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Voxel games Vs Block Games?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by RealMTG, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. RealMTG

    RealMTG

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    Hi!

    While I was just sitting around I remembered something I read on another forum like 5 months ago. It was some kind of Minecraft server forum and they talked about the game being a voxel game but some people fought against that saying it was a block game. Their motivations were like: "For the game to be a voxel game it needs to be more detailed models and such while blocks games are just... blocks!" then there were this from the "voxel side": "Minecraft is a voxel game because everything is made out of voxels, i.e. cubes.". Is there really a difference from voxel games and block games if they even are two different categories?

    Really curious about this! :)
     
  2. BFGames

    BFGames

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    Minecraft is a voxel game in a block style.
     
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  3. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    Voxel games are a completely different kind of rendering engine. Voxel is a volumetric pixel, literally a pixel given a position and size in three dimensional space that would be drawn on screen in a fairly different manner to polygons. As far as I'm aware, the only games that ever really used the technique are at least around twenty years old, so it's not like there has been a constant lineage to keep the term accurate.

    Minecraft is essentially voxel-like. It shares the same notion of defining space, but still uses polygonal graphics to render the game world.
     
  4. BeefSupreme

    BeefSupreme

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    For a cool example of modern voxels, check out Voxatron.
     
  5. BFGames

    BFGames

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    A voxel defines a volume in 3d space compared to others voxels in the same space. How you visualize it is another thing, ofcause you can use polygons. This also means that minecraft is a voxel game within a certain style as such.
     
  6. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Minecraft isn't voxels at all. Minecraft is simply a 3D title with textured 'cubes' (they're not), and the world is generated using a search tree.

    It's not voxels. Voxels are specifically, volumetric pixels, ie each pixel has a 3D coordinate. Last I checked a huge block with smaller blocky 3D character (a mesh) wasn't actually voxels.

    Voxatron would qualify though.

    Voxels aren't anything to do with a visual style, they're a very specific technology.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voxel

    Mincraft gets an 'honourable mention' in that it's editor is voxel based (this doesnt qualify since a voxel is one element with a single colour, where minecraft are textured blocks). So it's probably just in error in this case... or a technicality.

    Regardless, developers loosely use the term for all sorts of box-ish 3D stuff.
     
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  7. BFGames

    BFGames

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    1. "As with pixels in a bitmap, voxels themselves do not typically have their position (their coordinates) explicitly encoded along with their values. Instead, the position of a voxel is inferred based upon its position relative to other voxels"

    2. So if Minecraft only used one color per "block" it would be a voxel game?

    As i understood it a voxel was simply a data point in a 3D grid consisting of one or more pieces of data. It can be visualized in many ways as such, also as blocks (it even does so on wiki). You might be right that it can only contain a single color, cant see that anywhere though... it feels kinda vague that a data point cannot be defined by a single texture instead of a single color(or multiple colors for the sake of it), the idea would be the same more or less, still just a data point consisting of one or multiple pieces of data. I Mean they even mention that you can save stuff like normals for the sake of renderering. So i understand why they say minecraft is a voxel editor, and will stick by what i wrote to begin with. Minecraft is a voxel game in a block style.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  8. CaoMengde777

    CaoMengde777

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    Red Alert 2 used voxels, not polygons, for the game ... technology difference, not explicitly art style
     
  9. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    I have to disagree with it. Not because I want to disagree with it, but because logic dictates that voxels have two requirements to be a voxel:

    1. it is a volumetric pixel, or 3D pixel. That's the meaning.
    2. it's just a pixel in 3D space technology wise.

    None of these games share any particular tech approach. Minecraft, Red Alert 2, Voxatron, they don't have an identifiable tech. This means that voxels are a described art style and not a technology, that only requires it be a volume pixel. This makes minecraft the odd one out.

    Therefore the actual minecraft game can't qualify. That's just illogical.

    But then, calling a 1 man band indie and refusing to accept there's 100+ team AAA developers can be indie too is also illogical, and human beings will morph the original meaning to suit.

    Therefore it once meant only 3D pixels. Now it obviously is supposed to mean minecraft as well. Or any retro looking 3D game (which is what minecraft really is, since you don't have a particular technology which describes voxels). I don't particularly care beyond explaining why it's wrong, and that I've accepted the wrong, and most people don't really give a S*** either way.

    Phew.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  10. SunnyChow

    SunnyChow

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    What? wow!
    i didn't know about it. i thought it' just tons of sprite.
    but how does it help saving the performance?
     
  11. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    They all start with defining volumes of space. It's just that some of these point to color data, while others point to some other kind of data structure that defines the space. At that point it's not that they aren't unrelated, it's just that one of these has a term while the other doesn't.
     
  12. Brainswitch

    Brainswitch

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    Voxels are not cubes and cubes are not voxels. Voxels might be represented as cubes, or surface nets or etc... That's how I see it anyway.

    Well, for one thing they don't need to have a lot of images (for each rotation etc), it is much more flexible than sprites. Then again, the decision might've been due to more artistic reasons than just performance.
     
  13. BFGames

    BFGames

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    Guess we just have to disagree, and agree on how its used to day ;)