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Miner Wars Manual for 3D model contributors

Miner Wars Manual for 3D model contributors
 

Overview

First let us thank you for your passion and willingness to help us make Miner Wars better :)
The document will list technical and artistic requirements and some examples from Internet we found fitting Miner Wars's atmosphere.
In this version we will focus on large mother ships. Later we will extend it for small mining ships, barrels, barriers, beacons, navigation pointers, space debris, space garbage, weapons, machinery, etc.

Examples

Following links are from the Internet. We do not own copyright of them and we are not in any way related to them. We don't encourage you to copy them, they are here just as an example of what we think is suitable for Miner Wars.
Please don't make your ships exactly by this examples, as some of them are from popular movies and TV shows or even games, thus their design is protected by copyright law.
Of course you can take inspiration from Miner Wars web site (pics and videos section).
http://solcommand.blogspot.com/
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/spaceship-n4-/prod_6167.html#preview
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/spaceship-orion-2-/prod_6289.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/nightlord/prod_4980.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/achilles-3d-model/prod_4967.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/-janus-space-station-3d-model/prod_9417.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/spaceship-n-7--3d-model/prod_6288.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/spaceship-centurion-rs-22--3d-model/prod_7894.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/proteus-3d-model/prod_4999.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/gecko-3d-model/prod_4974.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/essex-3d-model/prod_4973.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/e-d-f-monitor-3d-model/prod_11546.html
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/ds-2-spaceship-3d-model/prod_12258.html
http://www.3dexport.com/img-exploration-spacecraft-3432.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img19291.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img10307.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4922.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img3462.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img1913.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4946.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4937.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4935.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4938.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4930.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4928.search.htm
http://www.3dexport.com/img4926.search.htm
http://www.exchange3d.com/cubecart/aircraft-spacecraft/space-cruiser-3d-model/prod_4281.html
http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/index.php?option=com_zoom&Itemid=82&catid=7
http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/index.php?option=com_zoom&Itemid=81&catid=6
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=858980
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=849849
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=847663
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=847022
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=842714
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=840632
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=793175&highlight=scifi
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=132&t=503287&highlight=scifi
http://www.sharecg.com/v/38983/3D-Model/Battlecruiser
http://www.sharecg.com/v/37973/3D-Model/USS-Cheyenne-OBJ
http://www.scifi-meshes.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=4192&title=d-s-eomega01into-the-light&cat=2
http://www.scifi-meshes.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1332&title=zhelom-01-deep-space-transport-technical-data&cat=2
http://www.scifi-meshes.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1217&title=hell-crow-advanced-battle-cruiser&cat=2
http://www.scifi-meshes.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=595&title=the-big-guns&cat=2
http://www.scifi-meshes.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1221&title=group-of-2-hell-crow-patroling&cat=2
http://naumachia.aureasection.com/media/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN7MZKESyhM

The look

Miner Wars is played in harsh and dirty asteroid area so ships are never clean and shiny. If we have to compare it to modern real world examples, think about mining devices, building machines and military facilities.
It will be perfect if your models won't have sharp edges - it doesn't look real. Edges in real world are almost always rounded. Of course, not too much.
Think about how are these devices designed in these days: engineers focus entirely on functionality and ignore other aspects.
Every mother ship should have a hangar, that is the place where you and your buddies can buy new weapons, unload the cargo, etc. Hangar doors are always opened and the inside is lit by red or green color.
Every mother ship should have spots for placing defense weapons like for example CIWS Phalanx - watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY6nm-6eCzM&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t8ZpvW0WMo

Choose any color you want but please don't make it look like a cartoon :)
Please try to make detail elements on your model (see max polygons count below). Models with a lot of detail look "expensive". Low-poly looks cheap at this days.

The mothership needs a hangar with opened doors. No open/close doors animation now. Size of hangar should be at least 40 meters in each direction.


Technical

    Ship size in meters: depends entirely on you. Please specify it in the comments and we will rescale it. Our recommendation is: mother ship should be between 300 and 2000 meters in length.
  • Triangle & vertex count: max 32,768 triangles and/or vertexes per model. Difference between polygon and triangle is: polygon can have more than three vertexes whereas triangle has always three vertexes. Our engine works with triangles, not polygons, so we refer to triangle count only. Find a way how to display count of triangles in your modeling software. E.g. in 3ds max triangles are called "faces".
  • USE IT TO THE MAXIMUM! It's better to have high-poly model than low-poly mode. It looks way better!

Overlapping polygons

This topic is very important. Please don't skip it if you don't understand. We will rather try to explain it again and better, but don't skip it.
Ok, so what it is about? Many models found over the Internet have one big flaw: when modelers merge two overlapping objects, they just place one object over another. In the modeling software it looks OK but in-game, where rendering engine doesn't use precise calculations, you get an effect called "z fighting". Reason for it is that polygons from both object occupy the same space and rendering engines have hard times to decide which one is closer to camera. Sometimes "wins" one polygon, other times the other. Problem won't be if it always "win" only one of them. Problem is if it switches as you move/rotate the camera.
This is good explanation of how z-fighting looks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y72Ozcn7Eg
Solution is easy:  never allow such situation. Don't make polygon on top of other polygon. Rather extrude original polygon.

Textures

There are three methods how to define textures for your model:
    No textures at all. We will accept such models too, although we must say that textured models have priority.
    One diffuse texture for whole model. Max size 2048x2048 pixels.
    Any number of textures / materials and practically no size limit. Each part of your model looks different. We will use technique called "render to texture" to pack all these textures to one final texture that will be used in the game. Same technique will be used for method 1.
    Set of texture maps with diffuse, specular and normal map components - this is highly advanced topic, so if you decide for it, please discuss it with us first.
It is hard to say if method 2 or 3 is better. If you can use 2048x2048 texture to define highly detail texture for whole model, then we use it. Otherwise by default we will use method 3.

Free textures & texture generators


http://www.cgtextures.com/ - download free textures
http://www.texturewarehouse.com/gallery/ - download free textures
http://www.ultimatetextures.com/ - download free textures
http://www.filterforge.com/ - very good seamless texture generator, full of already made filters
http://www.spiralgraphics.biz/ - very good seamless texture generator, full of already made filters
http://www.texturemaker.com/ - texture generator
http://www.mapzoneeditor.com/ - texture generator



File format

We prefer these file formats: 3DS, MAX, OBJ, DWG, FBX
Please consult with use before using other file formats.

Software

It's up to you which software you use. This is just a recommendation:
    3ds Max - they offer 30-day trial. Internet is full of video tutorials.
    Blender - free and a lot of tutorials.
    Softimage - they offer 30-day trial. Internet is full of video tutorials.
    Softimage XSI Mod Tool - free Softimage for non-commercial games. I haven't read the license.
    Gmax - free edition. This is like 3ds Max but limited to game development. We never used it but it might be OK
    Maya - they offer 30-day trial. Internet is full of video tutorials.
    Lightview - they offer 30-day trial. Internet is full of video tutorials.

Work process

    For each model create one forum thread in 'Contributing models' category
    Upload pictures and model files directly to that thread.
    Choose any model name

Credits

As an appreciation of your help we will list your real name or game-name in an in-game credits or any future credits list. This may include: IMDB, mobygames.com

Legal

By sending us the model you grant to Keen Software House Ltd or its successors the right to copy, distribute, display, perform and make derivative works of the model in Miner Wars game and any related product in all countries world-wide.
You also warrant that your contribution is an original work and that you have the full power to make this grant, and that the model contains no matter libelous or otherwise unlawful or which invades the right to privacy or infringes any proprietary right.
Basicaly this means: model you will send us is your original work, not someone else's. We can use it in Miner Wars, this web site or any future product. Your name will display in all future credits.

http://www.minerwars.com/?aid=14

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