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Bringing back the mountains

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I spent some time recently working out some bugs with the tri-planar shader. I believe the bugs are fixed now (and it required some fixes in the Urho3D library to do it), but I don't really understand what was causing them in the first place, so I'm still a touch nervous about them. At any rate, I've taken up the Quest Map UI again.

In a previous entry, I introduced the quest map as a 2D scene rendered to a texture and displayed on a scroll atop the Map Table model and in the placeholder interface widget for the quest map. The process that made the shader bugs apparent to me, however, was an experiment to bring back the old world-map look of the original 3D Goblinson Crusoe conversion. Back then, I started playing with representations of hex tiles modeled as hills, mountains, etc... I still like the style and feel of that world map, so I whipped up a quick test to see how I like it as the Quest Map.



In short: I like it quite a bit.

In the first shot, you can see the Map Table object with the scroll map on top. For that rendering of the map scene, I blend the texture with a version of the map scroll texture, whereas in the UI widget the rendered map is un-blended. My vision for it is to have various objects populating the map, representing the missions/quests available in the quest log. Each quest will have an entry in the list to the left. You can click on a quest in the quest list, and the map camera will zoom to that location. (Right now, the camera is just animated with a circle animator).

I will probably do another iteration on the actual tiles, with some updated textures and a more consistent style among tilesets. Pictured up there is a mish-mash of various experiments and tests, with different base textures, so some of the tiles don't really match the others that well.

But all in all, this version of the quest map is the one that I like the best. I'll try to juice it up a bit (better water texturing, aforementioned new tilesets, some animated doodads like seabirds, clouds, splashes in the water, etc...)

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I really like the visual expression.

Never really played that many hex-based games - played Panzer General a little bit years ago but that's pretty much it. I'm sure a lot of hex-fans will approve:)

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