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Mmmm, Quake 4


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I saw a link to the updated Quake 4 editing FAQ on Blues News:




I was struck by two things. The first was how easy it is to add ambient lighting. The second was a feature called distance based visportals which, as I understand it, is a nice LOD technique that lets you specify an image to be swapped in when the player is x number of units from the visportal. Seems like this would let makers create some really huge open spaces, or medium sized spaces with long lines of sight and high detail.


Yeah, I know. Doom 3 will be open source someday, Quake 4 won't. But those two are some really nice features it seems to me. What are the chances id will incorporate something like that in a future Doom 3 patch? I wonder if the Dark Mod could be made to work in both Doom 3 and Quake 4.

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The advantage is, that you could have a visportal, which lets you look into an expensive room. When this visportal gets farther away it means that the render would still have to render everything, even though most of the detail can't even be seen. So you could close the visportal after a certain distance, and replace it with a fake texture. This way it would still look good from a distance but the load is reduced.


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So do you have to create these textures manually, or does the engine do it automatically?


Definitely wouldn't work well for areas with dynamic lights.

They fade in and out of black by default. If you want a specific texture instead you have to create it and assign it yourself. As for dynamic lights, you mean if you went into a room and turned on the light but the texture you selected was of the room with lights out? I believe these types of visportals are scriptable, so you could assign a number of different textures. Billboards? Not sure how those work. My understanding is--and please please feel free to tell me I'm full of shit--these distance visportals fade in and out of opacity with distance rather than blinking on or off at some discrete cutoff distance.

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I can't imagine it's a feature you'd use A LOT, but imagine your mission starts by placing you on the grounds of Lord Buttrump's estate. From a distance you see the windows as visportal textures. As you get closer they fade to transparency allowing you to actually see in through the windows while a script triggers AI to start walking about giving the place a feeling of activity. Without distance based visportals you'd either have to make the windows opaque, ala Thief style, or be very careful about detailing the rooms into which you can see, or be very careful about detailing the grounds in which you find yourself. Or do something clever like making the rooms very very low detail and teleporting you to a high detailed copy of the mansion and grounds when you enter.


But that other feature, easy ambient lighting, gosh I wish it were that easy in Doom 3.

Edited by Ratty
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The textures wouldn't even have to be very accurate. Look at Gothic - they had these big flat walls covering the forests, but when you get closer, they fade away and the real forest with all the trees and stuff is behind. It works well enough.

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Billboards? Not sure how those work.

Billboarding is when the engine replaces a 3D object with a flat sprite (the titular "billboard") when it reaches a certain distance. Basically just the concept of LOD taken to its logical extreme. Usually used for trees, plants, etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I saw a link to the updated Quake 4 editing FAQ on Blues News:


The differences between Quake4 and Doom3 engines are very very small.


The largest difference is that weapons and such in Quake4 is hardcoded in the SDK so you can do a bit more with them (like have a soldier upgrade them for you etc)


But when it comes to level editing, there's really not much there to be had. Even added features like vehicles and such can be added to Doom3 w/o much problem.


The biggest incentive anyone got to change to Quake4 is that it has got more attention directed towards multiplayer. (And afaik even that is something you can beat up in Doom3.)

But last I checked, Thief wasn't a multiplayer game. Although I am sure it'd be pretty kickass in coop. ;) But even for that you wouldn't really need Quake4, since Doom3 is more than capable at handling a 2 player multi game, and I doubt you would be playing 16 player thief coop. Eh?

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They did a Thief multiplayer mod. BlackCat games, I think. Anyway the concept of guards vs thieves or thieves vs thieves etc is quite cool. I think that whole Splinter Cell multiplayer stuff is quite popular, with spies against mercs.

ZylonBane's confession about himself:

"What can I say, I'm a jerk. A three times all American Jerk, from Jerksville, Kentucky. Yee Haw"

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IMHO if there were a mod for Darkmod created that added multiplayer I would be online playing 24/7. Though I think it'd be better if it were only coop or thief vs guards (note the word thief rather then thieves) as I remember what happened to Thievery with the whole guards all forming a circle around an important map object at the start of the map and the thieves killing all in sight, it was fucking terrible. But apparently I started playing Thievery at the wrong time, since at it's initial creation it was more like Thief Multiplayer rather then Thief Fuck Over All That Moves.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Funny thing is, Pandora Tomorrow suffers from the same exact faults as Thievery.


You absolutely have to know the map inside out, best way to win is to move so quickly guards don't have time to respond (rather than sneaking quietly), guarding is boring and the only action happens when the thieves/spies make a mistake and when you run out of gadgets you're as good as dead.


Good double objectives that make camping impossible (like instead of getting the main objective item you can steal a lot of loot around the place) is a pretty good fix for the DM thieves but that makes guarding potentially more boring since the thieves can ghost more easily...



Of course the main attraction of outwitting human opponents (regardless of which side you're on) is still pretty strong in both games.

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