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Poll

What would you prefer Mnemonic to concentrate on right now?

Scene Editor rewrite allowing many new features like shadow maps, theora previews etc.
- 39 (63.9%)
HLSL (pixel shader) support
- 20 (32.8%)
odnorf font (TM) - (it's here just to check sanity of forum members anyway)
- 2 (3.3%)

Total Members Voted: 58


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Author Topic: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?  (Read 23429 times)

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metamorphium

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2008, 03:34:20 PM »

Perry Rhodan is using WME, isn't it? Edit: probably not. I don't know where I've heard it.

Quote
the "shadow maps" (simply an image which tells the color of an actor in a given point in scene, think more advanced decoration regions)
(which affects 3d actors and make him much better blend into the environment)

But anyway - for you and Daniel: can you program shaders? It would be cool if we have someone on board who would be able to share some experience with tools and shader assembly language
programming! I know that I've barely scratched HLSL surface back then in torque and it was very complex matter so I understand why games have special shader teams who do only shaders or even specific type of shaders (think Bioshock and their water-artists, fire-artists etc.)

« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 03:37:40 PM by metamorphium »
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Daniel

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2008, 04:02:56 PM »

WME was once freeware for free projects and had a separate paid license for commercial games. This experience taught as one thing. It didn't work because 1) Not many were willing to pay, 2) Some people were bitching that they had to pay to create a commercial game (and even making noise in other forums with not so polite comments).

The new freeware license seems to also be problematic because almost no one donates.

It's a bit out of topic but I must state here that the only reason I haven't paid or donated yet is because unfortunately I haven't reached that point in production yet. I said it before and I'll say it again that I'll be glad to pay for using WME for commercial projects and I thought so even before it switched to donationware.

People that are not willing to pay for using WME in commercial projects are IMHO people that no one should care what they think on this matter, or whether they go bitching in other forums or not. The independent adventure game scene is changing rapidly and what was true two, or even one year ago is not necessarily true now. The WME user-base and game-base are steadily growing and if WME can compete with the other adventure-specialized engines in the market feature-wise, there's no reason why people won't pay for using it.

More on topic though, I do agree that having such effects as reflections, shadow maps, and scriptable lights do cover current-day demands from publishers - at least according to my own experience. HLSL is still not a demand for now but feeling the pulse of the market, it may as well be in some 6 month or a year. If the above poll had a third option for reflections, shadow maps, scriptable lights, and other modern effects that don't require HLSL, I would have chosen it for the moment and leave HLSL for later on in the roadmap, but the poll had only two choices. Maybe a new poll is needed here then.

But anyway - for you and Daniel: can you program shaders?

Unfortunately, I can't, and I do see your point.
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Jyujinkai

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2008, 08:19:16 PM »

Well I think that no one is saying that we do not appreciate Mnems workload and such. As donateware WME is a very awesome package and all. Anyone that is using it for commercial use should be paying for it. If they havn't then there is something wrong with them morally imo. It is not like mnem is even asking for much.. just do not go to the pub for 2 days and bang you can afford a decent donation cost. 50 bucks or something.... more if you like.

I tink the reason people do not donate more is that there isn;'t anything to give them a guide to donate. You would prob get a lot more donations if you had something listing what donations "could" be.. Like a minum donation thing, or recommended donation.

anyway
Quote
But anyway - for you and Daniel: can you program shaders?
HLSL sharders even though they require programming can be made by artists visually in 3DsMax and other major applications and exported directly from app. You need ZERO programming experience if you have access to these visual HLSL shader apps. My experiments with the C4 engine and Irrlicht engine has shown me this.

I just think it is hard to understand the appeal of the editor myself over the HLSL shader thing.. when there is an editor already and MAJOR things like Bump mapping, Normal mapping, Reflective Surfaces, Procedural Skys, Glowing objects etc are not supported at all. I mean if when you are talking about scene edit you are speaking of only a "viewer", not new features that the user can see in game... well all i keep coming back to is... well you can do that already?

Still either way.. as a community.. we will probably be happy witch ever way you go... I think it is important to do wat you need to do and support what projects tehre is currently on that are driving the development of WME.

Mabey we can satisfy both camps? Supprt some major eye candy... then move to the editor or visa versa... rather than full HSLS shader.. get normal, bump and reflective surfaces working... that alone would make the games look 1000 times better.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 08:25:43 PM by Jyujinkai »
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metamorphium

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2008, 08:58:00 PM »

Jyujinkai: hey, that's new for me. Maybe you can write some little thing on wiki how to export shaders from Max? This would be really useful. I was making my own shaders from scratch in some nvidia tool and I remember it required programming of asm language. If there's shortcut like exporting hlsl files from max, it's something completely different. Thanks for this info.
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Jyujinkai

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2008, 12:24:42 AM »

I guess I'll add it into the tutorials i am doing for wme...

You do need some programming skill... but nothing a gfx artist can not handel...

It all depends on how the shaders are done by mnem. Being compatably with Ogre would be cool as there is a 3ds max bridge http://www.ofusiontechnologies.com/ about... or http://www.virtools.com/ or something.....

Like i said it is up to Mnem... i think we will be happy either way....
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 02:09:32 AM by Jyujinkai »
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FogGobbler

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2008, 10:23:22 AM »

@meta: There is y very cool little plugin (commercial) for max called shaderFX. You can visually create your shaders in a shader-tree layout and see the result in max. Then you can export the shader to .fx if you want. You might have to change some semantics, but it works well for me.
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Jyujinkai

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2008, 10:51:29 AM »

yea shaderFX rules!!!
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MMR

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2008, 12:28:08 PM »

It would be great to allow language localization in the ProjectMan way!
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loken

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2008, 05:02:44 PM »

Hmm. Though HLSL is cool, it will bump the requirements up for the game engine.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does the current WME require a card with Pixel Shaders? Granted, you have to go back before the Geforce3 days to find one, but there are some cards (or rather, integrated chipsets) out there that still do a terrible job with them, namely, Intel Integrated Graphics chipsets.

Then theres the question of which version of PS to support. If it's 3 then you have to have a Geforce7x series or ATI/AMD equivalent. The Pixel Shader version might affect the customization ability of the HLSL shader as well.

I'm not opposed to the idea of HLSL shaders, but there's some things to consider. Also keep in mind the target audience. If this were to be implemented, there might need to be an additional hardware accelerated mode for compatibility, along the lines of the now deprecated non-accelerated mode.

Just some thoughts. =)
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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2008, 07:00:17 PM »

Hmm. Though HLSL is cool, it will bump the requirements up for the game engine.

1) If you don't want your target audience to require a card with Pixel Shaders - just don't use them. ;)
2) In general, shaders can have fallbacks, e.g. if the card doesn't support PS20, you can offer an alternative for PS11. Of course I don't know about the implementation idea of it in WME, but that's the usual way to go.

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sychron

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2008, 11:56:33 PM »

Remember there is some hidden geometry lying beneath the 2D scene image.
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atm_deev

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2008, 04:11:48 PM »

Very need shaders!
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Myxini

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2008, 02:16:18 PM »

Hi! I'm kinda new here but have used a variety of game engines, mostly as an artist but sometimes as a scripter.

Whilst adding shader support is all well and good, I find that hobbyist game developers can work better with what (I suppose...) could be called "Effects".

For example, the shadowmap idea, defining regions where a 3D actor is in light or shade is brilliant and anyone could use it.

Full scene tonemapping with exposure control and bloom to allow the lighting of a pre-rendered scene to have an element of nature.

Even, dare I say it, Normal and Specular mapping on 3D actors.

These both allow better integration between the 2D and 3D elements of a scene, and honestly I think that should be paramount. This is a 2.5D engine, and I reckon it should be the best one it can be.

So, In conclusion, those who desperately want shaders will probably have the wherewithal and manpower to code them in themselves, access to shaders does not mean they will be easy to use or implement (I know that from experience, thank you Quest3D!), the rest of us would probably benefit from some solid "effects".

But anyway, thats just my opinion...  ;)
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FogGobbler

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2008, 02:39:41 PM »

Hi!

Quote
For example, the shadowmap idea, defining regions where a 3D actor is in light or shade...

I´ve created regions on the floor with an "OnEntry" and "OnLeave" and changed the ambient lighting (faded) to simulate dark areas, but the result isn´t that good, because the whole actor is lit up and that somehow looks unnatural. The problem with using this is also that all actors get lit up  :-[

Would these shadow maps be more accurate?

Could anybody please post a link of an adventure game which uses this kind of technique?

Bye,
Oli
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Mnemonic

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Re: Poll: New Scene Edit or HLSL?
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2008, 02:51:18 PM »

Would these shadow maps be more accurate?
No, but you'll get smooth color transitions if your scene shadow map will contain color gradients.
This technique is pretty old actually, since the old 2D days.
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