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Leadwerks 3.0 Terrain Update
by Josh Klint on 09/01/13 10:32:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

A new update to Leadwerks 3.0 is out. Registered developers can run the Leadwerks updater to download and install the patch. This update adds terrain, bug fixes, and a few small feature enhancements.

Our new terrain system, described in our Kickstarter campaign to bring Leadwerks to the Linux operating system, is based on a unique "dynamic megatextures" approach. This technique renders sections of the terrain into virtual textures and places them around the camera. The terrain presently allows a maximum size of 1024 meters and 16 texture layers, but these constraints can be lifted in the future once it's been thoroughly tested. You can see an example terrain the the "terrain.map" scene included in the example project folder.

With the increased scene geometry terrain brings, I found it necessary to precalculate navmeshes in the editor. To calculate a navmesh for a map, select the Tools > Build NavMesh menu item to being up the Build NavMesh Dialog. The navigation data will be saved directly into your map file for pathfinding. Two values have been exposed to control the navmesh calculation and the appearance of the navmesh has been improved to allow easier visual debugging. Additionally, the new World::BuildNavMeshcommand lets you calculate navigation meshes in code.

The bug report forum contains info about recently fixed problems. The most notable fix was for character controller physics. Some frame syncing issues were fixed which were causing entities to sometimes pass through walls and floors. This problem was very apparent in the recent game demo GreenFlask.

A new command World::SetPhysicsDetail allows you to balance the speed and accuracy of the physics simulator.

The Transform::Plane command has been enhanced to work with Lua, which had trouble understanding the syntax of the command.

Development of Leadwerks 3.1 for Linux remains on schedule for the December release.  With the (highly experimental) terrain system out of the way, my attention is turning towards the OpenGL 4 renderer and getting my Linux expert started with the porting process to make Leadwerks run natively on Linux.


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