Outline Both Squares and Hexes

So I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with rendering lines on the ground, for the map in strategy and tactics games. Last post I already had this effect working for a square grid, but it wouldn’t work for hex grids because it was dependent on drawing pixels to match the grid. I ended that post by brainstorming ways to support hex grids, and have had great success working on the problem since then.

I uploaded a WebGL demo to try, and here’s a video showing the territory outlines shader working on both square and hex grids:

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Shader that renders Border Outlines

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:

8 inner-fade

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.

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Border Lines on a Strategy Map

Happy Thanksgiving!

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:

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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