Author: Joe Hocking

Demonstration of Map Mesh

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:

strat-map-action

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Visual tricks for a strategy game’s map

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.

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Fundamentals of How Computers Operate

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:

Terrain from a Convex Hull and Triplanar Mapping

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.

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Slow month, little to report

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:

smoke

Lightweight Management Sim

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.

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