Not familiar with the MC2 engine myself but MC2 models have been converted into Spring so probably a similar system. Essentially it works akin to bones but each bone must be a separate mesh. This is usually not a problem for vehicles and mech type models but can be restrictive if you want a more 'organic' look. There is a blender plugin for exporting animations, (calling Anarchid!) though it only works for certain filetypes and may have other restrictions.
MC2 used Locators (or in Max, Helpers) to move parented meshes to simulate animation. It's a poor approach, but one that was necessary, back in the early 2000s, when Microsoft made the game (It's models were done with the DOS version of Max 6.0). I have a workaround that allows you to use actual IK rigs and animate using bones and control curves, by parenting meshes to locators and then locators to bones. Animations will still work with Collada and FBX, without the bones, thanks to the locators. Ironically, this would only work with vehicles or Mechs. The way organic models are, you have to paint weight to multiple bones.
NOTE - There are still issues jumping between Max and Maya, mainly due to how constraints work in each program, but if you stick with one application and BURN the animations in the DAE or FBX, they're pretty much interchangeable between any 3D application, as they all have the equivalent of Locators (Maya) or Helpers (Max). Doing it like this means animations are interchangeable between units that use the same skeleton - naming scheme for meshes shouldn't matter at all, so long as the locator names are the same.
I was never a fan of Blender (I found the UI to be kludgy and worse than Max), but in theory, my animations workflow would work for this engine. If Magic finds interest in Spring (or I do), I may look into Blender for exporting animations, but don't hold me to that.
There is no limit other than GPU memory for textures and polycounts. It is also possible to implement LODing through the lua API but afaik no one has actually done it yet despite it being technically feasible for many years (my guess is that it has too high a 'work cost' for amateur part-time modelers).
Yeah, I've already seen that link.
I came across here, purely by accident, looking for an old page that was for MC2 that is apparently long gone.
Thank you! I downloaded the Engine to play a bit, but it seems that you really need a game built to really see how the Engine works. I haven't done any Lua scripting in years (that's more my Wife's thing - she's a software developer).
In my experience, most issues with LOD stem from people not knowing how to properly create LODs for open-source engines. Start big, UV and then work your way down. Most people just want to make one model and be done with it. Personally, I don't care about LOD as most models for a game like this should be under 10k, anyway.
I guess I should download one of the game packs to see what the Engine can do in real-time. Any recommendations? :)