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Very interesting. Do you have resources you could recommend about working with/programming with voxels? Or how using voxels differs from using polygons in practice?

Voxels are ideal for representing volumetric objects and perform better in some edge cases for alternative rendering methods. Polygons are faster in most cases and tend to perform better for dynamic objects (i.e. a mesh with skeletal animation). Many claim that voxels have a more "pure" or timeless aesthetic, in the same way pixel art does over vector art, but that is subjective of course.

My recommendation is to dive in and code the simplest thing you can think of. When I first started this, I built a software voxel renderer, isometric, using just a pixel buffer (the original intention was to be able to dynamically create isometric pixel art).


I later ported it to the GPU (much harder, and much much faster).

I am mostly "self taught" but would be lying if I said the wealth of information on the web did not help (particularly when hitting obscure bugs). Anyhow, the point is the best part of the journey, in my opinion, is discovering things for yourself, even if you are reinventing the wheel. :)

Your isometric screenshots like this one [1] give me the idea of a 3D Lemmings-like game. Throngs of little critters walking stupidly through the environment, turning at right angles, sometimes building little cubical stairs, sometimes blowing themselves up to create spherical holes in everything. I wonder if that's the right gameplay idea for voxels.

[1] http://www.voxelquest.com/uploads/9/5/4/0/9540564/5660133_or...

The bad news is that there already was a Lemmings 3D. It wasn't a hit:


You'll want to try and avoid its mistakes!

That was based on Minecraft-like big blocks though, not small voxels.

I enjoyed lemmings 3D, it was clunky but ahead of its time :)

I think that sounds like a perfect match, actually.

Cool! I'll definitely have to try it out when I get some free time. And hey, there's nothing wrong with reinventing the wheel when you're just trying to have some fun!

how do you render your voxels? you render so many, what's your technique?

You can find some discussion on rendering techniques here [1] and here [2]

[1] http://www.voxelquest.com/news/how-does-it-work

[2] http://www.voxelquest.com/news/how-does-voxel-quest-work-now...

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