ShaderTool + Making a Sun

I purchased a really cool beta tool called ShaderTool. It let’s you visualize a shader effect.

It helped me create this:

animShaderTool 2014-10-19 21-30-47-51393

There’s more I need to do to it. But soon I will have bitchin’ suns in the game.

UI + Glow

The UI is coming along nicely (I need to work out how to do animated gifs to show stuff off). It’s widget based with a good input handling system, I just need to work on using several textured quads so that the windows can be styled nicely.

UI with transparency
UI with transparency

I’ve also done a bit of work with post-processing effect shaders to produce a glow on the more luminous areas. Here’s a couple of screenshots showing the sun from the perspective of an Earth and the result of the reflection of sunlight over the desert (it’s not quite right over the ocean yet, so still need to work on that).

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Displaying Text + UI

I’ve spent quite some time investigating the various Text/Font libraries for both SDL and OpenGL. I first looked at SDL_ttf which seemed like the most obvious choice. Unfortunately I could either not get it to compile, or when I did it just threw errors when I tried to use it. I also took a look at a whole slew of OpenGL based ones, however out of the 4 or so I found, only one appeared to be compatible with OpenGL 3.3+; but it lacked some features I wanted to use. In the end I decided to roll my own using FreeType2. I didn’t want two additional dependencies, so this way I only need one. And everyone uses FreeType2, you’d be insane not to. Here’s some pretty straight-forward results.

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One of the things that I definitely wanted to include in the game was the effects of time-dilation. However I only really had a vague understanding of what it is and what it means, so after reading that Wikipedia article I’m suddenly confused.

The Last Boundary is, I’d like to think, going to be a Grand Strategy Game. One of my favourite Grand Strategy Games, one of my favourite games ever, is Hearts of Iron III. One of the things that makes HOI3 so good is it’s attention to detail, at least it’s attention to detail regarding waging war during WW2. Things like supply lines play a crucial role; researching advances in radio equipment is beneficial.

In this same vein I want The Last Boundary to pay close attention to similar sorts of likely problems that would affect a space-faring empire and waging space-war. For example, distances, communication and the affects of time-dilation.

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