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By Jack Meade, Oliver Smith

Raft-building has never seemed so possible.

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An ocean of plasma

When I first learned to program, graphics coding was mostly done in C with hand-coded assembly for the parts that needed speed. At one point I found some code for a "plasma" demo effect. It was a few hundred lines of assembly and I remember just staring at it, having absolutely no idea how it worked. These days it can be done in five minutes with about two lines of code in a pixel shader. Here's mine from today:

Here's the method I used.

This week we're tackling the ocean problem. In most 2d games water is done with looping animated tiles (or two sets of layered tiles moving at angles to each other), but since the ocean is such a huge character in our game we want something at least a little cooler. Ideally we'd be able to do wakes, dynamic waves, shadows of large sea creatures just underneath the surface, phosphorescent plankton, coastlines, and whatever else. Unfortunately, water physics are hard and we're not seeing much out there in 2d to crib from. I was looking into the plasma effect above to see if it could be made to look like ocean waves but I don't think it's the right way to go. Jack came up with some layered images that look good so we're going to try that approach next.