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The Story So Far...

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I first used the KCS moniker in late 1999 while I was writing some software for Dungeons & Dragons (Yes, I was one of those junkies as well). Die rollers turned into character generators which turned into module creators which eventually spawned a map creation tool. This was near the end of 2001. My first crack at creating a mapping tool was like any other ill fated project, too ambitious with not enough knowledge and I hadn't read TANSTAAFL's illustrious book yet either. Written in VB6 at the time. Yes, yes...the snickers. When you program with something for a living 8 to 10 hours a day, you tend to use it at home as well. It was all based on GDI and was terribly slow and very awkward, and ... a failure. I shelved the project for about a year and was dabbling in DX7 & DX8, doing simple Mandelbrot's and other 'learning' stuff (while working in VC6). I read Mr. Pazera's book and pulled my old project out from the ashes. It was about this time that .Net entered the fray and I converted the ISOHex core code to C# and DX9. Although I never got everything up and running and I really wasn't interested in 2D, I learned so much about the concepts that it made the creation of my latest engine very smooth and elegant (at least I think so). I have fought more with DX9 than I have with figuring out how I should handle 3D isometric concepts. Anyway, I am going to use this journal as a place to help other people with obstacles that I have overcome (and have not!) If I can help a single person (even myself) it will have been all worthwhile.

OK, now onto the present...

My current project is aptly named Nightmare.

In the nut shell, it is a 3D isometic(ish) map generation\editing engine. I have fixed the camera height but allow rotations. The first 8 months of this year have been spent writing utilities to help make my life easier. A tileset maker, resource manager, and an alphablending application along with a first cut of the Nightmare engine.

Here are some screens of each.

An early shot of the engine putting things together...

The terrain transitions above are still a work in progess and will continue to improve. Most notably, I want to get rid of the terrain ridgedness and make it look more realistic. I am almost done doing so and will document the process once it is up and running.
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Thanks Rob, at least I think that is a complement 8>). Although that is not the look I am ultimately looking for. I have just changed my tile layout from 4 primatives to 8 and am rewriting the Alphablender application to accomidate these changes. After this is done, the transitions will not look so blocky. I am also implementing a randomizer so that as a shoreline is being drawn, it will look a little more natural.

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