ponedjeljak, 6. ožujka 2017.

Warning: Graphic content

Few post ago I've thought about making planet orbits and combat grid textured, consider it done now. I've repurposed the shader to apply texture instead of flat color and instead of regular rectangular texturing it bends rectangular image to fit on curved surface. So orbits in system view are no more jagged and combat grid looks a bit nicer too.

Which drove me insane at one point. Adding texture to old polygons produced black spots around line intersections because they were overlapping and had same depth level, making depth test sometimes passed through a darker color. On top of that each hexagon produced all of it's boarder lines so lines between two hexagons were drawn twice. At first I've tried utilizing that by making each hexagon draw only it's half (half width, from border middle to line edge closest to the center of a hexagon). It worked well for all but for outermost lines which ended missing outer half. I've tried hundred ideas to get them finished properly but there was always some edge case which required twice as much code to handle as regular case. In the end I flipped the table, stopped thinking in hexagons, started thinking in lines and devised a two phase process. First phase was repurposed old code for processing grid per hexagon basis but this time it only made a list of where each border line starts and ends. Second phase inspects each line from the list, checks with which lines it is connected and generates draw polygons in a way that each line covers it's part of intersection. If you know me then it wouldn't surprise you that first phase is quadtree territory (for removing duplicate lines and points, plus cardinal sin of using non-integer numbers as a table key) and second phase is linear algebra town. Now I won't make any promises but I was pondering different shape for combat grid, something that still plays like current hex grid but looks more spacey :).

Shaders are not the limit of my limited artistic prowess. Oh, no I can make distinct low resolution images too. I've reworked two more smallest ship images and made up four new images for second ship size. Some long time ago I've came up with five distinct spacecraft shapes, some inspired by SF shows, some by permutating underlying shape. For instance, one of the inspirations is "fighter1" which resembles colonal Viper from Battlestar Galactica and it's rough shape it upside down kite. Simple way to get another shape of a spacecraft would be upside up kite. Make a broad part broader and thin part thinner and you get "T" shaped "fighter2".

Make rough outline with darker color, fill it with brighter and move pixels around until it looks right. That is how I arrived at images of the smallest spacecrafts. Larger ones I've made by inflating small ones, following the initial shape but adding a little twist here and there and adding a bit of detail.

I also thought more about hull size assortment and decided for fewer sizes then in CroVar iteration. Instead of having 10 or so sizes which grow by factor of 2.5 I decided to have 5 sizes which grow by factor of 5. I think having fewer but better defined sizes would suite the game better then having a lot of small increments and it gave me easier time coming up their names. I don't want to default to usual military frigate-destroyer-cruiser route if I have other options. One reason is that in real world navy these words describe ship role, not necesserly it's size class and second reason is that I don't want to depict spacecrafts as exclusively military vessels. For instance it would be awkward to describe a colony ship as a battleship class. I also don't want to use vague size gradations like small-medium-large because what is large for early game is medium or small in the late game and I want names to have some absolute meaning like X is this big. For now names are meteor, shuttle, cruiser, liner and asteroid but they are not set in stone and I'm open to suggestions.

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