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volume 1, issue 39

Today in loonygames:

New!! The Archives have been cleaned up, fead links fixed, and printable versions restored! Also, don't miss the new comments on the front page!

Livin' With The Sims: theAntiELVIS explores the wild and wacky world that is Will Wright's The Sims, asking the inevitable quesiton, "is The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone is Swedish?"

Pixel Obscura: Josh Vasquez on Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

Real Life: Check out our newest comic strip, Real Life! Updated daily!

User Friendly: Updated daily!

Related Links:

id Software : Developers of Quake 2.


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From the Mouth of Madness: Our loony editor's take on all the latest news.

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Thinking Outside the Box:




By Paul "Villam" Steed

Anything I say comes from me and represents my personal opinions, views and subtle plans for influencing society. Read, ruminate over and remember at your own risk. If I teach you something and it helps, teach someone else.

his week's edition of TOTB is an odd one...Paul's incredibly busy with Quake 3: Arena, and while he did have a tutorial planned for today, he caught the flu and was unable to complete it. Instead, he's taken the time to answer a few questions about his work on Quake 3 from Rogue13 of Q2PMP.

- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman, editor-in-chief.

What is the average face count and vertex count that users can expect for Q3 player models?

800 - 900 for the most detailed level

Are Level Of Detail [LOD] models required for the main player model to function properly?

LODs are not required but definitely encouraged. We're currently working on a programmatic solution to the LOD issue, but manual model swapping support is there now.

What is the average reduction in faces for each of the LOD steps and how are the LOD models created?

500 for the second

300 for the third

Normally I take the 800 - 900 face version and optmize with a plugin called MRM from Intel (a Max add-on). I also manually tweak the UVs after if necessary to support the texture.

What is the maximum number of frames that the md3 format will hold?

Currently there's no limit that I know of. I'm averaging around 250 but I could see 300 being possible. The more frames you have the more data heavy the character will be, thusly impacting performance

Is there a maximum allowable size for a md3?

Not right now but John wants me to keep everything under 1 meg.

You've mentioned being a fan on anime, any particular one that turns your crank?

I like the new Cutie Honey stuff since I'm ultimately just a fan of the female form. I also like any of the typical

lesbian-schoolgirl-raped-by-slimy-tentacled-demon stuff that's pretty prevalent in the genre. Anime appeals to me because of the goodgirl art and mech-style production design.

Has the vertex resolution for the Q3 engine been increased over the Q2 version?

If you mean the x,y,z space volume I think John has increased its density but I'm not for certain. I do know that the vertex _swimming_ is no longer an issue. I'd assume the solution was to increase the grid points the

verts can snap to.

All concerns of hardware capabilities to the side for the moment, is there a maximum skin size allowable by the Q3 engine?

No, but again our average is 256 x 256 for the body and a dedicated 128 x 128 for the head (so if you want to add a glow pass or something you don't have to have TWO 256 x 256 texture pages). Again remember John's main concern is speed. Anything more than a total of two 256 x 256 pages is hugely unrealistic in terms of performance. Less is always best.

Will player models be able to support multiple skins per model? Example: each model section, upper/lower/head could have its own skin?

You can do that but keeping all your textures on one page is better for the hardware to digest. We experimented with a unique texture per object of a model and the performance decrease by doing it that way is very noticeable.

John says it's mainly on the newer cards, but comparing the two methods...unique textures per multiple parts is worse than cramming all the textures on one page (hence the ONE 256 x 256 page with a 128 x 128 for the head). We bend that rule right now but texturing the head seperately is as far as we like to take it. Kenneth uses UView to lay in his UVWs.

Id seems to be famous for their selection of automobiles. Do you have any notable rolling stock?

Huh? I have a black '96 Porsche 911 2s with tan leather interior that will go 175mph and do a 13.9 quarter mile. I just sold my Yamaha YZF600 which would go 170mph and do a 11.9 quarter mile. I'm planning on buying a Harley soon or maybe a Biker's Dream semi-chopped HD knock-off. Uh...is that what you were asking?

If multiple skins are allowed, does this disallow skinners from making new skins for that model and allowing users to select them properly from the multiple player screens?

Multiple skins will be supported in Q3A.

Will users be able to make custom weapons for their player models that would replace the standard weapon models similar to the way that the Q2 model work now?

I don't see why not, but John could answer that with more certainty...

Will users be able to specify or even create custom gibs for their models? Example: having machine bits for a robot instead of meat chunks.

I don't see why not, but John could answer that with more certainty...

Are you a cat or dog person?

I don't see why not, but John could answer that with more certainty ...

Oops, got stuck there for a sec. Actually I'm a tropical fish/talking parrot kind of guy. If I had to choose I'd probably say I'm a...cat person since they're solitary and have attitude.

Does the main DM player model have a fixed bounding box as Q2 did?



(Continued on next page)

Credits: Thinking Outside the Box logo illustrated and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 1999 Paul Steed. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't even try it. We've got really big guns, and we're ripped, baby.