destructable buildings in games


I am looking for efficient ways to model destructable buildings for video games. Specifically, making a seemless puzzle from a building, so that portions can be removed upon extensive damage. These buildings will be complete outside and inside. Polygon count is always an issue.

Here are a couple of directions,

  1. model the entire building, cut it into pieces when done.
  2. model the pieces to interlock.



I have already tried a ‘cookie cutter’ method using a cutting object and booleans to cut the existing building into jagged pieces.
The major flaw is the amount of mapping you must keep up with for all of the materials and detail maps.
The next headache is the amount of vertices that are added, but unnecessary. You end up spending a great deal of time welding vertices and then readjusting your mapping.
For a while I was sure it would work, after all the building is cut up in a matter of seconds. But this method is inefficient due to the cleanup time.


how about a building with just a few pieces (maybe 8-10) jigsawed together, and then having a few sprite filds taking place of the detail geometry on explosion?

yeah, its kind of a hack, but it will save a rediculous amount of time, texturing, and modelling, never mind memory usage when in game.


I have tried cutting an existing building into about 8 pieces. I used particles instead of sprites and it works fine in the game engine.

There are two major problems in creating these buildings, the amount of time it takes to cut up a building and the problems that occur in mapping.
For instance, my building may have a tiling texture on the base map channel, but there are also detail maps on extra map channels that lose the mapping when the geometry is cut apart. That means lining up the mapping for detail maps from piece to piece.


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