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The fixed function rendering path for BloodXL is nearly complete.

Proper cylindrical skies have been implemented. The system works by using the stencil buffer to mark surfaces that should show sky and then rendering the sky after all the opaque surfaces have been rendered using the stencil buffer as a mask. This allows proper occlusion effects but still allow for arbitrary sky mapping.

Translucent and masked walls have been implemented, which fills in a lot of fences and translucent windows.

Finally “camera aligned” sprites have been implemented. Levels now have decorations, enemies, ammo piles and so on.

I’ve also implemented the fixed function version of depth cueing. I have a plan to better emulate the effect of the color maps when running in hardware, but it turns out it’s a little too expensive for fixed function (i.e. 3 textures on every surface). Given the point of fixed function, I decided it’d be better to use the built in fog hardware and save the improved color map support for cards that support shaders.

The vast majority of people will have GPU’s that support at least basic shaders (SM 1.1+), so the lighting and depth cueing will look better for most people. But first I’m going to get the fixed function render path, which I’ve been showing so far, complete before worrying about putting shader support back in.

These screenshots are a before depth cueing and after depth cueing. Notice that translucent windows, proper sky and camera aligned sprites can also be seen.


And another screenshot with sprites and depth cueing:


All the basic rendering elements are in place, so the next step is to go through and fix bugs – such as occasional alignment issues with floors and walls. Once the rendering is robust I’ll get the other projects rendering everything again – which should go much quicker since most of the engine work is done.

Finally once all the projects are properly rendering using the fixed function path, I’ll add the shader path back in – with improved lighting and color map support – and then move on to getting the gameplay ready for the release.

The next update should feature levels from Outlaws, so stay tuned!

9 Responses to “Merger Update 7”

  • Simon Buchan:

    Out of curiosity, why didn’t you choose to draw the sky first with depth-write off?

    • luciusDXL:

      Basically with the sector engines, walls with sky can block walls without sky. In other words, to handle sky segments that occlude solid segments. The engine can support both styles of rendering, so DaggerXL will still draw the sky first and then everything else on top.

      • Simon Buchan:

        Huh, I never thought of that :) I suppose you could depth-write rear-facing walls if you could ensure front-to-back, but stencil sounds a little simpler and more reliable.

  • tnoyce:

    Lucius — What can a person say but.. Awesome?

    Keep up the good work! It just amazes me how quickly this is starting to take shape.

  • Sligz:

    Updates, Updates everywhere!

  • Alex:

    Next paycheck I’m donating. Amazing work dude. I wish I could give you a hug.

  • axl rose:

    Amazing… one question though: the original blood had terrible mouse-aiming. Will this be fixed?

  • pauLL:

    I love reading these blog posts.
    Consider me a future donater once my finances settle down.
    Thank you and good luck. :-)

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The XL Engine is and will remain free, donations are purely optional but greatly appreciated.