A couple of weeks a go we showed you some images of destruction for ESF. This raised a few questions with some people, so in an effort to answer these I collected a few and presented them to Raven for answering.
Before we get down to it I would like to point out some things. First of all not every map with have destructible objects in it but we will make an effort to get it working in some of them. Secondly and more importantly, Destruction will only be enabled on certain objects and will not be enabled on terrain at all. We are adding decals to give you burn marks, cracks and other effects but nothing more than that will be used on the ground.
Now down to the questions, With a bonus for those that make it to the end.
What destruction method are you using, Will it be pre-animated, only break in certain places or fully dynamic?
It will be dynamic destruction, not dynamic fracturing. Meaning the assets will be pre-fractured but can break differently each time. Each chunks that gets loose is a rigid body in the physics engine and can therefore interact with the world.
What is the limit of this destruction? The tower shown is pretty small compared to esf_city with dozens of buildings.
The limit is basically the hardware. In theory we can destroy everything. We will however limit ourselves in order to preserve a certain performance of the game.
One tower is believable, but what if all towers get destroyed simultaneously? How will this affect FPS?
The more active chunks (rigid bodies) there more of an FPS drain will occur, we will therefore try to find a good balance between good looks and performance drain.
How strong will objects be? Can players swoop past, transform near or throw others into them to break them or will only strong beams work?
That is totally up to the artist who created the assets, in this case our mapper(s).
Will the models re-spawn after some time or be destroyed until the next game?
Not at the moment. A map reload or map change will bring them back though.
Does this mean all destructible objects will need to be remodeled?
Not all of them but some might require some fixing as the fracturing algorithms require closed manifold meshes in order to work properly.
Will there be options to turn it off?
Possibly, yes that depends on the final concept. Meaning if objects will be partially destroyable and have to be synched between clients, then we have to force it for everyone or only leave a server-sided switch. One wouldn’t want a tower to be removed for one client while the other one can take cover because he turned off the feature if you know what I mean.
Will the destroyed objects stay or fade away? If they stay what will be the performance toll for Nvidia and ATI?
This is not yet decided and will be subject to change depending on the actual performance drain in upcoming tests. Leaving all the chunks in place won’t be a very wise decision performance wise. Some chunks might stay though, we’ll see.
What kind of struggles did you encounter during the making of all of this?
The kind of no proper documentation for the technology. On the other hand I wrote a thesis about that topic and it includes a lot of the issues one might face when dealing with dynamic destruction.
You can see Raven's thesis here www.corona-networx.com/hettich/Thesis.pdf
What kind of plans do you have for the future implementing these?
We just want to make it work for now and perform in a way that we can live with it.
What objects are planned to be destructible? For example, if the City map is still going to be in, will the Mr. Satan statue finally be destructible?
The city map as seen in some old screen shots is currently not included. We have several w.i.p. city map concepts but as it is right now we lack the manpower artist wise to complete them. I hope that someone will finish them, if so then they are free to decide whether they want to destroy the Mr. Satan statue or make it a static object.
Will the destructible objects be able to harm players?
They could do that, right now they don’t.
Will you be considering an option on the dragon ball wish list to restore the land/objects if yes will it provide a benefit?
Not yet planned, but that’s a cool suggestion.
Even with some settings turned off, how will a game handle ~10 players blowing things up and killing each other?
That totally depends on your computer. My computer handles it just fine and in time most computers will. However this is definitely a feature that requires some extra power. We will try to find a way to balance it.
Will Ki blast make tiny holes in them until the rest of the structure can't carry its own weight and collapse?
That depends if we decide to make the objects partially destructible meaning network synching each chunk or if we kill the whole object when it dies. We haven’t really decided that yet. It will depends on the outcome of some performance tests that we will have to do.
Will giant energy blasts like spirit bomb completely vaporize the structures?
Maybe, that’s a question for Dalte. Technology wise we can do it.
Will beams just make giants holes at entry and exit positions?
That is not yet decided. Also depends on the network synching test outcomes.
Thanks to Raven for taking the time to answer these. If you have any more feel free to ask. The best place to reach us is the forums but questions on ModDB and Facebook will be answered too
And now the bonus courtesy of Dalte http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRpYLGnFbVc