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Awareness and buildings (update 8/2 see p9)  XML
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Bluhman

Civilized Sporeon

Joined: 09/11/2008 01:26:08
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Oh my lord; this is an epic finding. Thank you very much! Now I know why Chuck and Norris were unable to attack you in the Black Room of Pain. (Don't ask.)





ccfreak2k

Microbe

Joined: 12/05/2008 03:09:38
Messages: 39
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DVDMaster wrote:The only way I can explain this is that GA computes a bounding box that contains the building and then uses the bounding box to determine awareness.
This makes sense, as it's stupid simple to see if a line between two points intersects with a box (a naturally convex and simple 3D shape).
Andeavor

MouthBreather

Joined: 10/23/2008 12:10:23
Messages: 949
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ccfreak2k wrote:This makes sense, as it's stupid simple to see if a line between two points intersects with a box (a naturally convex and simple 3D shape).

But it doesn't make sense if there's a big gaping hole within the box.

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Double_Helix

Multicellular

Joined: 09/16/2008 02:32:31
Messages: 108
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Andeavor wrote:
ccfreak2k wrote:This makes sense, as it's stupid simple to see if a line between two points intersects with a box (a naturally convex and simple 3D shape).

But it doesn't make sense if there's a big gaping hole within the box.


Andeavor it may seem stupid but the reason they chose to make it a simple bounding box was due to resource expense. Meaning that to make the bounding box conform to the actual geometry of the object would either take up to much cpu, memory, file size, load time and/ or rendering speed (usually this sort of thing cost cpu/gpu). In order for it to work the way we would like would mean increasing one or more of the listed items. Hopefully they can come up with a solution that can fit with in their performance parameters for the game but, I wouldn't hold your breath.
Andeavor

MouthBreather

Joined: 10/23/2008 12:10:23
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Double_Helix wrote:Andeavor it may seem stupid but the reason they chose to make it a simple bounding box was due to resource expense. Meaning that to make the bounding box conform to the actual geometry of the object would either take up to much cpu, memory, file size, load time and/ or rendering speed (usually this sort of thing cost cpu/gpu). In order for it to work the way we would like would mean increasing one or more of the listed items. Hopefully they can come up with a solution that can fit with in their performance parameters for the game but, I wouldn't hold your breath.

Would it take so much more of a difference to reduce the bounding box to the actual geometry? I mean it (somehow) works for the clipping, where a cast member can actually walk through a room made out of one building. Keep the awareness 'globe' present at all times and have it be interrupted only when something gets in the way, just the same when they bump into it "physically".

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Prometheus09

Civilized Sporeon

Joined: 09/10/2008 01:40:23
Messages: 1279
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USA

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Yeah, sheesh... MC said, though, that it's "expensive" to do so... which probably means it sucks up your CPU's power. It IS a pain in the butt, and maybe eventually they'll somehow optimize it... one thing is for sure; it's really going to make building this starship a tedious process. It would be so much easier to make it modular. I tested this concept out by building a bridge, complete with walls... no nice, no deal. I'm gonna have to add each wall separately, which will really make the structure look lame without major tweaking.

Indeed, it would definitely streamline building levels if the bounding boxes were based on the same geometry that the clipping was based. Or at least if they made a new feature where building parts snapped to each other like they do in Building Editor... that would solve two problems at once: a.) frustration at having to make incredibly fine adjustments to xyz rotation of all building pieces, and b.) still allow awareness to work properly.

EDIT... I think the best way around this at the moment is to plan out each separate room on my starship in detail, determining wall height, position, etc. Then, building the whole object in building editor, then, slowly deleting pieces and saving each modular part as separate pieces, then undoing, deleting different pieces and saving as new, etc.

For example, the side walls of my bridge consist of two slim, wall blocks of different heights. Since they're symmetrical on each side, all I have to do is save on type of object which includes a tall and short block together. That way, it saves on individual building slots in GA, and also makes it a bit less painless to rotate them into the right position.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/09/2009 10:33:00


Galactic Adventures... looks like it's going to be another non-tanned summer!
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rulycar

Multicellular

Joined: 09/09/2008 08:40:38
Messages: 381
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To OP:

Did you test building's 'body' blocks vs. 'decorative' blocks (far right tab in editor)?

Spore On

Andeavor

MouthBreather

Joined: 10/23/2008 12:10:23
Messages: 949
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Prometheus09 wrote:Indeed, it would definitely streamline building levels if the bounding boxes were based on the same geometry that the clipping was based. Or at least if they made a new feature where building parts snapped to each other like they do in Building Editor... that would solve two problems at once: a.) frustration at having to make incredibly fine adjustments to xyz rotation of all building pieces, and b.) still allow awareness to work properly.

The snap-on would only really work if yup placeed a building on top of another as they use the same center point. When you place two buildings next to each other, you will notice that thy are on an angle according to the planet surface's curvature.

I find the building adjustment is easier if you use a pattern on top of the building elements that allows for proper lineup, such as the checkered one or the ones with horizontal/vertical lines.

Prometheus09 wrote:EDIT... I think the best way around this at the moment is to plan out each separate room on my starship in detail, determining wall height, position, etc. Then, building the whole object in building editor, then, slowly deleting pieces and saving each modular part as separate pieces, then undoing, deleting different pieces and saving as new, etc.

Welcome to my world. I can't tell you how many times I edited the building elements to extract walls, pillars, roofs, etc. to make it work while staying within the lowest complexity possible.

Prometheus09 wrote:For example, the side walls of my bridge consist of two slim, wall blocks of different heights. Since they're symmetrical on each side, all I have to do is save on type of object which includes a tall and short block together. That way, it saves on individual building slots in GA, and also makes it a bit less painless to rotate them into the right position.

If you have opposite walls, but want them to look slightly different, make the details on both sides of the wall so you save one building slot and only have to trun them appropriately when placing on the planet.

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rulycar

Multicellular

Joined: 09/09/2008 08:40:38
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Andeavor wrote:
...

I find the building adjustment is easier if you use a pattern on top of the building elements that allows for proper lineup, such as the checkered one or the ones with horizontal/vertical lines.

...


This makes it very easy to place aligned elements.
Then before publishing, edit the buildings and repaint to the pattern/texture you desire.

Spore On

Andeavor

MouthBreather

Joined: 10/23/2008 12:10:23
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rulycar wrote:This makes it very easy to place aligned elements.
Then before publishing, edit the buildings and repaint to the pattern/texture you desire.

Spore On

Ha! I didn't even think of that.

Thanks!

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Prometheus09

Civilized Sporeon

Joined: 09/10/2008 01:40:23
Messages: 1279
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Lol Oh trust me! I've noticed how the building pieces align to the planet's surface... that's why it took me so long to build the temple in my first adventure, all the rotating, dragging, raising and lowering. However, if we could create a "parent" object for other pieces to snap onto, that'd save me a lot of grief.

Your idea for a checkered pattern is good. I tend to use linear textures anyways, so that's sort of how I lined up the pieces in my first adventure (which actually aren't lined up perfectly at all). Still, it is majorly time consuming. So, my two tactics for building a sprawling space station are these:

1.) To achieve a perfectly flat floors between multiple flat building pieces:

Create the largest flat piece I can in editor, then load it into GA and scale it up to the largest possible size. Then, I will load in all my floor sections, and rotate them so they are as flush as possible with the larger flat piece. After achieving flat floors throughout the various rooms, I can simply delete the larger piece, then proceed to add walls, etc, adjusting them based on the angles of the floors.

2.) To minimize complexity:

First, I am building the pieces of the rooms in as large of "blocks" as possible, while taking into consideration the bounding boxes' effects on awareness. Second, for all symmetrical parts, like you said, I am making just one version that can be rotated at will. Third, since this mission takes place entirely in a starship, I have used turned all the planet textures to pure black, and set up the walls in such a way that it would take an extreme angle to ruin the illusion of being in space, but you can still look outside and see the stars through viewports. I have also added stationary spaceship vehicles in the near distance, to give the illusion of being on a starship that's part of a larger fleet.

I've got a feeling this one is still going to take awhile, but I doubt it will be as arduous as my first mission, since I have a better idea of how to do things, and because of this thread, and because I'm planning ahead.

Whew! Sorry for another long post lol

Galactic Adventures... looks like it's going to be another non-tanned summer!
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Grimbot

Multicellular

Joined: 09/10/2008 21:52:40
Messages: 453
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Sadly, I built most of my Dungeon Planet before realizing that it absolutely wasn't going to work. All of my pieces are separate-- the walls, floor, and ceiling, but I cannot get allies to walk across the floors and 90% of the monsters don't react when I enter their room. I'm guessing that my low-hanging stalactites might have something to do with it now. Thanks for posting this!

DVDMaster

Civilized Sporeon

Joined: 05/12/2009 22:00:32
Messages: 2139
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Andeavor wrote:
Would it take so much more of a difference to reduce the bounding box to the actual geometry? I mean it (somehow) works for the clipping, where a cast member can actually walk through a room made out of one building. Keep the awareness 'globe' present at all times and have it be interrupted only when something gets in the way, just the same when they bump into it "physically".


Yes it would. Right now there is 1 bounding box per building. Your suggestion is to change that to 1 bounding box per building part. Assuming the average building has 10 parts, you have increased the number of bounding boxes by a factor of 10. So a worst case estimate would be that things take 10 times as long.

Right now, the do the advanced clipping with just the captain. Your suggestion would do this for all the NPCs.

You could speed this estimate up by:
- Only checking the parts within a building if the line of sight passes though the bounding box of the building.
- Only checking the bounging boxes of parts from certain tabs of the building editor (i.e, ignore details). This might create problems with certain creations. It could then be possible to build walls out of detail parts that would allow NPCs to see the player, but block the player from seeing the NPC.
- Only checking the bounding boxes of parts that exceed a certain size.

It may be possible to examine the building and come up with a small set of bounding boxes. However, this would be a very difficult task for player generated content.

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BigTallMike

Microbe

Joined: 09/15/2008 14:09:39
Messages: 3
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I've looked into the use of single-piece buildings. I built two buildings, both with three solid walls and a roof, one with a floor and one without. I put an NPC inside each building and put them on a patrol path that led both into and out of the buildings. I also told them to shoot me if they became aware of me.

The NPC in the building without a floor was capable of both leaving and re-entering the enclosed building area, but if he was inside the building he could not shoot me. As soon as he left, he started shooting. The NPC in the building with a floor was able to leave the building, but could not re-enter it, he just shortened his patrol to just outside the building. Again, he could shoot me once he left the building, but not before. In both cases, if I was inside the building neither could shoot me, no matter where they were.

Just my results, your mileage may vary.
DVDMaster

Civilized Sporeon

Joined: 05/12/2009 22:00:32
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BigTallMike,

Thanks for your report. Your results seem consistent with my tests: the bounding box blocks all vision. It is as if the box formed by the walls is filled with a think fog and the NPCs cannot see.

I've not done any real move to/patrol tests. But it does seem that NPC can follow paths through spaces they cannot see through if you give them markers. Would those NPCs wander of the building if you didn't tell them to patrol and just wander?

It also seems that awareness rules might be different once combat has started. It does seem that I can shoot NPCs who can't see me and once I do they are able to fight back. Sometimes they are able to shoot through walls and hillsides <grin>.

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