Some news to report from the front lines:
Adaptive Mesh Prototype
Essentially it's a tessellation routine for our planet system which reduces the mesh complexity based on distance. When the viewer gets within a certain distance of the planet, the system begins to resolve the landscape itself including mountains and terrain.
This is good for such things as a seamless transition from planet surface to space and back, aka: Google Earth style. Except that we plan on having multiple planets in the virtual solar system, as well as eventually many solar systems in a galaxy (continue scaling up to get the big picture).
Adding to this is the combination of Mesh Reduction LOD in order to handle the objects on these planets as you get within view to begin loading them. As a result, the mesh reduction LOD system should allow for a visibility range to the horizon without adverse effects on the rendering engine.
If you are an Active Worlds user, then this means the visibility menu is obsolete.
The next step is to figure out a dynamic tessellation routine.
After looking over the tessellation routine in action with a virtual planet the size of Earth, something has dawned on us that we didn't previously realize. An entire planet in A3D may be overkill for the standard needs of the average client/user.
If the largest "world" that ActiveWorlds has in their "universe" is the size of California, and they have yet to completely fill it ten years later, then the main planet of Andromeda3D may never be filled at all.
Which begs the question... is A3D simply too powerful? At the moment we're not going to question the power of the system, but we may have to offer planets that are orders of magnitude smaller than Earth to our customers.
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