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Thread: [Beta]:My voxel engine for 3D flash games

  1. #1
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    [Beta]:My voxel engine for 3D flash games

    Bengine My 2.5D voxel engine for flash, project from scratch about half a year ago. You can find some demos here:
    http://bruce-lab.blogspot.com/p/bengine.html

    And a game powered by the engine - Bengine Race[Released]:


    (click to play!)

    More about the game:
    http://bruce-lab.blogspot.com/2010/0...owered-by.html

    I think voxel is the future, it is simple and more useful and suitable for flash. Unfortunately, most developers just focus on triangle based 3D engines. My game (and the engine) is just a proof of concept. With the time, intelligence and skills for those famouse engines like Papervision and Away3d, they could create a much better voxel 3D engine for flash.
    What do you think?

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    Hi Bruce, you've done a good job, seemingly getting more out of your voxel engine than others in Flash, but no, voxels aren't the future, they are a well known technology, with several commercial PC games using them as I'm sure you know.

    3D games steered towards triangle based rendering because of the speed of rendering, collision detection, and workflow etc. Although voxels have their plus points, such as deformable terrain, no UV mapping, destructable worlds etc, I haven't seen any voxel engine that looks as good as a polygon based 3D engine.

    In regards to being more suitable for Flash? Well, your demo above is obviously pretty low res, seems to run at about 20 to 30 fps, and uses around 50% of my CPU.

    Check out this demo - http://rumblesushi.com/beach.html

    It's higher res, runs at 60fps, and uses less CPU too. No voxel engine comes close to this performance.

    Voxels are certainly interesting, but they are slow and without the familiar workflow of polygons, so I don't think they're very well suited to game development to be honest

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    Yes, my engine is very slow, because I'm not a professional developer.
    The source code for my engine (the rendering part) is less than 100 lines!
    There are much space for optimazation.

    And NO, voxel engines can be very fast and looks much better than polygon engines.
    Do you know voxlap? a pure CPU based voxel engine, by Ken Silverman, fast and 6 degree of freedom, that is my inspiration.

    What make I think voxel is suitable for flash is most voxel engines are cpu based.
    And that fabulous software render voxel engine unlimiteddetailtechnology.com
    'confirmed' my idea.
    Just imagine that if adobe make that technology a standard 3d function of flash player,
    even in a low res(they can do that in C++, which is faster than as3)...

    My opinions maybe totally wrong. I thought many people won't try voxel and raytracing just beacause they think it will be slow, and it can't compete with polygons.
    (Nicolas Cannasse's work is another proof for raytracing)
    But as I big fun for voxel, I do hope I can see more and more voxel based 3d engines.

  4. #4
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    its an interesting topic. For me, it all comes down to workflow. If the workflow is good and the end result looks nice, I'll use the technology.

    I've seen that unlimited detail thing before, however can it support the wide range of effects and features a current polygon 3d engine supports now? basic things like animation don't seem very feasible in a voxel engine.
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

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    I just checked out voxlap and had a look at the screenshots. You're telling me that looks better than a polygonal engine? Come on.

    Voxels are interesting like I said, and the blocky, 3D "pixels" have a certain charm, but they don't look anywhere near as good as polygons.

    I know that unlimiteddetail tech, I've seen the demos. Not strictly voxels, but similar, what they call "point cloud data". Or as he says it, point cloud dartar

    The fact that Voxel engines are CPU based and require a very fast processor (using C++, which is 10/20 times faster and more capable than AS3) actually means if anything, that Voxels are LESS suited to Flash really. Given Flash's relatively slow performance, what it does need is proper GPU support, so at least it can crunch a decent amount of polys, and draw everything on the GPU.

    In Flash, you're not going to get a Voxel engine run fast enough to make a game running at a high framerate, with a decent enemy count etc etc.

    Your voxel engine is actually more capable than most, so like I said you have done a good job. Most other Voxel demos I've seen in Flash are just a far more basic demo, running at a low framerate, using lots of CPU etc.

    But I guarantee you that noone else is going to be able to make a Voxel engine anywhere near as fast as a good polygonal 3D engine in AS3.

    You should continue to push your engine as much as you can, because there's certainly room for a decent Voxel engine in Flash, but honestly, it won't come close to the performance of a fast 3D engine in Flash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_malee View Post
    its an interesting topic. For me, it all comes down to workflow. If the workflow is good and the end result looks nice, I'll use the technology.

    I've seen that unlimited detail thing before, however can it support the wide range of effects and features a current polygon 3d engine supports now? basic things like animation don't seem very feasible in a voxel engine.

    I don't like the way that "unlimited detail" is presented to be honest.

    I hate those videos, the guy is so patronising, he is talking to us, the audience, as if we're 5 years old.

    And the catchphrase of it being "unlimited" is absurd too, everything has a limit, whether the CPU is the bottleneck, or the RAM, or whatever, there's only going to be a certain amount of objects that a level can handle etc.

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    voxlap is fast, unlimited detail looks better.
    and the looks have much too do with modeling, textures and arts.
    voxlap can look much better, remember it's an old engine from 2003.
    here are some better looks: http://moonedit.com/tom/vox1_en.htm
    (old too).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_malee View Post
    its an interesting topic. For me, it all comes down to workflow. If the workflow is good and the end result looks nice, I'll use the technology.

    I've seen that unlimited detail thing before, however can it support the wide range of effects and features a current polygon 3d engine supports now? basic things like animation don't seem very feasible in a voxel engine.
    As far as I know, it's not hard to suppot animation in a voxel engine.
    Both voxlap and unlimited detail do that well.
    About the effects, voxel engine can easily apply more advanced effect, like raytracing(for shadows and reflections), volume lighting. And voxel engine can do better in particles and physics.
    And the workflow, all polygon models can easily be converted to voxel models.
    If many people choose voxels, there will soon be powerful editors for models and animations.
    What's more, voxel engine can render high detail models like CTs(http://mrdoob.com/blog/post/571), which polygon engines can't handle.
    Maybe someday we don't need to model 3D any more, all models are X-rayed...

    The disadvantage is few specified hardwares designed for voxels.
    If we do too much rendering in CPU, less left for other important things like AI.

  9. #9
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    yeah that unlimited detail guy is a knob. Probably some hired voice actor to promote the software and just doesn't "get it".

    I would love to see a powerful voxel engine that is playable, not just videos and has some decent effects / features implemented. If unlimited detail says its possible, they better start releasing a demo to back it up.
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

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    Quote Originally Posted by rumblesushi View Post
    I don't like the way that "unlimited detail" is presented to be honest.

    I hate those videos, the guy is so patronising, he is talking to us, the audience, as if we're 5 years old.

    And the catchphrase of it being "unlimited" is absurd too, everything has a limit, whether the CPU is the bottleneck, or the RAM, or whatever, there's only going to be a certain amount of objects that a level can handle etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_malee View Post
    yeah that unlimited detail guy is a knob. Probably some hired voice actor to promote the software and just doesn't "get it".

    I would love to see a powerful voxel engine that is playable, not just videos and has some decent effects / features implemented. If unlimited detail says its possible, they better start releasing a demo to back it up.
    That guy's tongue is "funny".
    I won't believe those big words like "3D graphics take a huge leap forward" until they give me an execuble demo.

    And about your game, rumblesushi, looks pretty nice. Yours runs smoothly, my engine eats CPU because every pixel value of the screen is updated per frame. How much time you spend on your engine?
    I once tried to write a triangle based engine since as2.
    When I finished rendering textured objs and clipping, I realized I need other thousands of lines to do lighting, shading, bsp, physics... So I gave up.
    Since your engine is as mature as having physics, there must be lots of work.

    Quake leaded us to the way of triangles, but it is a way with end and we have seen the end now. Even Carmack are resorting to voxels, Tim Sweeney wants software rendering back.
    Flash 3d is lagged behind those hardware 3d engines, but must we just follow their ways? When they moved to voxels and raytracings, we again will be dropped behind.

    The short golden time for third party 3d flash engines is gone.
    Sandy is dead; long time no news for Papervision.
    Alternativa is active yet not open.
    Others like Away, Yogurt3d, updates really slowly, seem like just struggling.
    Flash 10's drawtriangles left those enignes an awkward position.
    And the unity3d, webGL, html5...
    There will be news for next generation flash player with 3d soon, but can it compete with unity3d or html5?
    I wish Adobe can bring us confidence and hope for flash 3d.
    The slicence for flash 3d have lasted too long, I just hope voxels can bring us some new fresh air...
    Last edited by Bruce Jawn; 09-28-2010 at 01:27 AM.

  11. #11
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    interesting news on unlimited detail:

    http://www.euclideon.com/pr_17_sep_10.html

    they've got funding and going to get demos out in 12 months . I hope it works and works well.
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

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    Away3D 3.6.0 out!
    http://away3d.com/away3d-3-6-0-flash...battlecell-api
    So glad that they are still alive.

  13. #13
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    I am not a 3d guy, and have almost no knowledge in the field, but this topic seems good for learning so I am gonna join in too.

    If I understand correctly, if a polygon engine requires 4 points for a surface, a voxel engine will need 8, hence performance will be worse than polygon if I try to keep the look close to the polygon model. Yeh, use of octrees in case of voxel is good and all.....but flash is struggling to render 2d content without bringing a modern computer to it's knees, can it really handle the kind of processing needed to get a voxel model look close to a poly model?
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    Not really flash related, but I really believe that voxels will come into their own one day, but not for a while yet. They need an even greater level of hardware acceleration and standardised APIs than polygons do. NVidia is working on it already. http://research.nvidia.com/sites/def...0i3d_paper.pdf
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