Vinland: 1936

(Smoking_mirror) #1

This is a project I’ve been working on for a long time, putting in some planning and design work before getting to work on the art assets. Recently I did do some asset work and decided it might be fun to share some of it.

First is the terrain engine. It uses multiple layers set out in a tile layout. Performance is good, as long as you don’t zoom out too much, showing the whole map at once could cause some problems because of the large number of tiles. It can also cause texture bleed around the edges of the tiles due to mip-mapping.

There are just three sets of tiles per season, three materials (using blender material nodes).

I’ve yet to add buildings, trees, fences or other details to really bring the sets to life, but I’m pretty happy with the look so far.

(Smoking_mirror) #2

The game is set in An alternative history North America, so terrains should look like New England, Canada, Texas etc…
Ice and snow covered Canada is a key location, so I’ve done a lot of work on getting a nice “winter” tile set with various degrees of coldness.

In deep winter the lakes and rivers freeze over allowing you to drive your tanks over them.
I’d like to add some drifts of powdery snow to the frozen water, but it depends on the how much it might impact the framerate.

(Smoking_mirror) #3

The idea of the game is to design your own vehicles, research your own infantry equipment and tactics and take them in to combat against a randomized AI opposing force.

There are no reinforcements during a mission, and no factories to build new units in real time. You have to win with what you have.
However you’ll be able to use artillery, air support and even call in paratroopers to get the job done.

Building a vehicle is not that complex, but requires skill to make a well balanced design.


As the game goes on you’ll get new technological discoveries allowing you to build newer and better tanks and support vehicles to take over from your aging designs.


Vehicles are put together from a base chassis added to a turret (or not) and extras such as antennas, machineguns, machine gun ring mounts or amphibious equipment. When building a vehicle the chassis type will be chosen depending on what kind of suspension you use, how much armor it has, the top speed etc… to produce a vehicle which matches the appearance of the one you designed on the drawing board. Costs spiral quite quickly when you start adding powerful engines, weapons or armor, so choosing a cheap design may allow you to overpower the enemy with large numbers of disposable tanks. On the other hand, you may decide to build a force of wonder weapons, with impenetrable armor and massive firepower.

(adriansnetlis) #4

Last attachments are missing, but it looks pretty beautiful.

(hilkojj) #5

Sounds like an original and cool idea. The terrain looks really good.

(ChaosEmergency) #6

I love it! The textures are nice :slight_smile:

(haidme) #7

Sounds like a great idea.Your screens looks amazing. Also choosing to make RTS with vehicles is a clever choice for bge game.(not too much bones for the animations)

(fredstash) #8

Sounds like a great idea, I am excited to see what comes.

(Nudiventra) #9

The texture looks great! Noble color combinations.

(Smoking_mirror) #10

Thanks for the feedback.

One thing I’m worried about it that the terrain looks a little too nice. I don’t know how well it will fit with the other aspects of the game.
The aesthetic I’m eventually aiming for is a table top wargaming look, like Flames of war. So infantry are going to be sprites, while tanks are very low poly because they are going to be small on screen.

Rules wise I’m aiming for something fairly simple, but with room for showing differences between different kinds of vehicles.

I’ve got some ideas from tabletop gaming, but I’ve got a few ideas of my own, like “radio points” which will give a player with radio equipped tanks (or dedicated command vehicles) more flexibility in combat.

I’ll be trying to make some demos over the next few months to test game play ideas. Hopefully there will be some people willing to play test it for me.

Here are the attachments which didn’t upload last time.

Here’s an old video showing how the infantry work:

(Smoking_mirror) #11

I never seem to get much time to do anything these days.

By reworking some of how the material nodes work I was able to add a really fast fog of war effect.
I’ve also been using tree[d] to render up some trees for the project.

The tree types are grouped, so later I’ll be able to specify for example, only green ones or only dead trees as part of the generator parameters.

I’m still playing around with them, trying out different rendering settings. With clip alpha the game is a little faster, but the shadows don’t look good. I’ve tried using real time shadows but that makes it even slower, and gives strange results sometimes.

You can also see my custom font; Vinland script.

(sdfgeoff) #12

For the trees, could you not use a clever node material and object color to control the leafyness/color? I could see it being feasable to have ray, the red channel control the number of leaves (ie deadness), blue the time of year and green something else. Then you could, with enough motivation, have the whole terrain slowly change from one season to another, or maybe even weather conditions.
(if you’ve ever played Battle Isle 2 you’ll know that after a rain storm, getting your tanks stuck in the mud for a few days can be mighty important to your chances of victory…)

That said, I’d be really keen to see your node setups for the terrain

(Smoking_mirror) #13

Ah yes, thanks for jogging my memory. Weather effects was something I planned originally but had forgotten all about.
I’m fairly happy with how the notes material works but I’m still having a few issues. I really want to get rid of mip mapping but it’s still needed for the water since that uses an animated texture.
I thought there’s a way of setting mimmap setting individually using .dds textures But I’ve never got it to work. That is one thing I’d love to have per material settings for instead of a global setting. :frowning:

(sdfgeoff) #14

For water, instead of animated textures I quite often do a dual-uv scroll on the normal map. One layer scrolls on the X axis, one on the Y, sometimes overlayed on a third, global texture.

Example blend:
Water.blend (630 KB)

(Scalia) #15

Tough ice to drive a tank over. :slight_smile:

(Skormeus) #16

Awesome to see someone making an RTS. Great work man

(Smoking_mirror) #17

Back with some more details on this project.
After some research it seems better to call this a real time tactics game, rather than real time strategy.
RTS is about base building research and resource gathering.
In an RTT game you start with a predefined set of units and you can’t build any new ones. You have to win with what you have.

This game will have some strategy elements but not in the game map.
you will be playing a Mercenary company fighting in a war, so you can buy, salvage and repair vehicle, customize them and also hire and equip infantry squads.

Here’s an update video:

(nomet) #18

Looks very nice!

(Smoliterno) #19

maybe some tips on how to make the ground tiles and the fow would be great! :blush:

(Smoking_mirror) #20

I’d like to do a tutorial about it, but to be honest I’ve abandoned that method already. It worked OK and looked great but had much too high resource drain. :frowning:

The old method works by using lots of layers of partially transparent tiles. There’s where the problem springs up.

Right now I’m looking at alternatives that don’t use up so much GPU resources. When I have something more useful I’ll write about how to duplicate it for your own games. I’m probably going to be using something that takes advantage of Blender’s real time texture editing abilities. See herefor some of the tools I’ve been investigating.