As part of the graphics effects for Doomdark’s Revenge, Jure and I implemented a haze effect to the landscaping. The mechanic is simple if a little processor hungry. The landscaping technique draws from back to front using seven definitive distance layers, z axis if you like. So what we do in DDR is after every layer has been drawn, we apply a haze alpha mask to modify the pixels drawn. The layer at the back will get modified by every haze layer and thus thicken up the haze fogginess in the distance. You can see the affect on the image here – click to get a bigger view. This is an example of the amount of extra processing taking place in the DDR frontend. What I would like to see is the system moved to using 3d hardware, this would allow effects like this to be done using pixel shaders. This combined with hardware drawing in general would make the DDR frontend function with little graphic overhead.
Here’s a screenshot of the opening view at dawn. It shows off three things; the first being the box that the location text is displayed in, the second is the the dawn effect, and the third is the sun. The sun is now treated like an independent object like the moon. Which means it can be scaled and positioned without having to be applied to a fixed background; a glare effect is then added to the scenery.
This final image shows an exit from the tunnels. As I’ve mentioned before, the tunnels like all the other terrain graphics, are made up of patches. This means we can get a lot of variety into the visuals depending where on the map you are. This is an exit into a man made building rather than a pit.Lords of midnight, Doomdark’s Revenge, The Midnight Engine