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Thundercats Are Go

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The productivity boost that I've witnessed since switching to XNA2.0 is absolutely absurd. Unlike the work I did with Rawr 1.0 (the DirectX 9/10-based framework) where I wanted to ensure that if anything was used in the framework it was all written by me, I want to actually take advantage of all the utilities that something like XNA offers to make my life easier. The goal of Asplode! is to actually end up with a full game (well, "full") for the first time in my development career. When it's done I want people to actually be able to play and enjoy it as a game not as a tech demo or what have you.

When I started work on the game on Saturday morning at an obscene hour due to my lovely little feline making an absurd amount of noise I searched around the Internet with no real purpose and I re-stumbled across the work of Kenta Cho. I've played Gunroar in the past and enjoyed it well enough but it wasn't until Titanion that I fell head-over-heels in love like a virgin landing first-row seats in the Victoria's Secret fashion show. The vector graphic style is something I really dug, especially given the joygasm-fest that I wrote about regarding Geometry Wars (and, yes, Space Giraffe is almost equally fantastic).

Shortly after that (immediately after that) I went to neural-storming up a way to efficiently generate the visual representation of the filled polygon with a specific edge outline. I thought about going totally Kenta and hard-coding the geometry into the game but that seemed a bit of a hack. If nothing else, that approach didn't lend itself to any use in future projects very well. What I ended up deciding was that I could use an XML capable of generating the desired model with minimal input necessary; in this case, that input was: a polygon type, fill color, edge color, and the base vertices for the polygon. So, for a quad with a triangle hat the XML file would look something like this:

 "1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>

"1" LineWidth="5.0">
"0.3" g="0.3" b="0.3" a="0.3"/>
"0.9" g="0.9" b="0.9" a="0.9"/>

"100.0" y="100.0" z="0.0"/>
"80.0" y="-100.0" z="0.0"/>
"-80.0" y="-100.0" z="0.0"/>
"-100.0" y="100.0" z="0.0"/>

"0" LineWidth="6.0">
"0.3" g="0.3" b="0.3" a="0.3"/>
"0.9" g="0.9" b="0.9" a="0.9"/>

"0.0" y="200.0" z="0.0"/>
"100.0" y="100.0" z="0.0"/>
"-100.0" y="100.0" z="0.0"/>

This produced a horrible image that looked like this. Once I cleaned up the generation of the edge geometry -- and it is geometry, since I felt that using an edge outline shader would not defeat the purpose of the look along with being more problematic in certain cases -- the resulting hat-wearing quad looked better:

Tonight I set to work on fixing up the look of the vector model on top of miscellaneous other game fix-ups. I also made a slightly more attractive model:

It doesn't look super awesome right now by itself but I have faith that, by the time I get more aspects of the game's visual style in place, it'll turn out looking pretty neat. Then again my brain is considered by many people to be a far more pleasant and imaginative place than reality could ever even hope to be.
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