Caves are commonly used as environments in computer games. As the popularity of open world games rises, so does the demand for expansive virtual environments. To ease this cost, many tools have been developed to create and edit content for games including terrain, plants, roads, buildings, and cities. The same is not true for caves.
We present data structures and algorithms to create, evaluate, edit, and illuminate three dimensional models of caves for use in computer games. Game levels can be classified according to their spatial configuration: linear, maze, or open. Caves formed by the same geological process have similar features. These define parameters that can be used to partially or fully automate the creation of cave models of different spatial configurations. Additional information about the model such as its volume, number of branching paths, and number of connected components can be used by the designer in evaluating and editing the model to meet gameplay requirements. To assist in editing of cave models we propose a new data structure and framework and compare its use to existing modeling approaches. Physically based illumination of a cave typically results in low level lighting which is not suitable for games. We introduce a new illumination model based on radiant flux that can be used to ensure a sufficient amount of light is present throughout the cave. The new illumination model can also be adapted to assist in player navigation. Illuminating a scene according to distance to objects within it creates highlights that captures the player's visual attention. A user study was done to evaluate the new technique.
|Commitee:||Parent, Richard, Shen, Han-Wei|
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|Department:||Computer Science and Engineering|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Caves, Computer games, Computer graphics, Game level evaluation, Game level illumination, Mazes|
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