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For things like _white and _black you probably don't even need a BMP, you could just construct the Image from an array with a single RGB triplet (assuming that a 1x1 image works in OpenGL).

 

Yes, for the easy images this should do the trick, although it's probably more coding work than just using the bitmap. :)

 

mohij's changes are committed now, btw. Any ideas for a next task?

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I got two quite spontaneous ideas:

Change the renderer to an external rendering engine (would be a lot of work, but could be worth it). I know about Namespaces ideas too, so it's just a thought.

Second is changing the file structure to some standard (like collada).

 

I guess both of those tasks are probably to hard for me atm, but tell me what you think.

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What is the aim of the collada thingy? (I never heard of that, but that's nothing unusal. :D)

 

Rewriting/reorganising the renderer is of course a very good idea, the current solution is slow and there is no complex shading nor shadow rendering supported. I'm still in the learning phase reading OpenGL books, so this task is not suitable for me neither.

 

Namespace also said he wouldn't have too much time to work on his suggested renderer, but if he could do some consulting for us (he already posted a few suggestions of places to start), this would be valuable. Given the current situation (three coders without too much rendering experience), it's most probably advisable to tweak the existing codebase and resolve bottlenecks. OrbWeaver already started that, I guess.

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Yes, Namespace offered some very useful suggestions regarding renderer performance which I haven't got to looking at yet, although I am currently identifying some performance issues with the scenegraph code which might give us a boost.

 

Changing the file formats is not possible because DR is designed to use the Doom 3 format. I guess it would be possible to use our own (possibly XML-based?) format and then have a final export phase to Doom 3, however given the frequency with which a map needs to be loaded in Doom3 for testing, I don't imagine mappers would get much use out of a DarkRadiant format.

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In simple words Collada is a standard fileformat for 3d content (originally intended for exchange between apps) Wikipedia Article.

The file format change would not be useful for Doom3 mappers (since Doom3 is already supported). But it would make other uses of the Radiant much simpler. So that wouldn't be a DarkRadiant, but just a Radiant task.

 

The second thing with the external renderer would sort of "outsource" the problem. If the Radiant would for example adopt Ogre as the renderer we wouldn't have to care about rendering issues ourselves. Any feature hunt would be out of our hands, since Ogre would have to do the job (for now Ogre has pretty much all the features (with some exceptions) that Doom3 has). Of course there are other alternatives, Ogre is just the one I would prefer.

And that's easier than rewriting a renderer from scatch.

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Hm, I tend to agree that outsourcing the renderer is an option we should at least consider and evaluate. It will depend on the interface provided by Ogre and how much work it is to adapt the DarkRadiant code to it.

 

It's a lot of work regardless of the path we take, so trying to adapt an open-sourced engine sounds reasonable. I can't really say if it is possible, this will have to be looked into. Do you have any Ogre experience or does namespace have any insight into Ogre?

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Writing the renderer is the easy part, it's deciphering the incomprehensible spaghetti code and getting it to use the new renderer which is difficult. This is going to be the same no matter which renderer is used.

 

If the project was starting from scratch, using something like Ogre would probably be a good idea, but at this stage, trying to retrofit existing code into DarkRadiant would be no easier than writing the relevant code ourselves.

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I don't really have any Ogre experience (DR is my first project I looked a bit deeper at). But I queue around in the community a lot.

Since I would like to do something with OGE (OGE is a complete Game Engine that uses Ogre as the renderer), I will sooner or later have to have a look at Ogre anyways, but I really can't say how I will brawl.

Ogre is written completely in C++, which is a big bonus. And from what I've heard the interface is extremely clean.

 

I don't know whether Namespace has done anything with Ogre. Ask him :-)

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Crystal Space is a Game Engine. It features all parts like Network Sound Graphics and so on.

But what DarkRadiant needs is only a Graphics engine.

The most notable one is Ogre, the only other one I know is openscenegraph, but Ogre is simply the most famous.

Feature and code wise Ogre leads the field (yeah I know that this is highly subjective), just don't do the mistake and compare it to a Game Engine, which it simply isn't, it's just a Rendering Engine (OGRE = Object-Oriented Graphics Rendering Engine).

I could start listing features and design approaches but I guess that's pointless.

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I think I could enjoy looking into that, but on the other hand, it's not vitally important for DarkRadiant 1.0, so I think I will spend the time rather on coding for the main Mod. But who knows, maybe I'll have much time in the late summer, we'll see. :)

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On the other hand, I was thinking about this and thought that it might not be such a good idea. When the D3 engine becomes GPL it makes sense to use that rendernegine instead. After all, it is the native engine, that also will run the actual map afterwards, so if we use a different engine it might be that there are visual differences because we are using different engines. Now I wonder if it is worth the effort to switch the engine.

Gerhard

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I have considered that as well -- if the current DarkRadiant renderer can be made as similar as possible to the way things are done in Doom 3, then when D3 is open-sourced it would be relatively easy to use the same renderer and allow mappers to see exactly what they will see in game.

 

Of course in an ideal world the rendering architecture would be modular so that there could be both a Doom 3 or a $THIRD_PARTY rendering engine, selectable at compile time or through plugins.

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sparhawk: The thought is good, but the advantage with Ogre is that is will evolve, which Doom3 will not. When Doom3 is (some day) open sourced, it is an engine without developers.

 

For other projects (other than DarkMod) the switch to Ogre would surely be more appreciated because Ogre is far more generic than the Doom3 engine.

 

And don't forget that Doom3 is a game, not a grapics engine. So you would still have to pull out the relevant parts once Doom3 is open-sourced, so that would involve far more work.

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The problem here is that we are doing an editor for a game that runs on the D3 engine. It might be an advantage to be able to switch to other games, but that is not really a big concern for us. If it comes for free, or with a moderate extra effort, that would be ok, but I don't see this here.

 

Of course if it can be implmented as Orb says, such that it can be plugged in without much haslle, that would be a good thing to have. Seeing that DoomEdit is already integrated into the engine (or vice versa) I assume that the D3 engine was built with modularity in mind anyway. After all, Id knows that it wants to sell it's engine, not the game. :)

 

If Ogre evolves but D3 not, then there is not really an advantage. What purpose is it, to have an editor that outdoes it's gameengine?

Gerhard

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Yes, all true for you DarkMod guys, but DarkRadiant is in fact the only alive open source level editor left. If DarkRadiant specializes to much on the DarkMod, it will soon not be able to adapt to other uses anymore.

 

If you are only interested in DarkMod, then the Doom3 engine is surely the best choice, but given that you want DarkRadiant to be able to be used by others too, you shouldn't use a dead engine.

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If you are only interested in DarkMod, then the Doom3 engine is surely the best choice, but given that you want DarkRadiant to be able to be used by others too, you shouldn't use a dead engine.

 

Our primary goal is to support Dark Mod level modding first and foremost. Doom 3 level building will be easily possible since we're using that engine. Other games are not even a consideration for us. This is the second time within a week where I've heard someone say that the doom 3 engine is dead when it goes open source...quite the contrary, it will be far more alive than it has ever been. An engine without developers? Everyone becomes the developer, that's the idea behind our project. Once the engine is open sourced, it can be maintained and updated by anyone...so long as there is interest and ability within the Thief community.

 

As for Dark Radiant, it is also open source...so if somebody cares to build off of our work and add support for other games, they can do that. It just won't be this team. It's not our concern to support a dozen different games. The DR team has spent an incredible amount of time, just fixing the mess of code in GTK Radiant, and with so much work left to do, adding support for other games is not a priority for us. :)

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As OrbWeaver said, in a modular designed editor the renderer can be swapped with reasonable effort. The modular design is what we're aiming at with DarkRadiant anyway, so I wouldn't shut the doors for Ogre or any other renderer neither. Not possible of course in the current state, but I wouldn't say never at this point.

 

If we keep modularity in mind during development (which we do), this could also offer some potential. As mohij said, DarkRadiant appears to be the only open-source editor and it is constantly improving, so it might well be possible that DarkRadiant will get attention by more developers.

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