Report article RSS Feed "But Notch, it’s NOT a scam!"

I’ve been getting a bunch of feedback that my last blog post is wrong for various reasons, and I’d just like to say that I would absolutely LOVE to be proven wrong. Being wrong is awesome, that's how you learn. If you want to read my reasoning behind various assumptions, please read more.

Posted by Kizzycocoa on Aug 3rd, 2011

I've been getting a bunch of feedback that my last blog post is wrong for various reasons, and I'd just like to say that I would absolutely LOVE to be proven wrong. Being wrong is awesome, that's how you learn.

Why I assume it's voxels and not point clouds:

* Voxels store only the information about each point, and their positions are implicit in the location of where the voxel is stored. Point cloud data stores both the information about each point and the position of each point.
* They mention “64 atoms per cubic millimetre”, which is 4*4*4 points per mm^2. While it's possible they only refer to the sampling frequency for turning polygonal structures into point data, the numbers are just too round for me to ignore as a programmer.
* All repeated structures in the world are all facing the same direction. To me, that means they aren't able to easily rotate them arbitrarily.

About the size calculation:

* I was trying to show that there was no way there was that much UNIQUE data in the world, and that everything had to be made up of repeated chunks.
* One byte per voxel is way lower than the raw data you'd need. In reality, you'd probably want to track at least 24 bits of colour and eight bits of normal vector data per voxel. That's four times as much data. It's quite possible you'd want to track even more data.
* If the data compresses down to 1%, it would still be 1 700 three-terrabyte hard drives of data at one byte of raw data per voxel.

Animated voxels:

* Holy crap, people sent me videos of this actually being done!
* I was wrong! :D
* Youtube.com
* (But please note that just that single animated character runs at 36 fps)

Why it's a scam:


* They pretend like they're doing something new and unique, but in reality a lot of people are researching this. There are a lot of known draw-backs to doing this.
* They refuse to address the known flaws. They don't show non-repeated architecture, they don't show animation, they don't show rotated geometry, and they don't show dynamic lighting.
* They invent new terminology and use superlatives and plenty of unverifiable claims.
* They say it's a “search algorithm”. That's just semantics to confuse the issue. Sparse voxel octrees is a search algorithm to do very fast ray casting in a voxel space.
* They seem to be doing some very impressive voxel rendering stuff, which could absolutely be used to make very interesting games, but it's not as great as they claim it is. The only reason I can see for them misrepresenting it this bad is that I assume they're looking for funding and/or to get bought up.

If these guys were being honest with the drawbacks and weaknesses of their system, I'd be their biggest fan. As it is now, it's almost like they're trying NOT to be trustworthy.

All this said, voxels are amazing. So is raytracing and raycasting. As computers get more powerful, and storage gets faster and cheaper, we will see amazing things happen.

And a final word to the engineers who worked on this: Great job, I am impressed! But please tell your marketing department to stop lying. ;)

(Development blog link)

Post comment Comments
Garyn Dakari
Garyn Dakari Aug 3 2011, 9:22pm says:

Well said.

+5 votes     reply to comment
EvilAngel
EvilAngel Aug 3 2011, 9:22pm says:

Its a good thing I have no idea what this means because if i did I would be forced to leave a smart *** comment.

+25 votes     reply to comment
Icedecknight
Icedecknight Aug 3 2011, 9:24pm says:

Yeah I knew it.. Kinda lol.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ArkaZeen
ArkaZeen Aug 3 2011, 9:25pm says:

lets see anyone try

+1 vote     reply to comment
Biggos
Biggos Aug 3 2011, 10:09pm buried:

(buried)

I agree, something about the original video was fishy, mostly the guy's voice... recording.. it sounded weird.

Notch FTW!

Besidse, I don't like all the new technology cuz my PC can't handle Awesome graphics :( stupid old piece of junk... still runs civ 5 and Sims 3 so i'm happy (and Portal 2).. but I wish I could play L.A Noire or Fuel... two awesome intresting games but yet it tells me my P.C sucks.

-6 votes     reply to comment
el-pepi
el-pepi Aug 4 2011, 12:01am buried:

(buried)

It has nothing to do with minecraft... I don't care.
ololol

-7 votes     reply to comment
Martynass
Martynass Aug 4 2011, 1:18am buried:

(buried)

Wtf is this?

-9 votes     reply to comment
Waddlesticks
Waddlesticks Aug 4 2011, 2:40am says:

In my honest opinion... Computers are evolving pretty fast. look 10 years back... Now today.

+5 votes     reply to comment
TheNodCommander
TheNodCommander Aug 4 2011, 11:09am replied:

Would've been twice as fast if it wasnt for the consoles.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Blue_Dust
Blue_Dust Aug 4 2011, 1:29pm replied:

It's not just computers...Im the past 100 years everything has evolved allot,we already have theories for travelling trough spacetime and we're trying to create games where the player is in the actual 3D world (means that you move and do things in the game without any controller,monitor or anything,just your hands and legs)...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Mr.Nuke
Mr.Nuke Aug 4 2011, 3:00am says:

can we get some minecraft news now?

-1 votes     reply to comment
Blue_Dust
Blue_Dust Aug 4 2011, 5:48am says:

If it's voxels it's a bit different.Many voxel games are growing as amazing ones,i can give example with minecraft and the wolrd war like game called ace of spades but i don't think it's gonna be that easy.Altough the traditional methods of gaming are good voxels could improove that..The problem would ussualy be rendering and stability,something most voxel games try to escape from.There's quite some time before this gets implemted,maybe 3/4 years we'll see a PS4 or maybe a new xbox that use this technology with great speeds and stability,also offering great gameplay..Untill than though,let's just enjoy the simple minecraft
PS:@mr-nuke,notch is studying this to see what the limits of minecraft are,it seems that there are even less of them now!

+1 vote     reply to comment
theironpaw
theironpaw Aug 4 2011, 5:58am says:

Voxels are going to take over polys anyways.
this company is in early development.

check
3d-coat.com

for voxel modelling
like 3ds max but polys and voxels its amazing

+1 vote     reply to comment
LokiFoki
LokiFoki Aug 4 2011, 8:23am replied:

Voxels and Polygons are coexisting since decades. There has always been games that mix both technologies and there will be more in the future. I don't see any recent developement that would result in more games making use of voxels. There are only few games that benefit from using them.

Also I accidently +1'd you're post and I can't change it back
D:

+2 votes     reply to comment
darth3pio
darth3pio Aug 4 2011, 5:58am says:

"They pretend like they're doing something new and unique, but in reality a lot of people are researching this."

What? Like Apple and their assorted lawsuits?
"We popularised touch screens.... it's our technology, your not allowed to use it!"

+1 vote     reply to comment
silverfang22
silverfang22 Aug 4 2011, 7:46am says:

There is some nice voxel implementations in games (possibly experimental) but it turns out really nice and quite optimized. I don't think voxels will completely replace tris/polys, but rather co-exist to complete each others' flaws like some games are already doing.

+3 votes     reply to comment
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