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Diablo Trees In Game.

I'm going to leave trees and move on with some other stuff for a while.
I think the trees look pretty good and performance is much better than when i was using individual tree sprites.

I'm still conflicted about how to handle alpha in the game. Here's a shot of the trees with clip alpha:


Clip alpha is basically either/or alpha. Either it's 100% transparent or it's not. It's very fast to render, but it gives pretty horrible edges.

Another option is to use alpha sort. This is similar to the alpha blend I use for the infantry sprites (grayscale alpha) but it works to sort the individual polys of the mesh to make sure they get rendered in the right order.


Performance is slightly slower than with clip alpha. But the end result looks much, much nicer. Again this may be something I make a part of the graphics settings, as it would be possible to load different trees from file, some with alpha sort and others with alpha clip and lower resolution.

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Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative.

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative. In this blog I will talk about my own recent brush with story telling and go on to talk about how tools from creative wring can help you to better author the narrative in your games, whether they have a traditional linear narrative or a procedurally generated interactive narrative.

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I hope the story will help me to flesh out my game world and develop my own expanded universe which will be a good place to set my games in the future.

After about a week of work, on and off I've progressed the story to outline stage. For each character thread I have half a dozen chapters which plot a course through the events of the story. Each thread is told from the perspective of a different character.


Actually I started writing as soon as I had my outline, but I've since gone back and deleted what …

Back to Vinland.

I'm going back to my real time tactics project, Vinland 1936.
While working on the other project I overcame the problems which were stopping me from saving/loading the game and also cleaned up the base code a lot.

After a few weeks I'm getting near the the state I was in before.


Infantry are back to their previous state, and vehicles are running OK.
This time I'm going to push ahead with mocking up the combat system though before I work any more on the vehicle builder or graphical aspects of the game.

Map screen designs

I've been working some more on the map window. Right now you can only see the base, it doesn't show items, enemies or even doors on the map yet. These would be decals.


In the top window you can see the modified result of last night's tile based map. It looks good but there are some visual artifacts related to the problems I encountered yesterday, and as well it takes much more code and time to calculate.

The second window uses a cheap trick to fake an beveled look from a smoothed version of the 32x32 map. It uses black to mask unexplored areas.

Finally the third version is meant to look like a had drawn map. I'm using a cross hatching texture to distort it and unexplored areas are shown as blank map paper.

There's going to be a mechanic in game where you need to use some paper every level in order to activate the map for that level. From there it will fill it in automatically. Paper will be pretty rare so it might be worth keeping it safe for the more complex level…