Merry Almost-Christmas! I normally do a blog post every month on the 25th, but I wanted to do this one a few days before then because of the holidays.
Last month I had described my plan to render border lines on the ground (think territory in a strategy game, or movement ranges for tactics games). Here’s an image showing the result of my experimentation:
Hey, looks pretty good if I do say so myself! That’s a smoothly glowing outline drawn on the ground, surrounding a discrete region of a square grid, with the outline nicely rounded at the corners.
A couple months ago I was noodling on techniques for displaying the map in a strategy or tactics game. Well, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about one specific aspect of how those maps work: representing borders on the map.
I’m talking about the colored lines on the ground in this screenshot:
A fairly brief and text-only update this month. The main thing I want to share is a kind of game called “roll-and-write“. But before I discuss that more, I should announce that I started a new job! I’m taking charge of the Unity-side of AR projects at BUNDLAR.
Last month I described in words how I was building a clickable map using vertex colors. Well, a reader requested I make some visuals to demonstrate what I was talking about, so I whipped up a demo in Unity and grabbed a video of my screen:
At work this past month I’ve been implementing some interesting visual tricks on a mesh-based map. While we aren’t making a game, I could totally imagine these techniques being useful for a strategy game, or maybe a tactical RPG. Let’s say you have a hex map. Well, you could easily do hexagons with a 3D mesh, and then boom you can can use all sorts of visual tricks developed for 3D games.
If you want to know how computers work, these videos are for you!
Quite some time ago I had posted that I was thinking of recording a few videos on the fundamental mechanics underlying computers. As in hooking up a bunch of wires and switches to a battery, and demonstrating how to do useful things with that.
Well, I finally got around to doing that! Early this month I went down to the library a couple times to use the video recording equipment they have, taking a toolbox of electronic components with me.
If you’re interested in watching as I wire up a NAND logic gate and a transistor, check out the playlist:
Still haven’t had much to blog about lately, so this may be a short post. I didn’t even make a post last month, but there were a couple interesting new techniques I’ve been mastering since my last post. One is using the stencil buffer in custom shaders, and the other is using web sockets to implement multiplayer.
As I pointed out last month, I’m putting my personal projects on a hiatus for a while. Instead, I’m going to talk a bit about interesting game dev and graphics stuff that’s come up at work. Naturally I can’t blab too many details about our internal projects at PEAK6, but I do want to point out some of the publicly available technologies and/or resources.
The project I’m currently working on has involved a witch’s brew of proc gen techniques. I want to focus on two in particular: convex hulls, and triplanar mapping.
I didn’t really do anything for my personal projects this month, and in fact I may be taking a hiatus from working on them for a while. As mentioned a couple posts ago, I just started a new job that I’m pretty busy with, not to mention I just had a second baby (which obviously is also keeping me pretty busy!)
Just so this update has one pretty picture, here’s a smoke effect I created at work. This was supposed to just be some programmer art for testing, but turned out unexpectedly good:
I teased my new project last month: a lightweight management sim in the vein of Drugwars or Urban Dead. Unfortunately the partnership didn’t pan out (no falling out, we just realized I wanted to work much faster than he did) but I’m going to keep working on this solo. Indeed, a very manageable scope is a large part of why I was interested in this project. This is basically all menus, and that’s all I have time for currently.
The other main motivation for me is that it’s a good excuse for me to finally learn Xamarin. That’s a cross-platform mobile app development framework programmed in C#; I’m very familiar with that language from programming in Unity, so this seems like another good tool to have in my belt.