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Work in Progress / Early progress on God-style RPG {as of yet unnamed}

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granarout
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2013 00:17 Edited at: 27th Nov 2013 19:04
Blood of Gods: Ascended
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Screenshots - from OLD (top-left) to NEWEST (bottom-right)!






Click to enlarge any image

Hi everyone! This is eventually going to become an RPG, where you can pick to be a descendent of 2 gods. The pantheons are currently going to be Greek and Norse, hopefully a third when I can get around to sifting through a whole stack of gods!

Technical details:
- Written in DarkGDK 1.0
- Currently uses BT2 pro terrain with custom terrain shader
- Cascaded Shadow Maps (3 cascades) with 32-bit floating point textures (extreme precision!). 1st cascade has 3x3 PCF, hopefully will add linterp to it to reduce aliasing artifacts.
- Full day/night cycle with billboarded planes for clouds, working on improving the billboards (not shown in screeny!)

I will continually update this thread as I develop more of the game, next up is to add LOD tree system and grass - my aim is to at least get up to Skyrim's level!

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Zotoaster
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2013 14:32
Very pretty!

"everyone forgets a semi-colon sometimes." - Phaelax
Ashingda 27
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2013 19:37
I like it, is very nice so far.

thenerd
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2013 20:43
Very impressive terrain and modelling Good luck with this, I'll be keeping an eye on your progress.

Duffer
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2013 22:13
Looking really promising - email mailback ON...

a long time dabbler with DBC and DBPro with no actual talent but lots of enthusiasm...
Ortu
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Posted: 3rd Nov 2013 02:40
really promising start, looking forward to more!

granarout
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Posted: 7th Nov 2013 01:43 Edited at: 20th Nov 2013 12:03
Thanks for the comments everyone literally just finished adding animated grass using vert shaders and abusing the hell out of DGDK in the process!



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Chris Tate
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Posted: 7th Nov 2013 14:35
Looks professional; best grass I have seen someone create in a TGC product; I see some yellows and oranges in there, not just green. Some areas look more aged than others. Can't wait to see more.

Got any video footage of the animated grass?

I also like the contour pattern you are using to define the formulation of mountain rock, quite refreshingly realistic.

granarout
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Posted: 7th Nov 2013 17:47 Edited at: 20th Nov 2013 12:03
Thanks Chris! I've seen how meticulous you are with sportsfiction and it's details, it is extremely impressive. I've realised that it *is* possible to create decent-looking games with TGC products, even with such an old and non-supported engine like DarkGDK 1.0- it just takes a lot of attention to detail!
The rustic nature of the grass is due to a chaos map in a second UV layer applied over the whole grass cell. Shaders are exceedingly powerful!
I don't have the means to make a video at the moment, but I am working on a vector field map with div, grad and curl (which is updated on the CPU) to emulate wind which could fully animate the grass dynamically. This will eventually be implemented into the cloud system to make everything look "together".

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Gunslinger
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Posted: 8th Nov 2013 06:37
Sick grass, looks better than in the most AAA titles, haha
Nice work.
granarout
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Posted: 11th Nov 2013 20:08 Edited at: 20th Nov 2013 12:03
Thanks for the support everyone! I have implemented a fully-dynamic wind system which uses a 2D array of harmonic oscillators to simulate wind and how terrain alters the way the grass moves! Can provide a video of the animation if anyone is curious.

This is an example of the vector field that is processed every frame, all created dynamically.



This is a snapshot of the vector field directly from the game (what is sent to the shader).
The R channel is the amplitude of the field at that coordinate, and the G,B channels are the gradient in the X and Y directions. This allows the grass to sway and move in every direction dependent on the wind vector!

Depending on the "wind quality", there are more oscillators on either axis, it is currently set at 64x64.

And now....

Here is a bleeding-edge picture of the map at dusk. There is also a dynamic sky system which alters the map, the shadows, fog, etc. with *almost* real colours, still needs a bit of fiddling to get it looking perfect.


Click to enlarge

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Sasuke
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Posted: 12th Nov 2013 01:40
As pretty as this is shouldn't functionality be the main focus?

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granarout
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Posted: 13th Nov 2013 12:17
Building the underlying graphical engine is a high priority task I have to do before working on the game mechanics. It motivates me to know what the final product will be. That, and my writer has to send me more ingame scripts. We still need to finalise some of the main game features.
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Posted: 13th Nov 2013 23:38 Edited at: 13th Nov 2013 23:40
Quote: "Thanks for the support everyone! I have implemented a fully-dynamic wind system which uses a 2D array of harmonic oscillators to simulate wind and how terrain alters the way the grass moves! Can provide a video of the animation if anyone is curious."


YES, we want video.
Looking good so far.
Keep us updated!


P.S. Youtube video works in the forums

[img][/img]


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Chris Tate
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Posted: 14th Nov 2013 13:49 Edited at: 14th Nov 2013 14:20
I also started with the graphics engine, then I worked on the core, now I am working on the UI and soon to work on mechanics. This is all my personal preference.

Finding out what DBPRO can do graphically at an early stage has helped me get a better idea of how much content the engine is going to be able to render.

Having some nice screenshots also permits you to write a more interesting WIP for a long term project at an early stage in development.

I am just about to place a big piece of my environmental shading code into the puzzle which handles clouds. I am using a combination of multilayer cubemaps, linear gradient and particles. I've not started on the sun yet.

How will you be creating your clouds?

It is nice to see a WIP like this around here, keep it up; that last screenshot from the environment is really crisp.

granarout
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Posted: 15th Nov 2013 11:50 Edited at: 20th Nov 2013 12:03
Stab in the Dark, I will get a video up ASAP to show how the grass moves, with manual control so it's really noticeable. will also get a video up with a quick demonstration of the rest of the map too!

Chris, I agree but each to their own - there's really no wrong or right way to develop games! In big studios, it's a big team developing so different people work on different aspects at the same time.

I currently have a really basic billboarding cloud system, it works "mediocrily well" with a cloud shader to apply a gradient depending on the height, which gives it a bit of depth. Definitely going to see how big games do it and emulate that! Goddamn it is hard to create realistic sunset clouds! Still working on those colours haha

I tried a perlin noise map with multiple octaves but it looks exceedingly flat, so I started redesigning the system to be able to be able to slowly change the weather patterns, involving particle billboards.

The atmosphere class also effects all of the landmass shaders - the more cloudy the sky is, the more diffuse the light hitting the ground is which alters the PCF kernel size and reduces the suns intensity.

What are you using multilayer cube maps for? Volumetric cloud textures? Actually, that gives me a good idea for a cloud system - another vector field in 3D with a small-ish volume texture which at each point, a billboard can be placed dependent on magnitude of the field and direction of the camera! Hmm, very tempting

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 15th Nov 2013 13:06
Quote: "What are you using multilayer cube maps for? Volumetric cloud textures?"


Layers of distant cloud; and if present fog and mist. What produces these cubemaps is variable; it be a cubemap image, or a procedural render or a camera generated cubemap using the dark shader commands.

I've been collecting lots of images of skies, both in real life and in games; that is what gave me the idea to create layers.

Sasuke
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Posted: 16th Nov 2013 20:33
Forgot to say how impressed I am with this project so far so good luck. I've notice a lot of people focus on the visual first then struggle at the functionality, even I did when I stated. For me (and your right, each to there own) I working the other way round getting core functionality working to an extent before getting on the visuals. The main reason for this is so I could build an editor and work from there to really speed up development.

I'm trying to work out if your using atmospheric scattering. I'm using (working on a, some bugs still) a combination of Rayleigh and Mie Scattering and it looks like we do a similar thing in our atmosphere class though I use uniform control curves cause I've defined seasonal atmosphere types and special cases and how weather and etc affects them within the range of the control curves/event based curve data overrides via scripting. If you've ever played with CryEngine, a similar setup!

"Get in the Van!" - Van B
granarout
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Posted: 19th Nov 2013 13:17 Edited at: 20th Nov 2013 12:03
Thanks Yours seems a lot more advanced than mine, I haven't yet implemented seasonal changes.

I had programmed a Rayleigh/Mie shader for the sky, but it was just reeeeally slow! Obviously lookup tables for the integration could have worked, but my HLSL skills were not good enough at the time, definitely could work on the scattering now.

I eventually went with a single colourmap with each "slice" of the x-axis being a slice of sky, which is then lofted around the y-axis using simple HLSL commands.

Over the top (around the sun), I have approximated Mie scattering with g=0.75f, and using a simple cosine squared function, dependent on the light angle, to make the sky more natural.



That is my Mie ϕ-function. I am currently a second year Physics student, so I am extremely interested in getting the scattering physically correct.

Having some troubles with FRAPS, I will try my best to get something together by the end of the day EDIT: YouTube video uploaded!!

We have came up with a name: Blood of Gods: Ascended

Can a moderator change the name of this thread? Thanks!



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Stab in the Dark software
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Posted: 19th Nov 2013 21:21
Video looks great. I also like you name choice.
It is starting to look like Skyrim.
I was excepting a dragon to flyby in the video.LOL
Are you writing the shaders or are you using "Advanced Lighting" shaders?

[img][/img]


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granarout
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Posted: 19th Nov 2013 21:35 Edited at: 20th Nov 2013 11:39
Dragons? That's a great idea! I'll see what I can do about that, it might not 'fit in' with the final style of the game however. I'm sure my writer could come up with some way of getting some mahoosive monsters into the game!

I am using custom shaders for everything, been learning HLSL for about a year now. I couldn't use Advanced Lighting because it is DBPRO only, so I wrote everything whilst learning the shader language.

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 20th Nov 2013 13:19
Very nice shadows and grass

Rick the Programmer
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Posted: 21st Nov 2013 02:43
Looks very nice. It'll be fun to watch how this project progresses as you advance your engine/skills.

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granarout
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Posted: 27th Nov 2013 19:01
Good news everybody: I'll be working on the basic RPG-style functions, getting a town system (with basic AI), inventory, etc!

Here is a current screenshot to show the progress. I have a bloom and sharpen post-process shader applied, with shadows on the grass and finally have TREES implemented The village is the next thing to update in order to develop the logic backend of the game!


Click to enlarge

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Ashingda 27
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Posted: 30th Nov 2013 23:46
It's so pretty, amazing job!

What are you using to for the lighting and shadows?

granarout
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Posted: 1st Dec 2013 13:41 Edited at: 1st Dec 2013 13:45
Thanks Full gory details below...

I'm using a homemade shadowmapping shader. Because DGDK 1.0 cannot output a 32-bit floating point render target (R32F), I have used each colour as each 8 bits of the depth float value, this makes a very "colourful" depth map and this increases the precision by a HUGE margin.

The actual shadow mapping technique used is a 3-image Cascaded Shadow Map with Percentage Close Filtering (3x3) and with an extra jittermap to make it look higher resolution. I scoured the internet looking at the pros and cons of each way, and it seemed CSM was better than the close alternatives of Perspective Shadow Mapping and LiPSM.

The lighting is much easier to explain, it is a simple "normal dot light" with the sun colour, which is updated from OUTSIDE the shader, multiplied by the shadow map value and then an ambient term multiplied by the inverse of the shadow map value. This gets a yellow-looking sun, with a blue-looking back facing diffuse component.

Hope this helped!

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 1st Dec 2013 15:10
Looks not only brilliant but fluid as it maintains a good refresh rate judging by the FPS. I need to start learning how to write up a shadow pipeline, one of my grey areas at the moment.

Some of the new games coming out on the next gen consoles look similar to your work and yet it is just getting started. Looking forward to seeing it all come together.

I am asking some questions because I want some advice; do not hurry in reply; just when you get a moment.

What are your beliefs towards composting the camera view using post rendered screen shaders? Do you feel it is best to display the content as is, or do you prefer adding a bit of colour management and glare affects using post rendering?

I notice some of the commercial games do not bother with moving leafs and plants; obviously a 'good game' and a good looking game are not the same thing; how much emphasis do you think you will dedicate to the graphics?

granarout
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Posted: 1st Dec 2013 16:02
Hey Chris! I am happy to chat with you about game development with a fellow indie dev!

This has been a goal for years, creating a similar-looking game to those AAA titles everyone raves about. Shaders are possibly the biggest difference between "indie" and "AAA" titles.
I strongly suggest you learn HLSL. I actually developed with DarkGDK for years, creating better and better looking games, but it's only in the past year when I am learning shaders that the games have actually looked decent.
Without shaders, there's just not a lot of "substance" to the models and textures. Sure, someone else can create good-looking shaders for you to put in, but if you need to extend the shader, you're stuck!

I had it capped at 60 FPS, it gets 140 FPS without the cap. I am running an absolute monster of a PC however: GTX670 with Core i5 3.2GHz!

In the above screenshots, I have added a bloom layer on top of a slightly sharpened scene with quad.fx. Post-process, in my opinion, should be an option in the menu.

I believe that post-process enhances the scene and adds a final layer of "polish" to the scene, but it is very GPU-intensive (especially at 1080p), which is why you should be able to turn it off - most PCs don't have the texel fill rate to apply all of these shaders *and* post-process.

My philosophy is that there should never be a single stationary frame on the screen. Even if the character is completely still, with no camera movement, there should be atleast some animation with the trees rustling, or the grass flowing in the wind. It makes the game seem dynamic and best of all, seem *alive*.

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Chris Tate
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Posted: 1st Dec 2013 16:11
Yeah I agree. I see shaders as a part of the application, code run on the GPU not just the CPU; you cannot get good results out of DBP without a good set of shaders. I learned foundational HLSL concepts and all the semenatics a year ago and have manged to write about 5,000 lines worth of HLSL so far, best thing I ever did for myself;

but I need to learn more about shadows... And a bit of vertex culling. I also need to grasp matrix math so I can do some keyframed vertex animation...

granarout
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Posted: 1st Dec 2013 16:26
Exactly. Games require both in unison.

Ah the problem with shadows, and all of the "good" shading techniques (both pixel and vertex), require a lot of theoretical concepts to grasp. Shadow maps, for example, require projective matrix transforms, they crop up everywhere! Quite fortunately, matrix maths and differential equations are old hat for me. Have you got any sort of background in a technical field?

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Sasuke
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Posted: 2nd Dec 2013 01:24 Edited at: 2nd Dec 2013 01:24
Really great work so far granarout. Can't wait to see how this develops. I guess there is some advantages to seeing what your making before adding all the functionality. I just spent ages working on an editor so content creation could be manipulated a lot faster. While I don't have terrain (though looking into fractal and voxel terrain models) and models in the works yet, I have nearly full control over meshes and manipulating them in my editor in a similar way as 3ds Max. After I get this part out of the way then I can finally start producing something!

In the mean time though, I'll be watching this develop

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gwheycs62egydws
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Posted: 14th Dec 2013 00:31
@granarout

very impressive

I've not read though all of the posting here yet
but was it hard to build the Shadow mapping ?

to move side ways - is to move forward
Since a Strait line gets thin fast
Mobiius
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Posted: 15th Dec 2013 14:51
Very nice! I'm liking that grass! I need to implement something similar into my own engine!

granarout
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Posted: 15th Dec 2013 16:44
@resourceful: yep, it was pretty difficult. But only because I haven't done anything like it before, it is rather intuitive now.

@Mobiius: Thanks! The grass is a simple grid which the vertex shader warps to fit the terrain. Wish DGDK was DX10 compatible, geometry shaders could have been implemented into the terrain shader, instead it is a seperate entity completely!


I have gotten round to implementing a simple cell system with zones and interiors, which has persistent objects and shaders. Really simple to develop a level editor now!
Alongside this, I have continued work on the terrain to develop a multi-pass 8 texture diffuse mapper (with splatter mapping) in order to make the game look a lot less same-y across the mountain tops and into the valleys!

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gwheycs62egydws
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Posted: 15th Dec 2013 18:51
@granarout

how big an land mass dose this cover ?

to move side ways - is to move forward
Since a Strait line gets thin fast
granarout
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Posted: 28th Dec 2013 16:42
Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of progress - it is coming along very well in between my exam revision! The map is very large indeed, you are only seeing a small slice of the total landscape. I am thinking about increasing it's size and using some sort of zoning system, BlitzTerrain is an excellent plugin!

I have been working on the clouds: there is a very basic form of volumetric cloud (using a volume texture with tileable perlin noise) and it is integrated directly into the sky shader, no need to use fake particle billboards anymore! To map the clouds, a ray marching algorithm is used, which is basically a discretised version of ray tracing.

Doing the clouds in this manner makes the CPU work less, at the slight cost of the texture memory increase and GPU calculations! Great for adding new features (like AI, possibly going to add it to another thread) thanks for the feedback and support!

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gwheycs62egydws
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Posted: 28th Dec 2013 18:10 Edited at: 28th Dec 2013 18:12
@granarout

as far as i can see ;o) pun intended

how big a map do you have now in pixels - length + width ?

how much bigger are you going in size with what you have planed ?

to move side ways - is to move forward
Since a Strait line gets thin fast
granarout
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Posted: 29th Dec 2013 20:24
The heightmap is a 2048x2048 texture, with added detailing from the green channel.
BlitzTerrain can handle 8 bits of height in a greyscale heightmap, which is only a measly 255 height "levels" which is REALLY aliased, so kaedroho added a feature where you can use the green channel to interpolate between a single change in the red channel, this gives 2^16 different levels (65536 instead of 255). This is GREAT for large terrains!

On top of this heightmap, there is a 2048x2048 diffuse map, which has 4 channels, 3 for different textures (grass, rock and snow) and the alpha channel is bunged in with the AO map. I am thinking of adding another diffuse map with another 4 textures because using only 3 textures is very limited.

I am planning on possibly exporting a heightmap of 4096x4096 in 4 seperate zones (so that any texture buffer issues are addressed), but I've seen people get away with 2048x2048 in a huge terrain, and increase the resolution of the diffuse map instead to add detail.

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gwheycs62egydws
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Posted: 30th Dec 2013 23:01
@granarout

i would guessing when you go to larger terrains there would be longer
loading processing time ?

even moving around it would think there would be a bit more math for
the computer deal with ?

there are defiantly more possibility of different textures

like 4 of each kind

the problem with going up in zones is the computer having
to deal with going from one to the other and having it seamless

i know this should all have been worked out ;O)

it's just if some one is has not dun this before it's
seem a bit far fetched that this could be possible

to move side ways - is to move forward
Since a Strait line gets thin fast
The Tall Man
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Posted: 30th Dec 2013 23:17
Nice scenery - and grass!!

Q: ...you mean computer imagery was still based on the paradigm that the world was flat? Even into the 21st century??? Talk about doing something the hard way!

A: Yep! Back then people would render simple shapes with complex meshes of thousands of flat little triangles. Next to the bottleneck processors they used, it's the main reason why their computers were so slow. In the last days of the religious atmosphere of centralization and trade, corporate dogmas had people believing that flat was faster.
granarout
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Posted: 19th Jan 2014 17:50 Edited at: 19th Jan 2014 17:51
Hi Guys, I have finished my exams for this semester (thank god), and I've jumped right back into developing this! Will post more up to date screenshots soon!

@Resourceful - definitely more of a load, but I could keep the heightmap the same size, just increase the diffuse texture. Each 2048x2048 bmp takes around a whole second to load on my PC, so reducing the amount of images is a huge concern.
Well, there has to be more maths in the background, but BlitzTerrain is an excellent plugin and the size increase doesn't actually levy performance TOO much. My terrain shader has to work a lot harder, more performance tweaks will definitely be needed.
"Zoning" is a very common tactic used. The blends between zones will have to be continuous, not too bad as BT Pro can handle all of that behind the scenes. No need to faff around with tesselation!


@The Tall Man - Thanks The grass is a tad slow at the moment, trying to think of a better way to get LOD grass which "hugs" the landscape. It is inside of a vertex shader at the moment, I just wish DGDK supported DX10 so I could add a geometry shader into the terrain shader itself

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Posted: 9th Feb 2014 23:04
@granarout

i got a project of my own that I'm working on

it's a remake of a old game

my problem is that i want to have a huge terrain

it seems like what i have is limited to 5km x 5km
if i change the scale of objects being placed on it i could
get maybe 15 miles x 15 miles

i did a search and found that

http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/aperturesilence/blog/a-relative-size-comparison-of-game-world-maps-fasc/49712/

of nearly 400 miles

it would be nice to have some thing near that size or even larger
if i had more than 6 players set for that

each player would have control of about 200 to 400 units
so you can see why i would want to have such a large map

one of the multiply player addition i found in the forum
would let me have 16384 people linked to 1 server

not to say that i would let that many connection happen

i know more than 1 image maps can be loaded
but being able to load more than that and placing them is ware i am stuck as it seems i can't locate commands to place each ware i want them to be

to move side ways - is to move forward
Since a Strait line gets thin fast

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