Lego Bricks Require More Polygons Than World of Warcraft Avatars

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Lego Bricks Require More Polygons Than World of Warcraft Avatars

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It's more complicated to model a simple Lego brick than a Druid, according to Lego Universe developer NetDevil.

Go ahead and fire up World of Warcraft, I'll wait. Okay, now look at your avatar decked out in anywhere from tier-0 to tier whatever-the-hell Blizzard is up to now. To create that must have taken some 3D modeling skill right? Sure, but not as much as it takes NetDevil to create a brick in Lego Universe.

In an interview with Gamasutra, creative director for Lego Universe Ryan Seabury revealed that due to the Lego Group's "uncompromising" standards for the appearance of any Lego product, there is more to a Lego brick than an entire World of Warcraft character. The building blocks in the Lego MMO that players can use to create anything (but ideally not phalli) might look simple, but they're not.

When asked about what it takes from a technological standpoint to manage a large number of player-created objects in the game, Seabury said: "There's a huge amount of technical magic that's happening in the background to make this feasible. We thought about rendering Lego bricks in real time, but they're complicated, actually."

"People think they're just blocks, and they should be easy, but the level of detail with all the studs and the details on the other side... Lego is uncompromising about how those need to look," he added. "As a comparison, a two by eight Lego plate brick, a very simple brick, is about twice the polygons of say, a World of Warcraft avatar."

Let's say Seabury knows exactly what he's talking about here: How is it possible? My guess is that while a Lego brick in real life might be simple, it has perfectly rounded male and female connector points. Where the circular male connectors touch the top of a Lego brick isn't just a stiff right angle, but a smooth curve. And don't forget that the bottom of a Lego piece is usually even more complicated than the top.

To model this could potentially take a lot of polygons, if I'm understanding correctly. World of Warcraft avatars look just dandy, especially the more they glow thanks to various armor and weapon upgrades, but they do have their share of sharp edges and "round" surfaces with corners. To get rid of that takes polygons, which means that a 2x8 Lego brick just might be more complicated to render than a hero that has the ability to slay the most terrible evils in the universe.

Source: Gamasutra

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To be fair here, Vanilla wow races have not been updated in..nearly ever. It wouldn't be hard to create or believe this game has more to it graphically than vanilla wow characters.

Unlike WoW you can actually reuse the lego figures almost 100% of the time, except for the textures.

What a tremendous waste of resources.

Wait there is gonna be a Lego MMO? That's awesome!!!

when polygon counts are more important than gameplay, I'll consider looking into this one.

Well, actually its pretty true. WoW is based on very low poly models, very basic in terms of modeling, mostly because they lack definition on the features that is achieved through textures. Now a simple lego brick, despite being a cube also has those bumps on top you have to model out, to model a single circular bump you need to increase poly count on all faces to keep the polys as quads, else you get really messed up results when rendering and optimizing.

I's just one more reason WOW is pulling in 11 million subscribers when so many MMOs are struggling to get near 1 million. Blizzard understand the importance of making the game look good without needing high specs, by using talented artists instead of just throwing processing power at high end graphics.

Sure Aion and the like look all shiny, but there's probably not 11 million PCs capable of playing many of the MMOs out there at reasonable settings.

Now I'm in no way saying WOW is the best MMO, just that Blizzard seem to be one of the few companies who understand that if you can make a game look good thru art instead of processing power, you can sell it to far more people, Crysis for example.

Its a block... It needs like what, 12 triangle polygons? What a waste of GPU processing power.

Sacman:
Wait there is gonna be a Lego MMO? That's awesome!!!

Indeed it is. It should be a good laugh :)

Tom Goldman:
from tier-0 to tier whatever-the-hell Blizzard is up to now.

tier 10 :)

Sacman:
Wait there is gonna be a Lego MMO? That's awesome!!!

Already is, a friend of mine's playing it.

EDIT: Wait, no, it's the beta. My bad.

Kungfu_Teddybear:

Sacman:
Wait there is gonna be a Lego MMO? That's awesome!!!

Indeed it is. It should be a good laugh :)

Tom Goldman:
from tier-0 to tier whatever-the-hell Blizzard is up to now.

tier 10 :)

And even better, we have already seen tier 11.

Whoa, whoa, whoa....whoa.

A lego MMO? ...Awesome!

OT: Not surprised. Wow hasn't been updated in quite some time.

WoW system requirements:
- Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+
- ATI Radeon 7200 or NVIDIA GeForce 2 class card or better

Lego Universe system requirements:
- Pentium 4 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 3200+
- ATI Graphics Card Radeon X600 Series or Nvidia Graphics Card GeForce 6600

Given the Lego site's stated emphasis on providing a friendly, safe environment for children you'd think they'd go with more WoW-like specs to accommodate lower-end machines.

Well, this is the Lego Group we're talking about, a group with an insane quality control department. And, really, I'm okay with Lego Universe being more graphically impressive than a Wow character. Lego Creator, Lego Racers, Lego Island all had simplistic adaptations of what was a Lego brick, but now it looks like our virtual Legos will be just as impressive as our physical Legos. Score!

Awesome. I might play this game, just to build a massive, iron-fisted dictatorship that enslaves 12-year-olds as a means of national income.

BehattedWanderer:
Well, this is the Lego Group we're talking about, a group with an insane quality control department. And, really, I'm okay with Lego Universe being more graphically impressive than a Wow character. Lego Creator, Lego Racers, Lego Island all had simplistic adaptations of what was a Lego brick, but now it looks like our virtual Legos will be just as impressive as our physical Legos. Score!

And cheaper to keep up as a hobby. Have you SEEN what LEGO™ sets cost these days?

Make sense. WoW sucks and Lego is awesome hence more polygons for lego.

Well, sure. You could use a billion polygons to make a simple sphere if you wanted. The real question is, when you have two blocks stacked on top of each other, are the parts you can't see rendered? That would just be excessive.

THats...surprising. I wouldnt have expected that at all. Huh, the more you know it seems

...Well, that kind of sounds weird, but I'm not programming expert (though I hope to be once I finish High School and College), so I'm not one to talk.
Also, Lego MMO? Sounds like it could be interesting.

Sacman:
Wait there is gonna be a Lego MMO? That's awesome!!!

it was at pax last year......... any way it looks great. I would get this if i was into mmo's

blalien:
Well, sure. You could use a billion polygons to make a simple sphere if you wanted. The real question is, when you have two blocks stacked on top of each other, are the parts you can't see rendered? That would just be excessive.

If the graphics engine programmers know what they're doing, the answer to this is no. (transparent objects excluded, obviously.)

A major part of creating an efficient 3d engine is 'hidden surface removal'.
In other words, getting rid of anything you can't see as soon as you can, so you don't have to ALL the work of rendering it, only to have it be wasted because you can't see it anyway.

hmm so they go the extra mile to make sure everything seems plastic and fake.
That's devotion I'll say that

Most of Wows graphical appeal in the more reacent models comes from their textures, not the modells themselves. So this comparison is typical for game-developer pre-release-language: Comapre apples to bananas.

It's like saying microbes are way superior to human beings because hey don't need that much bones to move around.

They have more polygons... good for them but I would still rather stare at a night elf

This is weapon's grade facepalm material.

Of fucking course it takes more polygons to render the little cylinders on lego pieces than wow characters. One could use an infinite number of polygons and still not have a perfect circle. They'd simply have an object with infinite sides that looks like a fucking circle.

To me this suggests some severe limitations with the current engine's they are working with.

I heard Lego MMO and I knew then all my prayers had been answered

T-Cool:
Its a block... It needs like what, 12 triangle polygons? What a waste of GPU processing power.

You'd be very surprised how many polygons are required to make high-resolution circles.

It's those round claspy-hand things. Round objects require additional pylo...er, polygons. Sorry, slip of the tongue there.

Makes sense, there are a lot of small fine details on the lego characters like the little holes in there feet to make them look just like real lego.

gigastrike:

T-Cool:
Its a block... It needs like what, 12 triangle polygons? What a waste of GPU processing power.

You'd be very surprised how many polygons are required to make high-resolution circles.

Which is where they screw up. An 8 sided cylinder should be absolute minimum. It would look blocky(HAH!), but would still look round. They could more than likely get away with something around 16 sides, have it look just fine, and cut way down on resource consumption. Once the pieces are connected, you won't see the cylinders anyway. I don't know why they're opting for ridiculously over-polied pieces.

I wish I still had GMAX installed so I could give an example. None of my old work would illustrate it correctly.

EDIT:
This picture is something I did a long time ago. It shows how an 8 sided cylinder can still be round. Obviously it isn't perfectly round, so you could see why 16 would probably be more useful.


With the correct smoothing groups, it could pass as round.

Just for comparison, here's a 12 sided one:

Here's 16 sided


Gotta love old photobucket accounts.

Granted this is from an older engine, but I'd assume that the same basics for 3D modeling still apply.

Not to mention that WoW will be 6 years old in November... It's not hard to imagine that a current model created for any game would have more polygons than something in WoW.

-Samurai-:
Which is where they screw up. An 8 sided cylinder should be absolute minimum. It would look blocky(HAH!), but would still look round. They could more than likely get away with something around 16 sides, have it look just fine, and cut way down on resource consumption. Once the pieces are connected, you won't see the cylinders anyway. I don't know why they're opting for ridiculously over-polied pieces.

I wish I still had GMAX installed so I could give an example. None of my old work would illustrate it correctly.

EDIT:
This picture is something I did a long time ago. It shows how an 8 sided cylinder can still be round. Obviously it isn't perfectly round, so you could see why 16 would probably be more useful.


With the correct smoothing groups, it could pass as round.

Just for comparison, here's a 12 sided one:

Here's 16 sided


Gotta love old photobucket accounts.

Granted this is from an older engine, but I'd assume that the same basics for 3D modeling still apply.

Yeah, but even the 16 sided one is still blatantly obvious in its not actually roundness (I can clearly see all the sides). And in the article, it says that the people at LEGO have a very high standard. They would probably take one look at that 16 sided thing you have there and say, "No way, that sucks, try again." (cookie for the reference, not that I'll remember to come back and see if anyone got it >_> )

Why is there a Lego game?

Lego is for building stuff.

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