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Steve Pfann Jr.

Torque Game Engine Buildings

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Hello fellow A:M Users,

 

I have been using A:M for several years now. Recently I have been considering buying the Torque Game Engine and import my models into it. I've seen this done before in pics posted in the forums and the results look great. However I have only seen this done for vehicles and characters while my focus is on buildings. I have worked on recreating an accurate representation of a rather large complex from about 2000 years ago, and I was hoping I could export it to Torque. I was wondering if anyone had any succcess with their A:M buildings in Torque and if they could give me some advice on the subject.

Additionally, from what I understand,Torque supports "portalizing", that is merging a Terrain map and seperate building interiors to work as a single world. Can this be done with buildings from A:M?

 

Thanks in advance,

Steve Jr.

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I wouldn't recommend modeling buildings and structures in Hash. Your Frame rate would take a massive hit if you introduced an entire structure as a "DTS" file. The engine is designed for using ".dif" files that can be created in programs like Quark army knife. The interior code for Torque is impressive and allows for entering and exitng buildings without "zoning".

Learning to model interiors in a map prog like quark can be frustrating for a modeler used to advanced tools available in softwares like hash. Although you could export your model to a prog like milkshape and then export from there as a map file the results are poor and redundant. A simple cube made in hash then exported via milkshape to a map file would become 6 "brushes" as opposed to a simple cube formed in quark would be one brush. There are restrictions on what shapes can be used to form interiors such as avoiding concave elements and "light leaks". I would recomend recreating your structure in a level editor like Quark since exporting your hash model to a map would take just as long to massage it into a useable interior element.

 

Torque is coming out with it's own level editor called "Constructor",,(it's been a long time in dev.) and promises to be more intuitive then quark.

There are specific tools available in Quark for torque such as portals and torque specific elements.

If you purchase Torque there is a ton of info in the forums concerning level editors and the process.

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Good info. The constructor looks promising, esp. for interiors. As far as building exteriors, esp. with TWO, we plan on some testing by taking the Tin castle, massaging it a bit (maybe have 3 LOD versions), exporting with the Torque DTS exporter (why use Milkshape anymore now we have this??), and bring into Torque.

 

We have an ongoing thread in the TWO game forums for models, and as characters are being exported to Torque from AM, we need to start focusing on the buildings too.

 

Greg

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Don't get me wrong obsidian games exporter absolutely rocks for avatars and vehicles or any intercactive element. For a static elements such as a building, the engine makes great use of the .dif format. In most cases a building in the DTS format is a big hit to the frame rate. Maybe just the exterior won't be so bad but from any research I've done it's always been considered a taboo.

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I agree with dukeschen at this point. better go for .dif for buildings and bridges.

Usually .dts are used just for complex architectural details, added over a base .dif building.

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Does the Obsidian exporter allow me to export .dif or only .dts?

My buildings don't have an extremely complex interior. When I was playing around with the Torque demo I noticed that the various buildings in the orc town seem to be single models that don't use portalizing. The buildings I have are similar to those in complexity.

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Download Quark army knife. It's a free level editor and will open the .map files of the orc village buildings. You can find them in .../example/starter.fps/data/interiors. You'll notice that even the small buildings have a "portal" in the open entry to the interior. When the player enters the building through the portal, erronious info about the exterior terrain and lighting stops being processed thus keeping your frame rate high. I'm not a programmer and that's a simplified explanation of what the portal is doing.

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