Thrive Game Development

Development of the evolution game Thrive.
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 Unlimited Detail

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PostSubject: Unlimited Detail   Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:12 pm
So these guys in Australia are making this new "unlimited detail" engine which is basically self explanatory. But the makers claim it uses very very very very little computer power, so much they claim you don't need a graphics card. I think the coders and modelers should look into this as i think this engine would be perfect for Thrive. - a video of it in action.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlimited Detail   Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:01 am

This engine has been around for a while, and as exciting as it looks, it's simply not practical to use. I don't know of a single game to have used this, and judging by their website they're currently targetting this at representing real world data captured using lidar (basically very high resolution radar using a laser), rather than games.

There are two major issues with using it for games. The first is that there are no good tools for creating models for use in the engine, all current tools (blender, 3dsmax, maya etc.) are for creating polygon models. To some extend Thrive could work round this, as most of our models will be procedural, but I have no idea how hard it would be to actually do this. The second problem is that the engine (to my knowledge) doesn't support animation, I've yet to see a video of anything other than a static model. Another possible problem is that unlimited detail requires unlimited memory, which we don't have (notice that many of their videos show the same model repeated infinite times), so I'm not sure how much detail we could get out of ~2gb of ram.

Finally, I suspect that even if we could use the engine, it's very unlikely to be free. Having said all that, given that we're likely to be using almost entirely procedural models, we may be in a fairly good position to use this in a game, so it may just be worth contacting them to see just how much it's cost us to use.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlimited Detail   Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:28 pm

While the system looks brilliant (and yes, it does support animation) we're amateurs with current tools. The SDK for their engine won't be out for at least a year, and it will probably take at least 9 months after that for developers to start publishing content that uses it. It's wonderful, but we don't have the need for it as of now.

Remember our goals: simplicity, science, and playability. Keep them in mind always.
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PostSubject: Re: Unlimited Detail   Today at 3:39 pm

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Unlimited Detail
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