TL;DR schwerpunk trashes against harsh reality, and attempts to invent a fantasy world where every game is delta force outcast, God help us all
Actually no, that's comparing apples to oranges. We're discussing the mathematical/computational models behind a scene visualization technology and the ease of creating content for it, not whether it's performed in hardware or software.
For instance, you can do texture filtering, skeleton animation and polygons in software (guess what: that's what the very first Half Life game did, and most PC titles till 1999 or so had a software renderer as a fallback), or you could do voxels in dedicated hardware, if such a beast ever existed (which I doubt).
I should've known you'd school me on the specifics, and I'm sure you're right. But allow me this ignorant plea: Are the hurdles really so insurmountable? I ask as a genuine -- if hopeful -- noob, because somehow Doom modders were able to translate switches and decorations into voxels. I'm sure it would be a lot more difficult to do the same for levels, but certainly it can't be as impossible as you make it sound... After all, Voxelstein 3D exists*. Perhaps I'm wrong in listing these advances, and they're all a result of pilfered BUILD code, and not original creations, as I thought.
Maybe I'm still not grokking the gulf between these two particular fruits, but my comparison was more of a general one. Re software rendering: when developing a game-engine or sourceport, isn't it a lot easier to put all your graphical tasks onto a video-card, than it is to run them through a CPU? I'm thinking a somewhat similar thing could be said of voxel rendering (whether 100% voxel, or just partially, as in the first link above) - that it's harder than sticking with industry norms, but that people do it anyway, for whatever reasons.
That gives me hope. And hopefully, it isn't misplaced. :/
But no matter what computer/hardware platform you use, you can't get around the mathematical/computational/memory and content creation limitations of each method, and voxels just have too many of them to be practical. Just the fact that the "state of the art" for creating voxel models utilized modelling tools designed for polygon models, speaks lots about how viable it is. There could never be a 100% "voxel native" graphics industry.
No, and I wouldn't wish it either. Voxel rendering, from the outset, has been a niche renderer. But if someone wants to put in the leg-work (or finger-work) into implementing its support in our sourceports, I don't see any reason to stop them. I don't think anyone's thinking they're going to revolutionise the game industry by having a voxel chaingun in Doom, but for our little part of the world, it would be a pretty big, and welcome, advance!
*this is a bit of an aside; I haven't seen anyone seriously proposing making entire Doom levels out of voxels!
Last edited by schwerpunk on 01-16-14 at 15:13