Trench of DOOM...

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harkonnen
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Trench of DOOM...

Post by harkonnen » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:20 am

Trench of Doom humble beginnings.

Lots of problems to solve for this trench style air-race course...mostly geometric issues - angles, etc. I need to construct building blocks that mesh together and are used to create curves of varying sharpness to make the course with. What you see is several of the same trench-block meshes matched up in order to get an idea of what I'm dealing with. I put a red cube near the one block that I have done some 'hardening' on so I know which one to test with an aircraft in the sim. Not going so great yet but I cheated a bit and tried hardening a group of poly's rather than doing them individually...thought it would save some work but the surface isn't what it should be for this idea. (The red faces have been hardened.) I need fairly accurate surfaces that will crash you or damage you if you scrape or hit them. Baby steps at this early stage of the game...but if this comes together it hopefully offers a fun, competitive race course that challenges a variety of aircraft.

It's been a long time since I was playing with blocks...I'll bet I was better at it when I was 3. :wink:
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Post by harkonnen » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:52 pm

So I've gone back into 'Anim8or' in order to figure out the minimum number of basic building blocks I'll need to construct this thing in any configuration I can dream up for a race course. So far I think I have 4 or 5 blocks (colour coded so I know which ones are clones :wink: ) I may be able to eliminate one of the curve joins and replace it with one of the basic blocks...might have to tweak the angles a hair. I'll need more blocks for sure as I envision rises and dips in the track. It might get hairy when I go to close the loops and complete the track...and working out the joins for a figure 8 might be nightmarish, but we'll see - just experimenting right now. The idea is to make as few blocks as possible, import them into gmax, harden the appropriate surfaces, and texture them up - then I can clone from possibly seven or eight base blocks to save frame rates and work.
Looks sort of sloppy now, and there are none of the enhancements that will make this track seem 'real and racy', but I think I have a neat idea here.
Remains to be seen if it can be realized as I see it working. Visually it'll be all fun, but having the surfaces act like they should for wing scrapes or outright collisions will be the make or break feature.
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Post by capt.PropwashKCHS » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:02 pm

hmmmmmm IDEA:: taxiway lighting on the sides / tops for some sort of boundary markers.... PIT area = possibly totally flat with a RUNWAY with lighting and such (might be able to add it with AFCAD)

ummm... would be really neat to use with your aircars when they get finished 8O
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Post by harkonnen » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:18 pm

Yeah baby. Have overhead boundaries planned along with a whack of other racetrack enhancements.
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Post by capt.PropwashKCHS » Thu May 01, 2008 1:10 am

i just had another IDEA for you.... maybe you could fashion up some sort of cross section, be it flat or jump style (being i just saw your 'hill') make a Double Jump in the shape of an X that way you have some sort of "DANGER" involved and maybe a crash or 2 lol...

(im not quite sure how a loop can have a hard surface, but it would be a %ITCH to do in your aircars im sure, but if you can stick the loop then it would be totally sweet and awesome!!!!!)> maybe some sort of HIGH loop, like 1000 high by [oh i dont know] 1 mile long or something.. something gentle a ground or air vehicle can handle...




I can totally see a NEW .. SPEED RACER - MACH 5 track being built here!!! :twisted: :twisted:


edit: btw, if i had your source files for your duplicate LEGO pieces, then i would offer some help in making a few parts for you... as well as if i actually knew how in the _____ you even built the pieces then myself and RD im sure would love to lend a hand in some of the construction. ....... left field side note... if you new track needs water and sewer services... let me know cause thats my profession.. lol)
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Post by harkonnen » Thu May 01, 2008 1:30 am

A loop! Oh man, I'll be lucky to configure a decent track of a simpler nature even. It sounds fairly easy but you have to match these meshes up in a way that doesn't look goofy at the seams. I'll have to see as I go just how many little angular inaccuracies I can get away with as it is. Don't get me wrong Capt., I love your ideas but I have to keep them executable without an aneurism.
As far as the danger factor goes....I'm pretty sure one of the challenges will be to fly up the ramp, gaining speed as you fly down the other side, then right into a turn. As well, I hope to try and make a track-crossing at one point somehow - like a figure 8 deal so that there is a good chance that you may collide with someone as you race the course.

Who knows, this whole idea may be a flop if the surfaces can't be transformed into what you would expect in regards to collision detection. Sure is fun to begin configuring a challenging course for aircraft racing, though. Funny, about a year and a half ago at least, I started drawing little wee people in a row (in Microsoft 'Paint') - like people in a crowd at a big event. Wasn't sure where it would be applicable , I know at one time I envisioned a giant concert bowl of the future as a scenery project and knew I'd need people in the stands. I'll post up a shot of the bitmap - assuming I didn't delete it during my latest screenshot and map purge. I needed space on my two twenty gig HDD's (quit giggling) and I bounced a whole whack of crap.
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Post by harkonnen » Fri May 02, 2008 2:33 am

My little 'rows of people' bitmap isn't in my FSscreen folder, I'll have to have a look in my gmax 'Maps' folders. It'd be a shame to have to draw all those little people again. :roll:

The race course is a little rough looking, but it's showing potential, I think, for a decent trench-air-race track. Still have to get the paths to actually cross somewhere for some 'Doom' factor, and I'll want an entrance I think - a starting point to the course. And I should consider a pit alley as Capt. Propwash suggested. Gotta be poly-careful here so it ends up being a fairly frame-rate friendly scenery add-on ...assuming this thing flies...it still has big 'ol belly flop lunchbag letdown potential too. These early planning stages are fun but it remains to be seen if I can get these surfaces to harden in gmax. This is, of course, turning into more work than I had really planned. :roll: :lol:
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Post by capt.PropwashKCHS » Fri May 02, 2008 2:59 am

looks great hark!!! keep up the hard work, and keep us updated!
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Post by harkonnen » Fri May 02, 2008 9:51 pm

Hey Capt., thanks for the encouragement, hope this track comes together. I never have flown online before, but I'll race all you folks on this course if it works and if I can muster up the coin for a decent PC. :roll:

I hope to try attaching effects in gmax with the 'Attachtool' script with this project...you know - lights and beacons, etc. all over the place without having to model them in gmax and name them 'BRIGHT_'. As far as I know, default FX called for scenery add-ons in FS are easier on framerates than little multi-faceted spheres in gmax that are a bright material.

I'll also need to see if lightmaps as I know them are useable for my sceneries. In fS2002 the lightmaps were easy as I used 'Middleman' between gmax and MakeMDL to be able to check the box that says 'Has lightmap' upon export. Now with FS9 exports (sans Middleman) I don't know if I have to figure out how to get that MakeMDL interface to open up during export for that parameter without 'Middleman' or what. Will do some tests and figure it out. There's always a way to get this stuff to work.
(I hate getting the SDK's and gamepacks to cooperate and work properly for each subsequent version of FS...it can be nerve-wracking. :? :evil: :x :cry:

Oh, and I found my little people bitmap, which is great as I just need to finish one row, copy and paste it as a few offset rows below - then I can tile the hell out of it...instant crowd!
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Post by njbb1995 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:58 am

Any more updates Hark :?:

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Post by harkonnen » Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:12 am

The track is kind of abandoned for now...I got frustrated trying to get the track to meet up with itself to form a closed track. I was intrigued by the possibilities but didn't get much further than you saw in the screenshots...struggling with geometry in Anim8or.
I may go back to it, as it is a novel idea, and if done really well could be real fun....and I am getting more confident trying to harden surfaces in gmax...so ya never know. For now, I'm working on more feasible scenery stuff - I'll update here for sure if this has a prayer of seeing the light of day...thanks for the interest though. :D
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Post by capt.PropwashKCHS » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:02 pm

ok, another IDEA for you, that might prove EXTREMELY easy to finish out the track to "close" it up. instead of actually trying to match your 2 ends to technically close the track, make a jump and you have to land and not crash on the other side.


_/ ____
(_______) <~ sorta like that, open spot in the track that you have to jump over then land back on the track and not die. If you look at Motocross tracks, they start off to 1 side of the track, make their way through the course, then at the end there is generally a decent jump (granted motocross is a "closed" track, but this is "aviation racing" where some things might be able to fly for short distances)


i hope you dont mind me using your pic from above to show my idea, but here it is. its only an idea, but your the designer.
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Post by harkonnen » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:21 pm

Good ideas Capt., thanks. 8) My aversion to revisiting this project lies in my knew knowledge that hardened surfaces cannot be cloned in gmax. That means that every racing floor and wall that you see in the race course would need to be detached, cloned and hardened by hand.
Honestly, I see this as something to return to if I get really, really bored, and that's pretty rare. At best, maybe in a while I'll do some hard-surface testing on a straight section of track...see what it'll really be like if you scrape a wing or underbelly on the walls during a race. :?:
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