MMORPGs, Yes or No?

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vatzcar
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MMORPGs, Yes or No?

Post by vatzcar » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:35 pm

I'v seen the feature of Ogre. It's good. The techdemo is really very much convincing. Graphically it's a great engine, but, does Ogre capable enough to be used as a heart of a MMORPG? I'm really interested on it. But nowhere I found any information regarding it's network module. Any information will be appreciated.
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Post by temas » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:38 pm

For the graphics yes. For everything else related to a MMORPG no. Why? We're not a game engine, we're a graphics engine. This is a big time FAQ and spelled out many times in many places.
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Post by Lucky_Luciano » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:39 pm

Ogre is a graphical engine only. If you want sound or network functionality you'll have to add it yourself via other plugins (like "fmod" for sound).
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Post by Van » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:51 pm

We are currently developing an MMORPG.

We use the following systems at this time:

Graphics Engine: Ogre
Sound: OpenAL
Physics: Newton
Networking: RakNet
Graphics GUI: CEGUI
Scripting: (undecided at this time)
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Post by vatzcar » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:52 pm

Okay, got that. If I missed any spot, sorry for that. Can you tell me if I need to use Ogre in my game what could be the most suitable solution for network part (like plug-ins or add-ons)?
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Post by :wumpus: » Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:20 pm

http://www.ogre3d.org/wiki/index.php/AssemblingAToolset

Click on the "networking" link and there's a whole lot of networking libs..
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Post by vatzcar » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:17 pm

Van wrote:We are currently developing an MMORPG.

We use the following systems at this time:

Graphics Engine: Ogre
Sound: OpenAL
Physics: Newton
Networking: RakNet
Graphics GUI: CEGUI
Scripting: (undecided at this time)
Thank you very much Van for your information. And also thank you all for your great help 'n resources. I think we (me and my team) can give a good try to adapt Ogre for our project. I really loved this one XD
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Post by regress » Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:56 pm

Van,

How would you guys compare OpenAL to fmod? I'm just curious as to why you chose OpenAL over fmod . ..

regards
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Post by Van » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:25 pm

regress wrote:Van,

How would you guys compare OpenAL to fmod? I'm just curious as to why you chose OpenAL over fmod . ..

regards
Honestly, I haven't tried or really looked into FMOD. I only recently heard about it and that was after we adapted OpenAL to the project.

OpenAL is OK. Its not a hard library but you have to learn some quirks that they just don't discuss in the docs. The documentation is great as reference material but lacks a good tutorial so you kinda have to fumble around with the library. I am no expert with the library and have had to seek some help for it. Sadly, I have yet to find a forum that really supports OpenAL like this forums supports Ogre. I guess it isn't there and that is something one should consider before selecting OpenAL. :(

This may sound simple but took me a bit to figure out and that is you treat the "listener" like the "camera". If you think of the 'listener" like the "camera" it all starts to fall into place. You can't have unlimited sound sources (sources are like ScreenNodes) so you have to add and remove them based on some criteria. We attach a source(s) to ScreenNodes so their source gets added and removed based on the visibility of the ScreenNode (and a priority too).

There are some other quirks too. The document says that you can have multiple sources use the same sound buffer (a buffer is a location where a wav file may be loaded). This is true, however, all sound sources can not play the buffer at the same time (or at least I can't get it to work because the library raises and exception when I do try to play one buffer from multiple sources). Why is this important? Well, if you have 20 players with an "engine hum" you can't use the same buffer to play all 20 players' "engine hums" (like one would think). Well, OK, then you setup 20 buffers for 20 engines hums - well that sucks because you can only have 16, 32 or if your lucky, 64 sources. So, as you can see, sound is a bitch. :evil: I wish all my players were deaf. ;)

We have finished alpha development and have begun writing our beta and maybe we will look into FMOD when it comes time to integrate sound.
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Post by johnhpus » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:38 am

Someone may have already mentioned this, I didn't really read everything, but I believe that OpenAL is free for commercial projects while FMOD is not.
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Post by Bill » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:47 am

Van wrote:Well, OK, then you setup 20 buffers for 20 engines hums - well that sucks because you can only have 16, 32 or if your lucky, 64 sources.
I'll bet it's the same for fmod. I'm sure it depends on the number of sound channels on your sound card. So your probably stuck with that limitation no matter what.

The alternative would be some sort of software mixing that I doubt anybody does. It would probably take up a lot of CPU time, which you wouldn't want in a game anyway.
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Post by Olex » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:20 am

Are you sure about the fact that software mixing takes a lot of CPU?

Take a look at Doom 3: software mixing without high CPU usage. Put all the graphical stuff on GPU, and CPU will have a free hand for sound.
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Post by monster » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:36 am

IIRC with Fmod you can have up to 1024 channels. It'll use the hardware ones first and then software ones. But that doesn't really matter since Fmod's software mixing is ridiculously fast, and very easy on the CPU. It's also ridiculously easy to load a sample once and play it on multiple channels, but then I'm sure that must be possible with OpenAL too.

Fmod's not even that expensive.
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Post by vatzcar » Thu Apr 14, 2005 7:03 am

Apart from those, which we are talking 'bout, i think EAX/EAX2 is great for any game. As you know, most of the good or bad commercial games use EAX for their sound environment. I'm not comparing anything, may be something could be better than that, but really, sometimes giving those in your game, brings a special looks.
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Post by :wumpus: » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:09 am

Are you sure you ever need more than those 32 or 64 channels that openal provides anyway? If you have 32 players engines emitting the same noise that sounds like crap, you really want some 'mass hum' sound instead.

The brain isn't really capable of seperating more than a few sounds at a moment anyway. It's all about creating convincing illusions :)
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Post by monster » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:12 am

It's all about creating convincing illusions
Yeah, Van doesn't do "convincing illusions" though. Everything has to be as it is in real life! Not that that's a bad thing.
:)
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Post by :wumpus: » Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:17 am

Well it is a bad thing if it doesn't add anything to or even degrades the playing experience.

We'd still be without formats like mp3/ogg if everyone thought the brain picked up every single bit of noise :)
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Post by Van » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:06 pm

:wumpus: wrote:Are you sure you ever need more than those 32 or 64 channels that openal provides anyway? If you have 32 players engines emitting the same noise that sounds like crap, you really want some 'mass hum' sound instead.
This is like saying that an MMORPG only needs to represent two players at a time. :roll:
Besides, when you really get into the sound you find out that there is alot of sound and you need to prioritize what you want the player to hear. There isn't just the "engine hum". There are the guns, the music, other vehicles, sound effects for user inputs, etc, etc, etc. Believe me, pay attention to the next commercial game you play (like Eve, WOW, doom, unreal, etc) and you will be amazed at all the sounds.
:wumpus: wrote: The brain isn't really capable of seperating more than a few sounds at a moment anyway.
This is so incorrect.


We may look into FMOD when the time is right.
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Post by psyclonist » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:19 pm

I don't get the comparison of number of sounds to number of players in an MMOG.
Van wrote:Besides, when you really get into the sound you find out that there is alot of sound and you need to prioritize what you want the player to hear. There isn't just the "engine hum". There are the guns, the music, other vehicles, sound effects for user inputs, etc, etc, etc. Believe me, pay attention to the next commercial game you play (like Eve, WOW, doom, unreal, etc) and you will be amazed at all the sounds.
There are quite a few sounds running at the same time but actually I can quite easily seperate them if I listen long enough. WoW, for example: a few background sounds, a few GUI related sounds, and a few foreground action related sounds, the occasional cry of a bird... that's it. Nowhere close near 1024 or even a hundred parallel sounds. And if they're using more than 32 channels then something's definitely wrong.

What kind of noise level do you want to create? And does it add something positive to the game experience?
Van wrote:This is so incorrect.
Would you be so kind to say why?

-psy
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Post by :wumpus: » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:39 pm

I wasn't denying a system is needed to smartly distribute the sounds going on over your 32/64 channels.
Especially to nicely fade out sounds that are 'pushed to the background' instead of chopping them off.
This is very different from actually *mixing* though.
This is so incorrect.
That is even more incorrect.
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Post by emperorsnewmusic » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:22 pm

Van wrote:sound is a bitch. :evil: I wish all my players were deaf. ;)

We have finished alpha development and have begun writing our beta and maybe we will look into FMOD when it comes time to integrate sound.
You may joke, but I think it's really a shame that sound is so often such a low priority in games. I'd love to see a time when substantial resources (both in terms of development and runtime) were devoted to really dynamic synthesis of sound effects and music.

Perhaps this article will be of some interest here. They give an example of a train station environment
Each pedestrian acts as two sound sources (voice and footsteps). Each wheel of the train is also modeled as a point sound source to get the proper spatial rendering for this extended source. Overall, 160 sound sources must be rendered
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Post by Van » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:02 pm

:wumpus: wrote:
van wrote: This is so incorrect.
That is even more incorrect.
Yea, I guess your right. Thats why orchestra's only have two instruments. Or better yet, they have alot of intruments but only play one or two instruments at a time. :roll:
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Post by monster » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:45 pm

Thats why orchestra's only have two instruments. Or better yet, they have alot of intruments but only play one or two instruments at a time.
Actually, that's a brilliant counter argument against yourself Van!

The components of an orchestra are specifically chosen so that you don't perceive it as lots of different instrument sounds, you perceive it as one perfectly blended and balanced "orchestra" sound.

If you were creating a computer simulation of an orchestra you would have to be utterly insane to model each of the 80-odd instruments separately, especially since (as I say) they're chosen in such a way as to blend together. You wouldn't even have to model the first violins, the second violins, violas, cellos, double basses, trumpets, french horns, etc, etc separately, or even the strings, brass, percussion sections separately, you'd just have one "orchestra". Likewise, you can bet that all the subtle background sounds you hear as atmosphere in games are pre-blended, they're not composed together on the fly as you're playing.
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Post by psyclonist » Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:33 pm

emperorsnewmusic wrote:Perhaps this article will be of some interest here. They give an example of a train station environment
Each pedestrian acts as two sound sources (voice and footsteps). Each wheel of the train is also modeled as a point sound source to get the proper spatial rendering for this extended source. Overall, 160 sound sources must be rendered
They use clusters and perception dependent optimizations to map all these sounds sources to 32 or 64 or <put in your number here> available hardware channels. It's important to note that they use several kinds of LOD schemes including "audio impostors" and "source culling". In essence: They are not throwing a few hundred audio sources at the sound hardware.

-psy
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Post by vatzcar » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:45 pm

If it's related with generating sound, and if it's more concerned with representing them in a MMORPG, then i think :wumpus: is in right position. Any experienced MMO gamer will be agreed upon that. In a MMO if you want to produce the sound of atleast 50% of the surround players (within a acceptable radius), within a very short time you'll feel to be middle of the hell and hammered your head by a million of crazy bulls :lol:. There will be sound for weapons, spel casting, environmental sound, enemy's voice, footsteps, levelling effect ...... and the list continues...... If such different 32 sounds generate, then I very much doubt that how many people can take that noise. And definitely no one gonna pay you monthly to get that crap everyday for a number of hours, at least not me :D
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