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Thread: Lightwave CORE and Game Development.

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Lopez View Post
    Is there any benefit at all to using Lightwave itself as a game engine, other than the novelty factor? After all, it's not as if you'll be allowed to redistribute Lightwave along with your game.

    What you really want is an easy way to host your game engine within Lightwave. If CORE is as flexible as Newtek claims it to be, I expect Lightwave CORE to make a great tool for manipulating objects in game.
    Precisely, what matters for most game developers is how easy is to inject and redirect functionality built into a 3d package into whatever output/format is needed for a particular engine/library.

    In other words, nobody will use CORE as an game engine but people would gladly incorporate CORE into their pipelines.

  2. #17
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    Those who are interested in game development are almost certain to get the basics that LW has so far been lacking, the interest coupled with the suggested accessibility of the Core engine almost guarantees that someone will bring this to the table sooner or later.

    What my concern is, is that NewTek are aware of this and will trust to that happening. The thing is that I don't want game development in Core to be a third-party add-on, not even if it is at a low cost, or even free.

    I understand that it is impossible to cater for all tastes and that some people are going to be disappointed that Core will not bring what they are looking for specifically, but as has already been alluded to, I wouldn't call game development a niche market. For enthusiasts like me, and I'm sure the same goes for small indie devs, that fact that LightWave has already featured as part of a larger pipeline brings little comfort.

    Well, there's still plenty to come from NewTek, let's hope we see something to get our juices going before March is out, there's no need to be calling out that the end of the world is nigh... not just yet anyway.

    *edit*

    Speaking for myself, I've no interest whatsoever in seeing Core being used to host other engines, I'm more interested in if it can extrapolate and export the animation data to be used in a proprietary format when you've used a myriad of modifiers to get the motion you're looking for, that would be a groovy. I guess what warmiak was saying.
    Last edited by Oedo 808; 02-06-2009 at 12:17 PM.
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  3. #18
    "Indie" Game Artist GandB's Avatar
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    ....yes...not just yet.
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oedo 808 View Post
    The thing is that I don't want game development in Core to be a third-party add-on, not even if it is at a low cost, or even free.

    Well, there is no such thing as a "standard game development environment".

    The potential for CORE lies precisely in ability to extend and incorporate its features into whatever environment people are working in.

    Every game engine is different and will require slightly different pipeline and thus people will write their own plugins and extensions - furthermore 90% of these extensions won't even be made public.

  5. #20
    "Indie" Game Artist GandB's Avatar
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    The potential for CORE lies precisely in ability to extend and incorporate its features into whatever environment people are working in.
    Yep; just like Max.

    Every game engine is different and will require slightly different pipeline
    Except that nearly every game engine goes out of it's way to support Max.
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  6. #21
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    I am also interested in games specific side of things. I am generally don't need all those things 3d software developers prefer to demonstrate as their achievements. I need just a reliable export and several games specific features. Editable vertex normals for example. Whatever revolutionary a soft is it have no sense for me if nevertheless I need to buy 3ds max or Maya or XSI to edit my normals.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by warmiak View Post
    Well, there is no such thing as a "standard game development environment".
    But there are features such as solid viewport GLSL shader and normal map support that anyone interested in game development would hope to see. I'm not trying to be a whiney old git, but if I don't mention it and it doesn't come then I've got no one to blame but myself and others of a similar ilk for not making it heard that this is what we want to see from Core.

    Quote Originally Posted by warmiak
    The potential for CORE lies precisely in ability to extend and incorporate its features into whatever environment people are working in.

    Every game engine is different and will require slightly different pipeline and thus people will write their own plugins and extensions - furthermore 90% of these extensions won't even be made public.
    If I ever come to do anything decent, I won't be handling plugin development, but I'm sure the guy who is would like to see me upgrade to Core, I'm not hugely interested it what other companies do with their formats, though it would be nice to see more releasing a LW plugin with their SDK, and Core makes this a real possibility. I just hope that the animation tools in Core allow for a simplifed parsing of the data for exporting to a proprietary format. If you think that much is a given then that is good news for me. It's difficult trying to gauge whether a software platform will fulfill your future needs.
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  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Oedo 808 View Post
    it would be nice to see more releasing a LW plugin with their SDK, and Core makes this a real possibility. I just hope that the animation tools in Core allow for a simplifed parsing of the data for exporting to a proprietary format. If you think that much is a given then that is good news for me. It's difficult trying to gauge whether a software platform will fulfill your future needs.
    I think the reason why the other packages might be more popular is that they had better character animation and a few other things (like the ability to conviniently add meta-objects and properties useful for their game exporters), so they could buy one app and be done with it. As a result of being more popular they also released exporter plugins etc. for what they used. So it's not so much a lack of game support by NT itself. If Core has CA improvements to make it an alternative, more devs will start using it, and plugins will be released, without NT necessrily doing anything specifically for it. (The new node system and extensability through the SDK takes care of the meta-data stuff).

    That said, I've always found LW to be great for games, by being a really great modeling tool at a great price. With an easy to use, and more importantly, always open LWO format, making writing an importer very painless and quick. When I had the choice, I worked with LWO, but I've worked on projects using MAX and Maya too, and had to write exporter/tool plugins for both. It's really not that big of a deal, and wouldn't be a problem for anyone serious about it.

    What will weigh heavy in the decision for what software to use will be its total abilities/usability (and pricing too) which aren't directly game related, like the mentioned CA tools. "Can we use this app to efficiently create all* the 3D content we need, so we don't have to buy several apps?", if core answers that with "yes" I'm sure devs will come, and with them plugins/support.


    (* all that needs to be done in a third party app)
    Last edited by Myagi; 02-06-2009 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #24
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    Thanks for the info Myagi, I know that LightWave would not have been the main choice for development for the reasons you mentioned, but even if the other main packages were not used in development they often still got a plugin that could be used if an SDK were released. I had thought that this was because it was a bit awkward exporting the animation data out of LightWave, I guess I was wrong, which is actually good news for me.

    Although if it's true that it was no more difficult to provide a plugin for LightWave than it was for Max or Maya when XSI was the main development platform, then I'm not sure that Core will convince studios to start adding LightWave plugins to their SDK. As you say I guess we'll only see support if Core gets used as the primary package.

    Given that LightWave seems to be fairly MoCap friendly, I had thought it was the reasons already mentioned above that made LightWave a not so popular choice for game studios, not really because it's CA tools weren't all that.

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  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Oedo 808 View Post
    I had thought that this was because it was a bit awkward exporting the animation data out of LightWave, I guess I was wrong, which is actually good news for me.
    For my own project, I have an animation exporter too, so I can export rigs and character anis to a format the game tools can use, and it wasn't rocket science to code either. So when the app choice is made, it's gonna be about which the animator can work better with. I don't have any data but I wouldn't be surprised if Character Studio was a big reason for MAX gaining popularity. Later and still(?) Maya has the rep of being the best animation app among the main players, and I beleive it is or was cheaper than MAX which made that an appealing solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oedo 808 View Post
    Although if it's true that it was no more difficult to provide a plugin for LightWave than it was for Max or Maya when XSI was the main development platform, then I'm not sure that Core will convince studios to start adding LightWave plugins to their SDK.
    I was a bit unclear there, but my reasoning was if you get something that can compete with the others, BUT at such a good price/terms, it should be a good incentive to switch to it. Especially devs normally will have more than one seet, the savings aren't trivial. So even if it doesn't surpass them, but it's a viable alternative, then the price tag gives it an edge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oedo 808 View Post
    Given that LightWave seems to be fairly MoCap friendly, I had thought it was the reasons already mentioned above that made LightWave a not so popular choice for game studios, not really because it's CA tools weren't all that.
    I honestly don't know much about mocap in LW or otherwise, only one of the projects I've worked on used mocap. That was almost 9 years ago, and the animator used XSI, don't rememer much more. Even with mocap, the rig still has to be built, and the mesh skinned/weighted, so you don't get around those tools even when mocaping.


    edit: or was it even called XSI back then? It might have been the last version before XSI
    Last edited by Myagi; 02-06-2009 at 06:13 PM.

  11. #26
    "Indie" Game Artist GandB's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be surprised if Character Studio was a big reason for MAX gaining popularity
    That is a huge reason for MAX use today.

    I believe XSI was just called "Softimage", wasn't it?
    When you know you're a "cup half-full" kind of guy:

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  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by GandB View Post
    I believe XSI was just called "Softimage", wasn't it?
    yeah, might have been SI 3.9

  13. #28
    "Indie" Game Artist GandB's Avatar
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    Didn't MS buy it up, try to mess with it....give up and toss it out?
    When you know you're a "cup half-full" kind of guy:

    "Sir; they've got us surrounded!"

    "Excellent! Now we can attack in any direction!"

  14. #29
    forgot about that, but a quick look in the wiki confims it. Bought it in 94 and sold it in 98.

  15. #30
    Pleased to meet you. Oedo 808's Avatar
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    Alright, thanks for the feedback Myagi, I don't want to take this topic too far off beam, so if I've anything else to ask that's a bit peripheral I'll send it in a PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myagi View Post
    For my own project, I have an animation exporter too, so I can export rigs and character anis to a format the game tools can use, and it wasn't rocket science to code either.
    This is good to hear, I'm pants at coding and I do have someone to help me but they're not a LW specialist, at least now I know who to call when things go tits up.

    I may well end up using your normal map plugin Myagi, but what I am saying is that I am not upgrading to Core just to end up using the same plugin that's been updated for Core, nor will I upgrade if I can get better shader reproduction in Blender, and though I'm not a great Blender fan it is pretty impressive in many areas if you are interested in game development.

    However, I thought that there were more areas of concern than the aforementioned that are currently beyond my scope of understanding that hinder LightWave's use in game development, but you make it sound like adding some CA tools to 9.6 is all that is missing to make LightWave the complete package.

    Now there are features with Core like the history stack that look great for modeler, but supposing there is no apparent breakthrough with CA, let me ask you this, instead of upgrading to Core, would it not be a better investment for those interested in game development to buy into something like Messiah instead?

    What really has me confused is that this thread started off in the direction of "Now with the rebuild LightWave can be a real asset to game development" but seems to have fizzled to "The only reason it's not viable is because it lacks proper CA".

    I'm quite confused.

    Oh, Softimage was the primary package used by Monolith in Aliens vs Predator 2 and I think also No One Lives Forever, mind you, nine years ago you'd have had to have been on the development team for those.
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