Monday, 14 April 2014

Lander - Dev Blog 2.5

Alight, this is Friday's and Monday's update rolled in to one...

My original plan was to get planet terrain rendering out to the horizon (with a sort of adaptive scaling as you gain altitude, or move around the map) but for a plain, flat heightmap, and then get the vehicle building interface working over the weekend; but it ended up making more sense to work on the terrain generation so that it scaled both in first-person view, and also up to continents and land-masses. There's a bit of bodging in there to get it just right, but you can see that the local terrain's come out pretty nicely:

You can also see a Mercator projection of the planet map (about the size of Earth), so it's distorted around the poles but you can see the continents pretty clearly. That's one continuous scaled heightmap, so the current terrain is smack in the middle of that map.

Most of my weekend went into that, and a bunch of optimising the voxel generator so it loads the current scene (262,144 voxels) in ~0.36 seconds and ~7Mb, which is good enough for the load I'm putting on it right now. I'm partway done on the heightmesh - in theory, it's just a surface mesh heading out to the visible horizon, scaled so it fits into the camera's clipping planes and follows the same heightmap (at a lower resolution) as the voxel nodes - but I've a few ideas to try out for it, based around how to progressively load it into the scene as the player walks or flies around the map.

Objective for Wednesday, then, is the launch clamp - a special "voxel" which you attach to the ground, and onto which you build your vehicles.

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