So, I finished the 3d tech-demo nicknamed “Brandmateriel” nearly a year ago now, but for various reasons (mostly work related) neglected to post it. A screencast of the demo is shown below.
As always with these tech projects you learn a lot, and as is often the case you land somewhere with enough new ideas that you would rather start over than take it forward. All in all though I’m very happy with it: the controls are smooth, I like the looks and the particle effects, and from a technical perspective I really like how the shadow turned out in the end (‘cos in my primitive renderer that was a major head-ache!). The stuff I would improve are mostly to do with the lighting model. My model is too general for what I use it for, and I could possibly save a few million trigonometric calculations per second if I used that. The demo runs smoothly in up to 800×600 (actually, resolution isn’t much of an issue in this kind of renderer: it is mostly limited by polygon count, but I’ve limited the screencast to the lowest resolution to conserve bandwidth), but if I were to add more (and more complex) models in order to make an actual game out of it, I expect that this would be an issue before long.
To try the demo four yourself, it’s easiest to go to clone the repository. Since Gitorious is closing down (though it’s staying up as a museum of sorts) I’ve migrated it to GitLab. If I decide to work on it, I will probably do it there, or maybe I’ll move development to GitHub. Whichever way, since I consider the project finished enough both of these repositories should be equally up to date for the foreseeable future.
For more on my inspiration for this endeavour (and for a really inspiringh and awesome talk about the technical challenges of early realtime 3d and how it was overcome), see this great Classic Game Post-Mortem from GDC 2011 by none other than Elite’s and Zarch’s own David Braben!