Submitted by , posted on 17 January 2005

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One of the new categories in Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2005 is called "Visual Gaming", where participants are given SDK and have to program AI for a team of nano-robots. This year, the whole thing behind Visual Gaming is called Project Hoshimi, and it features a 3D preview part. Now, this "3D previewer" is exactly what I (and another person, Paulius Liekis) have made.

I did most of programming stuff, and a small amount of artwork. No fancy "effects" are done as the previewer has to run on DX7 (and even some of DX6) video cards starting at 8MB of video memory. Fancy effects take lots of time, so right now the whole thing "works" on low-end hardware, and runs at 500+ FPS on high-end hardware :) A short tech-list:
  • Subdivision surface for the level mesh, followed by QEM style simplification.
  • Multiple mesh levels of detail (both level and entities).
  • All geometry is processed with vertex shaders 1.1; most things use "sort of" rim lighting. The particle effects are also static geometry, calculated in a vertex shader.
  • Usual stuff: some GUI, some old D3D devices detection, etc.
  • If you're fast, you still should have time to compete in Visual Gaming; the first easy deadline is February 1st. Check out and for details. Technical details and some screenshots are at my site:

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