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Distant terrain 2017-03-15 - DestinedToDie

What’s this? I can see the Ghostfence all the way from Ald-Ruhn and my fps is above 10. This is OpenMW and not MGE XE, right?

This is OpenMW alright and what you’re seeing is made possible by the newest addition from scrawl – distant terrain. This new feature is available in the latest OpenMW commit and if you’re on windows, you can download it from Ace’s nightly builds to try it out yourself.

So what does it do? In short, it simplifies the land mesh, nothing else. It doesn’t touch on scripts, NPCs and statics, but having simplified land certainly lightens the workload to a point where we can have some wiggle room with our view distance.

You may have noticed that I’ve taken use of this in some of the screenshots and loaded enough statics to create the illusion that there are objects as far as the eye can see. You can only spot empty land if I purposefully look at something very distant.

I must admit, I cheated a little to boost my fps. There is an additional feature called small object culling, which makes it so that objects too tiny are not rendered and my computer’s performance is spared. I used this rather aggressively, as I am working with a few years old laptop, but someone with a dedicated gaming rig might get better results while culling less.

Finally, I would like to share my last screenshot, as well as how you can set this up. After downloading and installing the latest commit, find settings.cfg and add the following lines:

[Camera]
# Determines how much land is rendered. Add another 6 or 66 to it.
viewing distance = 6666.0

# The default is 2, but you may want to change it to 16 at the highest. Improves performance.
small feature culling pixel size = 2.0

[Cells]
# This loads statics, NPCs and scripts around you. You may want to set this to 2, 3 or 4.
exterior cell load distance = 1

[Terrain]
# The on-switch to distant terrain. Set this to True.
distant terrain = True

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OpenMW is known as being the free, open source reimplementation of the engine for TESIII: Morrowind. In addition to being the go-to engine for playing Morrowind, the goal of OpenMW is to develop our own improved implementation of the construction set, the OpenMW-CS, as well as make OpenMW a platform to create new games on.

The Example Suite has long stood as OpenMW’s main effort to create a standalone game to demonstrate the capabilities of the OpenMW engine, without any dependencies on the Morrowind content files. This set of content will be a freely available game that players will be able to run immediately with the OpenMW engine.

Recently, our team member DestinedToDie has stepped up to be the dedicated 3D lead for this project. He has put together a basic layout of the first area with placeholder assets.

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DestinedToDie has written up a design document of his vision for the Example Suite.

In order to make this project into a reality, DestinedToDie has opened a patreon to fund his efforts. Supporting his patreon will enable him to dedicate time to this project, and move it towards a playable state. As an alternative option to Patreon, he also has a Paypal account.

All efforts in the Example-Suite are for the benefit of everyone under the CC-BY-3.0 license, meaning that others are free to contribute to the project or spin-off their own game, even commercially.

Here’s looking forward to when OpenMW can be played “out of the box” with the freely available Example Suite!

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