Lego Bricks Require More Polygons Than World of Warcraft Avatars

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
14,499
0
0
Lego Bricks Require More Polygons Than World of Warcraft Avatars



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

Go ahead and fire up Lego Universe [http://www.amazon.com/World-Warcraft-Cataclysm-Pc/dp/B002I0HKIU/ref=sr_1_1?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285712183&sr=8-1].

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 [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103826-Lego-Universe-Has-Immense-Levels-of-Phallus-Protection]) 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 [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6148/the_realities_of_a_lego_mmo.php]

Permalink
 

Eri

The Light of Dawn
Feb 21, 2009
3,626
0
0
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.
 

microhive

New member
Mar 27, 2009
489
0
0
Unlike WoW you can actually reuse the lego figures almost 100% of the time, except for the textures.
 

Keava

New member
Mar 1, 2010
2,010
0
0
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.
 

SenseOfTumour

New member
Jul 11, 2008
4,514
0
0
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.
 

T-Cool

New member
Apr 3, 2010
4
0
0
Its a block... It needs like what, 12 triangle polygons? What a waste of GPU processing power.
 

Nukey

New member
Apr 24, 2009
4,125
0
0
Whoa, whoa, whoa....whoa.

A lego MMO? ...Awesome!

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

Psydney

New member
Oct 29, 2009
60
0
0
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.
 

BehattedWanderer

Fell off the Alligator.
Jun 24, 2009
5,237
0
0
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!
 

The Austin

New member
Jul 20, 2009
3,368
0
0
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.
 

SimuLord

Whom Gods Annoy
Aug 20, 2008
10,077
0
0
BehattedWanderer said:
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?
 

blalien

New member
Jul 3, 2009
441
0
0
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.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
5,630
0
0
THats...surprising. I wouldnt have expected that at all. Huh, the more you know it seems