The Building Blocks Of LEGO Universe
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story
Gamasutra has posted a new in-depth interview with LEGO Universe creative director Ryan Seabury about the upcoming game. Seabury discussed a variety of topics including the challenge of allowing players to build their own creations, keeping the game kid friendly, the pros and cons of a subscription based payment model.
In this in-depth interview, Ryan Seabury, creative director of LEGO Universe
There's a lot of building that happens in this game. Is it complicated to manage all this creation on servers, in instances, and what other players see?Visit the site below to read the full article.
Gamasutra: LEGO Universe Interview
RS: Yeah, there's a huge amount of technical magic that's happening in the background to make this feasible. We thought about rendering LEGO bricks in real time, but they're complicated, actually; people think they're just blocks, and they should be easy, but the level of detail with all the studs and the details on the other side... LEGO is uncompromising about how those need to look.
As a comparison, a two by eight LEGO plate brick, a very simple brick, is about twice the polygons of say, a World of Warcraft avatar. You can see as people build on their properties and stuff, there are hundreds if not thousands of bricks in a scene, so we built a ton of tech to optimize that on the client side and also there's a whole rendering farm technology, 3D surfaces cluster on the server side.
When you build a model, it gets uploaded to that, it starts optimizing it, doing all this material surfacing on it, removing hidden surfaces, doing all this magic on it to make it run on everybody else's computer, and that comes back down the wire to everybody else. That's happening basically in real time.
You can have your best friends in there, playing with the stuff as you're building it. As you're putting it together, the physics are dynamically generated and everything. It's really cool; it's the culmination of a lot of years of work to get to that point, but now it's all online.
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