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To follow up on my first post about the map editor, I'll introduce you this time in more detail to the way scenery is created in Wakfu.


The most observant will have certainly noticed that the graphical elements never jut out laterally from the cell they belong to, but that they can vary in height. Although it isn’t a problem to display the majority of landscape elements (trees, flowers, etc.), it creates an important constraint for larger elements, namely: they must be cut in smaller blocks.

If we take the example of a building, rather than display a single big texture that represents it, we display a pile of bricks, roof tiles and other various props (doors, windows, etc.). Level designing can easily be compared to a game of Lego!

The advantage of this system is two-fold. First of all, it enables us to create dozens of houses using the same small textures and therefore to reduce the size of the game considerably. This also allows us to easily create an isometric world where every object has a 3D volume defining the way a character can interact with it (collision, movement, etc.).

In theory it is therefore possible to walk on the roof of a house, or climb a mountain as long as we can find a path that allows us to get there.

We also realised that it would be essential to be able to place the same building in different locations without having to completely rebuild the stacks of blocks that make it up.

That's why we created the notion of group, which allows us to save a group of blocks so that we can re-use later, and most of all enables us to make modifications so that it's taken into account wherever we might have placed that group in the world already.

Furthermore, we wanted the size of the inside of buildings to be consistent with their exterior to avoid small houses being as large as cathedrals on the inside.

We've thus created a layer system that allows us to group some blocks within a given cell together. The elements that make up the inside of a house and its outside are grouped in separate layers. So, by hiding one or the other, we get a "perfect" transition when we enter an edifice.

Besides the graphical elements, it's also possible to add other elements to embellish the map, such as casting shadows on the ground or giving a tint to an object to create a special atmosphere.

Finally, particle systems can also be placed on a map to add some dynamism (the flame of a torch, hovering butterflies, atmospheric effects...), but who knows, this might be the subject of a next post? ^^ Note to Fibojo: Thanks for your help with the translation.

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