Seems to me it would be good for static environments, but as for dynamical lightning, collision detection, rag-doll physics, and so on, I'm highly
doubtful it would combine well. It appears to be some kind of pre-rendered environment that uses procedural methods - not sure how. The thing about
pre-rendered things is that they're not meant to be goofed with. It's like snapping a picture of a 3d world and sending it to the monitor. Once it's a
picture, it's mostly hands-off. In a broad sense, pre-rendered things are like that with only iffy amounts of dynamism.
Someone mentioned voxel-graphics and I'm thankful for that - added to my favorites. I remember Comanche the PC game used voxel-rendering back in the
day. I can remember seeing it in the computer section! I also remember how one of the aircraft games I played somehow used cylinder or shape-rendering
when it manifested the actual aircraft models - it resulted in a very smooth appearance so that individual polygons were not visible. (i just spent
some time googling and found the name of the rendering technique for this: goraud shading)
I program as a hobby, but 3d is not my field. The most i've done is calculate the angle(s) of a triangle. That's simple trig that you can access in a
million different places on the net. It can allow you to do everything from calculating a slope angle to rotating an image to doing brute force
ray-tracing. I have, however, messed around with perlin noise and procedural ideas. I haven't really got to a finished implementation stage though. So
in large part my knowledge is very weak.
Google earth is impressive to me. Even just briefly, I was able to see how enormous our planet is. Being able to have a pixel for each square
half-a-foot of the planet is no small task. If you only include the surface, and then only its height, you come to a figure of 10's of thousands of
terabytes. I think for what I was doing, it was 70% of the planet and nearly 30,000 terabytes estimated. (i might be remembering wrong, but either
way, it had to be done procedurally)
When you're at that scale, you can forget roaming algorithms and a lot of dynamism as well. There's just too much scale going on. So you have to be a
lot more forgiving and be willing to trade some quality for quantity. Nothing is free! And something else important to know is that we already have
examples of realistic planets: mercury, venus, earth, etc. I wonder if we'll use them as models before we're able to make our own that're equally deep
and realistic? I mean, could it be that storage space will outpace our ability to make realistic planets? Just an idea that I think ties into the
scanning method mentioned by the creator of Unlimited Power (omg is that what it's called?). Sometimes it's easier to scan something than it's to
create it from scratch.
1/Realism=Size. Unless we can tap into other dimensions for processing, we'll never be able to simulate our universe with anything less than the
universe. We're fighting conservation laws. We may be able to cast estimates, or fuzzy approximations, but in the end, you cannot trick god. Models
are models. They're not reality. Thus, I think Unlimited Power
is the wrong name.
edit on 10-8-2011 by jonnywhite because: (no reason