The Project Gamma Development Progress Blog

Improvements to the maps

May 30, 2009 by DX-MON
Well the making of the paths for textures relative occurred 2 days ago to when this is posted (31 May), it was realised by making the optimiser do the work.

the news so far: We have changed how yet another of the major components of landscape is formed: small-trees. These are now created via the dual-layers, with the "world" layer acting as a holding point for the background that the trees will have, and the "over-world" layer holding the tree-texture to apply. This has allowed us to greatly optimise the tile-layout on the world map, reducing the tile-count by some 1000 tiles. This is good news for our dry-runs where overlay layers will be disabled, but it is also good news for the end result due to the fact that it makes the maps much easier to load and display..

I will soon finish work on some new interfaces to allow for sections of the map to be split up and have their own names, allowing for the naming of paths and settlements. When those interfaces are complete, then we will be able to optimise the maps hugely for use in the game engine.

Also, the modifications that were needed to be performed on the database for various reasons are complete, and the client and server are now able to communicate the new data to each other correctly. Also, the first stage of loading and closing maps in the client are complete, however the maps are not read in quite yet, because we need to modify the functions that load the maps and a key component of the underlying format to allow for more than 2 layers (needed because of the new tree modification causing conflicts where a tree overlays something else on the same layer (such as the corners of rock formations) which will be optimised out by the optimisation tool). The issues with trees also allows me to write up some modifications to allow for the entire map's data-stream to be compressed, layer by layer. This should enable us to save up something in the region of 100Kb or more in disk space, and will not effect the loading time. I have also worked out some optimisations that can be done to the loading process that will cause there to be only 1 memory allocation per tile-set loaded, which will allow for much faster processing of the tile-sets and for the memory layout and demands of the game to be reduced significantly. However, this optimisation along with some display ones can only be applied to the final client, not the MapMaker software used to create the maps.

On a lighter note, we are currently working on completing Route 112, and when that is done, will then move off in the direction of Route 123 again and continue to pursue the expanses of land from there to then meet up with one of the 'Stitch Points'.

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