Practical scene manager / level formats for FPS-type game

Problems building or running the engine, queries about how to use features etc.
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OlRaygun
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Practical scene manager / level formats for FPS-type game

Post by OlRaygun »

Hi, everyone!

I guess, my question is quite generic and I suspect I'm actually not the first to ask it. I wasn't able to find it discussed on the forum so far, but
if I'm ignored because of this, I'll understand.

So, here goes: what practical choices of SMs / level formats / editors are there for an FPS-type game? (what I have in mind isn't really an FPS, but as far as this discussion is concerned, there's no difference in level structure - rooms, corridors, a bit of occasional open space here and there).

By practical I mean preferably something that is readily available, free and open-source :) Failing that, I could still live with something available and free :roll:
Or inexpensive, at least :mrgreen:

I've been looking into OgreMax and dotScene format lately - I really like the simplicity of dotScene, but have my doubts about which scene manager to use. I mean, a generic Octree would be quite wasteful with my type of scene, am I right?

Then, there's the BSP scene manager, from the look of the demo, I'd say it even can read Quake pk3 maps. Editors are there already, so maybe - this would be the best choice? But what if I would need to add feature X to my levels (say, a certain type of trigger or something), wouldn't that be much harder then with, say, dotScene? Besides, I'm having my doubts about pk3 format - I admit I haven't looked into it, but isn't it kind of.. old?

And oFusion - is it any good for me as a Blender user? Maybe I could somehow just use its level format?

What do similar Ogre-based games use, say, Portalized? Maybe you just had to go and develop your own SM / level tools / format? I could do that, but it would take a lot of time and effort, so I'd surely prefer not to.

I'm not expecting a complete solution, just asking for an advice, share your thoughts, please. Thank you :)
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Re: Practical scene manager / level formats for FPS-type game

Post by jacmoe »

I think you can have it all. And free. :)
Use Hammer or Radiant for level building. (If you do not fancy using Blender all the way).
Then export to map and import it into Blender.
And from Blender into Ogre.

As for scenemanager, do check out the PCZ scenemanager.
It's perfect. :)
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OlRaygun
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Re: Practical scene manager / level formats for FPS-type game

Post by OlRaygun »

Thank you for the tip! PCZ is definitely something to look into, looks quite interesting.

However, could you please elaborate on the workflow you've mentioned? Radiant and Hammer are Quake & friends-compatible level editors, am I right? (Sorry, haven't used them before). So how would I get anything from those into Blender? (don't they in fact use Quake map format(s), not to mention, BSP instead of portals?) Wikipedia states, that "Valve Hammer Editor version 4.0 saves a level file in the .vmf format by default. Before this, it saved a level file in the binary, proprietary .rmf or text-based, human-readable .map format. "

Did you mean that I'd have to use some older version of Hammer and write an importer for Blender for its text-based .map output?

Anyway, I'd export my level as .scene from Blender (I understand that there's a script for that), right? But .scene format doesn't provide means for PCZ-specific stuff, like portal definition (correct me if I'm wrong here), so I'd have to modify the exporter script (neither does PCZ have anything like a loader, this is explicitly claimed here - http://www.ogre3d.org/wiki/index.php/Po ... ne_Manager )

Did I understand what you meant to say correctly?

Thank you for taking the time to answer me :)

P.S. Another question (perhaps, naive). Portals are defined as quads, AABs or spheres, how would I make, say, an arch? Do I use many co-planar quads, would that be efficient?
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kutraj
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Re: Practical scene manager / level formats for FPS-type game

Post by kutraj »

The BSP scenemgr is also there though I suspect it's deprecated now. Also, I think blender cones with a .map importer, if not, google should find one easily
OlRaygun
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Re: Practical scene manager / level formats for FPS-type game

Post by OlRaygun »

Found the importer here - http://www.ijbrown.net/blender/bsp_import.zip (not sure if it works with current Blender)
From this thread - http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=78470
Followed a link in this discussion - http://www.ogre3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19497

But if I'm not going to use a proper BSP SM, why make maps in BSP level editors, when I can make them in Blender? So whether there's a working .map
importer for Blender is a moot point anyway.

What worries me now, however, is that there's no standard file format for PCZ SM (i.e. some format that the SM itself would be able to read),
nor any user-contributed substitute. Which means I have to 1) learn Blender scripting to modify existing .scene exporter script in order to save
"PCZ SM .scene" or something and 2) write some kind of a loader for "PCZ SM .scene" (modifying OgreMax loader code seems like a good idea to me)
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OlRaygun
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Re: Practical scene manager / level formats for FPS-type game

Post by OlRaygun »

Here's a small "howto" on creating and loading levels (ahem) for PCZ SM which I've concocted hastily :roll: : http://akireev.freehostia.com/pcz_blender_howto.html
(with modified exporter scripts and a test loader project)
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