Mocking up hexagon tiles for a dungeon map building game

August 25, 2013

I needed to mock up a few graphics and found that Second Life was a good 3D graphics package to create some quick graphics to print out and play test.

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I first started out building up a crude hexagon with some basic textures I had in my inventory.

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I added some lights and setup my camera to look strait down at the tile. This is the image I can use to print off.

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When I was looking at different options available for me to print with The  Game Crafter, I cut up some index cards to match the dimensions and get a visual on their actual sizes.

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My first attempt at determining how to tiles would look. I started out by making a system of caves.

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Over time, I made many different versions of tiles. Some where used just to identify the possible combinations rather than looking like tiles. I created tons of tiles and kept working at different ways to use them.
ImageI created a template on a 8.5×11 sheet of paper that I could use to draw more tiles at a high resolution. The idea was to draw each tile using the template to trace from, and then reduce the scanned tile to fit within the size of the hex tile.


Microsoft TrueSpace is free

September 12, 2009

I started using drawing tools with AutoCad 13 and 3D studio release 4. They were available at the labs at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, but not for students to work at home. The price was phenominal as well. The alternative was pretty much TrueSpace since it was affordable – which was cool because it worked on Windows. Later, 3D studio also came out for Windows. I’ve always known about Calgari’s TrueSpace and had used it in the past. 3D modeling had long faded from being a hobby over the years after my hard drive was ruined from a trip where my mom transported my computer in the open rain for a few hours. Although I’ve started doing a lot of work in 3D with Second Life, it doesn’t provide anywhere near the power of most stand-alone 3D modeling tools.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that TrueSpace is free. I thought it was maybe an older version that was free, to promote a newer one. Reading the news, they stated that yes, TrueSpace has been free since July of 2008. Where was I all this time? In addition … Microsoft (of all companies) has acquired Calgari (the company that published TrueSpace). In addtion, my little space navigator is supported in TrueSpace with a separate driver download. So now I’m downloading TrueSpace for my 3D modeling hobbies that isn’t as complex as blender or as expensive as 3DS Max or Maya. Still, I need to relearn everything I forgot.

So the big questions are:

Why did Microsoft purchase this company/software?

Will the product still be in development and get new features?

Will Microsoft eventually charge for newer versions?

Is Microsoft considering using the truePlay/trueServe to setup a virtual world? (Maybe something to do with virtual/deep earth?)


Working with primitives

December 3, 2005

In the game of Second Life, I started looking around some shops to find a nice top hat. I found one that had a few, but the objects were very simple. I figured that I would try making one myself. It took about an hour to build it. It is interesting to use the interface that they offer.

You build objects with primitives. There are spheres, cubes, tubes, prisms, boxes, torus’, and rings. I created a hollow top hat using 5 primitives. The inside is white and the outside is black with a purple band around it. It turned out OK. After making the object, it took a great deal of time positioning it just rite on my character too. It’s hard to position the entire object and stretch it if it is too small to begin with.

During my education at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, I took some 3D modeling and animation classes in the computer labs. This hat would have taken just 1 object to make. I would make a shape by lofting a t-like pattern around a circle. I would have gotten it made with much less faces, vertexes and sides. I could always upload a texture to mimic the purple band, but it would cost me 10 Lira to do that.

I guess today we aren’t as worried. we are no longer limited to just 4 MB of ram on the high-end machines, rendering is quick, and bandwidth is very large as well. I couldn’t imagine a game of this size like this before.

If I wanted to, I could probably go around selling this hat to other players in the game. It is just so simple that I decided to go around and leave free copies at some of the junk yards and bazaars for the new players to grab.


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