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Zwecklos and Sinnlos are this month's GameStudio heroes; let's learn a few things from them.


Q: Can you tell us a few things about your team?

A: Our team consists of two people. Patrik aka Zwecklos (27 years) is responsible for the programming part and Stefan aka Sinnlos (28 years) does the 3D part. We know each other since we were 10 years old and we used to play any game that we were able to lay our hands on. First we only played console games from the SEGA 8bit console over to NES, Super NES, SEGA Mega Drive, Neo GEO and so on. Then, Ultima Online came into our lives; both of us have bought a computer just because of that game.


Thanks to Ultima Online, we both had a connection to computers which we needed to get into the apprentice-ships we applied for. Patrik started working in a computer shop and Stefan became an apprentice as a draftsman in an architecture office where he had the first experiences with CAD systems. 10 years later, Stefan is a 3D designer and Patrik a programmer - exactly what we needed in order to make our own game. We dont remember when we started usinf the Acknex engine; all we know is that it was the A4 trial version. Like the most of us 3DGS beginners, we started with way to over ambitious projects. But then we became more realistic with our project plans and with the help of the AUM Magazine and the great community we reached the point where we are now.


Q: How did you manage to create such an impressive architecture visualization application? Can you tell us the main steps of your workflow process?

A: Stefan worked in an office which creates architecture visualizations. We always thought that it is a waste to create 3D content in order to get a 2D image / rendering, so we started to try building up an architecture visualization with 3DGS. First we started with blocks, but the results didn't come even near to a common rendering. Then we tried it with models, but we had problems with correct lightning and collisions. After researching and testing, we’ve found out that it is the easiest way to realize such a visualization with pre-calculated lightmaps. Anyhow here are the main steps of the workflow:

1. Building up the 3D content in 3DS Max from the blueprints of the customer.

2. Setting up the lights with Vray (a rendering engine which simulates light in a realistic way).

3. Baking (putting light and shadows on a 3D model via a texture).

4. Exporting; we use Malabar's Max2gs plugin.

5. Importing to WED.

6. Programming (physics, movement, camera, animations, shaders, menus etc).


Q: What are the "minimum system requirements" for Kroenlein?

A: Minimum requirements:

- Windows PC with latest DirectX version and video card drivers

- 512 MB of Ram

- 3D card with 128 MB of Ram



- Windows PC with latest DirectX version and video card drivers

- 1024 MB of Ram

- 3D card with 256 MB of Ram


Q: What was the most complicated, time-consuming part of the project?

A: Well, there are a few:

- Preparation of the 3D content to be able to show it off in realtime.

- Import / Export.

- Programming.


Q: How are you changing the colors and the material for the furniture, etc?

A: We are switching the diffuse texture using hlsl and c-script. The function ent_morphskin is very useful here; it switches textures during runtime.


Q: What are the limitations of your method?

A: The static lightning is the biggest limitation. We have talked about the possibility to achieve dynamic lights with baked lightmaps using many ent_morphskins in a row but then the problem is that we would need way too many baked lightmaps, which would lead to a big rendering time. That's possible, but very intensive.


Q: What new GameStudio feature would make your life easier?

A: Hmmm, there are many discussions in the forum about new features that would make the engine better. Here are our favorites:

- Dynamic lightning on models with soft shadows in an easy way to implement. That means without the usage of any 3rd party software or scripts.

- What you see is what you get editor.

- Shaders like bloom, hdr, dof etc. available in an easy to implement way.

- Realtime GI (sigh).


Q: Do you have some tips to share with the beginners?

A: Every beginner hates this answer, because he heard it more than a thousand times. Keep it simple, don't start with a mmorpg. Begin with experiments and expand your limits while trying to finish a project step by step. Try to set up a team that contains a programmer and an artist. It is possible to do both by yourself, but its far more easier to separate these two parts and have a specialist for each section.


Thank you a lot, Patrik and Stefan.