Max Damage thoughts about 3D game engine used

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Max Damage thoughts about 3D game engine used

Post by andwan0 »

I've loved the Carmageddon series, and still love the original MS-DOS Carmageddon 1 from 1997. Just bought & been playing Max Damage and wow, it's just exactly like Carmageddon 1, with better graphics, new map landmark features, etc. but with Carmageddon 2 peds. I do miss the metalatic sounds of the cars scratching against the metalic world/roads and peds screaming... and I swear the hawk car was longer/thinner...

However, since it's the post 2010+ ... a lot has changed... and am used to modern games with 60+ frames/sec, realistic human-rigged modelling, and car physics. I was playing GTA5 & Mafia 3. Whilst driving in GTA5/Mafia 3 I dreamt Carmageddon should use this 3D engine. The cars feel/sound like real, the driving mechanics/physics are life-like, and the peds are life-like. Excellent weather system and both games open-world with so many peds/cars. I understand Mafia 3 is singleplayer and it uses area/grid-based logic calculating (npc peds/cars spawn in area near player & disappear when out-of-scope), whereas Carmageddon requires to calculate every area for all the opponent cars & peds (since it keeps track of all where all peds move to). It's a shame Max Damage is capped at 30frames/sec... I know that the game's best feature is the instant replay and it has to record EVERYTHING since the start of the game. But hopefully in future they can make it 60+fps so we can do slow-motion instant replays and able to see tires spin instead of skipping.

What do you guys think? regarding Max Damage's 3D game engine... car physics/mechanics...
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Re: Max Damage thoughts about 3D game engine used

Post by Trent »

Where do you get the idea that Max Damage is capped to 30fps? By defualt the game attempts to run at a refresh rate of 60hz and has a softcap of 125fps, but this can be lifted to (I think) 220fps in the config file, which I assume is a limit imposed by the physics engine to stop things going wonky. Do you happen to have VSync turned on and a machine which isn't quite powerful enough to hit 60fps? That would make the game stick to 30fps to be able to match the screen refresh timing. I get anywhere between 110fps and 200fps depending on the level and what's happening on the screen.

Max Damage's physics engine, particularly in regards to vehicle dynamics and damage, is leaps and bounds ahead of GTA5 and Mafia 3, their vehicle simulations are far simpler and less realistic than what Stainless implemented in Max Damage. Max Damage's vehicle simulation code was based on the system they wrote for a rally simulation in conjunction with the Pro Drive rally team. The main difference with the percieved "realism" of the car handling in GTA compared to Max Damage is the cars in GTA are carefully setup in the bounds of their simple simulation to fake what gamers expect to be realistic in a game while the cars in Max Damage aren't particularly well setup in the realisitic simulation and while they are physically realistic based on their setup, their behaviour isn't what gamers consider "realistic" as our brains are trained on games like Burnout, GTA and Need For Speed to think their car handling is "realistic".

Max Damage's cars are ridiculously more detailed than GTA5's, with tons more moving, breakable parts. GTA5's car damage system is extremely simple, while Max Damage's is extremely complex. Ironically GTA5's cars look "better" partly because they are simpler, less resources are required to render them so they can make use of higher resource shaders, textures, etc. The other part is the overall rendering system is of a higher quality and more optimized, but you'd expect that when comparing one of the most successful games of all time by one of the world's largest development teams to a niche game made by an indie studio a fraction of that size on a shoestring budget.

Honestly I don't think either the RAGE engine used for GTA or the Illusion Engine used for Mafia would be suitable for Carmageddon, the goals of the games are so wildly different they're not particularly comparable. Graphics are graphics, these days any modern engine can be updated with fancy new graphics techniques for rendering realistic skin or weather effects or whatever, making sure the engine is appropriate for the sorts of gameplay situations and simulations is far more important.
a.k.a. Brent