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Heightfields are fun!!!!!

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Sir Sapo


Hey everyone, its been awhile!

Well, I've got a picture packed entry for you guys today, so I hope you enjoy it!

Well, as you guys may have discovered, I haven't been working that much on Angels 20 lately. I've just been getting distracted easily, and getting nothing done, so I decided to take a break from hardcore A20 programming and work on something different(ish).

My first idea was to restart work on my topdown shooter, but that quickly fell through the cracks when I re-discovered the reasons I stopped development on it in the first place. The only thing left for me to do was to create something from scratch, and I chose a 3D heightfield. I actually got one working, but I couldn't fix some problems with the landscapes lighting normals, so I stashed the code on my hardrive for later digestion.

It was at this point that I realized that although 3D heightfields were a bitch, 2D heightfields are easy in comparison, so I sat down and within 10 minutes had a 2D heightfield working. I spent another 30 minutes or so cleaning up the code and putting it in class form. After that, I couldn't stop myself from adding more stuff. After about 30 minutes of googling, I found a line-line intersection algorithm that actually made sense and worked. That allowed me to find the y position of the ground at any point by checking where a vertical line intersected the ground polygon, and snatching the y coordinate. After that I added random trees to the mix, and created (of course), an airplane to fly around in.

This got me thinking, and I decided to transform my little demo into a little game that uses absolutely no image resources. The only thing that is shown in the game would be hand defined polygons. This gave the game a distinct look, and really cut down on the space the game took up. The only question remaining was what the game would be about, and more importantly, how would its gameplay work.

I decided to attempt to make a networked multiplayer game to use as a testbed for the multiplayer "version" of Angels 20 called Dogfight Online. Anyways, I haven't even started coding network stuff yet, and this project comes after Angels 20, so I'm not hopeful on having the multiplayer working for a while, although the single player 'game' is working just fine, as you can see in the screen below.

Anyways, Mark and I are still aiming for early november to finish Angels 20, so we can enter the final version in the IGF as a student entry. Speaking of Mark, he wrote an Artist Update (I know, its been a while hasn't it), and here it is:

[artist bullsh*t]
Hey, Its a coolstyle Artist Update (the 8th, I think). Its been a while since I've written one, almost as long a time as Thomas has written a decent journal entry. I haven't been working on Angels 20 as much as I hade during the summer, for various reasons, including a new Gundam model (the Tallgeese, if you have any idea what that is) and a new set of Gundam DVDs totaling a overall waste of about 30 straight hours of my life (it was worth it). I have done some Angels 20 stuff, though, mostly at school and mostly fun little stuff. What's new, you ask apathetically? Well I've done a U-2 2for a "destroy the crashed recon plane" mission, one for a cutscene and two for the actual tiles on the ground, a new rocket HUD image for a new rocket, a huge fortress as a final boss-type unit, and finally a Ekranoplan, one of those wing-in-ground effect aircraft, the kind that the Russians tested during the cold war. Click here to learn more. Thomas hasn't been doing too much on Angels 20, he is currently fascinated with heightfields, because he is desperate to create something visually worthwhile without my help (the fool!). Anyway this was homecoming week for our school... woo-hoo... we got Friday off, pretty sweet. Today I got to move dirt off my aunt and uncles artificial grass in the New Mexican heat (their yard was flash-flooded, burring everything under 5 inches of mud). New rocket! We decided to add another less powerful but more plentiful rocket, because the previous Rocket was unrealistic and unbalanced.

Nothing else to say, except that dodging SAMs is really fun, once you get good at it.
Artist= End.

[/artist bullsh*t]

And here's a picture of Mark the Artist's much hyped fortress cannon:

Well, I'll leave you guys on a cool note: My friend from Russia sent me some pictures of the St. Petersburg Airshow, they are pretty cool, here's my favorite one of the bunch:

Talk to you guys later!
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