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hsmith

03/04/15 - Crowfall Is Using Unity 5!

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So I've heard great things about Unity 5 and have played Shroud of the Avatar which also uses the engine.

 

My question is, does the use of Unity 5 not force Crowfall landscape into a series of integrated environmental 'rooms'? For example in Shroud of the Avatar when exploring the player is constantly instancing into the next area. I know I've read Crowfall will not use instancing. So does Unity 5 allow you to have a huge persistent world (until it's destroyed anyway) without any kind of instancing?

 

Thank you!

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So I've heard great things about Unity 5 and have played Shroud of the Avatar which also uses the engine.

 

My question is, does the use of Unity 5 not force Crowfall landscape into a series of integrated environmental 'rooms'? For example in Shroud of the Avatar when exploring the player is constantly instancing into the next area. I know I've read Crowfall will not use instancing. So does Unity 5 allow you to have a huge persistent world (until it's destroyed anyway) without any kind of instancing?

 

Thank you!

 

Hi maric!

 

This is definitely a design decision, there isn't anything in Unity that forces you to structure your world this way.  For a lot of games like Shroud of the Avatar, breaking the world into discrete chunks makes a lot of sense, but for what we want to do with Crowfall, a large open streaming environment is a better fit. 

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Hello everyone!

 

I know a lot of you have been asking to hear more about the technical side of Crowfall and I thought with the public release of Unity 5 it would be a good time to talk about how that particular piece of technology has played a significant role in how we've been building the game.

 

2abf5692b9aa26c842d6a68b019454fb_large.j

 

We've been using Unity 5 early on in its beta and this choice was influenced by a number of important factors. A big part of it was how it brings together an impressive collection of proven, AAA quality modules out of the box. From their new PhysX 3.3 integration for physics simulation (extremely important to Crowfall's unique flavor of physically based combat) to their usage of Mono and the .NET platform - the developers at Unity have been kind enough to assemble a veritable dream team of game development middleware. As a team that has built more than their fair share of game engines as both hobbyists and professionals it's hard to overstate how much time was saved by not having to wrangle all these third party libraries and make them play nice with one another (not to mention those pesky licensing fees!)

 

Crowfall_FWGameplay1.jpg

 

For most games this would be enough, but from its inception Crowfall has been a different kind of game that has very unique requirements. Fortunately, Unity has a well architected extension system - both as editor and runtime managed code as well as a native plugin architecture. This has enabled us to make significant modifications to subsystems that would otherwise be considered "under the hood" of most engines, and bring in our own or additional technology (like the beloved VoxelFarm!) not to mention the massive collection of libraries opened up to us in the .NET ecosystem.

 

For development, we’ve also been extremely impressed with the additional workflow and features that Unity 5 has given us. As a programmer, their robust debugging and profiling tools have been invaluable in helping us identify issues and performance bottlenecks early on. Our combat team has been very happy with the improvements to the Mechanim system - especially the new animation state behaviors, and the new uGUI system has helped us build working prototypes of many of the screens you’ve already seen.

 

Crowfall_T1Gameplay2.jpg

 

Post launch, Crowfall’s unique Dying Worlds concept means we are going to need to be able to deliver new content quickly and effectively, and break up resources specific to each world and ruleset. We’ve been looking into the new powerful Asset Bundle system in Unity 5 to help us with this.

 

There’s a lot more I’d love to talk and share with you! As always feel free to post on the forums and ask questions, and I’ll answer them as best I can. Let us know if you guys find these kinds of posts enjoyable (I’m not sure if they’re as much fun as design and art posts) Thanks for reading, looking forward to talking with you some more!

 

Crowfall_D1Gameplay.jpg

 

Man you guys do some awesome work for graphics even in pre-alpha. Those graphics look amazing for a pre-alpha stage can't wait to see beta polish, and then final polish wow.

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Nice to see you answering so many questions hsmith!

 

I have one - Will you use the build in tools in Voxel farm to simulate water, fire, smoke etc.?

 

We currently have a kickstarter stretch goal to bring in a dedicated effects guy and if we reach it we'll probably be working together closely to figure out whats best for the game.  Right now we are evaluating a piece of tech called PopcornFX that can produce some amazing volumetric effects (I think we've linked a demo video somewhere) but leveraging voxels is definitely on the table, especially for fluid simulation.

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I would like to ask, did entire Crowfall project start in Unity 5? Or you have been using Unity 4 and then later, converted into 5 when it went alpha/beta.

 

Are you using new, Unity 4.6 UI system or more of an old style GUI coding for you entire in-game UI? Since I was always coding my GUI with GUI classes and even when the new 4.6 GUI system came out, I am using old, GUI classes to this day.

 

Also, I see you have amazing system in place already in Unity, have you worked with Unity engine before, or learned the Engine as you were developing the Crowfall? 

 

I know there was some talk about UE4 :) What about CryENGINE? It is not free, but you can also edit engine source stuff in C++, and I heard it is the best performance engine for modern 3D graphics.

 

Btw, amazing work, nice to see some GoT simulator systems/features in game xD

Edited by Wrymn

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I would like to ask, did entire Crowfall project start in Unity 5? Or you have been using Unity 4 and then later, converted into 5 when it went alpha/beta.

 

Are you using new, Unity 4.6 UI system or more of an old style GUI coding for you entire in-game UI? Since I was always coding my GUI with GUI classes and even when the new 4.6 GUI system came out, I am using old, GUI classes to this day.

 

Also, I see you have amazing system in place already in Unity, have you worked with Unity engine before, or learned the Engine as you were developing the Crowfall? 

 

I know there was some talk about UE4 :) What about CryENGINE? It is not free, but you can also edit engine source stuff in C++, and I heard it is the best performance engine for modern 3D graphics.

 

Btw, amazing work, nice to see some GoT simulator systems/features in game xD

 

I think they mentioned in the update that they are using the new UI system in Unity. Also I'm quite surprised that you didn't try a new UI system, as it's really great and makes a lot of stuff easy to work with. I think even if there wouldn't be a new UI system there are some great third party system like NGUI or so, which has better performance than the old UI.

 

I think Unity 5 also provide engine source code access for some money, so you can edit it... otherwise they won't be able to use voxelfarm I think...  (this just comes to my mind as you mentioned source code changes... but maybe you already knew that ;)

Edited by reboco

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Just dropping by to say that while the graphics are fine by me (nothing impressive, but not ugly either), in the few videos I've seen yet animation looked really clunky.

 

Of course the game ain't in alpha yet, so I guess it will look better in a few months :)


8Xk1ctm.png

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Since you mentioned PhysX 3.3 being important for the game, what do you think about this? http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2015/03/04/nvidia-opens-physx-code-to-ue4-developers/

 

Do you also have the ability to do the same things with Unity 5?

 

Well since Nvidia released PhysX 3.3 source code for free for everyone (the CPU part), I don't see a reason why not... The question is if they use only the built one or they added something to it. 

Edited by reboco

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Just dropping by to say that while the graphics are fine by me (nothing impressive, but not ugly either), in the few videos I've seen yet animation looked really clunky.

 

Of course the game ain't in alpha yet, so I guess it will look better in a few months :)

 

Agreed, improving animations is extremely important. I can't stand playing a game with mediocre animations, especially in a MMO where fighting is what happens most of the time.

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We currently have a kickstarter stretch goal to bring in a dedicated effects guy and if we reach it we'll probably be working together closely to figure out whats best for the game.  Right now we are evaluating a piece of tech called PopcornFX that can produce some amazing volumetric effects (I think we've linked a demo video somewhere) but leveraging voxels is definitely on the table, especially for fluid simulation.

popcornfx I have fun tinkering with it! Do ittttt so I can see what it can achieve :3!

Edited by phatcat09

#CrowFallBata


~Sweet Sensations~


puppy punch Count: 28

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Can the Unity 5 engine possibly handle a fully-populated campaign world (CW) and still be playable for large-scale sieges?

If not, what design parameters could be changed to get acceptable performance on high-end computers and stay reasonably true to ACE's vision for CF?


I think the K-Mart of MMO's already exists!  And it ain't us!   :)

 

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