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Posts posted by omicron1

  1. Beauteous.

    Is there any way to add a visible helmsman/steersman to the various vessels as part of the model/a separate entity? It looks discongruous to have the steering oar just resting on the side of the ship, and to have all these lifeless vessels floating on the water.

    Likewise, is it possible to animate the sails on the ships, so as to produce a visual distinction between ships at rest and in motion?

  2. Easy! Have the terrain extend with a random perlin effect (which modifies a simple "clamp" effect of having the current height/texture continue to infinity) to the edges of the LOS in all directions. Maybe have it computed at map design times, by adding a screen-width "border" region to the map terrain. Then darken all colors beyond the map region by half, or simply add a colored border around the edges.

    This solves both problems: It clearly defines the game area, and it is much more immersive (by dint of not ending abruptly in darkness or visual artifacts) than the typical approach would be.

    In my own project (which has the added challenge of accomodating a landscape perspective in regular play), I extended the ocean visual beyond the range of vision in all directions, then modified my map generation scripts so that, in effect, all maps are islands. (Although a 2x-size terrain might be possible with no framerate decrements) The end result is quite pleasing!

    The holy grail of map borders, I think, is probably the World in Conflict approach - both terrain and scenery objects extend to the horizon in all directions!

  3. Here's a thought for y'all...

    As well as the attached-to-buildings beautification objects, why not have some that spawn around buildings based on a pseudointelligent algorithm to create the feeling so common in promotional screenshots and so lacking in gameplay ones of a functional town?

    Things like, say, a fence around houses at the edge of a village facing away from other buildings... a little dirt trail between a house and an adjoining work building... a bush between a house and an adjoining warehouse or other industrial facade... basically, just spread out the detail objects over time.

  4. I'd suggest an "overview" icon. EG, rather than just having a set of icons for each unit, utilize a larger icon that contains a representative icon: say, if you have only/mostly horse units, a picture of mixed cavalry shows up. This allows at-a-glance identification of a group or hotkeyed-group's intended purpose - much as the hotkey-group banners in Age of Empires 3 did.

    The health bar on this icon should be an average of all the selected units' health. This is important - it provides visual information on the overall state of the entire selected force even if a large number are selected. Possibly additional information (average attack power? Average/min/max range?) could be displayed in this space as well.

  5. A thought:

    The metal/stone deposits don't really stand out on all maps, especially visible in the valley 1 screenshot above. I'm not certain what you could do to highlight them; what AoE3 did was to place a dirt "rim" around any resource outcrops, separating them visually from the surrounding terrain.

  6. Nice.

    Couple questions:

    1. How do transport ships figure into the pathfinding system?

    2. How does the game handle long-range/en masse pathfinding checks (say you order fifty units from one end of a map to the other)?

    3. If there's no path to find from one disconnected landmass/water mass to another, does your engine recognize this? It should be a relatively easy fix - a propagated key value for each group of pathfinding tiles, such that each water/land mass will in the end have its own key index, and such that a pathing request from one key index to a different key index will be a trivial case.

    4. Have you thought of doing octree optimization on the pathfinding data? A simple largest-square finding algorithm could work; it would result in vast speed improvements at the cost of flexibility and path elegance.

  7. Your Ishtar Gate isn't big enough! It needs another row of lions! (Kidding!)

    Still looking fantastic, guys. Quick question: The elephant rider there looks outscaled compared to the wild elephants. Is he supposed to be that small?

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