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Non-tiled maps

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Lately, it seems like quite a few wargames have begun to adopt a non-tile based approach to maping the game world (i.e. TacOps). Instead of using square or hexagonal tiles, these games use a large topograpical map which better represents the real world. I have been thinking about how this is done, but I can''t seem to figure it out. They manage to draw the maps quite fast, and the map sizes themselves are pretty small. Are they simply using multiple polygons to represent regions of forest, grass, or ocean? Any ideas would be great. -Mike

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Isn''t anyone familiar with tile-less maps? I don''t believe that these games are using D3D or OGL, and I''m not sure what rendering techniques they use to create and render complex polygonal maps.

-Mike

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As far as I can guess, such map is basically a heightfield associated with a huge single texture.
Then there ARE OpenGL and D3D implementation of 3D engine that use such feature.
With a suitable culling, level of detail and other technics, you can effectively achieve to render such map.

There are plenty tutorials (starting with Nehe) about heightfields, and some about LOD algorithms, etc

----
David Sporn AKA Sporniket

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As far as I know the only way these are being produced is as David said using a couple of maps, one for hieght, one for terrain. You then paste 2D images on top or render each item in 3D if you have too much processing power and an age to design all the items.

I am sure I have read/noticed a few libs and tutorials on this in various places, if you look around Im sure you''ll find them.

Regards

BaelWrath

If it is not nailed down it''s mine and if I can prise it loose,
it''s not nailed down!

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I have a feeling that they are using hundreds (thousands?) of textured polygons to represent the maps. When I said "topographic", I didn''t so much mean a highly detailed, altitude-based map. I meant basically just a large, realistic map with non-squarish terrain. I think I will look around for some of the tutorials/articles BaelWrath mentioned. If anyone know of any good references for this kind of thing, feel free to let me know.

-Mike

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