Can Game Engines do That ?

When cycles abound.
PauloAndrade
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:25 pm

Can Game Engines do That ?

Postby PauloAndrade » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:04 am

I was wondering, what are the limitations of current game engines. Can they :

- Generate shadows over curved surfaces ?
- Generate reflection on curved surfaces ?
- Generate reflections from parts of a scene that haven't rendered before ?
- Turn on / Off individual lights and have this lights affect the global illumination of the scene ?
- Move lights randomly at the scene and have these lights affect ambient occlusion and indirect illumination ?
- Move / Destroy objects and have this affect shadows and illumination ?
- Simulate prism like light decomposition ?

If possible, could you point me references ?

Thanks in Advance !

paulusul
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:42 am

Re: Can Game Engines do That ?

Postby paulusul » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:01 pm

[drunk braindump warning]
Most game engine are switching to using specialized middleware, to get the most out of a specific subjects, culling/textures/lighting so forth.
but it depends on a lot of things like budget, your developers preferred language, supported platforms vs audience, etc..

I'll assUme that you have a price cap and CryEngine3, Ut4, Source, id Tech 4 are out of the question.

It sounds like your looking for something pretty and realistic with not much game engine in it, if so I'll recommend Brigade 2, it's beautiful!!
blog with lots of eye candy: http://raytracey.blogspot.com/2012/02/i ... inued.html
http://raytracey.blogspot.com/2012/02/c ... -game.html

If you really are looking for a "Game Engine" I suggest you add a few things to your criteria, some thing I have looked for:
Animation, AI, Audio, Path finding, Particles, Cinematics, Editor, Terrain, Networking, Physics, Event/action editor, easy to learn script or known language binding, gui.

[bias] I work with Unity3d 6-7 days a week and have for the last 3 years and I f'ing love it! if you want to make a good game fast and don't want to rely on to much eye candy, go for it![/bias]
It cost between free and 1500$. languages: C#, boo, javascript. Platforms: Web player, flash, iOS, Android, win, mac, wii, ps3 and xbox360. there's great documentation and a big community both companies and indies.

If you want complete freedom I'd suggest a open solution like jMonkeyEngine(java) or the more professional Ardor3d but I haven't checked on them for years now, last I checked jme was run by college/community and ardor was run by the sort of founder of jme and was doing visualizations for nasa.

There is also Torque which I can't recommend(4 years ago) and Ogre which I have never worked with.

I don't know about reflections, is it a static scene where cubemaps are an option?
Even with static reflections on a dynamic object, you could go for a hl2 fashion cubemaps almost everywhere and blend/switch between them.

It's a hard list, but it is out there and it will cost you. Check out Geomerics Enlighten for a full gi solution.

Last time I saw any tech demo from them was in 2010:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFHxluXS3KM
but from their hp it looks like battlefield 3 is using it..

sorry for the unorganized post, hope some of it useful.....

PauloAndrade
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:25 pm

Re: Can Game Engines do That ?

Postby PauloAndrade » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:02 pm

Thanks paulusul,

I saw Brigate 2 and I believe, since it's a Path Tracing renderer, Brigate 2 can deal with all the stuff I list. I am more curious about the other engines that you mentioned. Can they do the stuff I listed ? I read some stuff but coulnd't find the answer.

Thanks !

paulusul
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:42 am

Re: Can Game Engines do That ?

Postby paulusul » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:56 am

Well, all in all not really. GI is just not common yet, rasterization is hacks upon hacks..

- Generate shadows over curved surfaces ?
- Generate reflection on curved surfaces ?
- Move / Destroy objects and have this affect shadows and illumination ?

Realtime shadows/direct lighting are a standard and most game engines are able to do reflection with some rasterisation hacks ie cubemaps.
Cubemap something like this : first 40 seconds
Both the open ones and unity are able to do something close to this, you'll have to investigate further to find out if their solution are sufficient.
This is a pretty good example of a static/dynamic lighting combo in unity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbDEXtl5 ... X-0or32Jae
btw I would love to see that scene in brigade

- Move lights randomly at the scene and have these lights affect ambient occlusion?

Well most real time ambient occlusion is screen based(ssao), so yes. But high quality ao is almost always baked, so no. It depends on the quality you want and it is also never affected by light.
Ao is a hack to help gi look more real or a artist addition, it's not needed with something like brigade, but here is the unity page for their built in ssao, this is doable in any game engine if not present.
http://unity3d.com/support/documentatio ... ffect.html

- Turn on / Off individual lights and have this lights affect the global illumination of the scene ?
- Move lights randomly at the scene and have these lights affect indirect illumination ?
- Move / Destroy objects and have this affect shadows and illumination ?

Sadly no, I don't know a single not triple a engine that has any gi. You need something big and expensive like CryEngine3 or Enlighten.

Unity does however have very pretty hacks so you can get backed static lighting with a dynamic character.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irozI0kxyFc

Sorry if I sound like a total unity evangelist, it's just because that's what I know :) and it's sole purpose is to make games.
Do you have any videos or images of similar quality work to what you need ?

You also have the option of working with the best game engines as a modder. You get the best tech and most of the time a community that can help support your idea
and even free work, but you sacrifice the option to actually sell your game.


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