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## Richards Software Ramblings

### Pathfinding II: A* and Heuristics

In our previous installment , we discussed the data structures that we will use to represent the graph which we will use for pathfinding on the terrain, as well as the initial pre-processing that was necessary to populate that graph with the information that our pathfinding algorithm will make use of. Now, we are ready to actually implement our pathfindi...

### Pathfinding 1: Map Representation and Preprocessing

This was originally intended to be a single post on pathfinding, but it got too long, and so I am splitting it up into three or four smaller pieces. Today,we’re going to look at the data structures that we will use to represent the nodes of our pathfinding graph, and generating that graph from our terrain class.

When we were working on our quadtree to de...

### OutOfMemoryException - Eliminating Temporary Allocations with Static Buffers in Effect Wrapper Code

I came across an interesting bug in the wrapper classes for my HLSL shader effects today. In preparation for creating a class to represent a game unit, for the purposes of demonstrating the terrain pathfinding code that I finished up last night, I had been refactoring my BasicModel and SkinnedModel classes to inherit from a common abstract base class, a...

### Refactoring Rendering Code out of the Terrain Class

Howdy, time for an update. I’ve mostly gotten my terrain pathfinding code first cut completed; I’m creating the navigation graph, and I’ve got an implementation of A* finished that allows me to create a list of terrain nodes that represents the path between tile A and tile B. I’m going to hold off a bit on presenting all of that, since I haven’t yet manag...

### Terrain Tile Picking in 3D

Typically, in a strategy game, in addition to the triangle mesh that we use to draw the terrain, there is an underlying logical representation, usually dividing the terrain into rectangular or hexagonal tiles. This grid is generally what is used to order units around, construct buildings, select targets and so forth. To do all this, we need to be able t...

### A Terrain Minimap with SlimDX and DirectX 11

Minimaps are a common feature of many different types of games, especially those in which the game world is larger than the area the player can see on screen at once. Generally, a minimap allows the player to keep track of where they are in the larger game world, and in many games, particularly strategy and simulation games where the view camera is no...

Now that I’m finished up with everything that I wanted to cover from Frank Luna’s Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Direct3D 11.0 , I want to spend some time improving the Terrain class that we introduced earlier . My ultimate goal is to create a two tiered strategy game, with a turn-based strategic level and either a turn-based or real-t...

### Rendering Water with Displacement Mapping

Quite a while back , I presented an example that rendered water waves by computing a wave equation and updating a polygonal mesh each frame. This method produced fairly nice graphical results, but it was very CPU-intensive, and relied on updating a vertex buffer every frame, so it had relatively poor performance.

We can use displacement mapping to ap...

### SSAO with SlimDX and DirectX11

In real-time lighting applications, like games, we usually only calculate direct lighting, i.e. light that originates from a light source and hits an object directly. The Phong lighting model that we have been using thus far is an example of this; we only calculate the direct diffuse and specular lighting. We either ignore indirect light (light that ha...