Topic-icon Raph Koster: SWG’s Dynamic World

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2 years 1 month ago #38453 by Kazara
Kazara created the topic: Raph Koster: SWG’s Dynamic World
Raph Koster has posted another enlightening blog on SWG's development.
www.raphkoster.com/2015/04/20/swgs-dynamic-world/

This post is dedicated to the memory of John Roy, lead environment artist on Star Wars Galaxies. Help out his family here. Help out his family here.

Let’s do some math. Let’s say that you need to have a pretty big world: sixteen kilometers on a side, and made out of tiles.

A tile needs to know what texture it is. That’s one byte. Not much, right? You only get 256 tiles on a planet, though, which isn’t a lot.

But wait, we can add some variety there, by putting in some colors. We’re in 3d, right, so we can tint the tiles slightly and get variation. It’s normally three bytes to apply a color, but let’s instead just say that each planet has a fixed list of colors, and you can have 256 of them, and that way each tile can look up into a list of colors and we only need one byte.

Oh, and it’s a 3d game heightfield, so we need to know what the elevation of the tile is! We’ll just say that there are only 256 levels of height, and that way we can keep it at a nice conservative three bytes per tile.

Corellia0004That’s good, because we need a lot of tiles. They’re one meter on a side. So that means that for a planet we need 16,384 just to make one edge. We need 16,384×16,384 to lay down the whole world.

That’s 268,435,456 bytes for this world. Of course, we need ten planets, not one. So, that’s more like 2,684,354,560 bytes. Nobody uses bytes, so that’s 2,621,440k. 2,048mb. 2.56 gigabytes, uncompressed.

That’s… not going to fit on a CD. I mean, that doesn’t include any art yet.

DVD drives weren’t yet widespread in 2003. In fact, taking up 2.5 gigs of space just for maps was unheard of.
Endor0040

The solution to that problem didn’t just let us ship Star Wars Galaxies, it also unlocked everything from player housing to crafting to giant Imperial vs Rebel battles.


It is sad to note that the crowd funding to raise $500K for John Roy's family has only generated $25,850 so far over the last six months. I read the Go Fund Me page and saw that John Smedley wrote it, so I wonder if that is what might put some people off from donating. That makes two devs with ties to $OE that ended up taking their own lives.

If the Democrats didn't have double standards, they'd have none at all.

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2 years 1 month ago #38455 by Kazara
Kazara replied the topic: Raph Koster: SWG’s Dynamic World
MassivelyOP.net wrote about Raph Koster's blog in an article (link below). Raph responds to readers' responses and questions.

massivelyop.net/2015/04/20/koster-on-star-wars-galaxies-dynamic-world/#comments

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