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"Voxel" Terrain

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So, I wrote this long comment, but it didn't bode well for Novaquark. So, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. What is the lowest mesh size for the voxel terrain. (If you aren't a dev, please link some form of source) I'm also curious why the smallest mesh size ever used is on the order of 100 mm, but the terrain looks to be on the order of 1 mm or even smaller.

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Do you mean this? If so, then no, it does not answer my questions regarding voxel mesh size. If anything, those videos in specific imply something quite dishonest going on behalf of Novaquark, but as I've said, I thought to give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

Specifically, this video seems to be an unmistakable example of non-voxel based terrain masqueraded as voxel based terrain generation. Would you like me to explain why that terrain isn't voxel based, why non-voxel based terrain is a terrible design decision(for Dual Universe), or what dark scheme I think Novaquark could be up to? It's obvious that either I'm missing some major feature of development, or NovaQuark isn't being honest with development, and that concerns me.

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I said that playing the pre-alpha it felt really precise but I couldn't tell you the exact precision.

 

Then I don't get it, what do you mean exactly by voxel based terrain? The technology is voxel it's different than a game purely using a polygon engine.

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Sorry if that didnt help you.

 

Knowing what I know about the team I dont really think there is any dishonesty.

JC trying to scam people just doesnt add up in my book.

 

Clearly you indicate you have deep knowledge of how this tech is supposed to work. So what can we say? You think a forum post like yours is helpful in any way?

 

You can directly contact NQ on the kickstarter page or contact NQ-Nyzaltar on this forum with a PM.

 

Have a nice day. ;)

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There's a video (on the KS page I think) that explains that planets are rendered with multiple layers of voxels at increasing resolution as you got closer. I assume that gets down to a voxel size that's adequately hi-rez when you're standing on the ground.

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Would you like me to explain why that terrain isn't voxel based, why non-voxel based terrain is a terrible design decision(for Dual Universe), or what dark scheme I think Novaquark could be up to? It's obvious that either I'm missing some major feature of development, or NovaQuark isn't being honest with development, and that concerns me.

Please explain, pointing fingers and throwing down little information or examples of your own really doesn't help get your point across.

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Look at the edge of the voxel deletion in the terrain in the gameplay video the edge of the 4 Sphere deletions tells you the scale. It's clearly the same as the constructs 25 cm with some smoothing. The dual Contouring Allows multiple levels of detail. The limit is memory. Any change made by the player must be recorded somehow and integrated into the  chunk save that is shared by a server to all. The building core units can probably record some fine detail with rock, dirt grass etc. The seed world generation can be 25 cm because a seed interacts with the terrain to subdivide it while sealing any holes with added vertices. Solve the save memory challenge and you can do any size.  http://www.frankpetterson.com/publications/dualcontour/dualcontour.pdf

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Do you mean this? If so, then no, it does not answer my questions regarding voxel mesh size. If anything, those videos in specific imply something quite dishonest going on behalf of Novaquark, but as I've said, I thought to give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

Specifically, this video seems to be an unmistakable example of non-voxel based terrain masqueraded as voxel based terrain generation. Would you like me to explain why that terrain isn't voxel based, why non-voxel based terrain is a terrible design decision(for Dual Universe), or what dark scheme I think Novaquark could be up to? It's obvious that either I'm missing some major feature of development, or NovaQuark isn't being honest with development, and that concerns me.

Mathig your out of date with how voxels work now. You can generate that terrain mesh quite easily in a voxel engine. That's just a voxel terrain, relatively smooth, with decorations; the rocks. I can't see why you think it's a non voxel terrain. 

There  many other worlds: rising world, Landmark, Life is feudal or Wurm online all of which look similar. They have slightly different resolutions. Wurm is the biggest and oldest grading down to landmark which is 20 cm. You can take any terrain mesh and plug it into a voxel engine to get most terrain. Even real world digital elevation meshes can be used. Procedural engines just mix them as grey scale textures beforehand with various weighting algorithms. Voxels don't need to be blocky. Minecraft, blockscape, vox and cube world are blocky as a style.  

Here is a youtube of me in another voxel world. Rising world.

It's not using Dual Contouring and I glitch though the world plane once. It has a lot of grass but it definitely is the kind of thing most voxel engines can do today.

DU is doing some innovative things but the basic terrain you see is the easy bit.  You can make that terrain in Unity, Blender, etc.  

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Mathig your out of date with how voxels work now. You can generate that terrain mesh quite easily in a voxel engine. That's just a voxel terrain, relatively smooth, with decorations; the rocks. I can't see why you think it's a non voxel terrain.

 

As far as I know, voxel technology means saving meta-data to a grid of a certain mesh. In Minecraft that meta data is a block type which indicates which block it is, grass, dirt, what-have you. On top of the meta-data mesh, you need to generate a surface to attach textures to. Minecraft does this by generating planar faces in between the block and any transparent blocks. Dual Contouring, to my understanding, generates a surface based purely on that mesh.

 

In their video here at 1:47, that is clearly voxel based. At 1 second, however, I'd argue the terrain isn't. I'll just assume the rocks are effectively elements and were custom designed. The terrain, especially towards the bottom right, however, does not look like it is flat except for the occasional 20cm change over a distance of 20cm. The terrain towards the middle-left isn't what I'm worried about, since I can't see it clearly. It's the bottom right that concerns me.

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So, I wrote this long comment, but it didn't bode well for Novaquark. So, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. What is the lowest mesh size for the voxel terrain. (If you aren't a dev, please link some form of source) I'm also curious why the smallest mesh size ever used is on the order of 100 mm, but the terrain looks to be on the order of 1 mm or even smaller.

 

 

I'm not sure if i understand your question.

 

But if you're wandering about the size of the voxel grid itself i think NQ answers that here.  

 

https://board.dualthegame.com/index.php?/topic/14-voxel-tools-pre-alpha-game-design/#entry131

 

 

Hi Kiklix!

 

You're totally right. The smaller the voxels are, the more performance issues you have.

We had to make some tough choices, and we think we have come to a good compromise:

- Voxels on any planet will have a size around 100 centimeters.

- Constructs made by players will be composed with 25 centimeters Voxels permitting better precision.

Granted, this is still bigger than Landmark, but in exchange you have mobile constructs   ;)

And for the planets, well, you will have some up to 100 km radius (which means a bit more than 125 000 km2 !)

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I thought it was 100km in diameter, 100km in radius make some planets bigger than the deathstars. Cool.

 

 

Quote

 

Hi Kiklix!

 

You're totally right. The smaller the voxels are, the more performance issues you have.

We had to make some tough choices, and we think we have come to a good compromise:

- Voxels on any planet will have a size around 100 centimeters.

- Constructs made by players will be composed with 25 centimeters Voxels permitting better precision.

Granted, this is still bigger than Landmark, but in exchange you have mobile constructs   ;)

And for the planets, well, you will have some up to 100 km radius (which means a bit more than 125 000 km2 !)

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I'm not sure if i understand your question.

 

But if you're wandering about the size of the voxel grid itself i think NQ answers that here.  

 

https://board.dualthegame.com/index.php?/topic/14-voxel-tools-pre-alpha-game-design/#entry131

 

This is exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

 

So, just to be clear, the only thing that worries me is whether or not the terrain shown at the beginning and end of this video is actually voxel based or something else.

 

Now, I agree that the terrain shown in the middle absolutely is Voxel-based. However, I'm not convinced the two are the same. I'm also a little confused why the higher mesh detail isn't centered around the camera for that part of the video, but I imagine it would be almost as hard to program a fake mesh enhancement that convincing as a real one, so...

 

@Wesbruce your example is poor, because it is very obviously voxel based. Note the texture is almost the same flat tone for everything. It's not displayed as cubes, but the data is obviously stored as cubes.

 

What keeps tripping me up is those small indents on the ground and the lack of obvious tiling which you should see unless they are messing with the textures. Also, why the tower at 10 seconds is floating on the right.

 

However, after staring at the terrain I can kinda sorta see tiling textures that are maybe randomly rotated or cropped (off of a larger single texture), perhaps based on a seed derived from it's coordinates? Perhaps small variations in height are actually non-existent and are really just baked on as part of the texture?

 

Yeah, now I'm starting to see it. I guess I didn't understand that dual contouring was basically averaging terrain meshes over local space. I thought it was storing shapes as meta data. That explains a lot of why the spherical tool doesn't seem to "work" as intended, or behaves rather unpredictably.

 

I have a very hard time believing that those voxels are 100 cm though. They look much more like 25 cm. Anyway, that doesn't matter either way.

 

Thanks @Wesbruce for the pdf. While I probably didn't read it closely enough to fully understand it, it did help.

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