Your Future Video Games May Be Built Like This

The Atomontage Engine got a brief shout-out from Minecraft creator Markus Persson back in 2011, but 2011 was a long time ago. So it's nice to see an update on the project in 2013, and things are looking very interesting.

Unlike most engines, Atomontage is based not on polygons but voxels. So, think Minecraft, only in this case on a far more detailed scale.

Like, way more detailed. Not to mention more organic. The video above makes this look like something from the distant future of better video games.

The most intriguing part, though, is the hardware required; the creator says the video above is running on a notebook with specs "comparable with a decent gaming PC from about 2005".

Voxelized Geometry [Atomontage]


Comments

    Voxels are very cool in some ways, but you'll notice the complete lack of animation here. Voxel rendering is easy, voxel animation is incredibly difficult. As is doing things like lighting and shadows.

      still early days though negs.... remember how polygonal games were in their infancy before skeletal animation etc.... i recon we are still about 10 years away with voxels... there isnt as much of a technological push nowadays with new technologies, unlike years ago... many great strides were made by individuals like john carmack, back when game dev was more of a hobby and an intellectual programming challenge.now its just a money press pumping out crap after crap

        "back when game dev was more of a hobby and an intellectual programming challenge.now its just a money press pumping out crap after crap"

        hahaha!

        oh wait your serious....

        HAHAHAHA!!

        no no...your absolutly right....we had amazing games back then, Like Bubsy, which was an absolute masterpeice and definetly NOT an attempt to ride the trend of a certain other game charachter

        or that mcdonalds game for the original NES

        Even back in the early days of flat-shaded polygons, we were able to animate them. It's actually very easy to apply a transform to a vertex in 3D - just a matrix multiplication. In fact, the early 2D stuff that games were doing way back uses the exact same mathematics, and there were 3D vector games in the 70s which animated wireframe stuff.

        Voxel manipulation is exactly the same, except instead of transforming just 3 points to move a triangle on screen, you have to transform each voxel that comprises that triangle. Doing things like simulating cloth or hair or the like would involve moving thousands if not millions of voxels at once. Effectively it's making up everything in a scene from a cloud of particles.

        The real issue is that Voxels don't offer us that much in terms of graphical fidelity over what we already get with 3D rendering techniques, unless you are rendering them at tiny size and massive complexity. They're also incredibly hard to actually sculpt as well. Want to increase the cost to make assets for every game exponentially? Voxels are the answer.

        The only way I can see Voxels taking off is if we also get a corresponding lift in interest in procedural generation of content - they're quite well suited for that I think.

    Perfect for large scale strategy or flight sims!

      And city builders / transport tycoons.

      I'm guessing that the world there though was not modelled but scanned, so it would find an audience in the business world perhaps. Real estate mock-ups and such.

        It would probably be lidar sourced.
        I use to work for a company doing real time Urban simulations. We never directly used lidar data, as it was no use to us in our 'standard' game type engine at the time. But this type of thing engine with lidar would have been awesome for our purpose. :)

    what the crap is this shit?

    "he video above makes this look like something from the distant future of better video games."

    you're having a laugh yeah? That looks fucking awful.

      Look at the big boy using his swears!
      We should all give him a pat on the back for showing us just how adult he is!

        yeah i wasnt even going to dive into this argument with him...

    Unlike most engines, Atomontage is based not on polygons but voxels. So, think Minecraft, only in this case on a far more detailed scale.

    Yeah except Minecraft doesn't use voxels.

      Technically it does, since everything in the world is made up of cubes so the basic building blocks of everything is a voxel. But you're right, it's rendering 3D cubes, not 'voxels'.

        The engine renders textured cuboid polygons though, not voxels. There are many games that do actually use true voxels that could have been used as an example for comparison instead.

          The last game I actually remember using Voxels was C&C2. What are some other examples?

            Well sticking with the Minecraft theme, there is Ace of Spades. The games are pretty similar from a gameplay/aesthetics point of view, but the way they are rendered are what makes the difference, and the article above is about voxel rendering, not the rendering of polygons that look and act like voxels.

    This will be great for static landscapes and models, but for anything that requires bone rigging for character animation and movement this will just not work. If anyone knows a bit about animation will know what i mean, when you move joints, polygon faces stretch, but with voxels, you will have holes appearing whenever they get moved apart.

      +1

      Coming from a 3D background I have had a few thoughts on possible techniques to fix\hack voxel animation issues: probably already been thought of and dismissed by people a lot smarter than me! But I'd still love to read into what has been tried and the results. :P

    thats not from Euclideon, thats someone else, good job though

      markus notch claimed the Eucldieon version "bullshit" not these guys

    Looks like they started with an aerial LIDAR point cloud..... then just a bit of real time adding and removing of points. I notice that he isn't able to recreate anything that looks as nice as the original material during his real time manipulation.

    looks well basic.

      Unimaginative. This is a technical demo showing that models can be created in a sculpted fashion rather than constructed.

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