Elemental: Kumquat Graphics Engine

By on June 1, 2010 5:05:57 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1078

Elemental makes use of a brand new 3D engine developed specifically for PC strategy games. Its multithreaded design along with dynamic LOD (level of detail) allows for it to look great on a wide range of hardware.

To see and understand why Elemental can look good on low end hardware and yet benefit further from higher end hardware see for yourself how the dynamic LOD works:

image

Look very very closely here.  This isn’t one 3D object. This is dozens of 3D objects. The engine determines how powerful your hardware is and based on that can choose to display objects based on that.

As more objects come into view, certain “less important” objects start to fade away:

image

Did something change?

Look closely. Did something change?

imageHow about now?

As a result of the object-based system that Kumquat provides, the graphics look identical at a casual glance and yet, the polygon count is dramatically less in the third image.

 

And users with very low end hardware can simply play using the sprite based output (cloth map mode):

image

Because Kumquat is a PC-only graphics engine, it can make a different set of trade offs than the traditional cross-platform engine. Namely, it can assume players have a considerable amount of memory (1 gigabyte is the minimum total system memory to play a Kumquat based game – very little on a PC but twice what a current generation console has).  Thus, a given game object can be made up of many sub-objects (which use more memory) but can be dynamically turned on or off based on 3D hardware instead of having to load up lower-quality 3D models.

179 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 5:09:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was wondering where this "information overload" that was mentioned earlier was, but now I can see that it is finally starting to happen. I'm not overloaded yet, though. Keep it coming!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 5:13:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 5:28:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love the art style in this game. Can't wait to play it!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 5:32:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Neat!

Is this engine going to be availeble to third parties. (Or any idea how many games will be using this engine?) Because it sounds pretty sweet.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 5:33:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!

CAN WE HAVE IT THIS THURSDAY?? PLEASE SAY YES...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 5:38:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Love the art style, but (in my opinion) I don't like those bright trees.  They stand out a bit too much.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 6:02:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 Kumquat is one uncool sounding engine name.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 6:17:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Because Kumquat is a PC-only graphics engine, it can make a different set of trade offs than the traditional cross-platform engine. Namely, it can assume players have a considerable amount of memory (1 gigabyte is the minimum total system memory to play a Kumquat based game – very little on a PC but twice what a current generation console has). Thus, a given game object can be made up of many sub-objects (which use more memory) but can be dynamically turned on or off based on 3D hardware instead of having to load up lower-quality 3D models.

1 GB is fine, but don't you think that making that it still awfully close to the 2 GB limit for 32 bits Windows? GalCiv2 had a lot of problem on bigger maps due to that limit, so how is Elemental going to fare on even medium map if the memory footprint starts at 1 GB?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 6:25:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!

CAN WE HAVE IT THIS THURSDAY?? PLEASE SAY YES...

 

my paypal account is waiting, go frogboy go

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 6:28:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ephafn,

Because Kumquat is a PC-only graphics engine, it can make a different set of trade offs than the traditional cross-platform engine. Namely, it can assume players have a considerable amount of memory (1 gigabyte is the minimum total system memory to play a Kumquat based game – very little on a PC but twice what a current generation console has). Thus, a given game object can be made up of many sub-objects (which use more memory) but can be dynamically turned on or off based on 3D hardware instead of having to load up lower-quality 3D models.

1 GB is fine, but don't you think that making that it still awfully close to the 2 GB limit for 32 bits Windows? GalCiv2 had a lot of problem on bigger maps due to that limit, so how is Elemental going to fare on even medium map if the memory footprint starts at 1 GB?

It has to swap things out of memory when it starts to get low on RAM. This was one of the major efforts of the Beta 1 phase.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 6:41:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The level of detail available is amazing. If you do a "Waldo" on the 3 images, you can count how many "objects" are removed as the detail level shrinks so it is to be assumed that each is an Entity in its own right.

There must be 40-50 items removed.

Very, very Cool!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 7:01:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 

Pure awesome! I'm wondering how far we can zoom in, down to ground level inside an individual tile? 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 7:04:56 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

will there be a 64 bit version?

if yes, then I am going to go and rob some banks

harpo

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 7:08:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting harpo99999,
will there be a 64 bit version?

if yes, then I am going to go and rob some banks

harpo

 

Yes but not necessarily at release day.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 7:50:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting harpo99999, reply 13will there be a 64 bit version?

if yes, then I am going to go and rob some banks

harpo

 
Yes but not necessarily at release day.

 

Will we be able to upgrade our game for free to 64-bit, assuming the 64-bit version is released later?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 8:03:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting the_neurologist,

Quoting Frogboy, reply 14
Quoting harpo99999, reply 13will there be a 64 bit version?

if yes, then I am going to go and rob some banks

harpo

 
Yes but not necessarily at release day.

 

Will we be able to upgrade our game for free to 64-bit, assuming the 64-bit version is released later?

 

Yes.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 8:05:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

Quoting harpo99999, reply 13will there be a 64 bit version?

if yes, then I am going to go and rob some banks

harpo

 

Yes but not necessarily at release day.

 

Woot? I bought an i7 with 9G ram just to play elemental on huge complex maps, don't do this to me  .

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 8:13:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If the Kumquat engine (or Elemental) was originally designed for RTS(ish)  game-play how is representing the larger numbers of troops going to work as the game gets to intermediate and late stages? I remember you saying that elemental was going to try an avoid having 1 or 2 stacks with large numbers and instead try to render approximately the number of individual soldiers on the battlefield. This seems unrealistic to me now that tactical combat is TB with tiles or am I completely mistaken?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 9:09:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It really is a Amazing Engine. What's important is gameplay, but, there is always the "OOhhhh, Aaahhhhh" effect that adds that little kick.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 9:16:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Bahahhah, "Kumquat"??? Seriously??? Who ever came up with that name needs to be fired... or given a raise - I can't tell which. I have a feeling the "marketing guys" are going to be even more upset now. Almost anything would have sounded better. Just off the top of my head: Hawk-Eye, Satellite, Raedux.

Engines have supported view-distances and detail-scaling for over 7 years now; What is "Kumquat" doing differently from these past engines?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 9:37:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting TheProgress,
Bahahhah, "Kumquat"??? Seriously??? Who ever came up with that name needs to be fired... or given a raise - I can't tell which. I have a feeling the "marketing guys" are going to be even more upset now. Almost anything would have sounded better. Just off the top of my head: Hawk-Eye, Satellite, Raedux.

Engines have supported view-distances and detail-scaling for over 7 years now; What is "Kumquat" doing differently from these past engines?

perhaps you should have tried the 'lemon' or 'orange' or 'manderine' engine, as all are citrus fruits ie bitter taste with a thick rind, but with LOTS of juice that is usually beneficial for those that consume them, (but the implications of 'lemon' suggest faulty products so they would not use it, and the others are al commonly known so the implications would have been seen quickly.

harpo

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 10:00:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

YES! Everyone wins (crap, average and new PC's)!

But more importantly my 12 GB of ram means something! For those OMFGJESUS size maps!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 10:13:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

wow, that looks great.

someone needs to make a sins of a solar empire mod.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 10:18:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Engines have supported view-distances and detail-scaling for over 7 years now; What is "Kumquat" doing differently from these past engines?

If you can think of an engine that has the ability to selectively remove sub-objects from a model on the fly like shown in the screenshots let me know.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 1, 2010 11:02:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes I can't wait for the 64 bit, just went out last weekend and upgraded to Win 7 so I could switch to a 64 bit system. I can now actually use my gig of video ram plus all 4 gigs of ram...

Bring It On Baby!!!!

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0001062   Page Render Time: