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Dive into an extreme experience of absolute freedom! The new computer game "B.A.S.E." offers you the opportunity to experience the awesome thrill of freefall, to witness the adventure of overcoming indomitable air elements, and feel that moment of truth when a human being takes his last, decisive step into the gaping abyss before him... Game soundtrack will be entirely alternative. One of themes is written by "4h-X", the rest of tracks are songs of "Dirty MoleculAs".
BASE-jumping simulator. This game is entirely devoted to the most fascinating of extreme sports - BASE-jumping. Specially developed physics reflect the subtleties of this process: freefall, acrobatics, parachute flight, landing, wind and turbulence.
Acrobatics. Freefall lasts only a dozen seconds, but once you get used to the gameplay you will understand that it's ample time to pull off some mad tricks.
Real geographical locations. A real-life replica is placed in each of the game's jumping sites. The majority of these sites are well-known both among BASE jumpers and to the general public.
Camera effects. Various effects (both animation "slo-mo" and "shaking", as well as graphic "motion blur" and "depth of field") are implemented to reproduce the entire range of sensations of a BASE jump.
BASE Gear. The game allows you to test-jump dozens of real-world types of gear specifically developed for BASE jumping.
Virtues and skills. Each successful jump increases your character's experience. As time goes by, your character can acquire new aerobatic skills.
This is again nothing wrong and is done often ( QW:ET, Stalker ). Is also the case in my engine ( terrain meshes in Blender, height terrain and placement in world editor ) for example.
for terrains it makes perfect sense (take etqw for example). Etqw terrains were not entirely done in maya either (im fairly sure ID uses maya primarily). For buildings its a total time killer. Im not sure if stalker structures are modeled or not but as i recall that game took forever to come out.
If human life expectancy wasn't so low it wouldn't matter but the fact remains that we live to die and we die eventually.
QW:ET is based on MegaTexture which is about texturing one huge triangle soup terrain with one texture. John itself said in his article on GamaSutra that the terrain is one large mesh in modeller that is then textured using this approach. So yes, QW:ET does use this technique.
So why doing it this way? It has one important advantage: versatility. If you don't code this editing support into your world editor people can use whatever 3D modelling application ( given the format is free, which in the case of Stalker had been a Maya plugin for example ) they work fastest with for creating the geometry. Don't underestimate blender and other apps on modeling buildings. Those are highly sophisticated applications so anybody skilled in their use ( and in a real game production you have skilled artists ) produces the required assets with easy and in time. So that's no argument against this technique.
Now from your comments I take it you are a brush-mapper?