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Witcher 3 world building (GDC slides)

ScepticMatt

Member
May 14, 2011
4,091
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Zurich


Core Theme: Procedural generation as much as possible, removing months of extra work.

Terrain Edit: Novigrad, one of 3 main areas
Generated with World Machine
46x46 tiles, 512x512 each (23552^2), 63MB
0.37cm between vertices, ~74 km^2 total (35 times Witcher 2)
adaptive software tessellation (no "wasted triangles")
3 texture layers: Background (e.g rock), Foreground (e.g. snow), Control map (e.g slope)
Terrain shadows
Vegetation:
Custom vegetation generator
pigment map for better blend with ground color
Photoshop-like stamp/brush-Tool for fine tuning

Other:
16 people working on Engine.
Automatic occlusion culling + streaming with Umbra.
Automatic LOD generation with Simplogon. Artist created in Witcher 2, and "they hated it".

Links:
Terrain and vegetation: http://twvideo01.ubm-us.net/o1/vault/GDC2014/Presentations/Gollent_Marcin_Landscape_Creation_and.pdf
Simplogon LOD generator: http://twvideo01.ubm-us.net/o1/vault/GDC2014/Presentations/Balazs_Torok_Speed_Up_Your.pdf
Umbra 3 culling + Streaming: http://twvideo01.ubm-us.net/o1/vault/GDC2014/Presentations/Bushnaief_Jasin_Solving_Visibility_In.pdf

Correct me if wrong, tessellate if old.
 

drexplora

Member
Feb 7, 2011
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geez.. wealth of information!!
Thanks, gonna try and sift through this as quick as I can before the NVidia keynote :D
 

drexplora

Member
Feb 7, 2011
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another game falls victim to the downgrade trend, just appalling
that's likely a shot from a dev's editor.
When working with different software, dev's like to strip away the "layers of detail" to make it easier to work on whatever component they are tasked with.

though I suspect you weren't serious :p

edit: besides aint that top shot using the old witcher 2 renderer?
 

anexanhume

Member
Apr 2, 2013
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Bethesda has been big on procedural generation for a while. I wonder how much they were lagging them. (was also reminded of Morrowind with the Umbra sword)
 
Sep 2, 2007
17,992
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Core Theme: Procedural generation as much as possible, removing months of extra work.

Terrain
Generated with World Machine
46x46 tiles, 512x512 each (23552^2), 63MB
0.37cm between vertices, ~74 km^2 total (35 times Witcher 2)
I know this comparison is known for not being to good but that means the world is as big as Fuel. EDIT The number before miles doesnt mean km.
Makes sense:
Of course this is aprox, with map location for 3 gathered on all the info and videos they have shown (Novigrad and Skellige Islands have appeared on trailers, while Cintra and No Man's land have been hinted).
 

Aeana

Member
Jul 10, 2006
42,062
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Procedurally generated world? I'd so much rather a smaller, hand designed world.
 

noonespecial

Member
Sep 24, 2012
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Hah hah hah at the map dimensions of Daggerfall. I knew it was enormous but I had no idea it was nearly that large. 62,394 square miles? Wow.
 

RoboPlato

I'd be in the dick
Oct 29, 2006
42,984
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Procedurally generated world? I'd so much rather a smaller, hand designed world.
Me too but the only practical way you're going to get the massive scale that they're going for with Witcher 3 is through procedural generation.
 

anexanhume

Member
Apr 2, 2013
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Technically, our real life world is procedurally generated, so it should feel more authentic.

ish... sorta.
dat tectonics.

The parts that matter will be hand-designed. The procedural parts will be for scale, and not story elements or finely tuned combat encounters.
 

Seanspeed

Banned
Sep 10, 2009
29,419
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Procedurally generated world? I'd so much rather a smaller, hand designed world.
I'm pretty sure its a bit of a mix.

The procedural generation is just to provide a groundwork for the landscape that doesn't involve them having to place every little shrub and dirt hole and elevation change by hand. I'm sure they'll still go over things and probably do a lot of work to the areas around locations, which will likely be mostly hand-done.
 
Sep 2, 2007
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Better than procedurally generated on demand, at least.
Yeah, you will still have things like big forests with interesting locations inside like Brokilon.
I think it more like for the majority of trees, rocks and shrubs.

They still need to make it the same as the existing map in the books and games.
 

eot

Member
Apr 13, 2012
11,626
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Procedurally generated world? I'd so much rather a smaller, hand designed world.
A good algorithm is going to make a better looking mountain than a 3D artist and do it much more efficiently. The artist can still decide where the mountain is, how big it is, some unique features etc. the procedural generation they're talking about is just there so that no one has to place every single grass sprite in the world and shit like that.
 

drexplora

Member
Feb 7, 2011
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procedural generation of game assets for example, is something that helps developer's make rich content filled worlds.
It's something that helps give them more time to work on the things that matter.
It's something that's going to get better and bigger in scope as time goes on, and I imagine it's something that is going to be more widely used as the fidelity and depth in our games increase.

Each gen for example, a developer's list of things to model increases, as more details are transferred from texture to geometry. You either begin to increase your work force, outsource more stuff, or come up with cool efficient tricks that help you produce the assets with minimal or 0 work.
 

Seanspeed

Banned
Sep 10, 2009
29,419
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So question:

What performance attribute contributes most to limited draw distance and associated LOD? This is something that I feel hurts open world environments the most. How can that be improved?
 

DieH@rd

Banned
Dec 9, 2006
35,046
2
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Procedurally generated world? I'd so much rather a smaller, hand designed world.
Just the base look of the world is procedurally made, so that they would not waste time making mountains and river beds. After that comes hand tuning.