.
GameGuru Classic will continue to be supported with bug fixes and functionality additions.

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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 17:38
I have mixed feelings. lol Maybe a bit sad as well, settings and tweaking of those settings is hit and miss for me.You can polish every thing 100% but if there isn't enough tweakable variables it is going to create some design issues.Some might like the ways things are, but I really think max has taken a step back with regards to how much you were able tweak your environment compared to classic.

IDK feels a bit empty to me, great graphics and all, but I feel the design process has been dumb down to a level that doesn't feel intuitive or enough freedom I am use to. A bit sad and frustrated.
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Argent_Arts
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 17:50
Quote: "IDK feels a bit empty to me, great graphics and all, but I feel the design process has been dumb down to a level that doesn't feel intuitive or enough freedom I am use to. A bit sad and frustrated."


Please explain a bit more, if you don't mind. I wouldn't mind hearing why you think this way.
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wizard of id
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 18:55
Quote: "Please explain a bit more, if you don't mind. I wouldn't mind hearing why you think this way. "


Wow this might take a while. Going to make coffee then write a small thesis
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AmenMoses
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 19:12
https://acescentral.com/

I'm guessing the ACES filter question is related to this link.
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 20:00
Quote: "Wow this might take a while. Going to make coffee then write a small thesis"


I'm genuinely interested, but in brief, please, if you don't mind.
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 20:15 Edited at: 1st Dec 2021 21:01
Here we go.

This friday's build will be as close if not the build we would have likely seen on steam as early access,. which we could then have considered as beta.Alpha implying that the product is still in development features is still be adding, beta meaning the product features is fixed and only bug fixes and expansion of features is added.

Well that would be the apt description under normal circumstances, TGC products is generally any thing but normal features do get chopped and changed whether beta or alpha ect.

Lee has made it clear in the broadcast what we have with regards to button and features is pretty much set in stone for the release next year march. So reasonable to believe that between now and march very little will change with regards to UI and features. There are some exceptions of course like water. ( not a 100% if this will be worked on) But if this is indeed the final version or close to the final version of water it has a lot of issues.

But I will start off with the terrain.
Previously in classic the terrain system was fairly decent polygon, but max that has increased a fair bit as well as the overall size of the terrain.This poses quite a few problems terrain wise.

1. The current brushes is a crude for use with a higher polygon terrain, additional brushes especially noise brushes would have created far more natural looking environments. If you don't edit the terrain at all it looks pretty great but the moment you start editing the terrain you lose a fair bit of that natural look.

2. The size of the editable terrain makes it massive under taking to try and create a terrain and level, we are talking a few days to weeks with the limited terrain brushes as well as the spray size of the brushes. I would say you will be spending more time creating you terrain then building the actual game.Sure it is nice to have a large area to work with but the end result. Your area spending an extra ordinary amount of time creating your terrain environment.

You do have to have some path for the player to follow, simply paint a path for the player to follow isn't going to be helpful and players are going to roam around every nook and cranny and do stuff you never intended. So you will need to be able to create some cliffs and add some linear path for the player to follow to give the player some direction as guide him to where he needs to be.

For such a large playing area there are lots of design issues, you have great terrain, decent trees and grass, but the terrain editing tools isn't suited for a large scale level editing not in the least.It is unproductive, and lots of time will be wasted creating your terrain area where the player needs to be, the player needs purpose and direction. It is pretty much game design 101.

As such you have quite a major head ache, as it isn't a simple matter of painting one brush and job done, with the limited brushes you will be required to uses several brushes over and over to create a semi decent cliff wall that looks half decent, one area can take several hours to tweak and get a decent result.

Another problem is that your terrain that you have edited would look out of place with the engine generated terrain and would probably require to some extent editing the entire area that is visible and accessible to the player, to have a more natural look to it.

The software generated terrain is far too symmetrical, each area is somewhat mirrored, terrains in general should be wildly inconsistent with some areas having lots of hills another less hills and large open plains. With game development design in general it is pretty much 101 having to mix symmetrical and asymmetrical parts and have a good balance between the two. Right now I dont see a decent balance and would require a lot of unnecessary editing because of the fair amount of symmetry the terrain has.

What I mean by symmetry is the way the next valley to the next is generated it has more or less the same layout and flow, and while most of the area isn't accessible any ways.You should for example have flat plains to the north mountainous areas west ect, the geographical layout is pretty much the same in every direction. It isn't particularly natural looking even if only you have a small editable area


Increase the edit area to 5km, and the symmetry of the editable area becomes more evident


This would probably be quite confusing to a player crossing one hill/mountain or whatever and next one has a similar layout to the previous one. Ideally the player should have terrain focal points of making progress towards some thing or somewhere in the level you have created.

I don't see people spending several weeks just editing the terrain and most is probably going to either give up and use a mostly unedited terrain and hope the players follows the painted path that has been created. It is likely my biggest issue in general with the terrain.

With classic the area was pretty small and could be easily edited and generally there wasn't a problem with symmetry. it is generally not some thing everyone will pick up on and max is going to have a lot of new users that never used classic. So the brush tools is pretty crude and with the added issues with the symmetry of the terrain causes a lot of issues and does make things worse.

Terrain textures is another problem , the default textures is way too shinny, only time it should be somewhat shinny but more reflective is when it is wet like mudish texture next to a river bed.

As for the biome's , there is some issues there especially with the trees as and example, trees are more or less equally spaced.Just doesn't look or feel natural. if you were to stand on a hill or mountain top, over looking a forest you shouldn't be able to see the ground below at all. with forest especially the pine trees the pretty much cluster together as close as possible randomly, with some open patches here and there, if you are in a forested area and standing in the middle of one, you shouldn't be able to see more then a few 100 feet in front of you.Now technically you could edit the trees and do exactly that, but are you really going to edit a 100 000 trees, not likely.

Currently you have tree density on rocky outcrops that is about the same as a grass hill.Rocky out crop should have less trees, trees again are spread out about evenly.However lee mentioned the biome will be edited and polished, but I don't expect it to be much different to what we have currently.

I am not even going to touch the possibility of a rain forest biome, if it can't look like crysis which was released over 14 years ago, you are kinda wasting time. Tree and foliage density is massively over grown and most areas are simply not accessible at all. It is unlikely we will be seeing any thing close to that type of foliage cover at all.Should it really then be called a rain forest biome if we ever get one ?, even if tweaked and polished I don't see some thing close to that.Again this will require a lot of insane editing on your part.



Have a general look at this, and you can sort understand that a 14 year old game pretty much more or less similar graphical level as max completely outclasses it with regards to biome it has created.



I don't care much for the foliage but if we can get the terrain generation close to this, I would be ecstatic.There isn't a single symmetrical point in this picture. I can work with adding my own foliage



The main draw of the software is the outdoor scenery, I don't see it improving significantly over what has been offered. Don't think it is there or even close to what it could be theoretically. If TGC can manage 70% of that visually, I can promise max will be flying off the shelves. From a design perspective iam kinda sad to get close to a natural design isn't easy or necessarily possible, as the tools provided is a bit limited and far too much time would be spend on creating some thing close to crysis looking forest.But technically you could if you had a couple of months on your hands.You could probably do the same in unreal or crysis in less then a day or two at most.There is actually plenty of examples on you tube showing a natural looking forest in less than an hour.


Just my general opinion of the state of the terrains and biome's, I don't see it drastically changing for the better.What we are getting now should be more or less it.I don't know if someone else shares similar ideas or thoughts about the biome's.
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Argent_Arts
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 21:02
I hear what you're saying and, to an extent, I agree. But let's talk about what you bring up with large terrains and things like cliffs and the like. If you look at games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, you'll see that most of those cliffs are not actually "terrain", per se, but are models - cliff face models with intersecting very large rock models and smaller rock models (smaller as in the size of huge houses, etc.) and on down the line, rotated and moved about to give the impression of variation. For the most part, the large terrain is basically sculpted, but broken up with models. Most games are not trying to do all (or most) of the work via sculpting the terrain.



The same's going to be true about creating a lot of your boundaries and areas for your players to explore - basic sculpting/painting and a lot of scattering model rocks and plants here and there to add details, structure, and more form.

I agree with you on the trees, but I thought that Lee had addressed that somewhat in this broadcast, though I could be wrong. I am a bit sleep deprived today. But there does need to be a bit more diversity and the system needs to scatter the trees a lot better. It would be great if the system would include more than trees and grass, but also rocks and other features found in these biomes ... more like what we see in these biom kits for Blender and other 3D software.

I also agree that the generated biomes look quite unnatural, very manmade ... at least from the air.
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wizard of id
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 21:35
Quote: " If you look at games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, you'll see that most of those cliffs are not actually "terrain", per se, but are models - cliff face models with intersecting very large rock models and smaller rock models (smaller as in the size of huge houses, etc.)"

Which is perfectly fine as it is a use once scenario.It is the final product.So developer used a lot of trickery and so some extent essentially created a billboard assets of sort.It is pretty easy to create assets for a level if it is going to be used once and in a specific way.

Gameguru is a little different with regards to assets, as it has a prerequisite of having the assets being used in every possible scenario.So generally stock assets and such have that in mind.Same applies to the TGC store as well. Pretty much every one should have the same experience using the assets unless you create your own assets for a specifically level.

A big problem with classic was there wasn't an easy way to naturally blend a cliff model with the terrain, it looked unnaturally out of place due to the terrain textures and the terrain shading was different to that of shading used on assets, which made it difficult to blend everything in a nice cohesive mass.

Max should make this process a little more natural, with the dynamic lighting, but you would likely still have some visual issues of blending it to look more natural especially with the limited brush tools.So there are still some limitations with regards to assets you can use with the terrain.But the overall look should be better then what was experienced in classic.

It is indeed possible to have some sort of terrain specific assets whether it can decently blend in with your terrain is the issue.I don't expect it to look like crysis, but I will say, TGC is taking a lot inspiration from farcry as to benchmark they would like to hit with regards to terrain and foliage, at this time they aren't close enough, would be disappointing if they say this is good or close enough.

Tree generation and grass generation is a massive step in the right direction, just needs more tlc, quite a bit more.visually it feels off to me.


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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 21:57 Edited at: 1st Dec 2021 22:00
Quote: "Which is perfectly fine as it is a use once scenario.It is the final product.So developer used a lot of trickery and so some extent essentially created a billboard assets of sort.It is pretty easy to create assets for a level if it is going to be used once and in a specific way."


Not a billboard. It's level geometry that players explore, climb on, etc. Definitely not faraway, back in the distance stuff (such as billboards are in games). Even so, GameGuru MAX includes lots of large rock formations that can be combined and used to create cliff faces and the like. Here's a quick example put together while I was typing this:



I scaled these up in MAX so that my player is tiny when walking next to them. They really do look like cliff faces when in the game.

With a little more effort, some scattered rocks, a bit of terrain painting, and some desert grass, this wouldn't be that terrible ... not for just a few minutes of work ... and certainly not weeks of effort.

But, I agree, the supplied assets do need to blend better with the biomes they supply. However, Lee did mention something about this in this broadcast .... at least with for the grasses.
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Argent_Arts
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Posted: 1st Dec 2021 22:44
What I think TGC needs to do (or commission someone to do) is create BIOME SETS - these would include terrain materials, grasses, flowers, rocks (small, medium, large, cliff-sized, etc.), trees, and more - that would allow the end-user to populate a biome as they please, creating the things you've mentioned, such as barriers, places to explore, etc. These sets need to work well together (i.e. the rock models' materials need to work with the terrain materials, etc.).
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wizard of id
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2021 11:27
Quote: "What I think TGC needs to do (or commission someone to do) is create BIOME SETS - these would include terrain materials, grasses, flowers, rocks (small, medium, large, cliff-sized, etc.), trees, and more - that would allow the end-user to populate a biome as they please, creating the things you've mentioned, such as barriers, places to explore, etc. These sets need to work well together (i.e. the rock models' materials need to work with the terrain materials, etc.)."
Assets isn't a problem, there is more then enough. The generation of terrain and foliage just need some improvements.

I did a quick test this morning, on the forest biome, and started adding trees to the various areas, not sure whether it was a bug or not, but at one point I couldn't add any more trees. But it would seem there is either a bug or there is a tree generation limit, But once I deleted some trees in some far off corner of the map I was able to paint some more trees.

I can't yet confirm but there might be a hard limit to the amount of trees you can paint, will need to do more testing to be sure. I don't think it would be a problem under normal conditions, because you are probably going to clear some trees to place entities and a path or whatever the case might be.

If there is indeed a hard limit it is a pretty huge one, and honestly no complaints from my side.With the test I did I clustered the pine trees a lot closer and got decently close to what you might expect in a pine forest. There was still a visual issue of the engine as a quick view in the max folder revealed, that once trees are at a certain distance. It actually billboards the trees.



If you go to the treebank folder in gameguru max you will notice a folder called billboard. Lee didn't go into specific detail, but in his video's he mentions now you can have 200 000 trees in a level.Twisting the truth a little ? So it would seem distant trees get swapped out for billboard trees, which is perfectly fine.But I think the resolution may be too low for this. Having figured this out, now I would like a setting to adjust at which distance the trees swap for billboard trees.

I think that is my main issue, with regards to when I mentioned settings have been dumb down, as you have no control over various aspects which could technically improve visuals, in 4 years we will have more powerful computer equipment that can handle more. But with some settings been hard locked and having no direct control over it, is a bit of a problem.

The more I dig around in the folders and such the more clues I am getting to what is actually going on, the more perplexed I get when you don't have access to things that could potentially make a huge impact on what you are designing.

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osiem80
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2021 18:43
How is that?In broadcast 66 he talked about 400 000 trees and not a single word about bilboard trees
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2021 18:52
Nothing is set in stone yet , things change day to day , I wouldn’t count on anything yet

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Posted: 2nd Dec 2021 19:01 Edited at: 2nd Dec 2021 19:02
Quote: "How is that?In broadcast 66 he talked about 400 000 trees and not a single word about bilboard trees"

Yes he did say 400,000 trees but i have not counted.
The Billboard folder turned up in a later build ... Optimisation probably ?
If they are used at all ... Even from miles away i can delete and create new trees.
Very clever if it is and a reasonably good transition from Billboard to model when you get there walking.
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2021 19:20
Quote: "Yes he did say 400,000 trees but i have not counted.
The Billboard folder turned up in a later build ... Optimisation probably ?
If they are used at all ... Even from miles away i can delete and create new trees.
Very clever if it is and a reasonably good transition from Billboard to model when get there walking."


Clever idea, just visually problematic, it isn't exactly nice looking, billboard trees are only 1024 x 512 in res.Because of instancing it will only load the texture once so it could really do with a higher res texture.It would give some really nice and crisp background trees with a lot more detail.But I would agree it is a bit of a lie saying 400 000, but not mention only the trees in the immediate area.It is some thing that should have been covered in videos.

At some point I will need to see if you can manually swap out the grass and trees for your own, as the current system doesnt allow to change out trees and I can understand why as you need both the textures for your tree as well as a billboard texture, which means you cant use a random tree even if you wanted, whether Lee will enable this or not remains to be seen.

Hopefully this isn't a hard lock and able to change out grass and trees as you need it.

I don't know if anyone else has notices just how much shadow rendering in general is tanking FPS.
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2021 19:43 Edited at: 5th Dec 2021 12:39
Quote: "But I would agree it is a bit of a lie saying 400 000, but not mention only the trees in the immediate area."

Again as i stated the build dated 22-10-21 which is 2 days after Stream 66 did not have a treebank folder nor a billboard folder. What you saw there were trees all of the same model.
What Lee stated was in fact accurate
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2021 19:48 Edited at: 3rd Dec 2021 03:58
Lol what I meant was in later videos lol. It might have been accurate at time, but it was not to say there was no intention to add billboards later on regardless. Which makes the statement false now. It isn't about being obtuse or pedantic about the change, it is about covering lee in the event he gets called out on that.

It is a fair question is not. ?
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 07:57
To be fair Lee did say the trees required a special technical build.

To me it was obvious LOD style bill boarding was needed and in operation - just zooming the camera in and out in free flight editor mode shows the trees transitioning effectively. In game it’s smooth when walking and hardly noticeable.

Think it’s a great approach and if those trees are instances then drawcalls massively reduced.

Not sure what the problem is with the approach really.

Cheers.
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 08:53 Edited at: 3rd Dec 2021 08:58
Quote: "Not sure what the problem is with the approach really."
There is no problem with the approach. Do your self a favor, when you start GG max on the default map, place a player marker on the river bank, enable trees. Test game and look towards the opposite bank.

Can you reasonably tell me that looks good ?. Kindly click on the images, it was taken at my native resolution of 1080p


Trees in the back ground is billboarded



Removed the billboard textures from the billboard folder to get some idea of how many trees are being billboarded, the following pictures show actually how little trees are being physically rendered. I have to give credit where credit is due the transition is pretty smooth. The second image shows how little physical trees are actually being rendered at a given time.Likely amounts to about a 100 or so, before it transitions to billboard trees.

The quality of the billboard trees doesn't look particularly good.



Here you can see tree shadows abruptly stopping as well, while other objects do cast shadows. There is lots of visuals issues, that is quite noticeable.



If you have a look at this screenshot as an example. Crysis actually uses billboards as well for distance foliage, however it is done in such a way you can barely tell the difference. Some else you may not notice is that shadows in the distance is being rendered as an example, however the further you look into the scene the quality of the shadows drops to blob shadows the further they are away.




I am really not trying to be difficult, and fully understand that the biomes isn't completed and may change for better or worse. IF the biomes do get change, iam trying to alert TGC to the current visual issues so it doesn't get replicated again, if they decide to change the biomes.
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cybernescence
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 10:14
Yes agree certain vistas don't look as good as crysis image you posted.

Maybe needs another stage of LOD transition between high poly and billboard as I'm not sure that increased resolution for billboarded trees will help that much as mipmaps will kick in anyway for textures rendered in the distance.

Personally I hope the overall performance is being worked on first though, but see what you mean visually with the trees. I'd just been wandering around forests marvelling at the silky smooth transition of the trees.

Cheers
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 10:48
Do the trees have LOD states before becoming billboards? And what about the billboards? Are they flat planes? Or, like some, do they have a number of sides (some billboards can have 4, 6 or 8 cross sections)?
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 11:12
There will be about 4 stages if i am having a guess.
I think there should be a billboard that is calculated with so many trees in shot a more dense billboard is used. To make the background densely forest and when it gets nearer have another bill board that starts to remove the dense tree foliage. So it can loom plush like in crisis. They have the background forests totally cover the land and looks more real. Gmax at present looks like a dotted landscape maybe worth a look at doing something to cover the distance
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 12:08
Quote: "There will be about 4 stages if i am having a guess"

Actually, the trees as far as I can tell has no lod, if just fades from real trees to billboard trees.Removing the billboard trees texture file you will see that trees don't change LOD at all. They simply fade into existence, meaning it has a near rendering clipping plain of sorts.( don't know exactly the method used, as wicked engine has no native support for clipping planes) all of the trees used for the biome generation is pretty low polygon, which is why it has no lod.System basically fades trees in an out of billboard and real trees.

I tried looking for the meshes for the trees used in biomes but could find them, even if could find them the DBO file can't be accessed to see what the model is like.But I can confirm there is no levels of lod, it is either the model or billboard based on the preset rendering distance.

So you should be able to place a couple of higher detail trees in the mix, but you going to run into a visual problems with the trees from the biome that are billboards in the distance not casting shadows and real trees casting shadows, as shown in the images above that any non biome objects you place casting shadows, compared to billboard trees at the same distance.

Currently you can't test your own biome textures and objects, I mean it would be completely awesome you could setup and save your own custom biome, for reuse as needed, adding a custom terrain seed pattern would be awesome.

I will need to email Lee and rick to find out if these hard locks on biome and terrain generation will be lifted or not as well as provide clarity.Based on the answers provided I will either ditch max and move back to classic.Because either it is going to remain restricted or be a long time if any or all editing restrictions are lifted. I am really concerned with regards to a lot of things not being editable and it may be due to the use of a lot of external resources in use and license agreements max has.It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of hard locks remain in place.

I hope I am crying wolf, really do but it isn't looking too good at the moment, as compared to initial gameguru classic release pretty much every thing was editable and virtually no restrictions in place.Grass, terrain, sky box ect, the list goes on.Like I said will email Lee and hopefully get an answer that can put my mind at ease
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Argent_Arts
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 13:16
I definitely think we need to be able to customize and create our own biomes. TGC can establish the "rules" (i.e. X number of tree types per biome, X number of LODs per tree + billboard, etc.). That way the end-user could create alien biomes, etc., to use for their games, and auto-generate maps, etc.

The current biomes really do need trees with LOD. They shouldn't just fade in to billboards. With Wicked's capabilities, MAX could load some nice looking, decent polygon trees for up close and personal trees, and then get lower and lower the further back you go. I did a test in MAX already and loaded a very, very unreasonable model of a tree. It had a super-high polycount (29,000 tri-faces). I was able to load 300 of them and keep 30 FPS. With 30 of them, I was still getting 60 FPS ... and that's at 3440 x 1440 on my system (though I do have a decent PC). So, this is telling me that with a REASONABLE tree (not my stupidly monster tree) and LOD, these biomes could look totally awesome.

In my mind, there is absolutely no reason to not do this.
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wizard of id
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 15:38 Edited at: 3rd Dec 2021 17:23
Quote: "The current biomes really do need trees with LOD. They shouldn't just fade in to billboards. With Wicked's capabilities, MAX could load some nice looking, decent polygon trees "
Lets actually not forget none of the foliage is currently animated either. How you don't need high polygons for trees. With good textures and good tree design you can get away with the min polygons on trees that look awesome.

You need crisp and clean leaf textures.I would say the current pine tree for the forest biome looks good, but the textures on the trees especially the pine leaves are a bit iff. They are only 1024 x 1024 and look a bit fuzzy compared to the rest of the clean and crisp textures.
This goes into the argument of smaller textures versus 4k textures and when 4k textures is completely a waste of resources. But I would argue that pretty much every engine out there 2k and 4k textures are the norm these days especially for things like terrains and foliage.
Of course there is objects that don't need extremely high texture quality.

But it would seem TGC is going against their own target, the initially they wanted VR quality textures because the player can walk right up to a wall or whatever. Their benchmark for their VR aspect of max was half-life alyx, and if you haven't already played it or seen videos of it in action. You would have noticed not a single pixel is out of place or any sort of fuzzy looking texture when viewed up close. So what would work in a normal game, doesn't necessarily translate well to VR games, things need to be extra crisp and clean.Which is why overall VR games has needed quite beefy machines in the past.

The trees are already using instancing so you aren't wasting any resources unnecessarily and it could do with higher resolution , rather then higher polygon.
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Bob Humid [2021]
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Posted: 3rd Dec 2021 23:03 Edited at: 3rd Dec 2021 23:04
Relating to AmenMoses input here:

Quote: "https://acescentral.com/


I'm guessing the ACES filter question is related to this link."


(Start at around 13 minutes when the asian cinematographic pro lady starts explaining it)

You might as well go over to those links below to understand what ACES is. First of all it´s not a filter (So the questioner does not to be a cinematographic professional). ACES is a depth-resolution-standard combined with framesets / workflows (from what I understand). My guess is that any 16-bit-depth game with some approxx. 60 frames/s-rendering could somehow be "transfered" to ACES.

Personally I predict that this is something the WICKED-developers should have in the back of their minds, while game development and moviemaking is amalgamting for sure as of now (RTX) ... /.-)

1.
https://www.mdpi.com/2313-433X/3/4/40/htm

2.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Color_Encoding_System
cybernescence
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Posted: 4th Dec 2021 01:50
ACES is used as a tone mapper for HDR rendering in game engines.

Wicked uses it already so I assume MAX will.

Cheers.
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 03:24
Hi eveyone, just adding my 2 cents worth of things to ponder before this thing gets released or soon after, no pressure. So far its an excellent effort but it does need some tweaking to say the least.
The terrain system really needs a heightmap option for generation as this would resolve some of the biggest contentious game building problems with maps espcially with larger areas. I even had this in the Dark Basic days, I used to use heightmaps and colour placement maps for my object/trees.
The tree system needs a slider or height distribution option as well as randomising tree size and the option to mix a couple of other tree types which could be in the biomes structure i presume. To be honest this tree system doesnt need to apply to the generated (working map) area so much as this can be painted in, an option to curtail this area from auto generation could be added. Tree and vegetation also should be treated in the same manner. (Not all areas grow the same vegetation or trees).
A small object/debris (branches/stones/rocks/etc) should also be painted similar to the grass system but not auto placed everywhere. This could also be used to quickly position cliffs or rock formations along the eges of a valley etc for later adjustment saving hours of repetitive object placement.
As a side note I have been applying the same terrain rock material textures on the arctic cliff objects to get them to nicley blend in with the surrounding valley textures so consistancy can be achieved with a little bit of tinkering.
As for then water system its nice but really needs a lot more options, the shader really needs to detect when colliding with either terrain or another object to generate surf/foam at least.
Otherwise im enjoying the progam immensly even with its shortcomings and am really looking forward to the (final) product.
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Bob Humid [2021]
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 03:31
Quote: "ACES is used as a tone mapper for HDR rendering in game engines.

Wicked uses it already so I assume MAX will.

Cheers."


Interesting! Thanx! /.-)
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 10:28 Edited at: 5th Dec 2021 10:35
Just a wake up call to all.

I think the tree system is being worked on and i am sure grass is too
I think they have plenty of input from us already

If rocks come. Great but not am essential did you get auto trees and auto rocks with classic..
. No. So lets appreciate what we have and as they say they are going to work tweak and sort all the added elements
Foam is not an essential maybe a few years down the line when lets say the world has all needed and the ai and core elements
And before foam lets get better underwater efx amd the ability to swim etc.

Lets walk before we run. A lot of rocks can be sprayed we can spray large amounts of trees already selecting the needed
I think there will be a random size generator but lets just wait and see

All these questions and demands can be brought up by someone on Wednesdays instead of repeating over and over questions of when is it out on steam? Will we be able to sell our games. Can we use char. Creator in unity or can you tell me how much it will cost. Wasting possibly good questions and time on live broadcast.

Happy playing guys enjoy the 5k area with trees and grasses and tools and skys and Ai and character creator and importing models and making maps and exploring new work arounds and enjoy the process of creation.

Remember its still in alpha phase not even out of the workshop so lets toast to whats been achieved and ask the right questions on youtube. And help them and ask them to make this creator awesome
Im 50 now aint a kid travelled the world been in terrorist bombing shot at near kidnapped. Have an audi a house a fiancee a cat and ex dj and promoter and now home Manager. Have a degree and lots of quals and this is actually all true
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 11:26 Edited at: 5th Dec 2021 11:27
Quote: "Remember its still in alpha phase not even out of the workshop so lets toast to whats been achieved and ask the right questions on youtube. And help them and ask them to make this creator awesome"
whether alpha, beta, or version 1.The tone and direction of the software has already been set.It isn't like you tarred a road completely and then decide to dig it up again a week later.

This probably as close to the march release you can expect.They won't be rewriting any systems or make any drastic changes.Lee's exact words were we are only focusing on polishing what we have now in this video.Most major features are in.So yeah it is time to be vocal about it.

Like the tree system, terrain system, and now the grass system. If you haven't noticed the change log of this weeks build, it mentions the final UI of the grass system.Which is disturbing considering height and width setting have been completely omitted the grass rendering distance is way smaller then it was in classic.

So there are some real concerns on closer inspection, regardless of product state. I prefer to speak up now while it is still in this state as it is more likely to grab their attention before moving on to some thing else.

Can you honestly tell me that the tree or grass system looks good ?
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bluemeenie195
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 11:42
Quote: "the grass rendering distance is way smaller then it was in classic."


That's exactly how I was feeling. The grass looks kinda ok in a forest setting with hills but on a flat plain the rendering distance is way to short.

Should be a distance slider to give the game creator an option.
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 12:41 Edited at: 5th Dec 2021 12:41
Quote: "That's exactly how I was feeling. The grass looks kinda ok in a forest setting with hills but on a flat plain the rendering distance is way to short.

Should be a distance slider to give the game creator an option."
What we getting now is the result of making the software perform well on the min system requirements and completely ignoring the mid range and high end systems, as a result the high end systems pretty much get left in the dark, same thing happened in classic. This seems to be another case of completely balancing it for the low end systems and ignoring high end systems.

Support for 900 series is another 2 years but by that time the amount of 900 series owners would have dropped drastically with the average lifespan on the software being about 7-8 years by the end of its run it, who will still be using antique hardware. ?

Additionally Windows 10 support is ending in two years as well meaning people will need to shift to windows 11.That also means new hardware due to windows 11 requirements DX13 is also coming soon. While its nearly impossible to keep up with tech trends.

However wicked engine developer has hinted that he will drop DX 11 support, when this will happen is unknown, which means we will likely not get any further wicked engine updates as the developer moves over to dx12, vulkan ect.Most engines switching over to texture streaming even wicked engine we will be left in the dark tech wise.

Even S2HD engine recently shifted over focus to texture streaming.Max is now lagging behind badly due to supporting decently old hardware and not being flexible enough.

Which is likely why we are seeing things like the tree billboards and smaller grass rendering area.TGC made their choice with regards to hardware support, which is entirely fine.However don't forget about those with more powerful hardware and future proofing by not adding ability like including rendering distance sliders, for various things.

All I can say it isn't easy being a game engine developer.
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GubbyBlips
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 18:54
"And before foam lets get better underwater efx amd the ability to swim etc."

Those are nice, but even a mostly chewed up dork like me shared a swimming script with the community -a year ago?
So foam is a great idea to get in on the early build because if they want to light up the first impressions of users and game testers-- just a little foam would help quite a lot. It's certainly a more complex project than swimming, but not so much that it is a 6 month job. And if you did something like a "Shore Zone" w/ the same UI implementation other zones are made. That would be useful in more ways than one- for example AI (fishes or sea creatures, etc) and put MOST of the burden on the map creator- where it should be. Come to think of it, maybe it could come together when they provide the "Water-Course" Zones for cascading water effects.

But since a full blown water on terrain feature is certainly over-burden at this stage-- I would suggest a spit of rudimentary foam (Zone) if nothing else. 2D maps become 3D.
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bluemeenie195
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 19:34
That swimming script is really good too. unfortunately it doesn't work in GG Max
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Posted: 5th Dec 2021 20:32
And before foam lets get better underwater efx amd the ability to swim etc

Im all for the above and should be done without delay but we cant even have fx shaders to do things so its going to be severly limited in some respects unless accessible alternatives are available in the 'new' engine of ggmax. Perhaps im being too impatient
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Posted: 6th Dec 2021 07:56
Quote: "Even S2HD engine recently shifted over focus to texture streaming.Max is now lagging behind badly due to supporting decently old hardware and not being flexible enough."


It's infuriating and baffling that Max still doesn't support texture streaming, or even load/unload entities on-the-fly. How on earth are we supposed to maximise these massive maps and PBR rendering when most of us only have 4-6GB of VRAM to play with? It wouldn't be such an issue if we could just stream in the data as-needed but this insistence on loading everything in up-front is resulting in long load times and tiny texture budgets. At this rate, I'm expect most Max games that have a terrain to be sparsely-decorated, clone-stamped, bore-athons.

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Posted: 6th Dec 2021 10:14
Quote: "It's infuriating and baffling that Max still doesn't support texture streaming, or even load/unload entities on-the-fly. How on earth are we supposed to maximise these massive maps and PBR rendering when most of us only have 4-6GB of VRAM to play with? It wouldn't be such an issue if we could just stream in the data as-needed but this insistence on loading everything in up-front is resulting in long load times and tiny texture budgets. At this rate, I'm expect most Max games that have a terrain to be sparsely-decorated, clone-stamped, bore-athons.

AE "


You can set up pretty cool small scenes. But then you get other annoyances like not being able to to tweak some setting better.As a quick experiment you can increase the particle size by quite a bit and it's pretty cool idea to use the particle to simulate snow being blown by wind, the problem comes in that you can tweak it any further then the animation speed, opacity, so you missing things like the particle fall off and sort of goes straight into the direction you point it without any big randomness. As far as I am aware you can't even change the animation speed to randomly slow down or speed up.



Most of the customizable features you got in classic has been stripped out for a simplistic use in max, that is really frustrating. MAX works and looks spectacular when you set up a linear level, open world approach leaves much to desire.

Indoor levels for a change is a real treat, and visually looks awesome and for a change not cringe worthy have uploaded a video showing this a few weeks back.Have nothing to complain about with regards to indoor levels, it works beautifully for a change.
https://youtu.be/A400kwQIjcE
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