View Full Version : MGAC - 025 - Destructed RTS building

09 September 2006, 12:49 PM

Your goal is to model and texture a current gen RTS building in a destructed state.

The building can show up only slight damage it recieved recently or it can also be a ruin for a long time - it is totally up to you. You can also choose any era you want - stoneage to sci fi - realistic or stylised.
However even if you go for a stylised look your supposed to make the destruction look believable and ideally you should still be able to recognize what kind of building it used to be (i.e. military, a farm, factory etc.)


2500 triangles
512 texture (normal and specular maps are allowed -> 3x 512)

Challange ends Tuesday 26th of September at 11:00 PM CEST (Central European Summer Time) (GMT +2h)

If there's no interest in the topic - I'm totally open to suggestions!

I chose this topic since it used to bother me for a long time that gameartists seemed to pay very little attention to damaged building models in RTS games. In many games they just applied some flames and sometimes another texture to the model, which often didn't make any sense. It became better in the last few years, nowadays games like AoEIII even use physics to simulate destruction on buildings, however this doesn't necessarily make destruction look more believable.
Why RTS again - well simply because it'd be quite hard to do any current gen FPS stuff in a week apart from simple props.

Here're some references:

Warcraft 3 (

Age of Empires 3 (
Age of Empires 3 (

Codename Panzers (link removed - hotlinking doesn't work here anymore)
Codename Panzers (link removed - hotlinking doesn't work here anymore)
Codename Panzers (personal reference for the poly-limit of the challange) (

Company of Heroes (

09 September 2006, 12:52 PM
wewt, finally something I have an idea for :D

09 September 2006, 03:06 PM
Im in, sounds like fun, would be cool to make a building that goes with the last comp we had.

09 September 2006, 03:35 PM
I was thinking the same topic. Good call!

09 September 2006, 09:55 PM
I like this.

I did a very quick sketch to give me some ideas.

I see a lot more in this drawing than you do :P but just wanted to show the idea. It's a bombed 1930s building. Think I'll have to do flat windows because of the tri count :( the rubble needs triangles but ok its only for RTS.

09 September 2006, 11:10 PM
naw, you could get away w/ 3d windows or at least normal mapped windows. Concept is rough but certainly sells the idea. I should get on one as well :)

09 September 2006, 01:38 AM
Awesome idea! I think I will try to enter this one. I'm thinking possibly something like the archery range from AOE2. Hopefully I can get this done in time.

P.s. I get a hotlink warning for the pc game special panzer links.

09 September 2006, 06:40 AM
cool i might do this! 2500 tris though is that what games like aoe3 use on their buildings? :eek:

09 September 2006, 09:41 AM
So far, here's what I did:

09 September 2006, 11:26 AM
cool i might do this! 2500 tris though is that what games like aoe3 use on their buildings? :eek:

no I think polycounts in AoE III are lower, but as you can see on this screenshot ( it's quite ok for a current gen RTS - keep in mind that Codename Panzers (screenshot is from the making of website) is already almost 2 or 3 years old. I guess games like Company of Heroes are using much higher polycounts than that!

You also don't HAVE to use the whole budget - if you can achieve a good result with 500 tris it's even better :)

09 September 2006, 01:55 PM
I think 2500 would be ok for most games today, maybe 3000+ if there arent that many buildings. I think AOE3 uses very low poly counts because of the physics. Each building needs to be able to collapse and because of this it has to be simple so that the physics engine doesnt go mad with calculating a single building falling down and reducing the FPS to 5. That's just a guess. :shrug:

Anyway, I'm going back to drawing some polys...

Oh and I have a question regarding the competition: Is it ok for me to add some fire/smoke particles on the building? If each particle counts like using one triangle then I won't do it, but I just thought it'd be cool for the sake of presentation.

09 September 2006, 02:25 PM
particles are allowed as long as you don't go overboard with it. What I mean is - the challange is still about modelling and texturing, so some nice fire particles are fine, but you won't win the challange presenting nothing but a bonfire ;) (particles don't have an effect on your triangle budget - you can still use 2500)

09 September 2006, 11:19 PM
Sounds good, I'm in :thumbsup:

Think I'm gonna make a dis-used/abandoned petrol station, and try and get it really dirty and in dis-repair and looking as though it hasn't seen any life for a good number of years. I guess most of my destruction will be on a more cosmetic level, ie flaking paint, parts of the wall falling off, smashed windows etc rather than it being just a pile of rubble.

I'll make a start tomorrow, so hopefully will have something to show then.

09 September 2006, 04:38 AM
A WW2-era bombed out church. Modeling is done, UVW just needs a few tweaks. Textures tomorrow.

09 September 2006, 05:43 AM
Some good looking stuff so far :)

Here's the layout for mine. I decided to go with a Minoan theme. It's based of the palace of Knossos, which I've been lucky enough to have seen. I found two interesting parts and grouped them together in a formation not unlike the archery ranges from AOE2 ;) Hopefully I'll have time to work on it, work is quite busy at the moment. (

09 September 2006, 06:13 PM
Made a start on mine today, I think the basic layout is pretty much finished. Now it's a matter of getting the texture to do the work of making it look to be in a destructed state. Also did a quick normal map test on the garage doors - pretty pleased with that as normal maps and I don't have such a great record of working together.

09 September 2006, 06:22 PM
pruvaloo, though your texture work should do a lot for the scene in terms of destruction, you should work a little more on the mesh itself. What is your current tri count? I would get rid of the 90 angles, dent the garage doors, sag the roof, chip the building corners, make the window seals un-level, etc. This will help give it a more real look and not a fake cg look.

And danm, I need to start mine or I'll never get it done :)

09 September 2006, 08:28 PM
great stuff going on here - keep going everyone :thumbsup:

good points gamedev - pretty much the same what I thought myself.

09 September 2006, 12:30 AM
Midway through texturing.

09 September 2006, 03:56 AM
I managed to get a bit done tonight. Looking good Tim. pruvaloo, blow some holes in the side of that thing :D (

09 September 2006, 12:54 PM
This thread got lost somehow in the last few days - just wanted to remind you guys that the challange will end tomorrow. would be a shame if all those great models stay unfinished ;)

09 September 2006, 06:15 PM
Hmm, it looks like I won't be able to finish mine :sad: I spent the weekend rebuilding my computer....

09 September 2006, 10:13 PM
Gamedev - cheers for those, all really good crits! I went over the basic mesh with a details kinda pass and I think I've covered everything, or most of the things, that you mentioned. I forgot to look up the exact tri count before I closed max, but I believe it's around the 1500 mark. I could of optimized it a bit more, but I had a fair few strategic cuts to help me with the UV-ing ;)

Synthesizer - blow some holes in it??!?!! My poor petrol station! Hehe

Not done much one this for the past couple of days. Tonight it was time to start texturing, and as you can see there is still a lot to do - areas still need texturing, and I need to work on things, ie add dirt and cracks to the walls, add wear to the painted signs so they dont look crisp etc. Then sort out normal maps. Then sort out spec maps. Tomorrow is gonna be fun.

Anyway, here is a little update of how things stand at the mo:

09 September 2006, 06:46 AM
Alright, I missed the rts unit cuz i started it too late but i did this one :D. haha. The texture is a little rushed but i might go back and fix it when i have time but for now here it is. Oh yeah it's a coal factory kinda thing, would be a source of energy.

09 September 2006, 02:48 PM
Sadly, I just had to go out two nights in a row and get really drunk and not be able to function for a while, so I kinda spoiled it again. :scream:

HOWEVER! I like this idea very much (good call B.T.) and will absolutely open my own WIP thread to show the completion of it. I'll also use a texture resolution of 1024.

Right now I have the model done but there is some more damage I want to do to it, and I'm too embarassed to post anything now... (my 100th time that i "enter" a compo and not finish it).

The idea is really great because it allows us to envision a lot of details but also you need to think about HOW the structure got to where it was. I spent a lot of time thinking how the walls would actually collapse, how the fire would melt and burn some other parts, where they'd fall, etc. Such thinking contributes to the realism of the scene and it'll look great in my portfolio (among other things). I was going to make a destroyed interior, but making a destroyed building always somehow escaped me, even tho it's a perfect idea for what I want to show I can do.

some crits (if you dont mind?):

@TimothyD, that looks charming, where's the rest of the texture? It looks really well coneptualised, tho i dont know how the tiles would fall off the roof in quite such a way, but it doesnt look very wrong. Awesome entry so far.

@Artantat, the chimney which is made of many small bricks would more likely collapse into lots of small bits if it fell like that? I think? Maybe? hmm...?

@pruvaloo, I see youre learning. This reminds me of some duke nukem 3d levels I played a decade ago.

09 September 2006, 07:25 PM
Since I have no idea when this thing ends (havent checked a world clock, haha) thought I would post my WIP atleast.

referenced after Company of Heroes. Its coming along though I have quite a bit of texture work left. Well below the tri count so if I have time all add more rubble and misc props. Everones is looking good so far!

09 September 2006, 07:53 PM
braincell84 - cheers! Oh man Duke Nukem 3D...many happy memories there. Pigcops and "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I'm all outta gum"...pure genius!

Here's my effort
1652 triangles, 1x512x512 texture

Good luck everyone :D

09 September 2006, 08:14 PM
great improvement pruvalo! that's looking really great now. :)

Since there're quite a few people still working on promising stuff and I'm really looking forward to see these finished as well, I thought about extending the deadline a day or even two.

However the decision is up to pruvalo - you're the only one with a completed entry (as long as no one else submits something in the next 45 minutes) and thus you'd most likely win this challange. If it's ok for you I'll extend the deadline.

(as I can see on your screenshot you've still around 900 tris left, so you could probably add some smaller props (like barrels, tires, junk) to it during this time)

09 September 2006, 08:21 PM
Hmm, that'd be nice. I have some time tonight that I'd be able to work on it with. It seems a week is never enough for these things. If I had a week of free time that'd be nice :p

09 September 2006, 09:32 PM
Thanks B.T. :) Yeah I think it would be sucky if I won because mine was the only completed entry, so it's totally fine with me to extend the deadline. Is it extended by 2 days now? (so the new deadline would be Thursday 28th at 11:00PM CEST)
Yup I have a few ideas for props I could make, I've also spotted a few things I'd like to tidy up, so the extra time is all good.

This is the first time I've done a MGAC, so this might be a really dumb question but....

I've decided not to use a normal map because being for an RTS chances are the camera would be too far away to really pick up much normal map detail, so would I be allowed to use the normal map space as another diffuse map? Or are we only allowed one diffuse, one normal etc?

09 September 2006, 10:47 PM
How much longer are you extending the deadline for? another day?

09 September 2006, 04:12 AM
A bit more progress... (

09 September 2006, 02:40 PM
How much longer are you extending the deadline for? another day?

The new deadline is Thursday the 28th 10:00 PM CEST

@Synthesizer great stuff - looking forward to see this one textured :)

09 September 2006, 01:21 PM
B.T. on the track.... computer aide like that...

seriously though, where are the entries?

09 September 2006, 02:44 PM
Thanks B.T. Well, I've got it unwrapped. Let's see if I can manage to make a texture over my lunch break :scream: (

09 September 2006, 05:57 PM
Ok, here is what I have thus far. Hopefully I'll get a chance to make a few more changes, but time is of the essence!

1x512 diffuse w/ an alpha channel of course!

Good luck to all!

09 September 2006, 06:03 PM
Nice choice for the comp.

Some really good work going on here.

I'm enjoying watching these, even though I'm not participating :)


09 September 2006, 06:35 PM
Nice one guys, those are looking pretty damn sweet ;)

I used the extension to add some props to mine and as I said before I decided to not use a normal or spec map - leaving me with space for 3x512 diffuse it's worked out I've only used half of that space, but meh

This now weighs in at 2388 triangles with one 512x512 map and two 256x256 maps

Good luck everyone :)

09 September 2006, 06:57 PM
Hey all
Talk about last minute, saw the extension and wanted to give it a shot. Thanks for looking.

09 September 2006, 06:57 PM
Yeah, some good stuff thus far, though we still have 3 or 4 others who have yet to submit some final models :( Hopefully they get em in! Ha, no idea when this thing ends due to time conversion.

09 September 2006, 07:01 PM
Great stuff everyone :) Ok, lunch break, lets see if I can get this thing textured :scream:

09 September 2006, 07:22 PM
Go Synth Go!

09 September 2006, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the encouragement :D The polycount is 2552 I just realized. Please ignore the 100 polygon bucket :blush:

This is as far as I managed to get:
I'm definitely going to be continuing this after though. ( ( ( (

09 September 2006, 09:49 PM
Alright guys it's 10:30 PM (central european summer time) and eventhough I'd have loved to see everyone's entry finished I've to stick to the deadline I can't move it further again - the competition is over!

Hellboy - You've got a nice model there, some nice detail, unfortunately you left it unfinished.

timothyD - Excellent work on this model! It's one of my favourite models in this challange - really great attention to detail and the destruction looks very believable. I love the crater (right word? ) it gives it a really nice touch! Your texture work looks promising, however it's not on the same level as your model yet. The texture doesn't read very well at that size of the model, but I guess you'd have probably fixed that issue later. It's really a shame that you couldn't finish it before the deadline.

Synthesizer - First of all great theme for your entry! I loved the idea of a Minoan archeryrange and you did a great job on the model. At first glance it really looks like one of those ancient ruins you can still find on crete and you've got a nice and clean wireframe.
But on a closer look one can find some issues that make the destruction look less believable. I just saw that you completed your model with some great improvements of the texture. Looks much better than before but I think the textures could still use some more love, they could use some more lighting painted on and maybe a little more dirt.

pruvaloo - I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical about your model at first - on the first WIP screen it looked really sterile. However with your final entry you've proven me totally wrong. You've got a very nice model with lots of detail and the great thing is even when I zoom out of the screenshot both your model and texture are still very clear to read. The silouhette is really good and that's one of the most imporant things for RTS stuff. The textures are really great as well - only thing I dislike are the textures of the door and the window - they're too obviously photosourced and look kinda flat. The broken car fits perfectly to the scene - that additional time was really well spent!

Artantat - You've got a pretty good model with lots of detail and the idea with the overthrown chimney is great! However a great part of the detail on your model get's lost because of the textures. I can see a lot of debris laying around on the ground on your wireframe model, but it's almost impossible to see these details on your textured model.
You mentioned that you rushed the textures - mabye take some time and overwork them, the rest of your entry is pretty good!

Gamedev - You did a great job on the model - it definitely looks and feels like a building of the 30's! The power pole is a nice touch and you've got a nice and clean wireframe. However I think you could have added more detail to both the model and your textures in order to make it look more believable. The ceiling is a totally broken (was it hit by bomb?) but the rest of the house is still totally clean and undamaged. You could have used more overlays to add more random dirt and maybe some cracks etc. Overall pretty good entry - I know you were short on time.

Darthsalamander - One of the big surprises in the challange! I love your concept of some kind of sci-fi nuclear power station (at least that's what I imagine it is). It's got a nice style and the model looks really good for such a low polycount. Your textures are really really great too - they've got a lot of depth, lots of detail and the spec map gives it this nice sci fi look! The only thing I miss are some small props to give the model more detail and make it more interesting. For examble a broken power pole, crazy sci fi machine parts, debris of the destroyed building etc. All in all I think this is the 2nd best entry of the challange - great work!

And the winner is pruvaloo - I think you've spent a lot of love on this model and this really shows up in all the nice details and the great composition. I can really imagine to see this model in a RTS like Panzers playing in the 60s - great job! :thumbsup:

You can choose a new topic and start the challange whenever you want!

[as you can see this post took me more than an hour - it's both because it was a really hard decision and because english isn't my native language and it's sometimes a little difficult for me to express myself in the way I want to. Hope there not too many mistakes]

09 September 2006, 10:08 PM
Really nice work guys, congrats to the winner.

09 September 2006, 10:12 PM
Congrats pruvaloo! That turned out pretty good. Good job everyone else.

B.T. where do you think the destruction doesn't look believeable? I think I'm going to contiune with this and finish it up.

09 September 2006, 10:17 PM
Congrats to all. Here's to the next MGAC! Whats it going to be?

09 September 2006, 10:58 PM
yea, I hope its nothing organic because I'm planning to join the next with the new app of mine :D Muuuuhhhhhyyaaaaa

09 September 2006, 01:08 AM
Great stuff as usual Tyler:)

09 September 2006, 01:52 AM
Congrats pruvaloo! I wish I had the time to finish my entry, but I've just been too busy these past few days. Also you wouldn't believe how complicated the unwrap was, I decided to bake in the lighting and so every single poly on that thing had its own space. A nightmare!

Here's to the next one :beer:

09 September 2006, 08:46 AM
B.T. where do you think the destruction doesn't look believeable? I think I'm going to contiune with this and finish it up.

These are not big issues at all, just something that didn't look quite right to me and of course I'm no expert in architecture.
Here're some points:
1. It looks like a part of the ceiling construction rests on a broken column. That looked quite odd to me, since I don't think that the ceiling would fall down totally straight like that and in one piece, when the first column (which seems to be gone completely) and the second column (the one the debris rests on) are broken like that. Hard to describe in words.

2. Here I would have expected that the beam would be broken closer to the column. The Minoan did not have ferroconcrete and so it's hard to imagine that one single piece of stone is longer than about 3 meters and does not break off.

3. This is actually nice small detail and at first glance it looks quite cool. But when you take a closer look it doesn't really work - you've got the capital of the column hanging down the ceiling. The columns are there to hold up the ceiling, so why is the capital glued to the ceiling? I don't think that'd work like that ;)

As I said before I think your model and the idea behind it is really great - I absolutely don't want to make your model look bad or something, these are just some minor things that came to my mind and they're not that important at all.

09 September 2006, 02:35 PM
Wow thanks guys :) really wasn't expecting to win this, so that was a great suprise. Cheers!

I'd just like to say a big well done to everyone who took part as well, some real nice buildings going on here.

As for the next MGAC...I have a couple of ideas, but first I want to go through all the previous threads and see what topics have been covered, I don't wanna do one that has already been done. HellBoy - I'm afraid at the moment I'm leaning towards something organic because this MGAC and I believe the one before it were none organic ones, so I figured it would be a change. We will have to see though.

I'm going to try and finalise my idea today and then start the challenge either tomorrow or Sunday, I'll keep you posted.

Once agian thanks to everyone :)

09 September 2006, 04:23 PM
Thanks for the tips B.T. it's really appreciated.

Something organic would be nice. I'm making a town square for work right now, so a change of pace would be nice :)

timothyD: That does seem like a lot of hassle indeed.

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