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    Modular Roller Coaster Ideas

    So a friend of Mine and I (( Both relatively new to the programming side of UDK )) were discussing the challenge of creating a modular roller coaster in UDK. Some solutions were perhaps to have individual segments act as nav-meshes and maybe have the trains be a particular type of AI, but i imagine that wouldn't take to physics as well as i'd like. Another idea was to have the trains attach to the track in some fashion via scripting..

    I guess my point is, were both rather new to programming and were wondering what sort of angles you guys would tackle the idea from.

    #2
    the real question here is , are u going to always keep the the train on the track? or not?
    because if u are always keeping it on the track, u only have to worry about creating the whole thing ( track, train and any other thing u want ) in maya/3dsmax/some modeling animating tool... so then u can use the whole thing as a one single skeletal mesh in udk.
    if u want it to be out of the track, but still if its an animation which is determinant, then still u could be able to do it this way.

    but if there is any animation that is not determinant like, when u shoot the train it should get thrown out of the track according to the damage level and direction... then we have the real hard problem.
    in that case, if we think about the problem what i see is that the track and the train has a bond that has a strength property. if the strength of the bond is overcome by some other force from outside, then the train may react according to the force difference ( e.g. ForceOnTrain = ForceFromOut - BondStrength )
    u can make the bond by adding some skeleton along the track and doing a check to keep the train on track by keeping the distance from "mid point of train piece" to "nearest skeleton joint of the track" as a constant.
    ( i think its better to consider the "straight line between nearest two skeleton joints on track" , than the "nearest skeleton joint of the track". )

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      #3
      I don't know how far Splines are already accessible in script but I imagine that they are not very useable yet. Otherwise they would have been a good way to get things going.


      But if you go with modular pieces only, you could make them with PathNodes at curves and entry points of a segment and then connect them via script at runtime as you connect the modular pieces. Define a fixed height for the entry and exit of each piece so that only matching moduls can connect (with an option to offset the height by fixed steps by utilizing moduls that only represent the support of the track below the track modul).


      And yeah, that might have been worded a bit confusing.

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        #4
        I'd create a set of modular meshes, then move the roller coaster by having it follow a spline. I wouldn't use UDKs physics to handle it, I don't think, I'd probably write my own set of simple rules and build it upwards.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ambershee View Post
          I'd create a set of modular meshes, then move the roller coaster by having it follow a spline.
          Would that also work when the modular pieces were placed by the player in something like Rollercoaster Tycoon? That's why I was wondering how accessible Splines were in script. Can you dynamically link a SplineLoftActor with others at runtime?

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            #6
            I believe the splines in RCT3 where on a per track object basis, they where authored with a start and end marker within the spline. I don't know if this is any use to your project but it may help in terms of how it was developed.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Crusha K. Rool View Post
              Would that also work when the modular pieces were placed by the player in something like Rollercoaster Tycoon? That's why I was wondering how accessible Splines were in script. Can you dynamically link a SplineLoftActor with others at runtime?
              No, I don't think you can link them in run time at all.

              A spline is just math though; you could easily have a set of modular pieces and generate the required spline at run time not using the inbuilt spline classes.

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                #8
                So you think that if different track pieces had a series of nodes, or sockets, that script could link said sockets together, creating it's own path?

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