World Building
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Real-time Collaborative World Building

The HeroBlade tool boasts a robust assortment of powerful and intuitive world building tools. These tools, combined with the unique collaborative environment provided by HeroEngine, redefine the entire world creation process. Imagine multiple teams able to build and dress an area from any geographical location — able to build game systems, special effects, game user interface, AI, and more, all from one tool. Transition instantly from building, to testing, to QA, without ever switching applications or incurring any delay.

There’s never been anything like it!

 

With integrated Project Management and Quality Assurance tools, HeroBlade allows QA teams to quickly review new areas and annotate issues all in 3D space. Changes and modifications needed are then easily assigned to any team or individual, thereby greatly expediting the quality assurance process.


Seamless Worlds

 

HeroEngine now fully supports seamless worlds by enabling developers to connect shared or instanced area instances together into one continuous world.

  • Full support for seamless transitions between shared areas, instanced areas, or both.
  • Infinitely flexible, construct an entire seamless world or just specific instances and areas.
  • Automatically replicates as necessary to keep clients up to date
  • Game logic functions transparently when interactions cross server boundaries.
  • Automatic translation of positions from other servers and world areas to match the current area.

Terrain and Heightmaps

 

 

The innovative slope limiter allows world builders to quickly create and precisely texture heightmaps in the HeroBlade client.

HeroEngine supports any combination of heightmaps and polygonal assets for world building. Integrated into the HeroBlade client is a fully featured heightmap and terrain editing toolset. Innovative features such as our slope limiter for painting textures and Perlin noise generating brushes transform the technical endeavor of world building into a fine art.


Texture Layers

 

HeroEngine has a tremendous freedom of textures with support for up to 256 textures in each of the up to 4 layers. Every texture channel can be assigned a bump and specularity map, have unique mapping properties, UV scaling, bump strength, specularity strength, and more… In addition to this, any vertex on the heightmap can be tinted by simply painting color on it.

Dynamic details (also known as “ground clutter”) such as camera-facing billboards and meshes are supported in a similar channel system with support for variable density, scale, hue, saturation, random variations, and more.

The following 3 shots show (1) a base texture applied to the area, (2) subtle details added to the base texture via layers and (3) dynamic details and more layers to complete the scene.

layer 01   layer 02 layer 03  
 A base texture is applied to an area  Subtle details are added to the base texture via layers  Dynamic details and more layers complete the scene

 


Flora

SpeedTree

 

Integrated fully into HeroEngine is IDV’s award-winning SpeedTree® middleware package suite. This impressive tool is imbedded in various HeroBlade terrain editing tools, allowing for rapid development of vivid worlds. In HeroEngine, SpeedTrees can also be modified so they can coexist with hand-crafted meshes (such as unique character-trunks) for even more amazing results! With access to a vast online library of vegetation and the tools needed to create your own, we’ve taken this powerful software solution and enhanced it by providing these additional features.

 

HeroEngine Specific SpeedTree Enhancements

 

  • Complete integration into our permutation shader system.
  • Each tree is a separate node and can be scaled, rotated, and parented by our toolset.
  • Independently scalable branches and fronds.
  • Tintable leaf color on a per tree basis.
  • The environmental scheme of any individual tree can be overridden.
  • Grouping of trees, flora, grass and more.
  • LOD (Level of Detail) settings for any tree can be overridden.

Buildings and Dungeons

 

Using a powerful grid and snap system, HeroBlade allows you to quickly and easily build a sprawling city or complex dungeon. Artists create assets that are compatible with each other and upload them into the Asset Library for world building teams. With the ability to toggle between world and local space, no angle is unachievable. The limitations of a conventional grid are lifted and a new era of modular yet custom content can be realized.

Seamless World and Instances

Utilizing a room visualization system, an area can contain an unlimited number of rooms. Rooms can in turn be set to render or not render adjacent rooms, greatly saving on render times and costs.

Transitional pieces can then be utilized to allow large scale texture bank swaps as a player exits one area and enters another. This powerful and flexible system delivers stellar performance and the appearance of a seamless world.

 


 Dynamic Light and Environmental Schemes

 

 

A stunning effect can be achieved utilizing the Dynamic Light and Environmental Schemes timelines.

HeroEngine integrates Three Point and Ambient-Diffuse lighting options directly into the HeroBlade client. The addition of timelines into environmental lighting allows for a quick implementation of a day and night cycle with dynamically changing shadows.

Environmental Features:

  • Azimuth and Polar Light Directions
  • Light Intensity, Area / Sky Bloom Strength
  • Environmental Cubemaps
  • Fog Colors and Attenuation Properties

 

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