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In-game map techniques?


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#1 belgreth   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 06:16 PM

I'm having difficulty searching for any sort of tutorial for drawing interactive in-game maps as any search with "map" usually comes up with terrain and game level stuff. As the game world is procedurally generated I can't pre-fab maps so they'll have to be created during world generation.

Currently I just have a boring biome map being generated but I'm hoping for something with more pizzazz.

http://www.imageshack.us/photo/my-images/254/biomemap.png/ (Tried to make an image link but didn't seem to work)

Eventually other markers such as towns and forts would need to be drawn on the map as well. The map will start out with a fog-of-war and will fill in as the player moves around in the world. Does anyone know of any popular techniques/shaders for drawing in-game maps?

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#2 jefferytitan   Members   -  Reputation: 1637

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:45 PM

Depending upon the technology used, I would think you could just render the map using a separate camera facing down in orthographic mode with low resolution, low LOD, skip animated models and most effects turned off. You could put a mask in a texture for a shader to do fog of war.

#3 belgreth   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:34 PM

Depending upon the technology used, I would think you could just render the map using a separate camera facing down in orthographic mode with low resolution, low LOD, skip animated models and most effects turned off. You could put a mask in a texture for a shader to do fog of war.


Hm, that won't work for viewing the whole world (as it would be too much to draw) however I do like that idea for a local 'radar' type map *adds to todo list*. I'm looking for a decent looking full world map that can be zoomed and scrolled around and possibly have highlightable icons on it. The icons and zooming/scrolling I can figure out, I just need something that isn't plain and boring to look at.

#4 jefferytitan   Members   -  Reputation: 1637

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:22 PM

Do you want a satellite style map, or a more symbolic map? Will it show elevation?

If you have access to the data that was used in procedural generation, you could either construct a separate simplified 3D model that is used by your map only, or draw everything yourself in 2D. This would allow you to do things like highlight roads, put billboards for town names, etc. Many procedural terrain algorithms (e.g. Perlin/Simplex noise) would allow you to make very coarse geometry which broadly matched your detailed geometry.

#5 belgreth   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:32 PM

Thanks for the replies jeffery, that might actually fit my needs. I dont need elevation, more symbolic than anything topographic-wise. I'll try generating a low rez version of the world and use an orthographic camera and see how that works out. This'll even let me do some lighting so it's not plain looking.




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