Hi everyone. I'm new in programming games in java... totally noob
Therefore i will need your help. I have to choose a technology for a project I'm on. I'll describe it now.
My school (I'm a student) has given me the task of making a new virtual tour of the school, in order to place it on their website. They actually did one, vith VRML. It's pretty ugly and unfounctionnal, and of course not really cross-platform or browser-independant. There are the constraints of my project:
- I have to take the VRML existing data, put it into a 3D editing app, make it much nicer (I habe a friend working on it with me, and he is pretty strong at modelizing):
- do a not-entirely-flat terrain
- do nicer textures (perhaps the easier)
- do overlay textures containing light effects on the buildings
- i have to do it completely cross-platform, not necesseraly a web applet; i have to avoid the use of a software plugin
for "playback"; since I started i am convinced that java with opengl is the best for me; i know that java web start is perfect for the project too.
- the user should "play" this virtual tour like a FPS (just walk and use first person view, maybe a world-of-warcraft-type view (you see your avatar and if you zoom you're in it), with letf/right/forward/backwards controls
- the place is a relatively flat terrain, with mostly parrallelepipedic buildings; the landscape is sometimes a little wide, the soft should be able to show from relative far distances; there is some vegetation (mostly trees (should be hard to do) and grass (a texture will be easy to do))
- I have one month to do it ^_^
- i must optimize the size of the map file for maximum web use
- I have to make the use of "spawn points", in order to let the user warp to named places (2D text overlay) like "hall", "administive building", ...
- we are two students. I have experience in general programming (mostly java and C; java preferred; working with Eclipse IDE). My friend has experience in 3D (works with Maya).
At this point, we have determined that we should use either Xith3D or LWJGL; we haven't chosen the 3D application who could allow us to import VRML and output in the better optimizing 3D format for our project (that is, displaying a quake-like map with relatively far view distance). I tried maya (doesn't please me) and blender (i'can't understand the interface); the school has licenses for 3ds max too, and I'm thinking of trying it.
We have studied the possibility of using completed open-source project who were close to our willing: Jake2, who renders 3D quake maps, would be ok. If so, we could in fact modify it (make it a lot lighter) and keep only the needed features, and make the map in Quake map format, using Qrandiant. The problem is, that it will be hard to be made from VRML (and we'll have to do it from scratch), and that (it seems to me so) it won't be possible to do a not-completely-flat terrain.
We have considered the use of the q3demo of Xith3D, which fits our expectations, but whose renderer seems not as good as LWJGL's. It lacks fluidity (by me). Maybe using it with another loader could be good but only 3DS, OBJ and md2 (q2 map if i'm not mistaken)...
What do you think of all this? Which would be your advise concerning the choice of technology and of 3D programms? Having read all the constraints we have?
Thanks in advance for giving us a part of your experience in Java games programming and for your indulgency concerning my english and my noobism.