I needed a bit of a diversion from the planet rendering itself, into something that would give some purpose behind it. Why is the planet there? Well, what better use is there for a planet than driving a tank on it?
We left off in part 1 talking about the initial failures with my GPU geometry map shader. I did fail to mention that there was a bright spot the first time I ran the new code â€“ it was amazingly fast. So fast I was able to increase the noise octaves from the 5 that would run reasonably well on the CPU up to 30 and still run at well over 60fps. I have to admit that I spent some of that first 18 hour day just roaming around on a barren, reddish planet. That huge improvement in performance made the pain to come well worth it.
So, at the end of part 1 we set up the C# code for executing the geometry map shader. Now letâ€™s take a look at the shader itself.
Previously I mentioned I was going to do a mulligan on my procedural planet engine. The few hours I’ve worked on it so far have lead to a beautiful new architecture that’s doing most of the same things as before, as well as some major new things, using about 25% of the code.
Just uploaded the next version of Guardian for playtesting (you’ll need to be an XNA Creators Club member and signed in to follow the link successfully). There were lots of changes this time around. Over 250 items checked off of the todo list, many of them polish type things, but also some very major changes and additions.
When developing the iPhone version of Guardian I manually created my sprite sheets. I used individual sprites up until the end so everything was pretty much set in stone by the time I created the the sprite sheet. Even then I ended up having to recreate the sprite sheet two or three times, and let me tell you, manually figuring out the texture coordinates isn’t a particularly pleasant experience. In this case I believe I made the right choice. There were few enough sprites that I would have spent more time creating the tool than I would have saved.
I managed to make the deadline for entering the Dream Build Play 2009 competition. The results are expected to be announced by the end of the month. Based on the quality of entries this year I’m not holding out a huge amount of hope of actually winning. Regardless, it was a great experience and I learned quite a bit in the process.
Things are coming along nicely with Guardian. The Dream Build Play entry deadline is fast approaching, but I think I’m in pretty good shape to get my entry completed. The video shows most of the functionality. Pretty much all that’s left now is fleshing out some of the graphics, and adding a few more weapons. Then I can start getting some sleep.
Here’s a video of the XNA game I’ve been working on. It’s a port of the iPhone version with some additional functionality planned.
So we finally come to the last post in the horizon culling series. Previously we’ve discussed what horizon culling is and some reasons for using it. Then we went through the math involved in determining the angle between a line from the camera to the planet center and a line from the center to the point on the horizon.