Yesterday was Pi Day, and although this post doesn't have much to do with everyone's favorite irrational number specifically, it does have a bit to do with math. Hooray! 🤓
For some time, I've been proclaiming that Isaac and I are building How I Roll using entirely procedural graphics. That sounds technical and probably doesn't mean much to most of you, but I promise it's actually pretty simple to understand. These days almost all games use graphics that are pre-drawn by an artist and saved in files that the game loads and displays directly. Procedural graphics, on the other hand, are graphics that are generated after the game is launched--no artists or image files involved.
So how do we create procedural graphics? The answer, my friends, is with a lot of math. 😅 The purplish image above was generated in our game engine using a type of fractal--that's a design created using a mathematical formula. Specifically, I used a technique called Worley Noise that's handy for creating stone and lava effects, among other things.
To generate all the different fractals and imagery you see in the game, we've been using a relatively new type of computing called shader programming. You can think of a shader program as a program that the computer runs at every single pixel on a screen to figure out what color that pixel should be. There's a lot I could say about shaders and how revolutionary they are for gaming as a whole, but that's material for another day.
To see much more interesting shader effects, you should join the beta for How I Roll and play the game on your iPhone or iPad! We'd love to hear what you think of our procedural graphics so far.
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