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Outerra Tech Demo download. Help with graphics driver issues

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Author Topic: Welcome to the 'Ideas' forum  (Read 98324 times)

cameni

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Welcome to the 'Ideas' forum
« on: October 03, 2009, 07:55:32 am »

Welcome to the 'Ideas' forum.

Outerra engine can be used to render planets seamlessly from space to ground, using arbitrary resolution elevation and land class data further refined by fractal algorithms to achieve detailed resolution. Currently we are concentrating on Earth, but Mars and Moon are also planned, and also algorithms and tools specifically tailored to artificial or completely procedural planets.

While it's still early tech, we are considering making a game with it to demonstrate its capabilities and also to make it more robust and feature rich in the process. For this I'd like to invite you to submit your ideas - what kind of game would you like to see made with the engine; what features should the game and engine have etc.
Any related ideas are welcome!

Brano
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Sam 36

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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 03:40:48 pm »

Hello!

First, you are doing a remarkable job with this engine guys.  Keep up the good work!

As to suggestions, I think a flight simulator is in order -- even if it's a simple one.  You already have JSBSim (sorta... right?).
     Features:
          Good lighting (especially at night).
          Nice performance on a machine such as mine: Celeron E1200 @1.6GHz, 8800GS 384MB, and 2GB DDR 667.
          Great terrain (I think you have that covered :rolleyes:)
          At least one high-detail airport, to demonstrate how well the game engine runs with high-res models.

I think that's enough for now -- hope it isn't to much to ask.

Best regards, Patrick (a.k.a. Sam 36) :cool:
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cameni

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Welcome to the 'Ideas' forum
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 03:24:49 am »

Patrick,

Thanks for the reply!
We are currently working on Cessna 172SP cockpit rendering and connecting the controls to JSBSim engine, when everything comes out right that would be a very simple simulator already :)
Of course, there is much work outside of the simulator part, too.

As for your setup - currently the rendering consumes more GPU memory so we need to make more optimizations and to implement a mechanism to reduce the footprint at the expense of quality or rendering distance.
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Dusho

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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 07:43:35 am »

Hi !
What kind of type of game are planning on working on - just simple single player game or something purely multi-player. Can imagine procedural planets to be used in massive online game - but that's lot of work.
As a simple 'fun' demonstration of outerra engine I would make a mothership with ability to travel to different planets carrying some land vehicle you can drop on the planet - and just drive some hills. With this you can even try to make planets that really feel different - red dusty planet with lots of sand versus green grassy planet with clear sky. You would need to integrate some simple physics, though.
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cameni

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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2009, 07:24:26 am »

Hi Dusho,

While we'd like to make a massive online game eventually (the environment really begs for it), yes it's quite a lot of work too. So iteratively, we want to make a single player game first, for the purpose of demonstrating the engine. You'll be able to fly several machines in there, like a plane, a hovercraft and also some sci-fi flying machine, if the physics feels right. It will be also possible to drive several ground vehicles too. We are already incorporating vehicle physics into the engine.

The physics for conventional vehicles will be realistic, also with realistic controls and cockpit for the plane, while the exotic vehicles will provide more thrill.

There will be free ride mode but also a story to follow and quests tailored to show the capabilities. We are already having fun driving in a hovercraft-like mode at 360km/h (225mph) through sparse forests trying not to hit a tree :O

For now we are concentrating on Earth; Moon and Mars may come too but no artificial planets for now - that would require developing and tuning another set of algorithms that would take place of real elevation data, so that the planets look right.
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stodge

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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 08:16:56 pm »

This is amazing stuff! I can envision some cool stuff in the world of air traffic management. :)
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Mriddell

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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 06:15:53 am »

hi.
amazing work. this gives me hope
do you have a sdk kit perchance ? may sound odd unless you know it but i play on SL in a gorean theme and im looking at all the differant engines in order to amke a MMO bassed on Gor.
the kool thing is all the work that would need to be figured out is already inplace ( the socal things ) and to give you some example of gor, its a series of books ( 27 ) that millions of people love. is there any way i can perhaps talk to somebody here about mabby seeing if somehting like this is possable  with this engine ? its Exactly whats needed for the ideas i/we have.
anyways. be well
Mike
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cameni

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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2010, 07:16:28 am »

I haven't read the novels, but thanks for the tip as I was just looking for something to read :)
Anyway, there's no sdk kit nor anything such, the engine is not yet ready. But if you are asking if it will be able to handle a custom, artificial planet then the answer is yes - if you provide the rough height and land type maps it will be able to use these, further refining it down to the detailed level.

Of course, while the engine will allow you to make spacious detailed terrains on a planet, it will not currently help you in other aspects of making a MMO, which aren't trivial. But I'm not even sure if the attributes of this engine (high visibility and available space) are all that important in such a game, given its presumably huge social element. But I may be mistaken. Feel free to discuss it here or write an email to the contact.
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Dusho

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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 05:30:39 am »

Hi again
still keeping my eye on the project and love the work you've done so far. Cesna and Tatra videos look amazing.
Is there some 'public' test version people can try? (or will there be in the future).
So what is the plan next? I would love to see it as library (SDK) where people can use their own data and algorithms for object placements. Build a community of 'world designers', to iron out the bugs, improve usage, customization.
And provide paid version of library (or projects) for people using it commercially.
Keep up the good work.
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cameni

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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 04:23:29 pm »

There's no public version yet. The interest coming from the flight sim community had also put us under a higher pressure with regards to the quality of the first demo version, so that became a retarding factor as well :/

What's next. We became indie developers this year as we decided to fully focus on the development. We are going to make a game that will be able to showcase the engine, and it should help the engine to become more complete and robust as well in the process. So we are currently focusing on this, but there should be some demo stuff stemming from this too, or at least it should make a way for something more ambitious :)
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SRStever

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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2010, 10:51:01 pm »

Having been a flight sim enthusiast for more than 25 years I'm most interested in the flight simulation aspects of your engine. The level of detail seen in your videos is really amazing and the potential for creating a believable environment for just about any type of vehicle is certainly there.

Here are a couple of ideas that could really place Outerra on the map for literally thousands of sim fans.
1. Provide the means (i.e. tools, tutorials, etc.)  to allow enthusiast to add to the basic platform. I'm sure you're aware of the thousands of addons provided by the flight sim community (both Microsoft and X-Plane).
2. From the pics I've seen it appears that a realistic road system could be implemented, which of course opens up hundreds of potential ideas to include, off roading (Pikes Peak comes to mind), Cannon Ball Runs, etc. etc.
3. If a road system can be implemented, why not a railroad system?
4. So far I haven't seen how water will be implemented in Outerra, but if some of the physics used to create the rolling shadows under the cessna can also be used to create rolling water, imagine white water rafting down canyons, especially down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon!
5. And since I'm throwing out ideas, how about down hill skiing, or simple hiking!

What would really make Outerra a household name amongst sim enthusiast is to provide an engine that allows the implementation of several outlets. I for one have dreamed of a single simulated world that would allow me to do the things I've mentioned above and more.

6. Watching the videos I noticed that LOD works pretty much like everything I've seen in the past...the closer you get the more detailed objects become. I've always wanted the ability to push LOD out as far as my system would allow. In other words, rather than details becoming there best up close (usually a few hundred yards) which I find distracting, allow the end user to push the LOD out as far as their individual setups would allow. I can't imagine flying along and watching fractals pop up constantly, or tree details popping constantly as the LOD increases.
7. As of yet I haven't read anything on environmental shadows, i.e. trees, bushes, clouds, mountains, etc. etc. One of the things I'd like to see disappear from simulations is what I refer to as the comic book painting look. Nearly every simulation to date looks more like a drawing than real life. This of course has more to do with pallet and the use of light and shadows. Although I wouldn't call H.A.W.X. or Ace Combat 6 flight simulators, I do think they've come the closest to a more realistic environment than anything available to date. It would be wonderful to see the lighting effects in Outerra provides this level of reality.

What are your plans for towns and cities?

Thanks for all the work you're doing...fingers are crossed for compete success.

-Stephen
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cameni

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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2010, 07:25:37 am »

Welcome, Stephen
We too dream of a single simulation world, and Outerra has been built with that goal in mind.
Certainly the platform has to be open to addon makers and modders - we have no intention to make a closed system, that would die off pretty soon. Though, currently we don't focus on this aspect very much as the core system needs to evolve first.

The roads are easy to place, a road can be defined by placing several waypoints and the engine creates a smoothly interpolated road that is nicely integrated to the world, also modifying the surrounding terrain by creating rocky slopes if the road cuts deep to terrain. The asphalt has a physical height and so on. Import from a vector database will be possible as well.


The railroads are a bit different in our system as the geometry for rails will be generated dynamically. But of course it is possible and it will be done once it gets into the plan.

There's no water yet except for a simple water plane for seas.
The rivers will be created in a similar way the roads work, using vector data to carve the riverbeds and a shader for animating the water. I can imagine someone could create an addon for rafting then, for example.

As for the LOD - our LOD system works by computing screen size of a terrain feature, and drawing it (or selecting a corresponding detail level) when it is above a specified threshold. So it's possible to specify a threshold anyone wants, even sub-pixel one.
It's not quite that simple though, because there are also other parameters that affect the rendering, for example several limits for various rendering-related entities because of the limited graphics card memory, that will have to be adjusted too with rising detail.

The shadows aren't limited to objects, basically it's just a question of performance.

As for the towns and cities, we are preparing some test of instancing performance with thousands of buildings. So far it looks good. But we do not need the city rendering for our first demo game so this really should be just a test of the engine in this area.
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SRStever

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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2010, 09:24:33 am »

Thanks for the reply and it all sounds so promising.  As I'm sure you know the flight and train sim communities are desperate for a new terrain and environmental engine from which the next generation flight/train sims can commence. If I might make a suggestion, why not announce Outerra on a few of the major flight/train sim community sites, such as AVSIM, FlightSim, etc. and allow the community juices to start flowing? You might even find developers who can provide invaluable information regarding flight dynamics, weather, airports, landclass, etc. etc.

-Stephen
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cameni

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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2010, 01:22:22 pm »

You mean an announcement about development of environmental engine for sims? Well I don't know .. announcing is super easy, but the thing is we do not have the funding such a goal requires, and it would be a bit preliminary. We are starting small - working primarily on features needed for our first game. But yes, the purpose of the game is mainly to advertise the engine and to get some money for the futher development in order to reach that goal. Time will show what will be the path to it. We have been contacted already by a few smaller combat sim developers about the possibility to use the engine in their future products that may commence next year, so maybe it could start showing there initially.

Our focus is now the development of core terrain/environment rendering features, it will take a while until it will be completely usable for a sim project though.
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evilnate

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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2010, 11:49:39 pm »

Want to generate some real hype for this engine? Particle effects (i.e explosions).
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