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Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:12 pm
by HeadClot
Hey everyone,

I have been working in blender for the past day making various modular environmental art pieces.

This all started when I saw a talk by two people from Bethesda Games Studios talk about their level design process of fallout 4 on the GDC youtube channel.

The talk is called Fallout 4's Modular Level Design and you should watch it. Lots of good stuff and examples on how they use prefabs and the like.

Anyway - I have been working on some modular environment pieces. Which I am super happy with so far however nothing is textured yet.

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My end goal is to make a series of Modular kits for my game. :)

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:16 pm
by LukasPJ
So, one of the drawbacks of modular environments is that they take more drawcalls (as 1 simple house that could be just 1 drawcall, is now 1 for the door, each wall, the roof etc.)
Do you know how much of an effect that has?
Is it possible to compile a prefab into "a single model" that could be drawn in fewer drawcalls? Does anyone know if it even matters?

Just asking because I love the concept of modular design kits, and would love to hear more about your ventures!

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:39 pm
by Duion
Many static shapes can impact performance negatively in Torque, I don't know how far instancing, prefabbing etc is to counter that.
It also depends how large your scenes going to be, if you want to build an open world MMO then you will have to invest in developing technology to improve performance with the modules, but on small levels it does not matter much.

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:16 pm
by Azaezel
So, one of the drawbacks of modular environments is that they take more drawcalls (as 1 simple house that could be just 1 drawcall, is now 1 for the door, each wall, the roof etc.)
Do you know how much of an effect that has?
Is it possible to compile a prefab into "a single model" that could be drawn in fewer drawcalls? Does anyone know if it even matters?

Just asking because I love the concept of modular design kits, and would love to hear more about your ventures!
Yeah, that's *exactly* the issue we hit prior to cooking up that workflow (Thanks again Jeff and John for the tools). Jumped the resultant fps from 20s looking across the map to 100s plus. Do note at time of writing, re-exporting a collection of meshes drops lods and animations off the side though, so it's still more of a blockout tool at present.

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:31 pm
by RasterRon
Looking good! Reminds me of Haupt's work also with Blender.

Keep it up.

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:04 am
by JeffR
Most excellent. Keep up the good work! :)

And yeah, there's a built-in utility method for baking meshes together. As Az mentioned, we need to get LODs and probably animations working at least. Also want to get an option in there for baking the textures into an atlas as well for further cut down of drawcalls, but that's less critical comparitively.

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:00 am
by Duion
Did he post any screenshots of his work? I can't see any.

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:34 am
by Razer
Is there a way to snap these pieces to create some house, and tell T3D to merge them as one model ?

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:55 am
by Duion
No.

Re: Creating Modular Environments

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:48 am
by HeadClot
Did he post any screenshots of his work? I can't see any.
I posted some on imgur and linked them here. I am not sure why you are not sure why you are not able to see them. :\