Live stream of autonomous virtual deer wreaking havoc in fictional California town


#1

[Read the post]


#2

I hope they made it bulletproof.


#3

Over 20 years ago with the rise of multiplayer games connected through serial ports, I was asking why we couldn’t have a shared common standard for worlds & scenery.

I wanted to be able to land my Flight Simulator aircraft on the same golf course as in my golf game. Or have a game of Syndicate - assassinations, etc. - overlap with a golf game.

Flight Simulator had already done it somewhat. In the late '80s you could swap discs between Flight Simulator and subLOGIC’s Jet after loading, to fly in each other’s worlds. And it could connect to Tracon II, an air traffic control simulator.

Forget the virtual deer. Give us flight simulators, air combat, golf games, Formula One racing and first person shooters - as separate programs - but with the option to overlap with other genres, all running in Google’s real-world scenery.


#4

Based on the video, yes. Also, it appears to be able to shoot invisible tank rounds or cause earthquakes or something (I can’t quite figure out what’s going on at the end there)…


#5

Learning how this was done might make having a copy of GTA V fun.


#6

I remember a would-be MMO company some years back trying to set up a “multiverse” where characters could move from one world to another, but their lack of having made games showed - they fundamentally misunderstood the requirements of MMOs. Leaving aside that the code required to run everything is going to be different - and incompatible - for each kind of game, even scenery is usually, necessarily, not based on a single standard. After all, a flight simulator and golf game are going to have very different requirements, one needing up-close scenery (with scenery outside the scope of the game being “faked” at best) and one scenery seen mostly from a huge distance (with no close-up detail); the landscapes for track-based racing games are basically non-existent except for what you can see from the track, with detail declining the further from the track you get. It’s all about maximizing performance and efficiency of production - you don’t add any details, objects or features not required by the game.
Second Life is as close as you’re going to get, really, or mods for a game like GTA 5, that’s been designed from the start to have various sorts of activities including sports and flying aircraft (and cost over a quarter-billion dollars to develop as a result). Mods extend that a bit further, but even the mods aren’t necessarily going to be compatible with each other.


#7

Microsoft Flight Simulator, even 20 years ago, was pretty good at fine close-up detail in the scenery. After all, you’d be taxiing up to the hanger or fuel pump on the ground. I had a couple scenery generating tools.

As for distant scenery for golf and driving games, again, this was trivially easy on PCs 20+ years ago in games like Flight Simulator. Adding low-res distant scenery to today’s golf and driving games wouldn’t be a problem. Even in a game like the original Doom - where the distant mountains were a “box” around the level, some code could be added to sample the surrounding view for a given spot in Google Earth and generate the “box” on the spot. In fraction of a second when the game loads.


#8

Venice ‘n’ venison.


#9

I remember that in Fallout III there was a place in Greenbelt where you could get off of the intended map. It was interesting to see backdrop building that didn’t go down to the surface, and one-sided backdrops…


#10

It’s scenery intended to look good at 20+ feet though, not 3 feet. The graphical expectations for games 20 years ago and now are absolutely worlds apart. The kind of texture and model information that 20 years ago described an entire world now gets used for a single character (or part of a character). There’s massive detail (and data) used for the most important bits, and more abstracted objects for distance - but it’s still at a quality level that means Google Earth probably wouldn’t cut it. (Plus there’s the advantages of not paying Google for access, not having to deal with unnecessary data streaming hassles, being able to have custom, consistently beautiful views, etc.) Not to mention, you’re building game engines and features that are applicable for the kind of space the game takes place in, so a golf game doesn’t need to render the same kind of spaces a flight sim does, nor will it deal with physics the same way, etc. A golf game might have detailed collision models for scenery objects like plants (so the ball will bounce off it convincingly). A flight sim with that level of detail simply wouldn’t work.

Yeah, game environments, even “open world” ones, are built like film sets, if you move the camera where you’re not supposed to - ultimately everything’s flat/empty shells. It’s even more extreme if you move the camera for something like a racing game - super-detailed tracks often surrounded by completely empty space and then walls of scenery here and there. You don’t want to spend development time building resources you’re not going to use - making games is expensive as it is - nor load textures/models you can’t see into the game. You build, in terms of both code and assets, only what you need to.


#11

It’s been stuck trotting in place between a flammable tank of some sort, a bollard & a 3 foot high concrete wall for some time now.


#12

It seems to periodically teleport to a different part of SA. It was wondering around the airfield with a 3 star wanted rating (and subsequently being shot by a police helicopter) when I started watching but then suddenly moved to a residential area.


#13

That’s what drugs and alcohol are for.


#14

[quote=“Shuck, post:10, topic:75358”]
It’s scenery intended to look good at 20+ feet though, not 3 feet.[/quote]
And yet they had no problems mixing 1 foot scenery with 20+ foot scenery.

You could switch to the 3D cockpit view. Instead of a fixed screen pane with the instrument panel, you got the entire aircraft cabin that you could pan around it, WITH detailed working instruments, WITH all the 20+ foot scenery outside the cabin.

The graphical expectations for games 20 years ago and now are absolutely worlds apart.

Sure. So are the graphical capabilities and processing power.


#15

The cockpit is a special, limited case - they’re not creating the landscapes to also be seen at 3’ away. You might have some volumetric grass hiding the ground, but you can’t see individual pebbles and small rocks, fallen leaves, the texture on each blade of grass, flowers, etc. that you’ll get in a first person game*. A flight sim will likely have impressive volumetric clouds not to be found in ground-based games, but also lacking cloth and hair simulation. It’s not that it’s physically impossible to have everything, it’s essentially a case of needing to hugely over-engineer the product to make it possible - creating features and, more significantly, art assets that you’d never use in the individual game - and that’s money wasted (in an industry that can’t afford to do so given already exploding costs and diminishing ROIs). But, as I said, GTA 5, for example, as a sequel in a highly successful franchise, is a game that could afford to spend over a quarter billion dollars building those features in one game because it was important to them that you could both golf and fly a jet plane (albeit within a limited geographical area). But here’s the rub - they aren’t using the same landscape assets for the golf/FPS game and the flight portion. The level-of-detail system is swapping out the high-quality trees etc. that you see on the ground for a different set of simpler models without the high-res textures or collision meshes once you go into the air. Even within the same game, a different set of scenery assets is being used for differing contexts.

*E.g.:


#16

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