Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Tileable textures

These days all the talk in fashionable FPS 3D land is of megatextures. Huge sprawling one-off textures where you effectively spray paint a level with gay abandon,l with no fear of overdraw or re-use because the art budget is huge and only pro-artists will ever make a level.

I can’t do that.

Partly because I do not have the art budget, but more interestingly because I really want it to be EASY for people to make their own GTB levels and share them. I’m not expecting people to own photoshop, or have art skills, so they need to be able to just click some tile-able textures into place and press upload.

This is a pain, because graphical expectations have risen since age of empires II, and it’s ilk. These days, much is expected from terrain, and foliage, and so on. I can never expect GTB to look like company of heroes in this respect (100x the art budget), but I’m working hard on making it look acceptable, at least.

Much of today was spent fiddling with path textures. Nobody likes my glowy paths, so having them more apparent ‘in-world’ rather than UI is the aim. Also, I’ve been adding surrounding ‘blend’ textures to smooth the stuff like trenches into the world, so they look less like a display at the Hampton court flower show. I’ve only done it for trenches so far, turrets need a ton of work to do it.

This is how it looks so far:


5 thoughts on Tileable textures

  1. That looks like it’s coming along really well! However, the terrain seems a bit blurred, compared to the crispness of the turrets and the explosion.

  2. Check out this:

    It’s essentially talking about using multiple small textures, with width in prime numbers to create massive, tiling, but non-repeating (at least for a long time) textures.

    He uses an example here: 2 background tiles, 2 images for legs, 2 for torso and 2 for heads = 640 unique characters.

    You can probably apply the same principles to your bg

  3. The “cicada principle” only seems to apply for textures that only tile on one axis. I can’t really see how that can be used for a 2 dimensional array. And the example with legos doesn’t really seem to have much to do with the “cicada principle”, which was about prime numbers – the legos are just combining random body parts. I did that as well in my own game to generate random(ish) looking NPCs:

  4. I think something in between would help you a great deal. I am not entirely sure what the player can do in the editor at this point and what your objectives are. But it sounds like it should be very easy to only let the player place objects that influence the gameplay (paths, cannons) in a purely schematic form, sort of like a blueprint. Then generate the graphics and level based on the blueprint.

    I think this could help the player a lot, because making a schematic approach symplifies the level creation task, and you still have full control over the final graphics.

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