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Xpyder

3D Terrain Engine

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Hey everyone I am trying to create an RTS/Simulation style terrain engine. I would like it to be similar (somewhat lacking obviously, but in style ;)) to Age Of Mythology, Sim City 4 etc. It is for an outdoor, island based simulation game. I will give more details of this later as i am still having trouble explaining it :D. I have had a number of ideas ranging from creating and rendering a mesh, importing it to my engine and then creating an array over it containing information about the texture types (like a tile grid). A second idea was to use an index buffer and shape the island manually. The problem is i do not know where to start with this - can anyone give any advice/links to information on terrain programming? sorry for sketchy post but not much time as am in inet cafe -thanks in advance. Xpy

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Hello. Try to read this paper: http://www.drizzle.com/~scottb/gdc/
Of course, you wouldn't be able to implement it at best, but you'll get a grasp on your problems anyways.

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Well, terrain at its simplist isn't very hard to implement - its essentially just a mesh of vertices spaced out at regular intervals to create a plane of varied height. I'd personally suggest a vertex buffer and index buffer for rendering - that way you can change the LOD by modifying the indices.

The hard part is implementing LOD algorithms, noise to create height values for the terrain, etc.

Gamedev Landscape and Terrain Articles

There is one library in particular that I found to be quite helpful for generating and transforming noise - libnoise. Its a pretty sweet library, and pie to integrate into your code. Check out libnoise.

That should keep you busy for awhile ;)

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ok thanks - after a bit of research i got a rough idea of what i wanted , like you said i will use an index buffer and apply a height map to it, then for texturing i will use a set of defines like SEA-LEVEL, SAND-LEVEL etc (so everything below a certain level gets X texture, gradients also) and then apply an alpha map for blending + lighting after that - thanks for the links as well

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