View Full Version : PC Game Artwork

02-05-2008, 10:56 PM
Hello all. I've been more of a lurker on these boards in the past, and have used some of the wonderful tutorials here to great benefit in D&D games I have DMed. My real passion is programming, however, and I have recently begun to learn how to program Win32 game applications using directX. I'm taking the scenic route and coding my own engine for my first few projects (as opposed to wussing out and using someone else's!), and have reached a point where I can begin involving artwork in a basic fashion.

Let me just say that never before did I realize that creating quality art took so much time! My experience so far is that if I were to attempt to build this game entirely on my own, I'd spend roughly two thirds of my time on non-programming related things (3d modeling, textures/terrain heightmaps, sound effects) and only a fraction of my time on what I really love. This is unacceptable to me, because it slows down the project a great deal - and so I turn to this community, the most talented collection of artists I know, for help. I'm looking for a few good men (or women!) who might be interested in designing detailed landscapes, and possibly other art-related endeavours if you are capable.

At this point I'll show you a couple of my achievements thus far, and what my engine is capable of up to this point. Please keep in mind that I've only been working on this for a couple weeks, and the graphical abilities of my engine will be far improved as I implement multitexturing, shaders and other more advanced tools.

The basic idea thus far is that you combine a heightmap (greyscale overhead view of the terrain where pixel color indicates height) with a colorful landscape texture, and my game engine converts it into a vivid landscape that players can fly around in and (eventually) do other game-related things in.

HeightMap: Link (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v367/ultimastrike/heightMap.jpg)
Texture: Link (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v367/ultimastrike/EndlessSkiesTexture.jpg)
Screenshot 1: Link (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v367/ultimastrike/DevScreenshot1.jpg)
Screenshot 2: Link (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v367/ultimastrike/DevScreenshot2.jpg)
Screenshot 3: Link (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v367/ultimastrike/DevScreenshot3.jpg)

If you think this might be fun and something you're interested in, feel free to discuss it right here in this thread or send me a PM. Again, you would be working to design the heightmaps and textures for in-game landscapes as above, probably minimap images to go with them, and you would have the option of being involved in the creation of textures for 3D models and other game entities. If you're capable of making 3D models or sounds/music, that is also something I am looking for but which is optional.

There will be no money involved - this is a portfolio project only, and the likelihood of it being made available commercially is probably slim to none. On the plus side, you only have to put in as much time as you'd like. The game development lifecycle is going to take months if not more, which you may spend art-ing to your heart's desire.

On a closing note, I do hope that I haven't broken any forum rules or made this post in the wrong subforum in error. Thank you for your time, and I hope my mediocre attempts at map drawing didn't offend anyone ;0)

02-06-2008, 05:13 AM
Hi ultimastrike! No problems about the post, but I've just moved it to the 'Map Requests' forum, that's where people look for projects to do!

Best of luck with your project!

02-06-2008, 07:59 AM
Hi UltimaStrike,

I have this little tool here :-

which generates texture and height map info which you can read in. It outputs two height maps. One is the major - like what you have and the other is the minor which is the least significant byte of the height. So its 16 bit height. Your height images had vertical quantization which you would want to get rid of.

Theres a viewer here for them too

but I am sure you will want to get the results in your engine format.

Good luck with it tho.
BTW:- Is it native code + OpenGL or DX based or is it using a library like Ogre ?

02-06-2008, 08:41 AM
Thanks for the tools, Redrobes. To answer your question, it's all C++ by hand with directX.

This quantization problem is interesting - I wasn't aware it was occurring. I can see how using two different heightmaps or a more complex file type would be of great use, and this is something relatively simple that I can implement in just a few minutes this evening. Is your tool there capable of reading in images and then generating the heightmaps for them, or is it simply a random generator? Unfortunately a random map generator is only so useful, usually I imagine having a specific goal in mind when building terrain.

02-06-2008, 02:04 PM
Thanks for the tools, Redrobes. To answer your question, it's all C++ by hand with directX.Cool - but I am an OpenGL man myself ;)

...a more complex file type would be of great useMay I recommend this one which we have been collaborating on between a group of us including the devs of L3DT, Leveller, Terragens et al. Many of us have implemented it now including L3DT (The main author) and (I believe) WorldMachine, GlobalMapper with more support pledged. There is free code library in LGPL on the link below too. So implement and link with that to save your files and your good to go.


Is your tool there capable of reading in images and then generating the heightmaps for them, or is it simply a random generator? You need to look at the GeoTerSys link in my sig for that. Its the main stuff which is dev right now and contains oodles more stuff than the free ones but I make the simple terrain generator and viewer free for simple map making - quick RPG land etc.

The history of its earlier development can be found here though some of the pics seem to be missing on the site for some reason. It used to be chock full. Oh and it was called Geomorpher but I changed the name later on through the posts.

A tip I would give is try Wilbur and see how you get on. Its free and has a few nice features. Its by Joe who does Fractal Terrains which you see a lot around here but Wilbur probably a little lighter weight but is free (Shhhhhh !) and can convert the SRTM data for real DEM stuff if your interested in that.

02-14-2008, 03:23 PM
Yep, the hf2/hfz file format is very good- lots of future proofing in there and expected adoption from World Machine and GeoControl. I think Joe Slayton of Wilbur might introduce support into Wilbur if you ask him nicely!