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Ethereal Darkness Interactive's The Lost City of Malathedra screenshots + discussion

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Looking good guys. Can't wait to see how this project progresses.

Just out of curiosity, do you already have a story line in mind or is that coming after the engine? If so, do you mind enticing us?

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yup, we do have a story line in mind, and some of it has been written already, once I decided on the basic story it was going to have I decided to jump into the engine. Once the engine is complete we will again jump back to story development and perform a concise write-up.

For now the story is under-wraps, but when the time comes the premise will be released =D

Also, some screen shots of progress.



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Greetings all!

Here is a screen shot with our famous palm tree composited on it, we are trying to get a feel for the style, I think it will be good once we have more detail in the terrain =)

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Haven't been here for awhile... Good to see EDI's "Morning Wrath" is released. Hope could find or order it in Belarus. Thumbs up! Eagerly awaiting for "Project 2"! ;)

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Ooohhhhh!

This is shader-based terrain splatting and directional lighting.

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the friendly folks over at #graphicsdev on afternet helped me.

I recived guidence from:

Roy Eltham - Reltham - Sony Online Entertainment
Richard Fine - SuperPig - Rebellion
Anthony Whitaker - Sages - Raven
Joshua Tippets - Vertex Normal
Promit
Drillian
CircleSoft
Cypher
And others...

They all helped me to understand 3D and shaders. Good people the lot of them =)

I would recomend swinging by there if you need to learn, but it is a very topic-focused channel so keep the chatting in #gamedev

=D

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First off looking quite nice. The only thing I saw that looked slightly out of place was the tomb, but I'm sure it will come together quite well in the end.

I'm quite curious about the "Tile Splattering" what is it and is their any articles about it? I've waisted plenty of hours creating transition tiles (and I'm no artist) for projects, and that could have been time spent in other areas. Would you please elobrate on it a bit?

Thanks,
- Jeremy

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'splatting' as it is commonly called, is a neat way to add varience to a surface using a very small amount of repeating square textures, and a lot of alpha maps (or per-vertex linear blending; i prefer alpha maps), here is the basic idea of how it works.

you have a grid of tiles, each tile knows it has a base image, and a number of 'splat' images, i allow for 4 splat images.

each image, is a 256x256 tileable texture.

each grid (a map for instance) has a number of splat-maps (the same number as splat images on a tile (4)), each splat map contains information (8 bits of alpha) as to how much of the splat texture on the same layer should be shown.

when this grid is rendered the base is laid down first, then for each splat layer on a tile, it draws the splat texture using the splat-map's alpha information as a mask.

here is a better visual explanation:

Tile base texture:


Splat0 texture:


Splat0 mask:
note that the mask is much smaller than the source texture, using linear blending will smooth this out when it is stretched. i use 32x32 32x32 pixel masks in a single 1024x1024 texture for a 32x32 tile map (tiles are 256x256 each).

(can be it's own texture, or can be a single large texture and a part of it used)


The base drawn, and the splat0 drawn using splat0 mask


so instead of having TONS of hand-made graphics, you use square general graphics, and custom low-resolution, 8 bit alpha maps, to mould them.

i've found this method works great!

anyone interested feel free to hit me up for my vertex and pixel shader code to do this in a single pass.




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