- Shadowing Hate Development Page - (071009)
Here we go with the first development page for Shadowing Hate. I wanted to start by talking about an issue that the majority of people don't understand, or doubt is possible. Using the Quake IV engine, many believe we limit ourselves to the type of environments we're able to do, mainly speaking about open-ended areas like large terrain or city streets, both of which _will_ feature in Shadowing Hate. Many believe the engine is not capable of allowing what we plan to achieve with Shadowing Hate and we will suffer miserably. However, we always put our money where our mouth is
here, and no theory important as this will go untested for long. I will be using the new and surprisingly little-known technique in Quake IV I call "distance-culling portals", which allow a mapper to have extremely large open areas by optimising everything to stop rendering at a certain distance. Many don't even know this exists, or, they don't know how to implement it into open areas, mainly because such was never done in vanilla Quake IV itself and no examples exist. For these development pages, normally we would get down to exactly how this is working and how to do it, but we're keeping this a secret for now and happy enough just to prove it actually does work. So without further rambling, here are a couple of videos showing this technique in action:-
• http://www.violationentertainment.com/temp/SHopenarea071007render.avi - 900KB
• http://www.violationentertainment.com/temp/SHopenarea071007vis.avi - 1.9MB
The first one shows how the test map looks in-game, and the second larger video shows the full wireframe (r_showtris), showing you exactly how it is being optimised at a distance. These only cover a tiny area compared to what is possible, so imagine instead of running to the number five, maps could cover areas up to the number fifty or perhaps more, in all directions. Overall size would have no effect on the immediate framerates. Furthermore, we have even more tricks up our sleeves in order to selectively optimise things at altitudes, while still having full view of objects off into the distance that would render well above the fog. This is because the distance-culling is well within the hands of the map designer, we can decided how much, where and exactly how things get culled, or, not culled. So, large objects that one would think of being culled behind the fog doesn't necessarily need to, full control is given. Tall mountains and skyscrapers can be seen from far distances, overall providing the player the illusion that they occupy a very small space within a larger world, and a world that is not traditionally devoid of fine details.
More is available and we welcome and encourage your opinions and involvement in our team forum.