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Weekly status

I’ve been away for a few days, but I did accomplish the following in the week after the previous post:

  • Byte and TwoByte tile processors. These are custom content pipeline extensions that convert PNG images to arrays of bytes. Prior to this, if there were data I needed on the CPU that was stored in images (for instance, the density map for trees in the world), I would call GetData on the texture once at runtime. But there was no point in round-tripping it through the GPU, so now I avoid that altogether.
  • I finally nailed down how I handle the tree density system. There is one “byte map” for tree density, and another for tree type (which would support up to 256 different kinds of trees). Here’s a shot with three different tree types: 
  • Redid the layer system so that there is a difference between map layers (which are part of the game), and editable layers (which only apply to the editor).
  • Added a grid overlay in the editor that shows tile map values for the current layer (if it is a tile map layer). Useful for knowing when the problem is with a certain tilemap, or with the code that processes that tile map. Here is one that represents tree density I think. 
  • Fixed problems with fog that I introduced at some point (it was only showing up where the height == 0). Here’s a screenshot of some ground fog. 
  • Changed how terrain heightmap normal data is imported. It never needs to be on the GPU (unlike the actual height values), so it is no longer an actual texture, just an array of 16bit floating point value pairs.
  • Tried a perf improvement for fog that renders it at a half resolution. But I don’t believe this will work.
  • Worked on water flow again, but ran into some issues which I’ll detail in a future post.
  • Added more terrain textures to the atlas (now there are 22), and spent time arranging them so ones that blend naturally are adjacent to each other.
  • Refactored some editor-only stuff out of the game code (cleanup).
  • Added save functionality for all the tilemaps (though it’s still a little hacky). This means that now I can modify the terrain permanently and actually begin building the world.
  • “Redid” the editor again. I was tired of having floating winforms windows around the main game window. I have now refactored things so I can have a working game functioning inside a windows form. This means the bulk of the game code was put into a library, and there are two separate executables: a simple one that loads the game library, and a winform-based editor (which also loads the game library. The game is fully playable in the editor (so far).
  • Added code that generates a worldmap based on the terrain type (see on the bottom left of the above screenshot).
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