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Beta Update and a Short Detour December 11, 2010

Posted by luciusdxl in Uncategorized.

[Update: New screenshots Added Below]

Beta Update

As some of you may know, I’ve taken a short break from work on the DarkXL Beta in order to get the Character Creation build done for DaggerXL. Don’t worry, it is nearly finished and DarkXL Beta should arrive within a week or two from now. Beta basically means that the program has all the features complete that are necessary to fully play the original Dark Forces levels. This means music playing properly, all the weapons working, remaining completion issues fixed, AI fully functioning and so on. At this point DarkXL should be full replacement for DosBox. It will even feature a “Pure Renderer”, as discussed in recent posts, that is designed to emulate the original software rendered look – but still have all the other features of DarkXL.

A Short Detour – Voxels

I’ve been talking about adding voxel support to DarkXL and DaggerXL lately for various reasons. So recently when I had a little bit of time and wanted to do something different, I started to implement KVX file support and a first pass simple voxel renderer to view the results. The KVX format is one of Ken’s voxel model formats, supported by his Slab6 tool and used in some Build games such as Blood. Note that none of Ken’s code was used to either use the file format or to render the voxel models. Fortunately he was nice enough to describe the format well enough that code was not necessary. I’ve only spent a few hours working on this, so it’s not ready for use yet, but it’s something that I will get back to once I finish the current builds (Beta for DarkXL, Character Creation for DaggerXL). Though I will probably support previewing voxel models in the various projects in the next builds, I’ll discuss this more once those builds are released.

Note the voxels are rendered, intentionally, in a way that looks similar to the way early 3D games would have rendered them. Basically the result looks more like columns of pixels then tiny cubes. In other words, converting these to a model and then rendering them would not look the same. This is equivalent to no filtering – which fits with the Pure Renderer – the pixels generally appear the correct size and fit well with the scene (though the actual art not as much – but it’s just a test). For rendering voxel models in the regular rendering mode, other filters will be possible to allow for smoother rendering. More on this later.

The screenshots below show some voxel models that I extracted from Blood being rendering in DarkXL using the Pure Renderer. Note that the Death Star Plans was temporarily replaced, so I could see the models rotating in the scene. Note also that the voxel models sort correctly with the environment, including sprites and 3D models (which you can’t see here). Click on the pictures to see high resolution versions of them.

New Screenshots

(High resolution/fullbright – non-voxel geometry shown in wireframe)



1. s - December 11, 2010

I’ve been checking every day; waiting for the pure renderer!

Two weeks aarrrgghhh.

Will the editor be able to create fully functional levels?

2. Anony - December 12, 2010

just in time for Christmas!

3. Anon - December 12, 2010


4. Anon - December 15, 2010


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