Author Topic: Making of Flatout 1  (Read 25206 times)

Jukka Merikanto

  • Posts: 125
Hi,

As I promised in the introduction thread here is some work-in-progress shots from Flatout 1.

If you're wondering about lack of trees and foliage in them it's because back then we had this system that placed trees and other foliage on tracks based on a 2048 x 2048 pixel image that was stretched to cover the entire 850m x 850m area that our tracks were made to. On that image we had these different colored pixels that each would then be replaced to trees, grass, bushes etc. when the track was sent to buildmachine (=your own workstation, oh yes we had lot's of coffee breaks back then!)

Anyways, below is the first batch of shots - can you name the tracks? ;)

Shot 1.


Shot 2.


Shot 3.


Shot 4.
Jukka Merikanto
Senior Level Designer

John Burning

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Wow! Thank you for screenshots, they are amazing!
Shot 1- Brad's Sand pit.
Shot 2- Fairgrass rounds
Shot 3- Redpine river
Shot 4-  Whattahoo town
Is it right? :D

psychicparrot

  • Posts: 114
Awesome! What kind of poly limit did you guys have back then? Any idea what the poly counts were for those levels?

Purple44

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Shot 3- Redpine Dash or WHITEROAD RALLY ( asphalt track ). ;)
Flatout Joint, where the mods were.

i5 2500 i7 8700, 16GB, Nvidia 660 960 1060 6GB, Win 10 64bit, DFGT Wheel

Jukka Merikanto

  • Posts: 125
Awesome! What kind of poly limit did you guys have back then? Any idea what the poly counts were for those levels?

I don't remember the exact limit we had but I can get you some statistics. Whattahoo town in shot 4. (you got it right, John!) has total of 288 665 polygons without counting trees and other foliage that would add quite a bit to that number. Our tracks were designed so that in each 850m x 850m area we had 3 tracks to drive.

Here's an example of different routes in one area:

Shot 5.
Jukka Merikanto
Senior Level Designer

John Burning

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  • Posts: 851
And what programm are you using? Something like 3Dsmax? Or you making your program by yourself?

Jukka Merikanto

  • Posts: 125
And what programm are you using? Something like 3Dsmax? Or you making your program by yourself?

Ok, so software that we're mainly using in art department at the moment:

Photoshop for 2D graphics
3ds Max for environment and asset modeling
Lightwave for vehicle modeling
Perforce for asset version management
Hansoft for project management
Confluence for documentation
Skype for communication

In Flatout 1 we had Photoshop, 3ds Max, Lightwave and notepad :)

Also we have our own game engine and tools for tweaking it + bunch of own plugins for 3ds Max. I might post more about our own tools later on.
Jukka Merikanto
Senior Level Designer

John Burning

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  • Posts: 851
And what programm are you using? Something like 3Dsmax? Or you making your program by yourself?

Ok, so software that we're mainly using in art department at the moment:

Photoshop for 2D graphics
3ds Max for environment and asset modeling
Lightwave for vehicle modeling
Perforce for asset version management
Hansoft for project management
Confluence for documentation
Skype for communication

In Flatout 1 we had Photoshop, 3ds Max, Lightwave and notepad :)

Also we have our own game engine and tools for tweaking it + bunch of own plugins for 3ds Max. I might post more about our own tools later on.
Cool! Thanks for information! :D
BTW your game engine is AWESOME! Really, this is the best engine I've ever seen! But you've change it for RRU. Can you return old mad skills of FlatOut to your next project?
In RRU there is more drifting and the game is more arcade.

Joonas Laakso

  • Posts: 263
BTW your game engine is AWESOME! Really, this is the best engine I've ever seen! But you've change it for RRU. Can you return old mad skills of FlatOut to your next project?
In RRU there is more drifting and the game is more arcade.

It's the same engine, the same physics, actually. We've just added a bunch of stuff on top to make it more accessible and, yes, drifty, for RRU. It wasn't easy to make the cars handle so easily in RRU, using the same physics base. So underneath it all, it's actually running all the same simulation as in our previous games. And yeah, we could strip it back down easily.

psychicparrot

  • Posts: 114
I posted on Twitter recently that I was amazed how robust the engine is... after 11/12 years Rally Trophy just installed on Windows 7 with no patching etc. and ran at the highest resolution I could throw at it. I have games that are two years old that won't run on my widescreen monitor because they don't support the resolution and games that are three years old that don't even run on Windows 7. To think that you guys made an engine so clean and reliable as to do that blows my mind.

Another thing I like is peoples amazement at the fact that RR:U is only 1.2GB (something like that anyway!).. we're all getting so used to games at 4GB+ and here's this amazing, beautiful racing game weighing in so low everybody thinks there must be bits missing lol

Add to that those beautiful physics and incredibly fast load times.. just blows my mind!

Enough of me gushing over the tech... ! ... it's awesome that you only had Photoshop, 3ds Max, Lightwave and notepad! Not even Notepad++!!

How did you add dynamic objects to the environment, like tires to crash through etc.? Was it a case that you put in placeholder objects in Maya and the engine replaced them at runtime, or did you have some kind of naming/attributes system or something like that? I ask because I am always impressed by the loading times of each level and it seems as though there is very little initialization stuff happening for it to go so fast... :)

Wow!
I thought nobody really uses Lightwave anymore in games industry, at least in Finland.
Why use it just for vehicle modeling? Is your vehicle artist Lightwave guy? :)
I've used LW in school. Then i switched to Blender.. and now im using 3ds Max too. All great tools.

John Burning

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Guys, you are amking ideal games, really. Incredible graphics, unbeliveable physics and it needs not a lot memory! I still can't believe in this :D

Jukka Merikanto

  • Posts: 125
How did you add dynamic objects to the environment, like tires to crash through etc.? Was it a case that you put in placeholder objects in Maya and the engine replaced them at runtime, or did you have some kind of naming/attributes system or something like that? I ask because I am always impressed by the loading times of each level and it seems as though there is very little initialization stuff happening for it to go so fast... :)

In Flatout 1 we didn't have placeholder objects. Every single object was placed by hand in 3ds Max. Each object had a name like "DYN_tire_A_I_single_01" that our engine would then read an handle accordingly.

Here's an example of forest track with all dynamic objects (4464 in total) marked with yellow:

Shot 6.


Wow!
I thought nobody really uses Lightwave anymore in games industry, at least in Finland.
Why use it just for vehicle modeling? Is your vehicle artist Lightwave guy? :)
I've used LW in school. Then i switched to Blender.. and now im using 3ds Max too. All great tools.

Heh, you're right. I was just informed that our vehicle team has also switched to using 3ds Max instead of Lightwave. Lightwave was used in Flatout 1 though. I also started with Lightwave but switched to 3ds Max when I got a job here.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 10:30:11 AM by Jukka Merikanto »
Jukka Merikanto
Senior Level Designer

Is it possible to model own tracks to any of the Flatout series games? How moddable are they?
I would love to do my own track as portfolio piece of my environment modeling skills..

John Burning

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  • Posts: 851
"Every single object was placed by hand in 3ds Max. Each object had a name like "DYN_tire_A_I_single_01" that our engine would then read an handle accordingly. "
WOW! So much work!!!