0.4.0 Alpha Released
This release was mostly about making some internal changes to the rendering system to make more interesting and complex rendering possible in the future. There's also a few classes/interfaces that were eliminated, as their functions were subsumed into other classes. The big upshot of these internal changes is that any BlockRenderer class can now be used to render fluids.
However, there is another notable change: There is a new BlockType instance that can be used in the "Block Class" attribute of a block definition: "net.sf.simulatoralive.blockgame.block.FixedSeedingBlockType". This sub-class of SeedingBlockType does not put random values into blocks, but instead places fixed, pre-defined values, as obtained from an internal map. This allows you to define a texture-like array of seed values that are referenced whenever a block is placed. These seed values are placed in a repeating pattern. To demonstrate, I'll use the example of a block added by this release: "simulatoralive.basic.classic.fixedseed.Template". This block has two variants. One with vertical lines and the other with horizontal lines. The seed map used causes these variants to be displayed in an alternating pattern.
Here's the texture for this new block (this uses the ClassicBlockRenderer):
Here's an example screenshot of this block in action:
As you can see, it uses an alternating pattern, rather than randomized seeds.
This is a very simple example, just to demonstrate the concept, using a 2x2 seed map, but the real beauty of this is that there are no limits on the size of the map. However, anything particularly huge is just going to waste RAM. One is also limited by the number of variants that can be crammed into a single texture.
Finally, there is one last change: I updated the art for nearly all of the plating blocks based on a new art technique I learned the other day. They now have a slightly grubby look to them and the precious metals (silver, gold and platinum), as well as plastic, all now have a shiny quality. Finally, the metal blocks actually look like metal. I applied the same technique to the Wooden Plank block to give it a more wooden feel, as well.
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