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  #1  
Old March 29th, 2010, 03:57 AM

joeyeti joeyeti is offline
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Default 3d Terrain Viewer?

Hi folks,

I came to WinSPMBT after long years of silence on my side as to the wargames on PC. I have played Steel Panthers 2 back in the old days (though not THAT extensively) and enjoyed it very much (more than say Panzer General or such).

I am liking WinSPMBT even more and as some have said here already, a 3D version might have been a blast even (yes, I know, old engine, precious time, other commitments - I have skimmed all 30+ pages of discussions here already).

What has struck me then is perhaps not a whole game in 3D, but a terrain viewer, that could load a scenario/map and display it in its 3D height-profile? So that before battle you could view the map (probably externally out of the game) and see the blank map without units and get a better spatial feeling as to what awaits you?

Is something like that possible - to take a scenario/map and render it in a (pseudo-)3D?
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Old March 29th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

It would be a lot of work, for little real gain.

There is plenty of example code out there for 3D mapping - and all is based on a Cartesian (square grid) universe. With heights plotted for the corner points of the triangles, and not the grid square. Hexagonal mapping is something else entirely. have not seen any example code out there. So the wheel would have to be invented entirely from scratch.

You will have to do your map reading the traditional way officers have always done it, i.e. from a 2D map. Paper in their case, on a screen in yours. (And that is one reason we do not provide a utility to calculate LOS in any random hex, since on a paper map you have to judge it 'by eye'. Only by having a real unit go to the hex can you get a report on the 'actual' LOS). As in R/L - a map position may look like a perfect OP, but the unit you send actually reports back that new brush, or a brand new factory building has been built since the maps were updated last. (SP maps are 100% perfect, totally and utterly unlike real life. And your unit goes exactly to the place you ordered, again rather unlike real life too! . SP has an inbuilt GPS system even in 1930, and its 'satnav' does not send 40 ton articulated lorries down country goat tracks because the system thinks they are real roads).

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Andy
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Old March 29th, 2010, 09:38 AM

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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

Thx Mobhack!

I figured it would be hard to do
Too bad no precedence was built/made/used yet...
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Old March 29th, 2010, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyeti View Post
Hi folks,

I came to WinSPMBT after long years of silence on my side as to the wargames on PC. I have played Steel Panthers 2 back in the old days (though not THAT extensively) and enjoyed it very much (more than say Panzer General or such).

I am liking WinSPMBT even more and as some have said here already, a 3D version might have been a blast even (yes, I know, old engine, precious time, other commitments - I have skimmed all 30+ pages of discussions here already).

What has struck me then is perhaps not a whole game in 3D, but a terrain viewer, that could load a scenario/map and display it in its 3D height-profile? So that before battle you could view the map (probably externally out of the game) and see the blank map without units and get a better spatial feeling as to what awaits you?

Is something like that possible - to take a scenario/map and render it in a (pseudo-)3D?
Don't think so, but you can always map an area with the data presented in winSp games, but you can't render a map directly from the game files
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Old March 30th, 2010, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

It would not look very good due to the lack of data polygons but should be easy enough to program if "crack" SP map code.

1) Each hex is represented by 6 polygons radiating from the centre of the hex. (Each polygon is a 3 sided triangle with points at the hex centre & both either end of one edge.
2) Reads map height
3) Reads terrain type to determine the texture.
Programing that should not be to hard though visibility levels & its effects could be a bit more difficult.

As Mobhack said though most free engines that could do it like Real are based on squares.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

Would a topo style map work for you? Go here

http://www.wargamer.com/Hosted/Chlan.../SP/ww2map.zip

What I did was create a Chandla folder inside WinSPWW2. Extract the files into that folder. The program won't work that way to edit. Read the readme. But for a topo map, start the program, load a MBT map. You get a blue screen. Under tools, click contour map. Then click show. Optional you can check terrain and then show again.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobhack View Post
that is one reason we do not provide a utility to calculate LOS in any random hex
Andy: Is it actually posible to provide such an utility?


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Originally Posted by junk2drive View Post
What I did was create a Chandla folder inside WinSPWW2. Extract the files into that folder. The program won't work that way to edit. Read the readme. But for a topo map, start the program, load a MBT map. You get a blue screen. Under tools, click contour map. Then click show. Optional you can check terrain and then show again.
I´m not following, I´ve tried that and no blue screen appears what´s that for exactly?

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Old April 1st, 2010, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVPERTVS View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobhack View Post
that is one reason we do not provide a utility to calculate LOS in any random hex
Andy: Is it actually posible to provide such an utility?

Roberto
This would make the game terrible giving you even more Eye of God, dig out a map or look at one on the internet & decide what you can see from a certain point. Unless its pretty obvious you wont have a clue & even then probably takes a bit of searching to find the sweet spot. Yes its iritating at times when you find that ATG or ATGM cant see squat have lost units even had to reformulate tactics because of it but I decided to check out a better firing point. Now I try & send a less valuable unit to go & check it out first if am unsure.
Its part of why a delaying force can stop a bigger force you have checked out the fields of fire he hasnt, allso makes vehicles more useful as they can check out more ground.
Knowing what you can see without going there is totaly unrealistic.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

It´s just I didn´t know it was actually posible to do it but not included due to these reasons. It would definetely ruin some of the realism in the game I fully agree, not seeking such aplication I love the game the way it is now but wouldn´t hurt if you ask me, at the end we are grown ups who would know when to look and when not to.

It´s clear to me that in real life a commander must rely on his abilitiy to read maps which is well modeled in both games the way it is now, AFAIK it is already possible with the tools already given to explore any given map anyway; in table top games it´s possible to check all angles of visibility as the players see fit; what you can´t have with miniatures is the FOW found in SP. Just my $0.02

I´m still wondering about the 3d viewer dicussed though

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Last edited by RVPERTVS; April 1st, 2010 at 08:31 PM..
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Old April 1st, 2010, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: 3d Terrain Viewer?

If you really wanted a 3D viewer the easiest way as said would be to use an old free 3D game engine like the real one. More than up to the job & does LOS but tend to be based on square grids not hexagonal ones. Might find one if check out some RPG games they are set up with basic light sources & to check LOS between 2 selected points. Can control visibility range to but once you have done that though you may as well produce some units to shoot at each other.
You need programing skills for the above & checking LOS is one of the trickier bits, need to set above ground level or the slightest thing will block it.

The other option is to use a proper 3D modeler like lightwave, sure there are free ones not lightwave though thats a lot of notes. Or a 3D terrain generator there are definetly free ones.
All will easily be powerfull enough & can read bitmaps so if you fidled about could probably produce what you want but would probably want a bit of programing to do it that interprits map data.
Otherwise time consuming as need to produce 2 pictures bitmap & bumpmap for terrain type & heights which will require an art package to mod pallettes.
Problems
With 3D terrain generator & possibly basic (free) 3D programs are light source first case is assuming the sun, probably cant adjust acuratly enough. Also placing viewpoints accuratly for LOS could be a problem if you cant snap it to a point.
Realisticly you are trying to produce a landscape of several Km using a few points. I would probably use more building a kettle in 3D so the results will look terrible go back to game engine idea now I have thought it through.
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