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Development of Floatlands game

## Our first live stream

DOMEN KONESKI & ANDREJ KREBS

Me and Andrej have done our first live stream, explaining some core mechanics of Floatlands while showcasing the EGX Rezzed demo build. Andrej also did a quick tree sculpting for our new biome. Bear with us that this stream was our first one and we were pretty shy doing it. Check it out!

## Better terrain generator

DOMEN KONESKI

I have made some changes to the terrain generator. It allows water to be rendered, hills/mountains are more exposed now allowing us to create different types of terrain with ease.

## Setting up Wiki pages

ANDREJ KREBS

Started setting up Floatlands Wiki and worked on the item and main page. I prepared the template for the individual item’s pages and filled out some basic resource pages.

## Trees for swamp biome

ANDREJ KREBS

Modeled some trees for the swamp biome and made LOD’s and colliders.

## Creating a game build for development testing

This week was mostly about rushing to create a game build for mid-game development testing. A few changes were made in controller menu, but it still needs fine touches. New logic was implemented for drone movement, which is now completely physic based.

## Shotgun close encounter, adding effects

VILI VOLČINI

These past couple of weeks I worked on pimping up Close encounter shotgun, added ricochet particle effects and blood effect. Otherwise, I just spent my time fixing bugs for upcoming demo build.

## Reworking some older ideas

MITO HORVAT

Since we’re frantically preparing the demo for the SGC event, there’s really no point of pumping out new concepts and content. Therefore its time to rework some of the older ideas. We’re dumping the wooden fences and completely overhauling the buzzard. The changes wont be extreme, but since we’re constantly evolving I think its appropriate we update the older assets as well.

## Spartan & Roman skins

I started this week by preparing a broken model of the dropship, so the players will be able to blow them up spectacularly and making collider models for the broken pieces. After that I carried on by adding more skins for the player outfits – the latest additions are Spartan and Roman like skins.

Spartan and Roman like skins

I prepared some more cloth outfits and a few junk armour pieces. I also added a camouflage skin for the fine metal armour.

cloth outfits and camouflage skin

## Dropship destruction

I’m still playing around with the dropship NPC, I even did some work on it through the weekend. Here are some key points:

• Separating single script into many separate scripts
• How dropship explodes
• Adding explosion and smoke effects
• Dissolve effect
• Collision avoidance – so dropship doesn’t bump into something

This code may be used for future flying NPCs so it’s not good to spoil this fun by writing bad code. I can show you this clip of dropship destruction (stress testing):

dropship_destruction_lowpoly_floatlands.mp4dropship_destruction_lowpoly_floatlands.mp4

## Clouds & Flow Map

Clouds are now animated/translated troughout the playable area using flowmap. A flowmap is basically a texture filled with various colors. Each pixel describes a movement vector by extracting red and green component of the pixel. The computation looks like this:

We’ve used Teck’s FlowMap Painter to generate nice and smooth flowmaps which can be easily imported in your Unity project. Check his other work aswell.

flowmap

Cloud system is being spawned by a custom pooling solution, the only thing left is to create some weather scenarios – cloudy and less light, rain and storms. We can do this by changing the flowmap (which has more aggresive vector field) in real time.

moving clouds

So we can conclude that a flowmap is a vector field.

This week my time was invested in creating Controls Menu. Finally some UI quirks that will put the whole game together nicely. First thing that comes to mind, when creating Controls Menu is KeyBinding, which lets user choose custom keys with Key Definition – KeyCode pair. We decided not too use Unity default KeyBinder-Input Manager and use our own system with .ini file that has [name, description, category, defaultKey, playerKey] connections, which gives us more freedom from the get-go.

## Swamp biome assets

swamp assets concept

With the swamp biome on the horizon, its time to spice it up and make the biome look distinguished from others. Currently I’m playing around with different color palettes to give the biome a specific atmosphere. Colors combined with all the right assets will create a really unique environment for the player to explore. Swamp biome will be littered with small ponds and tall trees. The flora will be very lush and the combination of huge trees and roots everywhere will create a very dense looking biome. We’ll also include swamp specific critters and animals, but we still have to brainstorm what would fit, any suggestions? Below is a collage of concept sketches of assets that will be added in the biome.

## World map

I’ve been working on a new ‘feature’ for the game – World Map. With this I have removed our initial idea of compass since you can now use your map to guide you troughout the world. The idea was to map out all islands with their positions as an icon but then noticed scaling and precision problems so I took another way of doing a world map.

world map WIP

The idea was to render the visible world to a rendering texture using ortographic (2D) camera. I had alot of problems zooming in, aligning the grid and moving the whole map with the mouse. The end result is great and intuitive.

finished world map

The map texture also has an edge detection algorithm on it for some image effects. Note that render texture can be wiped out when changing the level or programmatically pausing the whole application.

## Clouds everywhere

Skies in the game are empty so I started working on some more details, the first was adding some splats and details to the “cloud” cubemap, the second change is a cloud system with a pooling mechanism. When a cloud prefab hits something (e.g. an island) or is out of bounds it shrinks and is then sent back to pool ready to be reused. The system needs some more prefabs and more movement logic to it – cyclones (read: vector field) anybody?

## More skins

This week I made some more variations of armour sets that will be available as skins. I also added a clothes outfit that will be purely aesthetic. I added some paintwork to the wooden armour, some decorational bolts to the junk armour and made a coat and a hat for the aesthetical set. I also made a new, fine metal armour set, that will be available in a variety of finishes.

more variations of player skins

## Swamp biome concept

I’ve decided to take a short break from all those numerous player armour sketches and to break the monotony I’ve started researching concepts for the next biome. The next in line is a dense swamp biome. Below you can see couple of speedpaintings I did of the enviroment. I’ve also experimented with different color palletes to portray a specifit mood for the biome.

greenish swamp biome concept

Those type of islands will be covered in thick mist and tall and lush trees. Trees will have huge roots poking out of the ground, and long willow tree like branches. On the ground you’ll find swamp biome specific foliage and wildlife, and the landscape will be littered with ponds.

dark swamp biome concept

## Drone movement and destruction

Scouting drone has finally got its smooth flaps movement. It is correlated with its speed – at desired speed flaps are perpendicularly to the line of drone sight, with speed increase they move backwards and with speed decrease they move forward.

speed correlated flaps movement

Previously I showed you an example of scouting drone destruction and how it falls appart into pieces. This time you can check out the mining drone destruction – not as many destructible parts, but still pretty good.

drone destruction

## Dropship movement

I got back to working on dropship movement, since it still needed some smoothness to it. It’s almost finished, so I can show you a bit of a sneak peek. Mostly I worked on tilt movement, PID controllers (Vector3 and Quaternion PID controllers) and cleaning up the code. Remember that this is still a WIP, but here is a short animation showing how it lands on an island.

dropship landing

## Ideas for armour sets & jetpacks

I made a couple of different concept sketches for the armor sets that I mentioned in the previous blog post. From simple wooden planks tied on the player to welded metal plates that form a strong looking armor. Below you can see some of the examples (arms, legs and helmet).

sketches for arms, legs and head armour

This week I mainly focused on the player jetpack. I created various jetpacks that would fit into the game, and then create 3 different “skin” types that will include particle effects individual to each “skin”, and added modular pieces so they will differ from each other.

jetpack variations

## Armour sets

After we got settled into the new offices and extended the weekend, I started preparing the gear and outfit models for the player’s 3rd person model. Mito prepared some sketches for me and I modeled wooden and junk metal armour sets so far. The armour sets are made as separate items the player will be able to equip: Head gear, body armour and leg armour. The jet pack will also be an item that will be equipped. The armour sets will also get more models as skins for the players to collect and wear proudly.

armour sets

## Drone destruction

This week was all about the way enemy drones react when they get hit by a bullet. Running away manouver really gives them a life-like feel. Another cool little quirk we added was, how drones fall apart when they are destroyed. The connections between parent/children parts are being disabled and a small “invisible” explosion is created, so that parts fall away from that destroyed position.

drone destruction

## Logic Gate system

Lately I’ve been improving the Logic Gate system. I wish to make event-driven logic simulation, and it’s quite a hard thing to do. Why did I decide to do this? Because current implementation of logic gate simulation is really bad and I doubt people will be able to play with complicated logic. Unfortunately I can’t show you any pictures yet, but I can explain a little bit about the base components of current state though:

• Pin – can be input, output or bidirectional
• Connection – connects two pins
• Element – element consists of many pins, can think and update state
• Event – events are raised on changes, then processed when it’s time
• ProcessingSystem – this system holds all those components and processes events

The hardest part so far has been building a correct simulation. A simulation that can be modified in real time – adding and removing elements, connecting elements, or pressing hubs on switch.

## Recording voices for NPCs

Currently we are recording and reviewing different ways of incorporating voices for our NPC’s. When it comes to speech, we will not record out every single line, but we will try to bring reactions and emotions across. I have build a homemade vocal booth that will serve for recording the voices and sound-FX.

Sound-FX will be partly recorded and partly created with synthesizers. For recording sounds we will switch between an instrument microphone (SM75) and a condenser microphone (NT1A).

Singal processing is important. Every recording will be enhanced and amplified. You can’t go anywhere without a Pre-Amp and my weapon of choice is a Golden Age Pre 73 MKIII.

Further sound processing will be done with plug-ins that I will demonstrate on a later update.

## Scouting drone

This week was intense, because there was no right way to make a mining drone beautifully stabilize after being hit. Finally we decided to include PID (proportional–integral–derivative) system. Yes, I know it sounds complicated, but all it does is try to minimize error over time and readjust the path. It worked like a charm, actually my new favorite thing about the game is hitting drones and watching them stabilize. The second thing I was playing with this week was “scout” drone, which can move its flaps now. Only a few more steps and a buzzing drone army will be ready!

Flaps movement on scouting drone

## Settings

Floatlands will have predetermined graphics/game settings values (lets call them Low, Medium and High graphics) and of course a custom one. I have created external files for each graphics quality settings that are loaded at the start of the program with our own parsing algorithm.

The settings values look like this and can be changed without recompiling (for now a game restart is required):

To read values from the file (the values are stored in the memory in an array list) we simply call the following API calls which are reachable anywhere in the game code:

## Junk recycler device

We had this idea of including a Junk recycler device, which recycles junk items the player will find lying around and turns them into condensed recycled junk pellets that can be used in crafting. I relatively quickly prepared a model of this device for game implementation, then I also revised item descriptions and fleshed them out a bit to be a bit more interesting and helpful. I am now looking over and organizing the crafting recipes, so we can later balance the crafting more easily.

junk recycler

## Dropship

I decided to work a bit on the dropship and here’s a picture of the current state. Turrets already aim at you, motor particle effects are also in place, landing gear can open and retract, LODs are working. There’s still lots of work needed for it to become fully functional. I need to implement quadcopter-like physics, path planning, some realistic behavior and enemies dropping out of ship when landing. I would like to do it as soon as possible to show you some more goodies!

aiming turret & dropship gizmos

## Skins

In the following weeks, we’ll add various modular armour pieces (skins) so the player will be able to personalize their character. There will be several different versions of the each possible armour piece (skin). Those will be divided into 4 categories: torso, limbs, helmet and jetpack. I’m still in the process of figuring out what would fit the best, but below you can see some quick and rough concept sketches.

modular armour pieces

## UI: character menu & build mode panel

Continuing with the UI, I have decided to implement a brand new character menu that includes all the player stats, player model and item slots for your dressing needs (will be implemented in the future). You can rotate your player model with the script that is provided below.

I have also changed the looks of the Build mode to make it as simple as possible.

New build mode outlook

## Generic mouse swipe script

It is time to give away some code for those in need of a solution when you want to do something with the mouse gestures, in this case a mouse “swipe” gesture, e.g. you wish to rotate your character model in the character menu with your mouse. The script provided can be used in your projects, free of charge, and can handle multiple things:

• Unity Event when moving the mouse in X direction only
• Unity Event when moving the mouse in Y direction only
• Unity Event when moving the mouse in XY direction
• Knowing if the mouse is “down” on the selected raycastable panel

To make things work create a UI panel, hide the image (do not disable the component), select the image as raycastable and add this script. What you have to do now is to populate your Unity events with your custom function calls. Do not forget when calling your function via this script the function getting called must take one (for X or Y only events) or two (XY event) arguments type of float. The last thing is to mark the event as dynamic, see image below.

mouse swipe script

using UnityEngine;

using UnityEngine.Events;

using UnityEngine.EventSystems;

namespace Floatlands.UI
{
public class MouseSwiper : MonoBehaviour, IPointerDownHandler, IPointerUpHandler
{
public bool isHoldingDown;
public Vector2 totalDeltaVector;
public Vector2 deltaVector;
private Vector2 prevVector;

private Vector2 startPosition;
private PointerEventData eventData;

[SerializeField]
public SwipeSingleEvent OnSwipeXEvent;
[SerializeField]
public SwipeSingleEvent OnSwipeYEvent;
[SerializeField]
public SwipeDoubleEvent OnSwipeXYEvent;

public void OnPointerDown(PointerEventData eventData)
{
isHoldingDown = true;
startPosition = eventData.pressPosition;
prevVector = startPosition;
this.eventData = eventData;
}

public void OnPointerUp(PointerEventData eventData)
{
isHoldingDown = false;
}

void Update()
{
if (isHoldingDown)
{
Vector2 currentPosition = this.eventData.position;
totalDeltaVector = currentPosition - startPosition;

deltaVector = currentPosition - prevVector;

prevVector = currentPosition;

OnSwipe((int)deltaVector.x, (int)deltaVector.y);
}
else
{
totalDeltaVector = Vector2.zero;
}
}

void OnSwipe(int deltaX, int deltaY)
{
if (OnSwipeXEvent != null)
OnSwipeXEvent.Invoke(deltaX);
if (OnSwipeYEvent != null)
OnSwipeYEvent.Invoke(deltaY);
if (OnSwipeXYEvent != null)
OnSwipeXYEvent.Invoke(deltaX, deltaY);
}
}

[System.Serializable]
public class SwipeSingleEvent : UnityEvent<int> { }
[System.Serializable]
public class SwipeDoubleEvent : UnityEvent<int, int> { }
}

## Outfits and speakers

Mito created some outfits concepts for “techies” that would distinguish them from the “farmers”. So this week I was occupied with modeling and weight painting the new outfits. They put more metal pieces on themselves as armour is made of junk pieces of sheet metal.

various “techies” outfits

After that I modeled propaganda speakers, which will appear in the world. The speakers will emit propaganda messages and other sounds.

propaganda speakers

## Extra robot concepts

Currently there is only one type of enemy robots. Simple humanoid machines that wield various weapon types (from snipers to grenadiers etc), they roam around and attack anything in sight. In the near future we’ll add sturdy, hard to destroy robots that will challenge the player. In addition, we’ll also add small spider like robots that will be quick and unforgiving with their melee attacks. Those enemies will surely test your aim. You can see the first glimpse of concept sketches below.

a different kind of enemy robots

## Mining drone in action

This week I’ve been playing around with drones, particularly “mining” drone which Andrej beautifully modeled. Mining drone will represent a fine touch to resource collecting. Upon destruction its loot will be dropped and ready for collection, which allows the player to gather resources faster. Tweaking its avoidance system makes it fly smootly regardless of any obstacles on its path. Finishing touches were also made for the drill rotation. More nuts and bolts next week.

mining drone in action

## NPC battles

Humans are already alive and fighting each other (Farmers vs. Techies). They have 3 different weapons for now: fists, single shot pistol and revolver. They can also melee attack with pistols!

NPCs fighting

I also just started working on ‘Hint nodes’, which will have different geometric shapes. Those hint nodes will provide information about the world – safe spots, danger spots, sniper spots and so on.

basic gizmos

## Time for a new video? Sure is!

It’s time to produce a new dev update in video format, introducing new Electricity system, Humans of Floatlands, Vendors and world improvements. Game is shaping up nicely and becoming more alive. Stay tuned for more stuff!

## UI changes

I have made a new UI redesign phase, combining similiar UI elements together and changing texts and images to so-called Signed Distance Field system. The only problem right now with the UI is the brightness of the environment – everything seems so bright in the middle of the day so it covers the UI and becomes invisible – to solve this problem I have to create a system that calculates overall brightness of the screen (by getting some of pixel colors and averaging the sum of color components) and change the color of UI elements using the calculated value.

Changed and simplified UI with a problem of bright environemnt, system in the works!

## Scouting and mining drones concept

I have decided to completely rework the drones in the game, since I wasnt really pleased with their look. Domen agreed with the revamp idea so I began sketching a couple of variations that would fit the game more. While I was doodling, I figured out it would be cool if we’d implement two different drones. The first one would be a scouting drone, simple looking aerial drone that would just fly around and stop occasionally to “scan” the area. The second one would be a mining drone, but instead of scouting the area, it would descend to the ground level and use the drill to mine rocks. Below you can see the concept sketches.

Scouting & mining drones concept

Since Vili is close to finishing the “farmers” AI we will soon implement the “techies” faction which means I’ll be responsible for creating outfits that would distinguish them from the “farmers”. You can see some of the concept sketches in previous blog posts. Domen requested more outfit variations and some helmets to characterize them more.

Techies outfit concept

## New drone models

I finished up the player 3rd person character from the previous week and tested it. After that I imported and tested the animations for the enemy NPC robots and added the IK systems to the assault droid NPC, so Vili can later add them to the game. The droids now have similar IK features to the player’s 3rd person character like aiming, grounding and recoil. I also modeled two of the Mito’s new drone designs that will roam arround the islands.

Scouting & mining drones

## NPC interactions

A lot of work has already been done on Humans of Floatlands aspect of the game – NPCs. They already feel enjoyable and fun (see the latest dev video update). They can interact and react to the world and others NPCs as well.

For more curious readers, those are internal details of current Behavior Tree and Animator. (Caution, images are extra large)

## Bug Tracking

We are close to delivering a working prototype so it is good to have a bug tracking system in place. Uptil now we were writting down bugs on paper which was okay. Now when the game is quite a large sandbox place a lot of bugs can occur so I started looking for a solid bug tracking software that is:

• Easy to use interface, pictures of bugs supported
• Visually appealing
• Free

We decided to go with LeanTesting

Some of the bugs already live on bug tracking software!

## Vendors

We are currently adding NPCs that are going to be roaming around the villages in Floatlands. They will be of a friendly kind until you attack them for (loot?) no reason at all. One of those NPCs is going to be a Vendor which buys or sells goods that can be obtainable in the world of Floatlands – either useless junk or rarities that cost alot. To buy goodies you will have to gather fiat which is measured in, you guessed it, Bolts!

Techies vendor hut

Basic UI implementation and interaction

## Junk items & new shotgun

It’s been a while since the last post and quite a lot has been done lately. We have made a collection of junk items that will be found throughout the world, like empty cans, bottles, lanterns, a broken cog etc. These items will be processed into other resources that will be used in crafting.

Junk items

The tools that players will use were revamped, we also tweaked some of their animations. Mito’s new designs made them more consistent with our overall look. They now look more like they were crafted out of scrap material. We have also redesigned the pump action shotgun with Mito’s new concept and I created the new animations for it.

Human NPCs & Robot player character

I made more animations for the human NPCs, like crouching, fighting with their fists and some reaction animations, like waving and pointing, to give their actions more variety and give them more options in combat situations. I then modeled some more elements for the electric system, that will allow players to make more complex systems.

Human fighting animation  &  New robot player character

## NPCs relationship & last seen position

I have improved NPCs ‘Relationship’ object, which is kind of IActors memory about other IActors in game. Still work in progress but it’s getting closer to finish. The reason I’m doing this memory improvement is because our current robots ingame (humanoid robots) are not clever and we are adding humanoids, which I want them to be more clever.

public class Relationship : IEquatable {

public IActor actor;

public RelationshipType type; // Enemy, Predator, Neutral, Prey, Friend, Threatening
public RelationshipReason reason; // reason for this relationship to exist (maybe damage)
public float timeSinceLastSeen;
public float maximumMemoryTime; // how long does this relationship last in memory, if NPC doesn't see actor

//last seen variables to make NPCs more realistic
public Vector3 positionLastSeen;
public Vector3 velocityLastSeen;
public Vector3 directionLastSeen;

public float threatLevel = 0f;
...

This was a sneak peak into Relationship code, it also includes prediction code and other helpers. The next thing I want to show you is Gizmos of selected sheep – the Gizmos show ‘lastSeen’ data. Now, if task like LookAt gets called in Behavior Tree, then the NPC will look at last seen position. This is also a work in progress though, since last seen position can be outdated, and NPC can be somewhere else completely.

Checking last seen position

## Tutorial with hints

For this assignment, I took a bit of a different approach. Instead of the usual PC and tablet combo, I’ve decided to hand draw the pieces, import them and edit in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. We are creating a “tutorial” system which will help out players when they first play the game. Hints will pop up with instructional text and a cartoony drawing of the protagonist. Below you can see some of the examples.

Drawings for tutorial

Here is how Domen implemented his Hint system, triggering when interacting with certain world elements, Workbench in this case.

Workbench hints

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# [font=arial]Procedural grass level of detail[/font]

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## [font=arial]The world outlook from farther distance kind of felt boring and dull. Some games just increase the fog level just to hide this dullness. There was zero detail in the distance so I started increasing draw distance for trees and rocks. I have created a new simple mesh (actually a rectangle with two triangles) and populated it with a simple grass cutout texture. I proceeded with creating procedural LODs, placing both simple mesh and complex in one spot, baking the same ones together in patches and adding UnityaEUR(TM)s LODGroup on top of that. The distance is busy now which enables us to decrease the fog level. LOD levels (for world objects) and other settings (such as shadows) are going to be tweakable via config file.[/font]

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## [font=arial]I have also managed to create a color variety on the terrain itself by writing a custom terrain surface shader. The shader enables us to input three different colors aEUR" one for the lowest points of the island, second one is meant for middle/ground heights and the last one is meant for hills and mountain tops. To interpolate colors smoothly I have transformed the colors from RGB to HSL space and used this code bit for interpolation (_Middle is a float [0, 1] that sets the aEURoemiddle groundaEUR? height):[/font]

[/color]float3 interpolatedHSL = lerp(bottomHSL, middleHSL, h / _Middle) * step(h, _Middle);interpolatedHSL += lerp(middleHSL, topHSL, (h - _Middle) / (1 - _Middle)) * step(_Middle, h); fixed4 tintColor = fixed4(hsl2rgb(interpolatedHSL), 1);

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# [font=arial]Drone[/font]

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## [font=arial]Me and Andrej added a new kind of non-hostile NPCs to the world that actually have no purpose as regards to gameplay aEUR" they will only make skies more busy and immersive. They are called Prospecting drones. They will fly around the island, stopping at the rocks and try to mine them with their laser. Yes, you can destroy and scrap them, but why would you do that to these beautiful robot creatures?[/font]

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### Non-hostile Prospecting drone in action

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# [font=arial]Randomized human NPCs[/font]

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## [font=arial]Since there will be a lot of NPCs that will populate various settlements, we decided to make a system that randomizes the characters by using shape keys (blend shapes / morph targets, whatever your software calls itaEUR|) on the face to change different facial features of the character and effectively makes each character have a unique face. Of course the character will also have a variety of different outfits.[/font]

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## [font=arial]Every device that we have in our electricity starter pack needs proper implementation. Previously I worked on repair and charging stations, but this week I focused on bringing functionality to light lamps, actually two types of those lamps aEUR" wall lamp & standing lamp. A quick preview in the picture below:[/font]

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# [font=arial]Icons for electric devices[/font]

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## [font=arial]We are slowly finishing up the electricity which will be an exciting new addition to enhance the gameplay. The newly added electric devices will need icons to display them in the players HUD. Below you can see a set of new icons, including bolts which will have a special use in the game.[/font]

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### Icons for electric devices, wheat and corn.

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# [font=arial]The Techies[/font]

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## [font=arial]I started implementing the second stage of humans of Floatlands aEUR" the Techies clan. In our previous updates we presented the Farmers clan, or rather buildings and props that they will be using. aEUR~The TechiesaEUR(TM) are innovative people that want to simplify their life with the aid of machines and technology. After the split they found shelter in old factories which they rebuilt and used as a center of their future settlement.[/font]

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# [font=arial][color=#000000]Continuing with dungeons[/color][/font]

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## [font=arial]I also made refinements to the dungeon system by adding itaEUR(TM)s own pathfinding using Unity3DaEUR(TM)s new NavMesh system that was introduced in the latest stable build (5.6.) aEUR" it allows you to bake and manipulate NavMeshes in realtime. The bad thing about the system is lack of good documentation so I had to figure everything out by trial and error.[/font]

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Procedurally generated navmesh, including obstacles

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# [font=arial]Repair station implemented[/font]

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## [font=arial]Lots of electrical devices models needed implementation so I focused on the repair station (a device which heals a player). The animations for repair station work very smoothly aEUR" if you are hurt, you just need to step on it and the device starts repairing you. Remember, the station needs to be properly powered up by electricity or else itaEUR(TM)s going to do a poor job. This is a short preview of how it works.[/font]

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I also added critters to the game aEUR" they were a bit difficult to implement, because they are so tiny and itaEUR(TM)s hard to navigate around an island. For now, critters in the game include rabbits and chickens. Rabbits will hop around on the grass and run away from scary things. Chickens will mostly be eating and showing off in front of you.

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### Rabbit and chicken

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# [font=arial]Chris Plexidas joins our team[/font]

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# [font=arial]Farmers village placement[/font]

## [color=#000000][font=arial]WeaEUR(TM)ve been working on the Farmers village placement aEUR" placing various objects such as buildings, props and loot on an island. [/font][font='Open Sans']This was already showcased in our previous [/font][/color][font=arial][color=#000000]Youtube dev video[/color][color=#000000]. [/color][/font]

[color=#000000][font=arial]To spice things up IaEUR(TM)ve also added various props for villages, to enhance the whole aspect of having a primitive type of friendly NPCs. An example of this are harvestable corn, destroyable barrels, interactable squeaky doors and cozy firepit.[/font][/color][color=#000000]

## [font='Open Sans'] The same will follow with our second aEURoeclanaEUR? of people, called Techies. They will also have the same set of buildings and props but with a twist.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Dungeons are coming to life [/font]

## [font=arial]ItaEUR(TM)s been a while since I started working on the dungeon system. You can check out what will the dungeon be by reading our Devblog 33 which explains its concept. In it we mention the first steps on how the dungeon generator will actually work aEUR" creating rooms and corridors then connecting them together. The first dungeon style will be a cave-like dungeon. Andrej created new cell objects which can tile correctly. The result is nothing special but itaEUR(TM)s a foundation for everything else.[/font]

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## [font=arial]The next thing was to add vegetation and set the overall looks for caves. I started thinking and researching about vegetation in caves (I know, it is not so natural to spot patches of grass in caves, but we really want to include life into every aspect of the game). IaEUR(TM)ve made some rules where and how grass/moss and vines can spawn. I added some rocks and dripstones as well and lastly the puddle of water has also been added.[/font]

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### Overall looks of a cave system

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# [font=arial]Techies buildings & new cave entrances [/font]

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## [font=arial]I finished the corn I started working on last week, which has already been added to the farmer villages. The corn cobs can be picked from the plants and the plants react to the wind like other plants so far. I also made some new dungeon entrances that will lead into the proceduraly generated dungeons.[/font]

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## [font=arial]After that I started working on the Techies settlement buildings. So far IaEUR(TM)ve made the greenhouse, where the techies will grow their food, and one of the houses.[/font]

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### Techies residence and greenhouse

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I am now continuing the work on devices that will plug into the electric system, and I made an animated healing station, that will activate and start fixing playeraEUR(TM)s robot character when he steps in it.

# [font=arial]Electricity update [/font]

## [font=arial]IaEUR(TM)ve been refining electric system, fixing bugs, and adding new components. ItaEUR(TM)s possible to switch buttons now and add fuel to the generator. A lot of electrical consumers will be added and their style will also be refined. Here is first glimpse of generator, battery, switches, lights and some wiring. The system will be flexible enough to add additional elements on the go, we will just need to brainstorm an idea, model and code the new element and thats it. We think electric system will be a very fun feature of Floatlands.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Techies buildings concept [/font]

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## [font=arial]Below you can see some of the concept sketches for the Techies buildings that you will find around the world. They are constructed and carefuly fused together mostly from scrap materials they could gather. Strong metal foundations and steel plated walls are often reinforced with thick layers of metal plates to protect the inhabitants from the outside world.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Humans of Floatlands in action[/font]

## [font=arial]IaEUR(TM)ve started working on Humans of Floatlands aspect of the game aEUR" friendly zones on the islands that provide you with loot, quests, vendors and perhaps a little bit of action. Andrej did an excellent job modeling aEUR~FarmersaEUR(TM) buildings and my job was implementing them in the world.[/font]

[font=arial][color=#444444]Farmer shop[/color][/font]

# [font=arial]Farmer props[/font]

## [font=arial]Continuing with the humans of Floatlands, I started to work on props that will spawn in the farming villages to add detail and make it feel more genuine. Haystacks, bales of hay, wooden barrels and carts are just some of the objects that you will find lying arround on a farm and will be placed around the proceduraly generated villages by Domen.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Assets for electric system[/font]

## [font=arial]I also made some assets for the electric system that Vili is implementing. These are various devices that generate, use or store electric power and connect together with cables, so I had to make connecting ports that will be placed on the devices and have wires plugged into them.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Electric system[/font]

## [font=arial]There is a global graph where node represents an electric device (battery, generator, light.. ) and a link (cable connection). Links are bidirectional. When you modify the electric system (add a connection or a new device), graph gets rebuilt. With that I mean global graph is split into groups. Each group represents a single electric system.Every device has a battery aEUR" there are two kinds of batteries: external and internal. External batteries give up energy, internal are parasitic and they keep it for themselves (they donaEUR(TM)t send it back to the network). Generators and storages have external batteries, electricity users have internal battery. Electric nodes/devices also have a transfer rate, which tells you how much energy they can transfer in one second. An example of what can be done so far with a battery, generator, 4-switch and a light:[/font]

ItaEUR(TM)s also easy to connect things in build mode:

1. Select first connector (cable is blue)
2. Select second connector and thataEUR(TM)s it (cable is green)

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# [font=arial]Concept for electricity elements[/font]

## [font=arial]Vili is currently working on electricity which we will add to the game very soon. He asked me and Andrej to come up with some concept sketches and some prototype 3D models. Since the electricity is still work in progress these presented elements will most likely be just placeholders and will be a subject to change in the near future. Players will be able to use electricity to illuminate the shelters and protect them with turrets. YouaEUR(TM)ll even be able to rejuvenate yourself with some of the components. Below you can see some of the electricity elements, from various hubs and switches to batteries and fuel generators. These will all be connectable with the cables system that is already in place.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Furnace[/font]

## We have already added furnaces in the early stages of the development. Check them out HERE. They were obsolete and their design didnaEUR(TM)t fit properly with other objects in the game, so we managed to recreate a furnace model with revamped background functionality. We also added new particles for the furnace as seen below:

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# [font=arial]Item stacking[/font]

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## [font=arial]WeaEUR(TM)ve seen a performance drop whenever you wanted to drop a lot of items out of your inventory. To optimize this IaEUR(TM)ve created a world item stacking, this means that nearby items with the same ID get merged. To add a sugar on top of it, IaEUR(TM)ve managed to increase the size of a stack aEUR" the bigger the stack, the bigger a certain item is in the game:[/font]

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# [font=arial]ELECTRICITY[/font]

## [font=arial][color=#000000]We have decided to rewamp the electric system used in the game aEUR" you can have a look at our initial electricity implementation with generators [/color][color=#000000]HERE[/color][color=#000000]. Our new direction is to have cables and the whole system will be more dynamic as well. I was mostly designing & planning though, so not a lot of programming was done. Still, I managed to finish up the cable connectivity aEUR" the cable is done with cylinder bending shader (wrote by aEUR~MetapyziksaEUR(TM)), bending is done with cubic bezier (4 control point).[/color][/font]

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## [font=arial]I also added capsule colliders through the existing cables, they are needed because cables will be destroyable (either in build menu or by a player raiding). Still lots of work awaits though, I have drawn some technical sketches of electronic devices, those sketches will then be retouched by Mito and finally 3D modelled by Andrej.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Villager buildings[/font]

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## [font=arial]In preparation for adding humans to Floatlands I started modeling buildings for their villages. So far I made two barns, water tower, granary and a central firepit.[/font]

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### Villager buildings: barn 1, water tower, barn 2, granary

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## [font=arial]When making models for a game we also need to make LOD models (levels of detail) which get swapped when the player is further away to save system resources and so the world can be fuller. I start by making the most detailed model first and then copy it and start removing details in two ways aEUR" by hand and by using modifiers, depends on what works best for the given model.[/font]

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# [font=arial]Night-time improvements[/font]

## [font=arial]I did a lot of tweaks on how the night actually looks. Before the lighting was dull was dull and weird and now the night has its own source of volumetric light aEUR" moon. We find it much better this way and sometimes you just have to stop and admire the beautiful scenery.[/font]

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## [font=arial]To give you a more clear look of how drastically lighting and colors of the scenery change during a one day-night cycle, here is a quick day-night cycle preview:[/font]

We have also implemented fireflies and dust particles that will spawn randomly around the player to create a more immersive world. Naturally fireflies will also serve as some kind of small source of light.

:

# [font=arial]Rabbit ragdoll physics[/font]

## [font=arial]After I import an animated or at least rigged character I put it on my workbench scene and start with the default ragdoll tool which generates the basic ragdoll. This tool is primariliy intended for humanoid characters, but most vertebrates have similar bone structures so it can easily be modified. The tool opens a window, where you simply drag and drop the coresponding bones and it adds rigidbody, character joint and a collider to each of the added bones. This can be done manualy for strange creatures, but I find that the tool saves quite a lot of time and I just tweak the character joints settings and colliders so that it behaves like I want the creatureaEUR(TM)s anatomy to behave. Afterwards I add some extra joints and colliders to parts of the creatures that arenaEUR(TM)t covered in the tool, like the floppy ears of a rabbit in this case. I test the ragdoll continuosly during the entire process, by just running the runtime. The ragdoll is later enabled by a script in the game.[/font]

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website
Instagram

# [font=arial]World changes[/font]

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## The other thing I did was to create a more beautiful environment for the father islands aEUR" the biggest one you will encounter in the game. Andrej subdivided the mesh of a generic father island for me and then I ran a set of simplex noises over the terrain/top of the island. We are really happy with the results!

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## [font=arial][/font]

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# [font=arial]NPCs[/font]

To make the settlement seem alive there will be several NPCs walking around and doing various tasks, some of them will even have quests for you to complete. You'll be able to easily recognize them by their unique appearance. Instead of rustic and rugged clothes, they'll wear more neoteric clothes enhanced with various steel elements. For instance, the militia group that will frequently patrol around, will wear steel armor plates and helmets to protect themselves. Robotic/machine farmers will gather crops for food and even chop wood. If you'll need some supplies you will be able to stop by at the vendor and purchase clan specific equipment.

# [font=arial]more about Floatlands[/font]

## [font=arial][color=#3e3e3e]Part of our team attended the EGX Rezzed event in London to showcase and let people try Floatlands for the first time. If you managed to drop by and have a go at the game, thank you aEUR" we had a blast. We also took a 2 week break from the development to get some rest from hard work.[/color][/font]

You were able to find us at the Excalibur games booth alongside with the Dad quest, Jalopy, Laser disco defenders and Shoppe keep VR. The build that we had was pre-alpha but the audience still managed to enjoy the game. We have recieved a very positive feedback from the people at the booth. We also did a couple of interviews with various Youtubers and media journalists. You can find one of the first impressions HERE[color=#3e3e3e].[/color]

EGX Rezzed was a fantastic experience, the event was well organized and the variety of games you could try was overwhelming. Thanks to everyone that stopped by and tried the game, took the posters and gave us feedback. We even had the chance to meet many great developers and made a bunch of friends.

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website
Instagram

# [font=arial]Robot NPC animations[/font]

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## [font=arial][color=#444444]Damaged assault robot walk[/color][/font]

So far I have finished the animation for the basic assault droid, but I will add it to the other two I already made and will also serve as an animation list for other enemies we will make later. Right now I started copying and modifying the first animations to the other droid, that uses the same animation rig I created for most humanoid characters.

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# [font=arial]Turrets[/font]

To defend the camp you worked hard to build, you will need some sort of protection. You will be able to construct static defense turrets, that will help you repel enemy NPCs with ease. There will be total of 3 tiers of turrets, each tier being more sturdy and powerful than other. Here you can see a couple of really rough sketches I made that helped us pick the right turret shape and style to fit the game better.

[font=Gudea]After the short discussion with Domen, we picked the right turret style, and then I further expanded the rough doodles into quick concept sketches seen below.[/font]

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# [font=arial]more about Floatlands[/font]

## 3D modeling for Floatlands

For Floatlands we decided to go with a polygonal look, which means the models don't use smooth shading or textures and this gives the game a specific visual style. As my main tool for creating assets I use Blender, since it's supported by Unity, has great tools for modeling, rigging and animation, and I am personally very familiar and experienced with it.

# [font=arial]WORKFLOW[/font]

For most hard surface models I just model them freely with all sorts of modifiers and optimize them later or just retopologise them when I'm satisfied with the shape. I make different material submeshes, that can later be individually changed in Unity, I then add all sorts of chips and scratches with either boolean modifier or knife tool and add detail like rivets and various "damage patches". For simpler object I just model the mesh directly.

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## [font=arial][color=#444444]Simple repair kit model[/color][/font]

When I make organic models I usually start by sculpting them with dynamic topology. (Using a graphic tablet helps with this step.) After that I have to reduce the insane sculpt polygon count to something reasonable that can be managed by a game. If I'm working on solid objects like rocks I often use decimate modifier, because it usually looks more chaotic than a manual retopology. If I'm working on more smooth organic models like animal characters I do a manual retopology, especially if I plan to rig and animate them later, because I need more control over placement of edges that I plan to deform later with a skeleton rig.

[color=#444444]step 1: Dynamic topology sculpt[/color]

step 2: Manual retopology of the rhino

For character and creature rigs the first thing I do is research some anatomy to know where the bones and joints should be placed and how they move. I try keeping the amount of bones down, to keep it simple and optimised for the game. I then make IK (inverse kinematic) control handles that make animation easier and more like controlling a marionette than just positioning individual bones on the timeline. I then bind it to a character or creature mesh and do some test animations to see where the rig breaks and fix it up and add some limitations (how far the joints can bend). The character's mesh is then finely weight-painted to make the deformations of the mesh with the bone look as good as possible.

step 3: Testing the rig with bones and IK control handles

Rhino taunt animation

# [font=arial]WORKFLOW[/font]

## [font=arial]After I had received a concept sketch I started making quick proxy models of all moving parts and checking how they fit and move together, then I continued the work with detailed models. I checked how the doors and landing gear open up and make sure there is minimal cliping (object going one through another).[/font]

[color=#444444]Airship sketch[/color]

Overall oustide shape

When the overall outside shape was confirmed, I started modeling detailed parts of the ship more or less by the proxy and concept sketch, building the ship model part by part. The moving parts will later be accessible to the programer who will handle them, so he can rotate the individual parts to open the doors, run the propelers and steer the engines.

[color=#444444]Moving parts & the overall outside shape[/color]

Once I was satisfied with overall shape of all the parts, I added different materials and details that made the ship look worn, damaged and patched up again. I added rivets and the occasional patch of sheet metal as patchwork over damage.

[color=#444444]Finished model[/color]

After the overall model was finished, I took on the LOD models (level of detail) which will replace the detailed model when the ship is further away from the player in order to save resources and keep the game running as smooth as possible even with more objects in the scene.

[color=#444444]LOD 2 model[/color]

LOD 3 model

The ship also needs collider models for all the parts. These are simplified models of the objects that will be used for Unity's physics engine, instead of the detailed models.

[color=#444444]Collider main part[/color]

Collider moving parts

# [font=arial]To anyone who strives towards making 3D content[/font]

## [font=arial]The best way to learn 3D is by doing and trying. A good way to start is by following tutorials on whichever part you want and try doing it yourself. Luckily there are tons of tutorials available on almost every subject. Every time you get stuck, first try to solve it yourself, but always remember that there is probably someone on the internet who already encountered and solved the same problem, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.[/font]

3D art is a skill that takes practice like all other skills. No one is good right from the start, so don't be afraid to mess up, that is just part of the learning process. Sometimes it's better to just throw away or scrap a piece you're working on and start over. Just consider it a lesson on what not to do or what to avoid.

Learning everything is near impossible, that's why large studios have very specialized roles (modeler, texturer, rigger, animator...), but these are usually masters of their field. You can learn to understand most steps without completely mastering all the nuances or try a bit of all and then specialize and master one.

"Jack of all trades, master of none is oftentimes better than master of one."

# ROCK TOOL, REPAIR KITS, ENERGY CELLS & LIGHTHOUSE

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## [font=arial]Then I made models for consumable items, which Mito prepared some concept art for. So far we have two repair kits for the player to heal himself and two power cells to store and carry extra energy arround. This comes in handy when your robot runs out of energy and you have to replenish it.[/font]

[color=#444444][font=Roboto]Repair kits and energy cells[/font][/color]

Lighthouse model
Andrej Krebs

# [font=arial]WORK ON WEAPONS[/font]

## [font=arial][color=#444444]Assault rifle in action[/color][/font]

Shotgun in action
Vili Vol?ini

Mito Horvat

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# [font=arial]Barrels and loot crates:[/font]

## [font=arial]To test out the item system we implemented loot crates and barrels that drop various items needed to survive in the world of Floatlands. Animal and enemy NPCs also drop various items as well as various resources (stone, metal veins & trees). There are different kinds of loot crates which have different loot tables - categorized by rarity:Barrels and crates that could be found in the worldThe one with particles around it is the rarest one to be found in either dungeons or on the surface of many islands. The content for now is not yet tweaked, but for now the loot crate animation when destroying it looks like this:[/font]

http://giphy.com/gifs/l0ExsRxCamCru72py

# [font=arial]IMPLEMENTING WEAPON ANIMATIONS[/font]

## Placement test function

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# [font=arial]PLACEMENT TEST FUNCTION[/font]

## [font=arial]I've created a function that checks if 3D mesh object is colliding with the world - other 3D meshes and primitives. The hardest part here is to check if your 3D mesh is inside another 3D mesh and their walls/triangles are not colliding, because Unitys Physics.OverlapBox doesn't return other 3D meshes. The reason is that 3D meshes are not usually topologically closed.This is my test 3D mesh. It has 1700 vertices and 580 triangles.The function is called 'CanPlaceMesh' and returns true or false and looks like this:[/font]

[code=js:1]public static bool CanPlaceMesh(MeshCollider testCollider, LayerMask mask, Plane ignorePointsPlane)

## [font=arial][color=#333333]I did an approximative calculation, because we don't need 100% accuracy, but 90% or so suffices. The more important thing is that the function is fast. As you can see, my test mesh has 1700 vertices and that's a lot of triangles. So I just took a small amount of triangle centers. The reason I choose triangle centers is because they are better distributed than just edges.[/color][/font]

[code=js:1]for(int i = 0;i < tris.Length; i+=8*3) { //Skip every 23 triangle Vector3 a = verts[tris[i + 0]]; Vector3 b = verts[tris[i + 1]]; Vector3 c = verts[tris[i + 2]]; Vector3 triCenter = (a + b + c) / 3f; //calculate center Vector3 point = testCollider.transform.TransformPoint(triCenter); //transform into world position // if points on positive side of the plane if(ignorePointsPlane.GetSide(point)) { DebugDraw.DrawMarker(point, 0.1f, Color.green, 0f); _tempList.Add(point); } else { DebugDraw.DrawMarker(point, 0.1f, Color.red, 0f); }}

## [font=arial][color=#333333]So out of 1700 points I get to check only around 1700/(8*3) = 70 points. Still quite too much, but remember, if any point is found colliding with the world, the algorithm stops and returns false - meaning it can't place. So we check averagely 70/2 = 35 points.[/color][color=#444444]Triangle center points[/color][color=#333333]If you look closely, points are located in triangle centers. Let me first show you this .gif and then explain the red and green points (and blue splitting plane):[/color][color=#444444]Splitting plane animation[/color][color=#333333]Explanation is simple: we dip 3D mesh into the ground, so we really need to ignore the bottom points of 3D mesh or else it will collide with ground. This is exactly what this plane is meant for and why it's called ignorePointsPlane. Now you may wonder what I do with these points? Before I start testing if points collide with the world, I need to do a query for nearby colliders:[/color][/font]

[code=js:1]var wB = testCollider.bounds; //get testCollider world boundsCollider[] colliders = Physics.OverlapBox(wB.center, wB.extents + Vector3.up * 10f, Quaternion.identity, mask, QueryTriggerInteraction.Ignore); //query for all nearby colliders.

## [font=arial][color=#333333]You may have noticed 'Vector3.up * 10f' - this extends query box up so it hits mesh colliders. If our mesh testCollider is inside another mesh collider, normal query box (testCollider.bounds) won't detect it.This is why I extend it upwards so that query box looks like this:[/color][color=#333333]And you see it hits a big island mesh. Now that I have collected all 'nearby' colliders, I can test if points are inside them or not. I made special functions for concave mesh colliders and convex+primitive colliders. Those functions work only on closed meshes so this is why we use only closed 3D colliders.[/color][/font]

[code=js:1]Collider[] colliders = Physics.OverlapBox(wB.center, wB.extents + Vector3.up * 10f, Quaternion.identity, mask, QueryTriggerInteraction.Ignore);for (int i = 0; i < colliders.Length; i++) { Collider c = colliders; if (testCollider == c) continue; if (c is MeshCollider && !(c as MeshCollider).convex) { for (int k = 0; k < _tempList.Count; k++) { if (c.IsPointInside(_tempList[k])) { DebugDraw.DrawBounds(wB, Color.red, 0f); return false; } } } else { for (int k = 0; k < _tempList.Count; k++) if (c.IsPointInsideConvex(_tempList[k])) { DebugDraw.DrawBounds(wB, Color.red, 0f); return false; } }} DebugDraw.DrawBounds(wB, Color.green, 0f);return true;

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# [font=arial]PLACEMENT TEST FUNCTION[/font]

## [font=arial]I created something interesting that I can show you: a function that checks if 3D mesh object is colliding with world - other 3D meshes and primitives. The hard part is to check if your 3D mesh is inside another 3D mesh and their walls/triangles are not colliding, because Unitys Physics.OverlapBox doesn't return other 3D mesh.[/font]

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# more about FLOATLANDS

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