Dev notes: Creating Worlds, pt. 3

In the last part we left off with a quad that can be subdivided as needed, so there will always be a sufficient level of detail at the spot where the camera is positioned, and depending on how high above the terrain the camera is.

The next step is to create six quads like this and assemble them into a cube. And finally, extrude the quads outwards so the cube will turn into a sphere. Continue reading Continue reading

in dev by Comments Off on Dev notes: Creating Worlds, pt. 3

Dev notes: Creating Worlds, pt. 2

In the first part I explained the difference between an “endless plane” flat procedural world and a planet-type one.

We’ll start with a spherical body with uniform surface details. As the camera gets closer to the surface, more details appear, until we’ve “landed” on the planet, at which point things should look about the same as with a flat world.

There are two important ideas to this. One, the spherical body will be based on an extruded cube, which means that the “one threedimensional body” challenge will actually be a “six slightly curved planes” challenge, and thus much easier to solve. Continue reading Continue reading

in dev by Comments Off on Dev notes: Creating Worlds, pt. 2

Dev notes: Creating Worlds, pt. 1

Ah, procedural landscapes! So much fun. And easy to program.

You start with a chessboard mesh and place it under the camera. The height of each mesh point is generated by a fractal noise algorithm (such as Perlin).

It would be great if you could just increase the resolution of the mesh until you can’t make out the single polygons anymore, but resources are limited!

So you implement Level of Detail (LOD) and increase the mesh resolution only in the middle, where the camera is. Now the outer parts of the mesh look rather crude, but it doesn’t matter, because they’re far away from the camera – and the closer parts of the mesh look nice and detailed. Continue reading Continue reading

in dev by Comments Off on Dev notes: Creating Worlds, pt. 1

Dev notes: Getting it out the door

It’s been busy lately, and I’ve been able to wrap up a big project: Doki is now available for download from the Windows Phone store.

The total development time was three months for the beta version, and another month for polishing and waiting for the Feedly API keys. I decided to shoot for an early MVP release and to continue with adding lower priority features. Continue reading Continue reading

in dev by Comments Off on Dev notes: Getting it out the door

Dev notes: About DLLs

Note: there are no deeper insights in this article – just some rambling.

I have a confession to make. I never really understood DLLs. They were some sort of software blackbox for me, something that dawdles about in the install folders of proper software products, like minions waiting to be summoned. I knew that they contain executable code. But the stench of “unnecessary complexity” always kept me from actually looking up how they work and what they are good for. Continue reading Continue reading

in dev by Comments Off on Dev notes: About DLLs

The Liberation of Dotnet Nation

I vaguely remember musing about the implications of the open sourced .Net compiler half a year ago. Considering the news of late, it’s small fries in retrospect.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s what Microsoft did – they…

  • open sourced the full server-side .NET stack (including ASP),
  • started porting .Net to Linux and Mac OS,
  • and released a full-featured version of Visual Studio for free

Continue reading Continue reading

in dev by Comments Off on The Liberation of Dotnet Nation

Procedural Planet Generation

Andy Gainey wrote an article about procedural planet generation, discussing many interesting points:

– Generating a sphere by subdividing a primitive geometrical body
– Not using Perlin noise for elevation, but a plate tectonic model instead
– Climate systems
– Vegetation and Biomes

When it isn’t down due to heavy traffic, you can find the article here.

in dev by Comments Off on Procedural Planet Generation

Fast times with Windows Phone, part 3

The one thing developers hate like nothing else is to get interrupted in their workflow. While this usually happens in the form of somebody barging into their dev cave, a flawed development tool or terrible APIs can be just as frustrating. You’ll never get any work done if you have to force yourself to open the IDE (I’m looking at you, Eclipse).

How does the Windows Phone development process hold up? I just published my first app on the Windows Phone Store, in order to find out if and how much everything sucks. Spoiler: Turns out it’s actually ok. Continue reading Continue reading

in dev by Comments Off on Fast times with Windows Phone, part 3