Just curious...what are voxels? I've played the Outcast demo and can see a difference between it and typical polygon games...but what ARE they? and how do they work? why does a game develper choose to work with voxels as opposed to polygons (other than the lack of necessary hardware acceleration, or so I have heard)...in other words, what are their advantages?
As far as I know (correct me if Im wrong)...they are polygons with depth. It can result in much more detailed surfaces for less than the processing cost of polygons, but it looks crappy unless you use a bunch of them.
No voxels are not polygons.
They are volumetric pixels (vo-xels).
They look very blocky from close-up but they don't have to be calculated like polygons do, this is why you can make a neverending 3d-scene with them without the need of a huge processor.
Voxel's are volumetric pixels as DaRKh PrOPhet has said. Basically they are regularly spaced cubes. (In a 3d grid) Each cube can have several attibutes. (Most commonly density, temperature, and velocity)
Most of what people consider voxels are not that at all. I love novalogic but their 'voxelspace' system has nothing to do with voxels. In fact those are height-field renderers. True voxels are currently used only in computational fluid dynamics, and medical visualization.
Voxels are more of a buzz word in game tech lately.
In Delta Force they use voxels. Now having voxels it allows the best looking land scapes out there. You don't have to worry about having tiles and all. When you look at the ground it looks like real dirt and mountains look real. Most knock DF because it doesn't have high res pixels or whatever but the terrain is realistic. In Deer Hunter 2 they use pixels and the terrain is blocky. If it were voxels it would be realistic looking. BTW Delta force 2 is gonna be a damn good game. You can shoot from machine gun nests, you can destroy actual tanks, pick up weapons off the battlefield, hide in grass, get lost in fog, get wet from rain, get blown around by wind. You can climb ladders, and destroy some buildings and shoot through tents. Bullets are effected by wind and you better not be skiping in the fog, you will not kill much. Multiplayer will have up to 60 players and you can have 4 teams unlike now with 16 max players and 2 teams. It will be a damn good game and it will use a new engine, still voxels and well grass looks damn good.