Question about world size versus world scale.

A2c07070c9399e35f7b7eb0e8f70d2a8
0
Rollercoster 101 Feb 14, 2011 at 00:52

I been working on a world that has a horizontal scale of 10 meters and putting in in the game engine at 1 meter per pixel. The height is divided by 10 to make it appear sort of real from the engine perspective it still does not look quite right.

It appears to be bigger than what I though as far as the avatar crossing it. The entire map is 24,576 pixels square which makes it in game about 20 Kilometers square or 400 Sq Km. The actual design size is 40,000 Sq Km of which about 50% is playable.

Right now it is not really a problem to re-develop the map and change the scaling as this is purely a test of the engine.

my question is:

What horizontal scale would be best for a game map and what size world would be considered to big?

9 Replies

Please log in or register to post a reply.

Fd80f81596aa1cf809ceb1c2077e190b
0
rouncer 103 Feb 14, 2011 at 01:39

Im not sure what the problem is, i didnt quite understand, but i usually make a texel a single unit, and use quite large scaling.
Im actually not sure that it matters tho, it just depends on how you adjust the zbuffer (near and far clipping planes) in the projection matrix.
If you stand on about 1024x1024 texels to touch arms outstretched with another guy, i guess thats about good detail, which helps with the
“apparent scale” that youll see with your eyes, but more detail is always better, but if you can get to about 1024x1024 a mans personal space square
I think thats quality detail. the more detail… the “larger” the world and the more correct itll look, cause remember we see a different colour every element
to the eye… if you look at some of the new voxel stuff out now youll see the scale is more realistic because every element is a new voxel.

[EDIT] the actual size of the map doesnt matter, most gamers would prefer an infinite world, no? it just depends on how much you are willing to model :) [/EDIT]

B5eea5b2b49854b212d599408007ba3d
0
Inferno13 101 Feb 14, 2011 at 01:59

I can’t help with the technical side of things, but:

From a game design point of view, the ‘actual world’ does matter. It depends on the game you’re making, to small and players might feel they’re in a maze or get bored easily. Too big and people might feel lost and insignificant, it depends on the game.

Also, again this does vary, but in most cases you don’t want to sacrifice gameplay for prettier graphics.

A2c07070c9399e35f7b7eb0e8f70d2a8
0
Rollercoster 101 Feb 14, 2011 at 02:43

Here is the problem I am having. The game engine is set that one texel is 1 meter no matter what the horizontal scale is in the terrain generator so 1250x1250 texels is about one square mile. However if I use the terrain generator as one meter per texel I end up with a map size that is so big that it looks ugly. example - The mountains are not visible even at max settings in the engine. If I use to large of scale then the mountains are too small.

I am trying to figure a balance between actual and apparent size so the hills and valleys look somewhat realistic and crossing the world in game does not take real days. I also want to be able to build bridges across cannons but I think I will have to do that in the world editor and not in the terrain generator. Besides the amount of terrain generated is getting past the 4 gigabyte point at under 1 giga pixel map.

This is just a basic world with basic masks for textures which I can then hand modify in the game editor.

Like I said the idea is to make a somewhat realistic looking terrain without the insane travel times. Currently this terrain takes about 2 hours to cross so I was just wondering what scale others used that make decent looking game terrains to maybe rescale it.

A2c07070c9399e35f7b7eb0e8f70d2a8
0
Rollercoster 101 Feb 14, 2011 at 02:45

@Inferno13

I can’t help with the technical side of things, but:

From a game design point of view, the ‘actual world’ does matter. It depends on the game you’re making, to small and players might feel they’re in a maze or get bored easily. Too big and people might feel lost and insignificant, it depends on the game.

Also, again this does vary, but in most cases you don’t want to sacrifice gameplay for prettier graphics.

That is exactly what I am trying to figure out. :)

6837d514b487de395be51432d9cdd078
0
TheNut 179 Feb 14, 2011 at 05:14

@Rollercoster

I am trying to figure a balance between actual and apparent size so the hills and valleys look somewhat realistic and crossing the world in game does not take real days.

  • You can solve this mathematically. If your terrain is 1024 x 1024 units and you want to take 10 minutes to travel from one edge to the other, then 1024 units / 600 seconds = 1.7 u/s.
    @Rollercoster

What horizontal scale would be best for a game map and what size world would be considered to big?

  • You can fit your entire world within the boundary 0 and 1 or you can expand it to 0 and 1024. As long as you maintain the same ratio throughout, you shouldn’t see any difference. If it takes you 10 minutes to walk 1 km in a 1024 scaled heightmap, your speed will be 1.7 u/s. If you decide to use a 2048 scale, then the new velocity should be 1.7 * 2 = 3.4 u/s. From the player’s point of view, they won’t notice any difference.

Typically, I construct my heightmaps so that they are always in the boundary 0 and 1, regardless of the heightmap resolution. I then scale it out to a world value I’m comfortable working in. I usually like to use real world coordinates, where 1 m\^2 = 1 texel. If your ground looks bad, consider using a larger dynamic range. 8 bit heightmaps only have 255 possible height values. Use 16 bits to expand that to 65K possible values or use 32 bits to unlock the best range. That will smooth out your hills while still allowing you to have sharp, crisp looking mountains.

A638aa42130293f319eda7fa4ba121f4
0
fireside 141 Feb 14, 2011 at 17:15

Right now it is not really a problem to re-develop the map and change the scaling as this is purely a test of the engine.

You can’t beat real tests for these things, so you should make it so it can use different size maps and try them out in game. I think Carmack said something to the effect that if you did a realistic walking speed or jump in a game, everyone would be bored silly. Those characters are walking extremely fast and jumping extremely high compared to terrain size.

A2c07070c9399e35f7b7eb0e8f70d2a8
0
Rollercoster 101 Feb 14, 2011 at 22:53

@fireside

You can’t beat real tests for these things, so you should make it so it can use different size maps and try them out in game. I think Carmack said something to the effect that if you did a realistic walking speed or jump in a game, everyone would be bored silly. Those characters are walking extremely fast and jumping extremely high compared to terrain size.

You’re right on. I will run off some testing over the next week. I can export several maps of different sizes import them into the engine and make some comparisons. It is probably the only way I will get results I wanted to end up with.

877747431c7c13326469c4bbaf48d61d
0
victory08 101 Feb 15, 2011 at 08:58

Actually I had quite the same problem with the scale recently. But I solved it by chance testing different sizes. I think it would be better to ask for your advice…:)

A2c07070c9399e35f7b7eb0e8f70d2a8
0
Rollercoster 101 Feb 16, 2011 at 01:07

EDIT : I decided to remove this since I have it worked out from another board. Got the best resolution and size.