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Skweeny

Posted by Aph3x, 10 March 2009 · 412 views

Gratuitous C2 screenie that I quite liked, showing the enigmatic Walrus.



You can just see how the procedural placement of the structure foundations allows the terrain to poke through and look silly sometimes ;)
You may also notice how the framerate has halved due to the FBO stuff. Still investigating that one :( Suspect maybe the render buffer texture format...




This is looking way too good :)

I didn't actually notice the terrain poking though, until I read the last part of your post....
You keep making me want to do a Carrier Command knockoff as well, but if I did I would just be copying you.

Also terrain actually does poke through free-standing structures that have been there long enough in reality; the grass grows up and "around" as erosion blows dirt onto the surface, it gets seeded and there's rain runoff.

This seems like a fairly easy bug to fix, though.
Heh join the club - there have been quite a few remakes of CC started...

Without dynamic terrain height modification it's not quite so easy to fix. I have to ensure the Walrus can always get onto the foundation (for e.g. virus subversion) so some edge needs to be level with the terrain.
But it's one more item on my never ending todo list ;)
This is looking amazing! Especially like the look of the Walrus... not too futuristic looking.
Maybe dynamic terrain modification is actually the way to go. IMO one of the (few) problems with the way the game looks at the moment is the size of the bases of your structures - they become too massive to the point where it stops looking like a concrete base for some buildings, and starts looking like an unfeasible huge building with a few lumps and masts on top. IMHO it would look much better if you flattened the terrain so that the base was always 'thin'.

It's very easy for me to suggest this, because i don't have to code it. But i dont think you'll find it's *that* difficult. Presumably your islands are defined as some kind of grid of heights (with smoothed triangular polygons between them to make up the surface) - you just have to find the lowest point in your structure's base area (actually the median height might be a good reference) and adjust all of the surrounding points down (and some up if youve picked the median) to that level until you have a big enough base - then iteratively fan out around the base adjusting node heights to ensure that a maximum slope value isn't exceeded.

And of course, it doesnt actually have to be *really* dynamic, you only have to change the terrain once in a while when a new building gets placed - 90% of the time this will be outside the player's sight. But again, it wouldn't be that big a deal to animate the changes, have the points gradually move to their new heights over time. I guess there could be pathing/collision issues for vehicles introduced by this, but probably nothing worse than would already be caused by the creation of a building in the first place.

Obviously this being easy is all conjecture on my part, i have no idea how you've actually implemented your terrain, and it still looks bloody fantastic as it is.
yeah davey - I'm leaning more & more over to terrain modification. Shouldn't be too much hassle - think the biggest problem will be rebuilding the physics body - I'd probably have to multi-thread it and swap in, as it's a one-shot operation for the whole island mesh.
Ah, for the flat green square of the original... ;)
Ah, yeah... hadn't really considered the physics thing (shows how far out of touch with current game technology i am). I suppose you'd also have to put in some kind of bodge for any ground vehicles that are on the modified terrain. Wouldnt be too clever if the ground suddenly dropped away under a walrus causing it to fall to its doom :-)
I think it looks great! Keep up the good work...

I have a couple of questions/suggestions though:

Are you planning on having different climates for different islands? These islands are presumably created by volcanic activity so are likely to look more like the canary islands (black sand, rock, etc.) than the isle of wight (grass, trees, etc.)?

I think you could ignore the problem of the terrain poking through by making part of construction process be the preparation of the surrounding ground area. That way your buildings would only ever be on flat ground and is also what a real construction team would do when building.

Looks lovely and I can't wait to play!

Cheers,
Andy
Davey: got height modification in now. Surprisingly the physics body modification was the easy part. Had to move terrain rendering over to vertex buffers though, as display lists I use now don't cater for geometry modification without total rebuild. So still quite a large job as I also wrote a separate heightmap 'terraformer' class, plus had to store & defer handling of heightmap changes so the expensive physics & render updates are only done once.

Trojan: point taken, but certain liberties are taken to stop things getting old... I wouldn't want to see the same drab rock texture on every single island. The look is modified for the 'age' of the island, from different types of rock, to barren scrubland to vegetation. I just prefer the veggie one ;)
This keeps sounding better all the time. Remember: just because it's nice outside doesnt mean youre allowed to stop coding.

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