Suggested Improving game asset creation pipeline

brylie

New Member
Contributor
#1
Terasology documentation currently recommends using the MD5 3D mesh format to import in-game assets. This is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, there isn't a reliable way to export MD5 meshes from Blender, as the few MD5 export modules are somewhat neglected and Blender does not have an official MD5 exporter. Secondly, tutorials and resources relating to MD5 are largely outdated, and increasingly rare.

Proposal
After researching an alternative workflow, by looking at prominent game engines and Blender, I would like to propose we discuss how Terasology can support physically based rendering and the gLTF game asset format.

Rationale
Blender, Godot, Unity, and Unreal engines all support physically based rendering, meaning game assets and textures created by Blender for these game engines would also be available for Terasology. There are collections of freely licensed PBR materials available, that can be adapted to Terasology game environment for things like houses, biomes, minerals, armor, and more.

gLTF is supported by all of the previously mentioned projects, and there are actively maintained gLTF exporters for Maya and 3DS Max. Thousands of gLTF game assets are available, under Creative Commons license, via Sketchfab and other platforms.

Possible approaches
Creating a bespoke PBR rendering engine in Terasology should be a last resort. One possible way forward would be to urge the libGDX developers to support physically based rendering and gLTF, so please comment in the related issue below. Otherwise, a different rendering engine might help Terasology transition to a contemporary, standards-based game asset and rendering workflow.

References
Game/rendering engines with (real-time) PBR
PBR
gLTF
 
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brylie

New Member
Contributor
#2
It has also been noted that Terasology supports COLLADA, which is also a public standard for asset interchange. So, a mid-term solution here might be to deprecate MD5 in favor of COLLADA support. Both COLLADA and gLTF are developed by the Khronos group.