Sunday, 24 August 2008

Yellow Brick Pavements and Red Pillar Boxes

Webster's Dictionary describes content as "Stuff"...

Okay, so it doesn't really, but content is what I've been hammering away at recently. More to the point stuff out on the street.

Yellow Brick Pavement

I started scrawling a list of "stuff". Road surfaces and pavements - all the stuff to walk on - were fairly obvious and I reckoned a "bolt-together-a la-scaletix was the best way to go. Straights, curves, junctions, crossroads and of course the dreaded "traffic calming measures" -responsible for scores of jarred suspensions and vertebrae- which the UK seems to be covered in, often accompanied by the most ludicrous priority-of-way declarations.

(I'm specifically thinking of Walkington village - there's a chicane which changes priority of traffic inside the chicane, leaving you no where to go in the face of oncoming vehicles who have a sign telling them the have priority to enter the chicane, but once in find that they also have no priority ahead and no where to go to avoid oncoming traffic --- sounds confusing? It's not just my explanation, it really is bloody gibberish)

Congestion Causing, Spine Compacting, Suspension Wrecking, DeathMongers

Specifically I set out to make some urban cover, stuff that gets in the way of raycast scans, small stuff to hide behind. Sign posts - another blight visually congesting the UK - and public bins, telephone boxes, pillar/post boxes, bus stops and er... yeah you get the idea.

No amusing or smug tagline with this picture

Sometime I'll get around to reading up on IFL and animate those traffic light textures so they change correctly. I did knock up a telephone kiosk but it seems a bit too modern and ergonomic, so I'll probably replace it with an old style red phone box.

Keep Yorkshire Tidy

I also figured that level crossings could be used as a great device to blocking routes. Train tracks - electrified train tracks - create a natural barrier. I also read a couple of articles on bad barriers in games at Gamasutra and here.

Train Spotters Paradise - Where's My Anorach?

I went for a swing-gate style barrier that's popular with older, rural crossings. Initially the warnings were in the usual red and white but then I changed it to black and yellow. It's more striking. And then I changed that to black and amber, it's Hull City's football strip colours.

YorkshireRifles Mail - regular deliverys when we can be bothered

Found out a bit about customizing mipmaps on a forum, and thus have clearer textures at distance. Also been practising a bit more with normal mapping. Still yet to mess about with a proper specular shader, so spec is auto-worked off the normal.

Bouncing Bomb - 'Ave It!

Also made a grenade launcher with a delayed fuse projectile so you can bounce it off walls for a laugh.

More stuff to do, signs, barriers, etc. And then back to buildings. And then on to a full, working, one kilometre square environment for a test. And then enlarge it to say... 5 km square and see how that plays.


the fisherman said...

so, the big question... how far off of the end are you? Sounds close-ish to me?

Steve said...

This is not the end ..... nor is it the beginning of the end ..... that is to say ..... it is the end of the beginning....

Now where's my box of cigars and bottle of gin?