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Here is a current in-game shot:

I've incorporated the texture "splatting" that I talked about a few posts ago, although I still need to hammer out the method for creating the art for coastlines and shorelines, since just doing an alpha blend onto the water of a flat splat kind of looks like crap. The ground splats in this shot are quickies, test of concept art that need more work. However, even given that fact, it still looks pretty good. Not quite the look and feel I'm trying for, but okay. In the above shot, I render a base layer, but with better splats and a denser grouping I can do away with that later and just do splats. I don't really like that background sandy texture anyway.

Today I worked on cliffs. I've done cliffs before, but today's efforts represent a technique I've been working on to speed the process and obtain better results. I'm working on a more lengthy journal post to describe the process. The short form is that Sculptris is kind of awesome.

Things are picking up in pace lately with this thing, as I get the rust oiled out of the old machine. In many ways, I'm doing better work than my old Golem project, but in other ways (mostly speed) I still need to improve. At any rate, I'm having fun with it again. Woot.
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This looks really sweet. Is the texture splattering also done in iso-perspective? Are you using any kind of editor to place objects and splat-textures?

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The splats are just alpha-blended decals drawn on top of the background terrain. Rather than do a bunch of tile-aligned transitions, I just render a background terrain, then plop splats down in patches and areas on top of it. No editor at the moment, everything is just randomly placed. The engine is a hash-map of cell "buckets", but objects can be placed anywhere, not constrained to tile boundaries, so the underlying tile structure is just a convenience to facilitate random generation, not a hard requirement. I can tile the ground with solid textures, and place some splats to hide the sharp tile boundaries, or just tile the ground with a single set of solids and place splats to build large areas of varying terrain. Most of my splat types have at least 4 variants to help hide the repetition of patterns.

The downside of the method, of course, is a hideous amount of overdraw in complicated maps, but so far it hasn't been a problem.

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