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glGreenhorn

creating a new map format

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hey here''s what i''d like to do: if anyone''s played Rage of Mages 2, they know the kind of map it features. i think it''s 2D, but it very well models 3D terrain, giving certain spots (holes) the shading they need and leaving a really neatlooking bumpy impression that looks like 3D terrain. if anyone''s got an argument against this, though, go ahead, lecture me. i''m not sure about it. what i''d like to do is create a similar map format that features 3D-looking terrain in a 2D view. is it possible to create such an effect using ogl ortho view? and what would the map format have to consist of? my guess is: a tile map for textures and a heightmap for creating terrain level differences. that, however, does not solve the problem of drawing it 3D-like. can this be solved with bumpmapping? any objects drawn on the map need not cast shadows later on, so only bitmaps can be used - no models and stuff. another problem - i''d like to be able to create the map from a monochrome format pic - basically a pixel-based height field as it is done in Railroad Tycoon II. any suggestions on that? sorry for the maybe somewhat lousy sample progs, but i really do not game all that much ps - looking at ROM2 maps - how is texture blending done in that case? i mean how is it made smooth while still retaining clearly distinguishable higher points (hills, mountains)? keep cool

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r u sure its not just a bunch of 2d tiles textured to look like its 3d? i know red alert 2 and tiberian sun both did that

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judging by the looks of the terrain in ROM2, it is a mixture of both - steep mountains are 2D tiles, but small hills look very 3D-ish.

ps - that''s why i''m writing this - i don''t really know what it is hehe

keep cool

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have you ever played total annihilation? its maps are a lot like what you are describing. The terrain is drawn as 2d tiles iirc, but the map also stores a contour of the terrain so that tanks really look like theyre climbing a mountain or whatever.

if you want the whole map to come from a monochrome image, you may have some problems. youll probably need to compile some contour data of the terrain for purposes of movement, blocking line of sight and whatnot.

then you can assign textures to tiles based on altitude.

for shadows, you should probably have a seperate shadow map that you make seperately, or you could write a simple lighting compiler that does this for you.

with the shadow map, either multitexture that on, or since the tile spacing is even, vertex based lighting may well work for less effort than multitexturing.

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