Author Topic: Hardware accelerated display, OpenGL back-end & Simutrans 3D  (Read 137118 times)

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Offline eddielexx

Hardware accelerated display, OpenGL back-end & Simutrans 3D
« on: January 02, 2010, 03:38:33 PM »
Well, I have played this game for a long time, but I have never felt a need for posting anything on this forum, cuz, simply, everything I have ever needed was added in every new version. But, personally, I think that this game needs a new style, new look and new design. Old isometric system is now totally obsolete, and 3D is its future. With this so many addons and features that none game on market has ever had, I think that Simutrans project could rise in something very very big. And how to do that. I see that there is really a lot of quite capable people who would be able to do this. What? To convert this game in real 3D.

Well, how to do that. My first idea was to make a team composed by people from this forum, and divided in teams. So, if someone knows how to design in 3D, he will belong to design group. I think it is clear. So basically we will need three groups in beginning. Design, Programming and Ideas. We have to find open-source 3D engine, the easiest one, or one that is abandoned. Then we have to start everything from scratches, we have to begin making a base of the game. OFc it will take some time, but in the end, we will have workin engine, working game mechanics, and then, we will have Design and Ideas team, who will start converting, adding and suggesting old and new features and addons. When we make that game core, we will be able to continue developing it in every single way we want. I'm telling WE, cuz this game will probably be opensource, and free for all.  Unless We decide opposite. What do you think, could we do this? And yes, I know a little bit of C and C++, and I am workin in 3dsMax actively... what do u think. Should we do this, but all of us, who plays this game, and develop it.


..
3D engine : Irrlicht  http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 03:53:50 PM by Fabio »

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 05:18:39 PM »
It sounds tempting but I'm afraid you haven't considered all the aspects of this titanic task. You suggest to start everything from scratch, as it was easy to carry out. In terms of code, Simutrans it's not a 2k game and the use of 3D engines means collisions and physics, that would increase the task complexity.

On the other hand, there're impressive commercial games that use isometric view mixed with pseudo-3D like Simcity 4, so imho the use of a real 3D engine is not a requirement to make Simutrans a good game. It may help, but must assess whether it is worth the effort.

From my point of view, I would prefer to increase the quality of graphics instead of using a 3D engine. It implies less critical changes and would be achievable with the current implementation.

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Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 05:27:45 PM »
I considered that too... But, u have to admit that idea is good, and that we all have enough acknowledge for doing that. And why shouldnt we start it from scratches? Well, it wont be from scratches totally, cuz complete economical system wont be changed. Numbers stays numbers. I am just saying, why shouldnt we try? Cuz, i would like to see parallel tram and train tracks, better looking interface, and graphic in total, more industrial chains, better industry placing algorythms, better done underground system, many other things which are simply not possible to be added in this game, unless we harm entire game code... U have to admit that this game has terrific potential and that we have to use it. I mean, imagine that, playing game, building transport system, and then, in some point of time, u simply zoom in to the street level, and watching trams and troleeys and trains going around you.... I mean, im dreamin to see that... But I cant do that on my own :D

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 05:40:39 PM »
Dreaming is free, but as Bruce Lee said:

Quote
A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at

I'm not saying you can't try it, I'm just trying to show that perhaps there're other less complex ways to get the same result. Anyway, If you're fully convinced, then go on. Simutrans is open source, so the code is public and accesible. A possible solution would be to create a fork as jamespetts did with Simutrans Experimental.

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Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 06:06:24 PM »
Well, u know that I cant do it on my own... And I hope that, if I start doing this, someone will help me... Abd tell me the way of reaching all those thingsa I said, without using 3D?

Offline Dwachs

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2010, 06:37:30 PM »
Impressive first posts on the forum!

You are proposing to undertake a huge thing here. Some of the very fundamental concepts of the game have to be reworked. Nothing I want to participate.
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Offline Ashley

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2010, 06:46:11 PM »
Simutrans 3D?

The problem with 3D games is they take a lot more work to make them look good than 2D ones. With a 2D game you're restricted in viewpoint and the artist has much greater control over the style of the graphics (since they know that the views they are creating are the only ones which can ever be seen). In the 3D world you have to model objects to be viewed in all directions, close up and far away.

A 3D game also tends towards having greater realism. E.g. free-form tracks, free motion of vehicles, realistic physics etc. These things add a lot of complexity on top of the kind of complexity that is already required for a transport sim game like Simutrans. Designing a game around discrete tiles actually gives you many cheats to get around complex programming tasks (e.g. pathfinding, economic calculations (these can be approximated to tiles), building placement in cities, road/track graphical placement etc. etc.)

And overall, what does it really gain in terms of gameplay? Is the game more fun for being 3D? That's the key question, and one that sadly many games developers failed to ask when developing 3D versions of classic 2D games. Was Sim City in 3D more fun than Sim City in 2D? Was Lemmings? Was RRT?

I've actually looked into the logistics of creating Simutrans 3D before, and decided that the extra effort wasn't worth it given the rewards in terms of gameplay and the fun factor. I never took it beyond a few experiments though.

If you want to contribute to Simutrans, there are still lots of ways that you can (the big ones being AI and network play) which would make a much bigger difference than a 3D engine. Both of these will improve the actual gameplay and fun factor much more than a new graphics engine would.

If you want a 3D transport sim game, then I'd recommend either checking out one of the existing attempts (e.g. Transport Tycoon 3D) or starting an entirely new project under a new name (as you seem to suggest). Just be aware that doing a 3D game well takes (IMO) an order of magnitude more work than doing a 2D one well.
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Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 07:03:48 PM »
Well, I know it's gonna difficult, but why not to try?? My biggest problem is gonna be pathfinding, everything else I will sort out, cuz i already have a plan how to do everything else.. So, I wondered if someone knows how to solve this... I'd appreciate it so much... Why shouldnt we start it as 3D Simutrans? As I see, ever1 is afraid of starting 3D Simutrans. Why?

Offline vilvoh

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 07:16:52 PM »
I'm afraid you haven't get the point. The primary question is not why, actually is Is it worth it?. From your point of view, the problem is easy but people with more experience on Simutrans development says it's quite complex. You think it's fear to change, but imho, we're just realistic. It has been already discussed before and the conclusion was it's not worth the effort.

Anyway, we're not stopping you. As I said before, if you are fully convinced that it's as easy as it seems then start the development and post here your ideas. We surely can discuss them and provide support for this new adventure.

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Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 07:22:50 PM »

Anyway, we're not stopping you. As I said before, if you are fully convinced that it's as easy as it seems then start the development and post here your ideas. We surely can discuss them and provide support for this new adventure.

I like this :D:D

Firstly, May I name it as Simutrans 3D?
And Secondly, why shouldn't I make this game, but with using of tiles, just like 2D Simutrans? I think that is the best idea for now :D Only the camera and models will be real 3D :D
What do you think:D

Offline The Hood

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2010, 07:58:02 PM »
I'd agree with Timothy.  Simutrans is a great game, and IMHO it's more important to have a fun game with good gameplay and OK graphics than a game with amazing 3D graphics (and I can't think of any transport game that comes into the amazing 3D category).  And maybe it's just because I grew up playing TTD and Civ 2, but I'm a bit nostalgic about isometric tile games... :)

Offline prissi

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2010, 08:43:01 PM »
If you just do an easy conversion with the same tile structure but rendered as isometric tile/3D alternatively, you can almost completely keep the game core. The graphics layer is quite seperate from the game mechanics, and would allow for a 3D replacement.

There are several engines working, like the ogre engine, which the people of transport empire http://www.tt-forums.net/viewforum.php?f=56 use.

But the only game with a sensible economy and working 3D was the never finished 3DTTT, which is closed source and now dead, unfourtunately. It has many innovative concepts on dealing on the problems/freedom of 3D transport simulators while still being somewhat close to the simutrans concepts.

Offline IgorEliezer

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Re: Simutrans in 3D (in: topic moved and renamed)
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2010, 09:04:00 PM »
Topic moved and renamed from "New Simutrans" to "Simutrans in 3D".

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2010, 09:33:30 PM »
If you just do an easy conversion with the same tile structure but rendered as isometric tile/3D alternatively, you can almost completely keep the game core. The graphics layer is quite seperate from the game mechanics, and would allow for a 3D replacement.

There are several engines working, like the ogre engine, which the people of transport empire http://www.tt-forums.net/viewforum.php?f=56 use.

But the only game with a sensible economy and working 3D was the never finished 3DTTT, which is closed source and now dead, unfourtunately. It has many innovative concepts on dealing on the problems/freedom of 3D transport simulators while still being somewhat close to the simutrans concepts.

Well, this is good point. I already have chosen Irrlicht engine for this :D So, give me some hints for converting game in 3D. And yes, only problem here is graphic, every other aspect of the game can easily be transferred inthis new one :D Am i right :D 

Offline Spike

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2010, 10:01:04 PM »
If you just do an easy conversion with the same tile structure but rendered as isometric tile/3D alternatively, you can almost completely keep the game core. The graphics layer is quite seperate from the game mechanics, and would allow for a 3D replacement.

Going this route is simple, programming-wise. I had considered that by myself, using OpenGL. But the amount of 3D models needed was scary. So I gave up on the idea.

If you can gather a team of 3D artists - well at least one dedicated person and a programmer who has experience with one of the 3D APIs (a portable one, please!) it should be doable.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2010, 10:09:10 PM »
Going this route is simple, programming-wise. I had considered that by myself, using OpenGL. But the amount of 3D models needed was scary. So I gave up on the idea.

If you can gather a team of 3D artists - well at least one dedicated person and a programmer who has experience with one of the 3D APIs (a portable one, please!) it should be doable.


Then, what are we waiting for ?? Lets do that Hajo then !!
I have a lot of friends who will be able to help me. I mean, we only need one example of tram, train, trolley, building , road, bridge, and that is it. Even I can make a modle for that :D When we succeed in converting the game, I bet that entire forum will be with us, cuz I already saw that there are a lot of people who found that it is easier for them to design in 3D than in 2D. Let's do it Hajo !! I can use Irrlicht, cuz it is very eligible for game design and it is really simple to use :D And it supports DX8.1, DX9 and OpenGl :D When do we can start with this :D 

Offline Amelek

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2010, 10:34:55 PM »
well to tell the truth, it would be nice to have 3d simutrans incorporated in normal game, so it could load 3d-paksets and 2d paksets. Idea of writing game from scratch or creating completely separate branch is probably bad - game logic which is (i suppose) more important part of game would remain the same.

Offline prissi

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2010, 10:41:32 PM »
irrLicht is also very portable and sounds like a good choice too. Especially since it is around for years. But I fear the look of just tiles converted will not satisfy expections, just have a look at the 3D TTD for PSP.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2010, 10:45:51 PM »
irrLicht is also very portable and sounds like a good choice too. Especially since it is around for years. But I fear the look of just tiles converted will not satisfy expections, just have a look at the 3D TTD for PSP.

Well OFC we will make it better and more beautiful than those tiles are now :D What i am trying to tell is that we should make tile in constant size but to add zoom, but enhanced zoom, so on unzoomed view, detail of tile wont be that good. It will be just appropriate for quick map moving and creating tracks blablabla in oreder to keep game playable and with big fps. But when we zoom in totally, than tiles will be more detailed and better looking, and it will be just enough detailed to enjoy looking your creation getting alive. I thought to add free walking, and free camera angles in maximum zoom, so in fact we can walk through city :D I think that is good idea :D What other thinks :D

Offline jonasbb

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2010, 11:04:44 PM »
Sounds nice.
If you start, I hope you work for a playable 3d version and that this project would not sleep.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2010, 11:08:29 PM »
Sounds nice.
If you start, I hope you work for a playable 3d version and that this project would not sleep.

It will sleep if noone helps me. This is a huge project and I would like everyone enough free and with enough enthusiasm to help me :D This is gonna be something good. really :D
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 11:20:14 PM by eddielexx »

Offline skreyola

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2010, 04:05:39 AM »
OTOH, having a fork like experimental would afford some interesting opportunities... like allowing player to place truck stops without making road and having the trucks wear a path like in Settlers 3 (or was it 4?) that becomes dirt road.
Anyway, I think this is an interesting idea. However, I'm not sure I could play it. My computer already has trouble running pak128, so the added graphical requirements would probably shut me out.
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Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2010, 09:54:30 AM »
:D Good Mornin'

I was trying to figure out which 3D engine we should use, Ogre or IrrLich and I still don't know which one to chose, cuz IrrLicht is really simple, but OGRE looks two times better :D Well, If someone knows something more bout this topic, he should say something, and give me some advices for choosin the correct one :D

Offline Spike

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2010, 11:13:55 AM »
Both are well-established 3D engines. If Irrlicht looks easier to you, then use that. Simutrans 3D won't need fancy light effects, or anything very sophisticated.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2010, 11:15:39 AM »
Okay then.
IrrLicht :)

Offline Spike

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2010, 11:27:21 AM »
To prevent misunderstandings - I'm usually either lazy or busy with ideas of my own. I've worked on Simutrans way too long, I don't want to come back, except for the occasional image or two.

Actually, I think I have forgotten most of my former C++ knowledge, so I'd be of no use to such a project. I will read here now and then, and try to help with ideas and advice if I can.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2010, 11:31:48 AM »
To prevent misunderstandings - I'm usually either lazy or busy with ideas of my own. I've worked on Simutrans way too long, I don't want to come back, except for the occasional image or two.

Actually, I think I have forgotten most of my former C++ knowledge, so I'd be of no use to such a project. I will read here now and then, and try to help with ideas and advice if I can.


:D That's good help too :D:D
I finally installed Visual Basic, and I am going to begin with work :D

Offline Spike

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2010, 11:43:18 AM »
Mac OS and Linux fans will cry if Simutrans 3D gets done with Visual Basic, I think.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2010, 01:06:47 PM »
Why? Could I use Visual C++ then, instead?
IS it gonna be compatible then?

I downloaded both, and there are tutorials for both :D

Offline Spike

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2010, 03:35:47 PM »
C++ is a more portable language. Since most code of Simutrans is C++, it should be a good choice as language for Simutrans 3D; I assume you don't want to rewrite all code.

Just be careful not to use system specific APIs, at least not directly, so that the code can be ported to other systems easily.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2010, 05:54:09 PM »
http://www.filehosting.org/file/details/96105/Oj1QqaJNX3FD5iiH/Simutrans_3D_Terrain.7z

this is terrain that I finally generated. i am now facing a problem. What will happen with curved terrain when i start implementing tiles :S If i decide to build a building i.e., what will happen. Should I add some kind of autoleveling, or a platform for buildings??

Offline Spike

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Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2010, 09:33:21 PM »
Currently Simutrans uses foundations for buildings. These work like little platforms. I think keeping that idea will be the easiest way to have building in sloped terrain.

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2010, 09:52:10 PM »
Cool :D Now I need Simutrans source code.. Where to find it?

Offline jonasbb

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2010, 09:56:50 PM »
svn://tron.homeunix.org/simutrans/simutrans/
username "anon"

Offline eddielexx

Re: Simutrans in 3D
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2010, 10:01:49 PM »
svn://tron.homeunix.org/simutrans/simutrans/
username "anon"

It is telling me that "Page cannot be displayed :S"
What to do?