A New Zero: Voxel Destruction OohOohOoh

By Alec Meer on August 1st, 2011 at 4:06 pm.

Minecraft but with tanks - or at least as close as we'll get

Oh, ‘voxel destruction’ are two words that so truly belong together, like cheese and chips, apple and pie, seagull and evil. Indie alterna-flight sim (also with tanks) A New Zero has updated its voxel-based engine to include structural physics – meaning that when you bring the rain onto a building, it’s going to crumble spectacularly into a shower of distressed voxels. As you may see below.

Voxels are the best. I do wish I wasn’t so cack-handed that I couldn’t play A New Zero anywhere near capably, however.

Oh, and developers Cryptic Sea are also working on a pedestrian mode for A New Zero, which means you can walk into one of those buildings and watch it gloriously collapse around/onto you.

No release date for this new hotness yet, but you can try out the current version of A New Zero for free right here.

__________________

« | »

, .

46 Comments »

  1. Dominic White says:

    Just a reminder that A New Zero is the game with this trailer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjQUhIWNfqw

    War is great when it’s surreal, abstract and dreamlike.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think a lot of game settings could benefit from that in general

  2. doubledope says:

    Voxels are great :)
    As I am not the one to judge the simplistic style the game has, at least give it some enviroment fog. It greatly will enhance the feel of depth and occludes that nasty horizon… I saw a voxel demo a few days back with a moving hand in a highly detailed corridor. Someone might drop a link below? :)

    • ireplytoretardo says:

      you mean like light mist floatin around and sand clouds rollin about?

      ANZ deffo doesn’t need a fog screen tho. its great to see explosions of light and smoke trials in the distance as you approach in your fighter from afar!

    • Snuffy the Evil says:

      Was this it?

    • syntax says:

      I saw that same demo, I think it is of Frostbite 2 and most definitely is not voxels.

  3. Salt says:

    Do I get to be the first person to say that’s not “proper voxels”? Do I do I do I do I?

    Instead, it’s a series of buildings constructed from a multitude of same-sized cubes. That the cubes rotate and fall freely when the building is hit clearly demonstrates that they’re not a representation of voxel data.
    Could be the landscape / buildings are voxel data until a collision occurs, at which point select voxels are cleared and replaced by physically simulated cubes.

    A New Zero, and this destruction technology are both wonderful things.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Voxel is probably the most inappropriately used word of the decade & it’s only 2011! I’m going to start calling pixels 2d voxels just so i can use the word voxel in even more instances.

    • Defiant Badger says:

      While your right, those arn’t really voxels, voxels are just going to be used to describe this kind of thing like cell shading is used for borderlands-like graphics, because there isn’t really a better, equally concise description for it yet.

    • neolith says:

      This.

    • Lucretiel says:

      Do I get to be the first person to say that’s not “proper voxels”? Do I do I do I do I?

      Instead, it’s a series of buildings constructed from a multitude of same-sized cubes. That the cubes rotate and fall freely when the building is hit clearly demonstrates that they’re not a representation of voxel data.
      Could be the landscape / buildings are voxel data until a collision occurs, at which point select voxels are cleared and replaced by physically simulated cubes.

      A New Zero, and this destruction technology are both wonderful things.

      Actually, it is voxel data. Read the Cryptic Sea article this video comes from (http://crypticsea.blogspot.com/2011/07/and-all-you-create-and-all-you-destroy.html)- The buildings are small instantiated voxel zones. When you fire a cannon, it uses a simulation very similar to their bridge-building sim to calclulate the per-voxel destruction. Each destroyed voxel is replaced with a physically simulated derbis cube, to add to the effect. If you look carefully, though, that debris is temporary- it doesn’t last longer than the smoke.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I hearby coin the word “boxels”. As in, everything is boxes. This is a close relative of cratexels, where in, everything is a destructible crate containing loot, usually ammo or something.

    • simonh says:

      So would Minecraft be Boxel-based or Cratexel based, since every block drops something? I suppose it depends on whether you consider dirt and rocks “loot”.

  4. Gnoupi says:

    Oh, now I know where to redirect all the griefers who are regularly joining the RPS Terraria server for the sheer fun of destroying everything other people built and leaving the place like an apocalyptic wasteland.

    Other topic and bitterness aside, nice video, always impressive to see this kind of destruction detail.
    The world needs more building destruction games.

  5. Hexanol says:

    The Volition guys (Red Faction, Freespace etc) did a presentation about their destruction tech at GDC last year, looks like these guys are doing a similar thing. Notice the delay in dynamic collapse; it’s really expensive to calculate when buildings should collapse with a connectivity graph model (which I assume they’re using) so you spread the cost over a bunch of frames, which means there’s a noticable delay. Volition made the delay sorta-OK in Guerilla, while this implementation looks like it needs a bit more smoke and mirrors to make it less obvious.

    I actually research this stuff for my PhD so I immediately jump to the flaws, but it’s really quite impressive. The abstract art style excuses a lot.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      For my money, the delay looks appropriately cinematic. Before I read your explanation (and thanks for that, very informative) I assumed the delay was intentional.

    • enobayram says:

      I’m also doing a PhD on similar things but not exactly on this, so your opinion overrules mine. But I would suggest you to reconsider if it would still take that long time even when there are so few voxels. My opinion is that either it is intentional or they’re being VERY conservative in keeping the computational cost per frame low. (such as using a cellular automata which spreads the destruction to a few neighbours per frame.)

  6. Dana says:

    Why I have not heard about this game before ?

  7. BAReFOOt says:

    Now somebody only has to build a WTC and program a airplane into it. :P (Remember that GTA mod?)
    (Or a Burj Al-Arab.)

    • jp0249107 says:

      it’s ironic because that link has nothing to do with what actually happens. Ahh hippies, they know nothing.

  8. bit_crusherrr says:

    Looks good. I love games where you can knock down buildings.

  9. BirdsUseStars says:

    Jeeze it’s like some kind of Minecraft, but for war! Like a…like a…some sorta crazy war-craft!

    • enobayram says:

      Although I’m a fan of it, I have to admit Minecraft has almost no physics whatsoever. Considering how coarse its voxels (boxels? :) ) are, I’m sure Minecraft could use an engine similar to this game, and it would be AWESOME!!

  10. hessrid says:

    I was listening to a music video when I clicked on Dominic White’s link.
    The trailer and the music mixed quite nicely, so I thought I’d share this “accidental dub”:

    Might want to see the original music video too, it would make even more sense then…

  11. Hensler says:

    Ah Voxels… brings back good memories of the old NovaLogic games.

  12. ananachaphobiac says:

    Hooray Tanky Tanky!

  13. Utgaardsloke says:

    This looks very promising!

  14. jonfitt says:

    I played this for a bit two years ago when RPS first linked to it. I’m pleasantly surprised they’re still working on it!

  15. kyrieee says:

    The actual game looks really neat

  16. YeOldeSnake says:

    We want this sort of destruction for ace of spades

  17. Teddy Leach says:

    Tanks for the video. O-HOHO-HOHO!

  18. Sinnorfin says:

    I once had a dream being in a somewhat voxely world where everything was built out of grey blocks like here, it was a city with huge half finished skyscrapers and i was there to destroy it all.. powerful dream it was.

  19. DarkDobe says:

    The one thing that could really use fixing is the complete lack of rubble left behind when those buildings collapse – though that is a while ‘nother bag of problems and limitations waiting to be tackled.

    • enobayram says:

      One not so realistic, but tactically useful solution would be to re-voxellate ( :S ) some of the debris boxes once they’re done bouncing around.

  20. Defiant Badger says:

    Grr, upon trying to play this game I found that by default the resolution is too big for my screen so part of it is cut off, and moving up the small amount I can doesn’t do any good. But when I try to change this I find I can’t because I can’t find any way to “accept” my changes; presumably because the button for that is at the bottom of the page.

    Has anyone else encountered such a problem?

    • Gorman says:

      Bah, I can’t run this either. Any ideas on how to change the resolution without being able to click the “apply” button?

  21. SprintJack says:

    If you like voxel you should realy keep an eye on this project

    http://www.atomontage.com

  22. Daz says:

    Forget the voxels, it’s the particle smoke effects that really sell the effect overall for me. That looks fantastic! The smoke seems to have real weight and spread across surfaces very realisticly… I dunno what they did, but everyone should be doing it!

  23. mont3core says:

    I love this game so much, it’s the best thing to play at 3am. It really tickles my demoscene spot and captures an amazing amount of ambiance in under a meg.