Fondusi’s Dev Blog – Week 4 – Lighting and Shaders

This week we focused on getting the lighting system working in the tile engine. In order to do this, I had to change the way the tile engine was being rendered. Read on to see how we did it and how it looks.

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Creating Render Targets in XNA 4.0

While working on the game engine for Fondusi’s, I had to change how my tile engine was rendered in order to add the lighting. At first, all tiles were just rendered directly to the screen (back buffer, actually) but with the lighting, I was tweaking pixel alpha values and it ended up causing issues with stacked tiles. So, what I needed to do was to draw my tiles on one surface, draw the lighting on a second surface, and then draw the lighting surface onto the tiled surface with it’s own pixel shader effect. (Really, I just sample the lighting surface in the pixel shader while drawing the tile surface to the back-buffer.)

In order to draw it like that, I had to add new render targets. Now, I was following a blog post on Shawn Hargreaves’ Blog which was (quite!) out of date. So needless to say, I had a few issues implementing it the same way. Fortunately, they’ve made it a lot easier to use render targets in XNA 4.0 and that what I’m going to show you below.

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Fondusi’s Dev Blog – Week 3 – Tile Behaviours

This week we got some of the extra mapping tools working like the paint bucket and the eye dropper, which allows you to select a tile from the map (so you don’t have to find it on the tilesets). We also set up “tile behaviours” (read the full post for more info), added the ability to switch between player mode and camera control, added some validation functions for mouse clicks on the game from (see here for more details), added an outline for the player name font, and did an overhaul of the particle engine system to make it more generic and useful.

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Fondusi’s Dev Blog – Week 2 – Pixel Shaders and Moving Players

The second week of development was spent reorganizing the map editor and fleshing out more-or-less how we wanted it to look and function. We added a basic pixel shader effect file and changed how players move across tiles, which I discuss in more detail in the full post.

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Fondusi’s Dev Blog – Week 1 – Tile Engine and Map Structure

Assuming you’ve read up on the first post, it’s time for the first (back-logged) Fondusi’s Development Blog weekly post.

Week 1 – August 1st – 7th

Note: We decided to start out making the map editor so we could get the tile engine up and running quickly before we needed the server, client or networking code. So, until further notice, all posts relate to developing the map editor.

This week I set up the solution’s main projects and began work on the tile engine. I based the map layout on the old game’s map objects and added new capabilities as I saw fit. The major new addition was using map layers. Basically, this is like having two maps stacked on each other. There are special tiles that allow the character to switch between layers. This means we can do things like allow players to walk over other players on bridges or have a house with two floors on the same map.

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Fondusi’s Dev Blog – The Beginning

So, I figured that since no one (from Fondusi’s) reads this, it’s probably safe to start writing about our development progress on the new version of Fondusi’s. My plan is to write a blog post once per week (hopefully on Sunday) that sums up the development progress that we’ve done during that week. We’re in our fifth week so I’ll have to do some retroactive work.

Before I get to that, however, a little back story:

About 7 years ago, maybe more… sometime around 2004 anyways, I was a teenage (wanna-be) programmer who thoroughly enjoyed 2D, SNES-like RPGs. Especially the online one’s like Graal, Deloria (RIP <3) and all those Mirage, Elysium, etc. projects. And so it was that I decided to make my OWN 2D, online, SNES-like RPG. So I started messing around with those Mirage/Elysium type VB6 game engines. After Deloria died, there were a few clones, the main one (as I recall) was run by GodSentDeath (GSD) and DarkAngel (or whatever the heck Frank’s alias was). Somehow I got the source to this game after GSD stopped working on it and did a bit (very bit) of work on it. Eventually, I took that source and built it into what Fondusi’s was 1.5 months ago. After weeks, months, years of work. VB6 just wasn’t cutting it. I figured, “Hey, I’m a good programmer. I’ll just recreate the engine.” If only I had known about source control back then…
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