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Hex tile height and lighting

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With the reversion to the more basic hex block shapes, I have begun experimenting with using elevation. I don't know that I would actually use elevation in the gameplay mechanics, but rather just as a look-and-feel thing. It wouldn't necessarily be a difficult change from a gameplay perspective to use elevation, but then I would need to animate for elevation changes and all the other nitpicky little details that would come with it. However, I do think that elevation in the map does work rather nicely from a visual standpoint:


Without AO, though, it can be a little bit difficult picking out different elevations. As an experimental hack, I tried scaling the diffuse color of the ground in the shader based on Y:


This does help somewhat with picking out the different elevations, but it does throw the lighting off a bit. It's something I'll probably still have to tinker with.

I'm in the process of organizing the assets. In the initial prototype, I was simply heaping all of the assets into the folders Data/Models, Data/Materials and Data/Textures. Not really the most orderly of systems. Now I am organizing them into various sub-folders, with units compartmentalized for easier access. It's time consuming, but necessary.
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Have you tried to subdivide the hex-model at different elevation levels ? Either a pad per level or a notch to indicate a new level .

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I gave that a try just now, but the beveled edges of the notches in combination with the tri-planar mapping that applies different textures for vertical cliffs makes it look strange:


Perhaps a more subtle notch, coupled with some baked vertex coloration to darken the notches, would look better. I'll tinker with that in the morning.

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It reminds me of a voxel engine, therefor the sugguestion to try out pads. It helps a lot to read the terrain evalation and structure. You could try to take the upper texture in your tri-planar texturing only for the top pad, and else exchange the top texture with the side texture.

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