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Here's the deal; I'm making a 2d game in C# with SDL for graphics (SdlDotNet to be specific). It has 3d maps like Red Alert 2, in 45 degree angle (also like ra2). Currently it's at a very experimental stage, but in time it will be some kind of an rpg. The point is, I'm having trouble making mountains etc. look good, and I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with just that. If you'd like, you're welcome to take a look at it, I'm including a link to a download which includes both source and executeable. It requires the .Net framework 2.0 btw. If you want to play around with the editor, that's great. How it works is pretty self-explanatory. If anyone has feedback on how to do the mountains, then I'm very grateful. It's difficult to explain the problem but try elevating terrain with the editor, and you'll see what I mean. For anyone who cares, all settings are stored in .ini files in the ./data/ directory, and the menus are scripted from the bottom with Lua and LuaInterface. So are the events that you can step on here and there (red circles). You can interact with some of these events by pressing the Enter key. I appreciate it very much if anyone takes the time to look at it, it's less than 1MB, complete with gfx and editor, located here: http://www.sparal.com/archive/log.rar You can move around with the arrow keys, and, as mentined, interact with events with the enter key. If you scroll the map southwards(bottom left), you'll see some attempts at making mountains. While these look relatively OK, It's difficult to make taller, unpassable mountains look good.

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I couldn't run the game or editor (got the framework). Maybe it's because I got Windows x64. However, I was able to look at the graphics in the /gfx folder. The hills I could see look a bit to sharp around the edges. Maybe if you smoothed them out it would look better? Try to use light and dark instead of just sharp sides of a box to draw your mountains. Individual details in the terrain would help too; such as grass straws, rock formations etc. I did a quick paint-over, hope it was all right.

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http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/2711/errorag8.jpg

:( Ahh, I'm using a WinFast PX7300 GS gfx card on 1280x960 resolution with an intel Pentium 4 CPU on Window XP (x32) if that information helps any :S I can run plenty of different games quite fine so I don't have the slightest clue what could have triggered that.

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Quote:
Original post by publictom
If you download the SDL redistributable and place it in your bin\Release folder the editor should run fine.


Yes, there's really no reason why the game should crash at that state. But try to download the SDL redist. The reason why it crashed, must have been that SDL could not detect the screen modes your system supports. It's doing that when the "pending screen setup..." message apppears. I guess you need another SDL build, or maybe I forgot to include some files.

Anyway, the latest SDL redistributable can be downloaded here:
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=52340&package_id=77145&release_id=596395

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Lua initialization fails when I try to run it. I'm guessing you need a Lua .NET package as well?

At any rate, when working with the limited options that a tile-based environment gives you, art assets are key. As O-san pointed out, you need detail on your components. No mountain is going to look good composed solely of smooth ramps and boxes. The devil is in the details.

Awhile back I did a journal entry on a simple method for creating a tiling 'cliff' component usable in isometric games. The same idea applies here; focus on getting component pieces that tile well together, and that contain realistic detail, shadowing, etc... That is the single greatest thing you can do to make box-based isometric games look good. Hide the boxes as best you can.

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Quote:
Original post by JTippetts
Lua initialization fails when I try to run it. I'm guessing you need a Lua .NET package as well?


Hi! Thanks for the reply; nice article!

Anyway, I updated the archive I put up for download, and I think I found the problem. If you still want to see the project, the updated archive is here. It now includes all the required Lua and Sdl runtimes, and threir respective .NET libraries. I'm not shure if 64-bit user can run it, but at least it should work on Win32.

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