The Project Gamma Development Progress Blog

Further updates on the maps

May 08, 2009 by DX-MON
Well after much thought, we've optimised the map format yet again, this time it was removing
un-needed Z-values because we only work in 2D, so there is no Z (it's always 0) so the Hoenn
map is now 71.9% of the size it was when it had Z-values kept for each tile.
Now, the software just passes OpenGL 0 for a Z-depth, though if we want to put things over
the top of the map in the game engine, then we can make the Z-depth -1 for the map tiles,
but that's a trivial change now.

I also got fairly bored lastnight, so I produced a loader written in Python for Blender 3D to load
maps into the 3D software so they can be used from inside the package. However, it cannot be
used on the Hoenn map for rendering because the render requires about 10Gb of RAM, which
when tried out on my laptop, crashed FireFox, Explorer and Blender had to be forced shut.....
Which is where MapMaker and the game engine step in - they don't need vast quantities of
memory for the maps, the memory foot-print per-map is literally just the size of the map as
on disk + 8 bytes per tile to hold some internal data and 8 bytes per texture to hold some other
internal data.

Anywho.... for those who want to produce fan-movies of the game once it's out, we may consider
releasing a pre-compiled plugin for Blender to do the loading (I cannot support other 3D software
because none of the other APIs are free, Blender is the only good piece of free 3D software I can
think of that is also Open Source.)

We are also moving back up the Hoenn region again towards Mauville City so that we can complete
the routes near the Meteor Falls as it is currently technically not possible to complete those routes
as the region maps as published do not provide enough info to correctly link them up any other way.
So once the routes leading up to the northern most town are in, along with that town, then we will
be able to do the mapping of those routes. Also, look forward to the fact my Study Leave starts on
Friday 15th, so I will be writing up a load more useful features to the MapMaker, including allowing
the maps to be segmented into separate areas so that the overhead for the map can be reduced via
optimisations applicable in the game engine. This day will also mark the start of the re-write of most
of MapMaker as it is due for a good rewrite.

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