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My guess: Because there is no perspective or camera rotation, changes in the appearance of the voxels are limited to screen-aligned translation, zooming and changes in lighting. Relighting is easy assuming he's using standard deferred rendering techniques. Zooming can be clamped to a certain range. If the voxels are rendered off-screen at maximum zoom, that just leaves panning the render around on the screen. In other words, he can render each tile once and cache them as 2D images to reuse in later frames. Each frame he only needs to render new tiles that have not been seen before. Unless you are panning really fast, that's a small amount of work compared to re-rendering the whole screen every frame like most 3D engines do.



That's pretty much exactly whats going on. It renders it to a frame and then uses deferred rendering for the lighting. Static objects (i.e. terrain) are not re-rendered until the camera moves, but dynamic objects (like the grass) are rendered in realtime (unless the grass animation is turned off, which I have included for weaker machines).




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