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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Did Voxels permanently change the MMO landscape?

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56 posts found
  Tierless

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2114

joie de vivre

 
OP  8/12/13 6:17:57 PM#1

I did a blog about this but I'm interested to hear what other MMOers think (link below if you like ranting). From this point on IMO your either a Voxel based living world MMO or your second class. I see the older MMOs either finding a way to become voxelized or instantly becoming considered old gen/sub par. I know it's a bold statement but I think it's accurate. Even PVP vs PVE crowds agree that we want living worlds that we can change to play in, and voxels look like the way to go. Did Voxels permanently change the MMO landscape?

Yes? No? Maybe?


http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas/082013/25421_40-Your-either-a-Voxel-MMO-or-your-not

mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

8/12/13 6:34:52 PM#2

Having read your post, I don't think you even know what voxels are.  You want more player-created stuff in games, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with voxels.

  joe2721

Novice Member

Joined: 2/08/07
Posts: 146

8/12/13 6:38:24 PM#3

How can something that is in a game that no ones played change anything? we have yet to experience this living world they are making. Maybe wait until its release than we could provide a informative answer.

As of now if the world function as they discribe I can  see this becoming something others would want to copy.

  Tierless

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2114

joie de vivre

 
OP  8/12/13 6:42:20 PM#4


Originally posted by joe2721
How can something that is in a game that no ones played change anything? we have yet to experience this living world they are making. Maybe wait until its release than we could provide a informative answer.

As of now if the world function as they discribe I can  see this becoming something others would want to copy.


Im basing my judgement on Minecrafts success. If people will play that ugly little game then surely a pretty MMO with the same features but on steroids will be even more successful.

As per the other reply, They represent a shift in MMOs to being entirely customization worlds. Like a lego paradise. I'm saying the Voxel is ushering in the era of the customizeable MMO experience.

mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas

  ArChWind

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/19/11
Posts: 502

8/12/13 6:49:09 PM#5
Originally posted by Quizzical

Having read your post, I don't think you even know what voxels are.  You want more player-created stuff in games, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with voxels.

Don't quite think he understands Voxels either.

 

remember this?

 

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/386510/The-game-concept.html

 

It is about building a world from objects.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13585

8/12/13 7:09:20 PM#6
Originally posted by Tierless

 


Originally posted by joe2721
How can something that is in a game that no ones played change anything? we have yet to experience this living world they are making. Maybe wait until its release than we could provide a informative answer.

 

As of now if the world function as they discribe I can  see this becoming something others would want to copy.


 

Im basing my judgement on Minecrafts success. If people will play that ugly little game then surely a pretty MMO with the same features but on steroids will be even more successful.

As per the other reply, They represent a shift in MMOs to being entirely customization worlds. Like a lego paradise. I'm saying the Voxel is ushering in the era of the customizeable MMO experience.

If you want massive amounts of player customization, then the big barrier is transmitting what one player has done so that others can see it.  A 100 KB download every time you come near another player or something that another player has left in the game world is a complete non-starter.  Voxels don't help with that in the slightest.  You can have voxel models that take relatively little space by making them extremely blocky, but you can do the same thing with traditional rasterization by using low resolution textures and low vertex models.

The real solution is procedurally generated graphics to generate a full model with textures, animations, and so forth from little data, but that's hard and professional artists typically can't do anything meaningful with it at all.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

8/12/13 7:15:14 PM#7
Leaving aside the quibbles over whether focusing on the word voxels was the right choice ... I'm in the "maybe" camp, leaning towards "no".  There is still a deep philisophical divide about whether to focus on giving players either open tools or closed experiences and I don't think one will ever completely win over the other.
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

8/12/13 7:34:26 PM#8
Originally posted by Quizzical

The real solution is procedurally generated graphics to generate a full model with textures, animations, and so forth from little data, but that's hard and professional artists typically can't do anything meaningful with it at all.

It seems to me that there are three variables: entropy, frequency and notice.  There's the amount of information you have to download to each client every time there's a change, the frequency with which people can change the world and the advance notice the server has that there is information that needs to be relayed to a client.

For example:

Costly: if you design the game such that players can create new tree bitmaps at will, you're potentially sending a lot of information (lots of information), very often (no limit to how fast you can plant them) with no delay (as soon as you make the change, every client needs to know as soon as possible.  Lots of room for problems and lag.

Easy: you have a tree procedure that can draw a variety of trees from a few parameters and a nice fractal branching algorithm (low information), there's a limit of 1 tree per day (low frequency) and there's a 24-hour delay between planting the seedling and it appearing (lots of notice to update clients of players in the area that a change is coming).  Much more managable.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5932

8/12/13 8:45:18 PM#9
Originally posted by maplestone
Leaving aside the quibbles over whether focusing on the word voxels was the right choice ... I'm in the "maybe" camp, leaning towards "no".  There is still a deep philisophical divide about whether to focus on giving players either open tools or closed experiences and I don't think one will ever completely win over the other.

This is a good post (so was your followup).  I don't know if voxels, or other technologies are explicitly game changers, but I do think EQN will break a barrier on world interactivity in a way that hasn't quite been done before.  That, I think, will propel the genre forward.  It's not that static worlds or traditional sandbox world building will go away, but now there is this new factor in the room and it really can't be ignored.

I think even between the two open/guided paradigms we will expect a new level of interactivity going forward.  It's not going to happen overnight for reasons both you and Quizz highlighted.  However, I do think an element has been introduced into the design room that can't be ignored going forward.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Suraknar

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/07
Posts: 813

*Everyone dies, not everyone really fights*

8/12/13 8:48:57 PM#10

...

I am not sure "living World" will actually be one... it is an Advanced Themepark...instead of the Dinosaurs being Reconstructed Skeletons and painted Vistas..they are Animatronics...

It is a Punchline...

It comes from the old School Players who have been throwing these words and terms even here in this forum (just read some older posts in the Sandbox vs Themepark Thread), to describe their experience with games old school Sandbox MMO's

We had living world MMO's 15 years ago...This is not something new... and they were Living because they were driven by players, not Devs and AI.

The New Themepark..(lets say EQN). strives to recreate some of that feeling through AI and for the new Generations of players who are accustomed to different type of MMO...

Instead of the player being just a spectator in the audiance, we will be invited to be a bit more participants in the experience.

But it is still a world that is pre-setup for a specific experience... we are not free to define it and give it a life of its own through us as would be the case with a Sandbox MMO.

It is a Simulated Living World... I would call it "Simu-World" to make a distinction from the "living World" we refer to when talking about Old School Sandboxes such as UO or even SWG and some others.

Cheers

 

- Duke Suraknar -
Order of the Silver Star, OSS


ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard

  ArChWind

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/19/11
Posts: 502

8/12/13 9:34:50 PM#11
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by Quizzical

The real solution is procedurally generated graphics to generate a full model with textures, animations, and so forth from little data, but that's hard and professional artists typically can't do anything meaningful with it at all.

It seems to me that there are three variables: entropy, frequency and notice.  There's the amount of information you have to download to each client every time there's a change, the frequency with which people can change the world and the advance notice the server has that there is information that needs to be relayed to a client.

For example:

Costly: if you design the game such that players can create new tree bitmaps at will, you're potentially sending a lot of information (lots of information), very often (no limit to how fast you can plant them) with no delay (as soon as you make the change, every client needs to know as soon as possible.  Lots of room for problems and lag.

Easy: you have a tree procedure that can draw a variety of trees from a few parameters and a nice fractal branching algorithm (low information), there's a limit of 1 tree per day (low frequency) and there's a 24-hour delay between planting the seedling and it appearing (lots of notice to update clients of players in the area that a change is coming).  Much more managable.

 Unlike a heightmap which is two dimensional the voxel is defined in a third dimension so only thing that voxel technology did was make it possible to make overhanging structures and caves on the terrain and make it possible to build a model in three dimensional space.
 
I don’t think trees would be a issue. Reason being that programs like Speedtree can draw massive amount of trees in micro seconds so the probability of using any voxel based technology for trees would be shooting ones self in the foot. The transmission of this change would be simply sending a small packet of data describing the position, tree type and its seed number.
 
Same thing goes for mesh objects if the model exists on the clients machine then the amount of data transmitted is small. If the model however is made special such a from voxels then the entire data of the model has to be transmitted, processed and displayed. The limitation of bandwidth will be exceeded most likely when ever a special designed model comes into the AOI of the player and there would be a sharp lag spike as the data was updated on the client.
 
The problem with networking data like terrain changes however is a whole new can of worms because the number of data positions that would be required to transmit become extremely large if more than one change is happening in the AOI (Area of Interest). If the data is happening locally such as a single player game this is not a issue because the data exists on the players machine.
 
I could see it working if the chunks of data were extremely small or in the case I suspect that the changes only happen on the client until the data is processed. But then I wonder how much time is going to be consumed downloading changes every time one logs into the world or travels into someone's territory.
  Tierless

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2114

joie de vivre

 
OP  8/12/13 11:12:51 PM#12

Bros, what I'm saying is VOxels have brought forth the idea of letting us make everything, customize everything, alter everything. I know the difference, I'm trying to say the MEAN something, they show a shift from controlling us in a maze (SWTOR) to letting us build whatever. That mindset, the give us tools and set us free mindset is the thing that voxels have pushed forward and that will chance MMOs fro the better ya dig?

mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas

  jerlot65

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/08
Posts: 802

8/12/13 11:14:02 PM#13
Originally posted by Quizzical

Having read your post, I don't think you even know what voxels are.  You want more player-created stuff in games, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with voxels.

?

 

  MrSalty

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/13/12
Posts: 43

8/12/13 11:18:04 PM#14
game is no where near done , yet its changed the mmo landscape? where do you come up with this crap
  Torcip

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 630

8/12/13 11:30:27 PM#15

Voxels have been around for a while, it does one thing well and that's it.  It's not going to become the future of games it'll only be ONE way games are made.  

You seem to want voxels only for how they allow superior customization, well that's not really what it does best and there are others ways of letting you have this much customization without using voxels.

  karmath

Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/05
Posts: 843

8/12/13 11:35:15 PM#16

A few knowledgeable people seem to be missing the point that was touched on above. Transmitting a huge amount of data in realtime is not possible in the realm of a mmo in the slightest of course. But you seem to be missing the glaring point that most of the data will be client side, as a poster wrote above a small packet would all that is needed so the client and the server 'know' what to change.

 

  jesad

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/30/06
Posts: 731

Think of something witty and pretend that I typed it in this spot :)

8/13/13 2:53:37 AM#17

At the end of the day the real answer is that Sony owns all of your asses and what they do others will follow.  They are like the McDonald's of MMO's.  Whereas McDonald's was the first big fast food chain and will pretty much co-opt any variations on their theme to hold that title, likewise Sony will do the same adding a bit of their own innovation here and there just to hammer those casket nails deeper.

Starbucks thought they were something with the frozen coffee drinks huh?  McDonald's made their own and damn near put them out of business.  That's the kind of company Sony is as well.

Will Voxel's change the MMO landscape?  Absofreakinglutely!  You can't go creating heaven and hell (in reference to their three tiered map structure) and expect others not to try to come up with something just as bad ass only different.  That's capitalism, it's going to happen.  Likewise, for all the cartoony naysayers out there, isn't it funny how a game that was, up until just the last iteration, FOCUSED on creating realistic looking "fantasy" characters was completely ok with going for the puffy, bouncy, tiggers a wonderful thing styled graphics in lieu of what I consider some extreme landscaping functionality?

Sony owns your ass.  Don't you ever forget it.  WoW would not exist were it not for Verant and Verant belongs to who?

In one fell swoop they are trying to put Minecraft, WoW, and all the others out of business, and it seems like the kid gloves are off.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3418

8/13/13 4:19:40 AM#18
Voxels are highly over rated..  It is a game creation tool.. big whoop..  It would be a shame is mmo's started to mimic Minecraft..  Next thing we'll have is MMO trying to copy Farmville
  Naqaj

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/09
Posts: 1681

8/13/13 4:34:13 AM#19
Voxels are just one way to do destructable terrain. There are others. Also, you're talking past tense about a game/tech that isn't out for at least another year. Aren't you getting a bit ahead of yourself?
  jesad

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/30/06
Posts: 731

Think of something witty and pretend that I typed it in this spot :)

8/13/13 4:37:24 AM#20
Originally posted by Rydeson
Voxels are highly over rated..  It is a game creation tool.. big whoop..  It would be a shame is mmo's started to mimic Minecraft..  Next thing we'll have is MMO trying to copy Farmville

Actually I think Farmville copied Age of Empires, which in turn copied about 4 other games.  Nothing is new anyways.

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