[ODE] ODE-GIMPACT performance and advices

Jean-Sebastien Guay jean-sebastien.guay at polymtl.ca
Fri Oct 27 11:47:30 MST 2006


Sorry to jump into this discussion, but what you said just rang a bell...

> As far as I can see there are really only two cases:
> - static meshes (the level, will never ever move in the game - because it
> would break the precomputed lighting solution, the AI navigation meshes,
> etc, etc)
> - dynamic meshes (always moving)

That kind of position strikes me as a bit stiff. What if someone wants to make a
game where there will be earthquakes and landslides? Also as "gl" said,
destructible environments are another increasingly common case.

In the past, we would make the level totally static and only the necessary
objects would be dynamic, for the reasons you state (precomputed lighting, AI,
physics). But I believe this was only a workaround for lack of processing power
and algorithms that can deal with a dynamic environment. In the real world,
everything is dynamic.

For instance, a number of scholars in computer graphics (including me) are
currently working on making "realtime global illumination in dynamic scenes"
possible. Forget about precomputation there, you need smart algorithms that
will give you a "good" lighting solution no matter what happens to the

I'm just thinking that it won't be long before game designers start wanting to
"change the face of the world" every single frame (for story-telling and
dramatic purposes of course, and because gamers always want more), and that
applies to physics too. I agree that we should take advantage of temporal
coherence, but separating stuff into two bins (dynamic and static) seems a bit
extreme if we consider where things are going.

Of course, this is an optimistic view of the future of simulation. Total
generality is probably not achievable in our lifetime (same goes for total
generality in lighting simulation, and so on... :-) but it's still something to
keep in mind IMVHO.

Anyways, sorry for rambling. Good work to everyone, and I look forward to
checking out all these changes in my next project using ODE!

Jean-Sebastien Guay     jean-sebastien.guay at polymtl.ca

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