Submitted by , posted on 01 February 2002

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These are screenshots of a project I've been working on for over two years now. I wanted to learn 3D programming and so I wrote a little 3D engine which I used to create a simple terrain renderer.

The landscape renderer evolved over time and I stuffed it with more and more features. Only recently I began adding game elements like enemies, weapons and sound. These features are still experimental and relatively quick hacks.

The upper picture has a bit of game action in front of a nice panorama view. You can see an enemy flying towards us that has just been hit by a missile.

The lower picture displays the CLOD triangle mesh and the texture tiling.

Terrain renderer features include:
  • Continuous Level of Detail (CLOD) using a binary triangle tree (based on the technique discussed at
  • complete texturing using a combination of unique texturing (one big texture for a terrain patch) and a tile-based approach.
  • recently added: ground fog (used for enhanced visual quality and also speed improvement)
  • Other features include:
  • a skybox for the clouds
  • a Wavefront .obj loader for the models
  • an enemy AI that makes the enemies look almost intelligent ... against rocks
  • a font renderer using font textures made with glfont by Brad Fish
  • The program was developed in C++ under Linux. So far this is the only platform it works on, but porting should be relatively easy since I used only portable libraries:
  • SDL for basic system access and input
  • OpenGL for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics (Direct3D support should also be possible once I have made a Windows port, since I use my own 3D engine)
  • OpenAL for hardware-accelerated 3D sound
  • SigC++ for advanced inter-object communication
  • My ultimate goal is to create a modern version of the 80's classics Carrier Command and Midwinter, featuring enhanced graphics and gameplay. Multiplayer maybe.

    The only problem is that I will never be able to do that alone so I will eventually release the game as Open Source.

    As I haven't made a Windows port until now, only Linux users will be able to try the demo at:

    I hope you can get it to run. It depends on OpenGL and SDL 1.2.

    Check it out! And please report any bugs you find. I know there are some.

    Oh yes, as you probably noticed, my project is still lacking a decent name (I called it "landscape" but that doesn't sound very nice...)

    Have fun,
    Jonas Eschenburg

    Image of the Day Gallery



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