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Thread: 3D FPS in MMF2 - Should I keep going? (OpenGL)

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    LavaFlaminG6's Avatar
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    Question 3D FPS in MMF2 - Should I keep going? (OpenGL)

    (Sorry in advance for the long post, but this is a genuinely massive topic...)

    Alright, I'm pretty new to the forums so... Sorry if I should be posting this on The Daily Click or something, but...
    I've been working on an online first person shooter using the "OpenGL Base" extension in MMF2 Developer for the past 3 days. It's going relatively well, but I have some concerns. In my experiences with MMF2, I've seen a lot of things that just were NOT possible. MMF2 is one of the few if not the only program I really see this issue with. Also, there are a lot of things (like OpenGL 3D) that you CAN do in MMF2 but it's so pitifully weak that you would need an amazing computer to run the simplest things. I run MMF2 and the games a create an Alienware M18x, so there's not much of a way to tell how my games will play for those with less "hefty" computers, as my friends have good computers too.

    I also have some questions about OpenGL and it's extension set, and hope somebody will be knowledgeable on them at least to answer a few questions I have.

    So here are my main questions/problems:
    - What are some ways to reduce CPU/MB usage in MMF2 that I may not know about?
    - If you're knowledgeable with OpenGL Base, is there a way to create a sort of "fog" effect that will reduce the rendering range and still look decent? (I know how to reduce the rendering range but it just cuts off and that hardly looks presentable)
    - Is there a way to prevent MMF2 from crashing when I try and load large Milkshape Models (.ms3d files ) into the internal storage of the "OpenGL MS3D" object? ( This issue is why I haven't added player models for enemies )
    - Is there a way to horizontally flip objects with the MS3D object? I can't flip it in actual Milkshape or it screws up the animations
    - Is there a way to add a skybox (like clouds or something)? The blue clear color I have now is very bland and wouldn't go over well in a full game. (I am using the "OpenGL clear control object for color and depth buffers by the way)

    - Another big question, even if you don't know much about OpenGL Base, is that the OpenGL Base object always is on top of everything, even list objects. Is there a way to change this? Otherwise I can't add in-game HUD.

    I'm pretty confident that most anybody who reads this will have absolutely no clue what in gods name I'm talking about, but I may as well put this here in the hope that somebody in the community sees this. I would ask on Click Converse but the chat is dead quite often.

    (P.S. - I am making this game all by myself, so that is why I need help.)

    Cheers!
    - Me

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    Forget it.
    The phrase "ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife" springs to mind. MMF2 does a lot of things really well, but 3D is definitely not one of them. There are other tools out there which are much, much better suited to what you are trying to do (they will make development easier, and the end result will be far better because they are based on modern 3D engines). I appreciate that you probably want to use MMF2 because you're already familiar with it, but in the long run you will waste far more time and effort trying to get it to do something it was simply never designed for.
    I know in theory, there are all these exciting 3D extensions (OpenGL, Mode7, Raycaster, etc), but in practice you just have to accept that MMF2 does not do 3D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyMole View Post
    Forget it.
    The phrase "ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife" springs to mind. MMF2 does a lot of things really well, but 3D is definitely not one of them. There are other tools out there which are much, much better suited to what you are trying to do (they will make development easier, and the end result will be far better because they are based on modern 3D engines). I appreciate that you probably want to use MMF2 because you're already familiar with it, but in the long run you will waste far more time and effort trying to get it to do something it was simply never designed for.
    I know in theory, there are all these exciting 3D extensions (OpenGL, Mode7, Raycaster, etc), but in practice you just have to accept that MMF2 does not do 3D.
    There are some new 3D objects in development, though. If he doesn't mind waiting a while for them to get released, (3-9 months at least, I'd say,) then he could use those.

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    Wait, what 3D objects? I heard Stephen say something about 3D a while back (Last year) but I didn't know if that was continued or not.

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    I've already developed a somewhat promising example for an online first person shooter. If you want, you can download the example here: http://www.mediafire.com/?3gz5c931bbsc200

    It is functional at the moment with very minimal textures and in-game content but considering that the performance seems proper even while running Lacewing, I have at least genuine hopes for it. Note that If you do download it, the menu controls are the arrow keys and enter. The loading screen is actually Lacewing connecting. In-game, you will simply see your gun, the map, and other online players (who appear as red boxes). W and S to move, mouse to aim, left click is shoot and right click is to aim down the sights on your gun. Hopefully this somewhat changes your opinion on MMF2's ability with 3D.

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    I think that proves my point.
    It's hardly to comparable to this: http://unity3d.com/unity/quality (scripting options include Javascript, which is very simple and intuitive)

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    Obviously the quality is much less, but take into consideration that I made that demo in 3 days with no prior knowledge of OpenGL. There are pretty much no textures, the lighting is minimal, the model is one from Counter-Strike, not from a high-resolution game. The fact that's it's comparable whatsoever is a start at the least. The main issues anyways are the ones I posted previously, mostly pointing to "does MMF2 have the power". I was speaking to Danny recently and he (don't quote him on this) said that pretty much anything is possible if you implement LUA with OpenGL. As long as MMF2 has the processing power, seemingly everything other than shader effects can be done.

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    LavaFlaminG6 has been getting more progress on his 3D game. He's been posting links to the latest version on ClickConverse for me occasionally. It actually has some pretty decent graphics now when compared to what they were before. I'd say at least N64 quality, possibly better.

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    IMO it's only viable if you pair it with XLua, and even then it's very far from ideal. Jitted Lua is fast, but it's not exactly a first choice for writing a rendering engine.

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    Hello LavaFlaminG6,

    Loading Large MS3D files into the internal storage is not necessary, load each model at run-time.

    There is no-way to have the MS3D object handler flip you objects i believe. but flipping meshes with bones in Milk-Shape is not so complicated.

    Adding a Sky-box ? in the MS3d system... too easy... and since frog mentioned the N64 here's a skybox in hyrule.
    depositfiles.com/files/s34p6k3zw
    Hyrule Sky.jpgHyrule Sky 2.jpg

    Depending on your operating system; edit boxes may be drawn after OpenGL; but the best HUD achievable would be drawn in OpenGL.


    Now i must say i agree entirely with Retriever2, the combination of Xlua and OpenGL is extremely powerful, easily on par with the very popular C# and XNA system.

    Also unlike with the MS3D object-handler and OpenGL combination, Xlua and OpenGL includes access to all of OpenGL's awesome features including fog.
    ( which you might enable such )
    gl.Enable( gl.FOG )
    gl.Fog( gl.FOG_MODE,gl.LINEAR )
    gl.Fog( gl.FOG_START, 64 )
    gl.Fog( gl.FOG_END, 128 )
    gl.Fog( gl.FOG_COLOR, { 1, 1, 1 } )

    To Reduce memory consumption; memory thrashing must be avoided and garbage collection must be handled.
    Both these tasks are very easy to accomplish with Xlua.

    Memory thrashing in Lua only occurs when tables are declared excessively.

    Certain operations such as
    returning multiple objects as in 'return a1,a2,a3' produces alot of garbage as it is equivalent to 'return {a1,a2,a3}'
    instead tables within functions should be produced as globals and only there pointer should be returned as in 'a={} return a'

    garbage collection in Lua is very straightforward but must not be used excessively.
    'collectgarbage("collect")' calls the garbage collector into action; returning your programs memory usage to it's current actual requirement.
    Beware tho, it can take several milliseconds and could cause visual stutter in your game, i suggest calling it every few-hundred frames right-after switching the visual buffer.

    Thanks for your interesting questions. good luck with your project. and seriously next project you should give Xlua - OpenGL a go.

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