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voxel maps suitable to quickly create content?

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I wanted to make something but I am not a artist. So, I wanted to try an approach that makes it easy to create some programmer art with minimal amount of work.

I got the idea of using voxels because these tools are easily mastered.

However, the best tools don't support large grids (i am using magicavoxel right now) and making a large world in a voxel tool is also tedious and results in a lot of data. So, then it followed logically that I would have to use a tile map editor to arrange a limited set of voxel objects into a larger world.

My proof of concept is to have a large space ship you fly over, destroy stuff, turrets, missiles, and whatever else comes in mind, force fields, black holes.

I threw together a OGL voxel proof of concept, you can see the video here: 

(Note, it is not optimized in any way, performance or visually.)
(Note: i haven't yet created all the voxel objects you see in the 2d tile map)

But seeing the result I am now seeing a few problems:

- overpasses are problematic (this could maybe be solved with multi layer tile maps but I think it would still be quite difficult matching skewed shapes assuming you don't want overpasses on straight pillars )

- color matching of the voxel objects. You need to keep a strict palette to avoid having slight color deviations. And only one voxel object can be edited at once so you don't see the problem until you try the level.

- repeating tile patterns

- joining the shape of other tiles. You could have for example a ridge but at the end of the ridge, at a corner for example, you need another type of voxel block to match the shape of the corner, otherwise it ends abruptly. So that's even more work. (see video at 2:02 for what I mean)

- lining up voxels. say you have two voxel objects, a straight pipe and a bend pipe, you need to line up the voxels perfectly but you can't see the combined result until you start the game.

- the tilemap uses 2d images so it might be easy to loose track of what the tile is presenting in 3d. "what was this stair image again? a ridge or part of an overpass?"

- scale, sometimes you want big objects and it's much easier to make them in one piece instead of composing them from multiple tiles. so that would mean having a layers with different scales.


So, as an artist do you think this approach is workable? For me, as an programmer it still seems too tediious.

Edited by sqwirx

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