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.
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.
Happy just-after-Thanksgiving! I’ve been adding to my game’s graphics and putting in some useful touches to release the first playable prototype soon. In particular, I’m going to talk in this post about camera shake, and then tips for improved “randomness”.
But first, here’s a quick peek at some additional enemy sprites:
(monsters by Paxton Paddington)
This was just a mockup of combat in the first-person dungeons. In particular, I did that mockup to test camera shake when enemies attack you:
Alright, last month I had the beginnings of the procedurally generated maze, and this month I’ve done a whole bunch more! So much in fact that I’m going to limit myself to 3 key things in this update: the maze mesh, recolored enemy sprites, and productivity process.
First, the maze mesh. Long story short, the game generates that now! I worked out how to create a mesh in code and then wrote code to move around inside it; here’s a quick video I captured of moving around the maze:
Looks pretty cool, just like I’m going for! Here are a couple screenshots from the editor showing different generated mazes:
Continue reading “The dungeon has graphics!”
Okay so this is a sort of cryptic title. It refers to the fact that I just started a new job! Working at Synapse Games was awesome, but I’d been there a long time and felt like it was time to move on, so last Monday was my first day at InContext Solutions.
Anyway, despite the whole changing-jobs thing keeping me rather busy, I’ve made decent progress on my first-person rpg. I implemented the code foundation for my game, including generating random dungeon mazes:
So much like last month, this is going to be a sparse update. I was still concentrating on the 2nd edition of my book so not a ton of work on the first-person RPG. However, at this point my work on the book is pretty much done, and I can shift back to concentrating on my games! There’s still a lot more work needed before the book is released, but it’s not work that I’m doing; there are months of copy-editing and layout to be done once the actual writing is complete. The first draft was finished last month, so this month I worked with editors and reviewers to make revisions. I do still need to make one more pass of revisions, but that’s more of a sanity check to make sure nothing is missing, than actually writing anything.
Anyway, now I’m planning what to work on as I shift back to development. When I first mentioned the first-person RPG I described it as “basically a clone of Shining in the Darkness”. Well, that “basically” implies that it’s not exactly the same, and one of the bigger changes will be procedurally generated dungeons. The mazes probably can’t be quite as intricate as a result, but then it’ll probably be more fun if there’s less emphasis on memorizing the dungeon mazes and more variety each playthrough.
So in my last post I had a pretty good randomly generated island. My next task was to split it up into selectable regions to make the map for my strategy game. As mentioned last month, I ended up not using voronoi cells after all to generate the island; well, I realized that could still be a good approach to generating the map regions, just layered onto the more organic looking island.
Here are a couple examples of the end result:
I may want to make the borders more irregular later, but overall not bad for a prototype! Incidentally, the colors are just random for now in order to test the look: the red and blue regions would be the colors of different empires, while the dotted lines are unexplored regions.