trevor wrote:Kid #4 has arrived ! A little girl ! (Details in a General Forum thread)
trevor wrote:Slightly on topic, I've been tinkering with 3D engines. I think I've got a decent enough handle on it now. Although, as I've been learning, tinkering, and looking ahead, I'm not entirely sure having a VT in 3d is very practical. It's great for eye candy, but a lot of things become much trickier, such as fog, vbl, and even drawing tools (and not just from a technical perspective).
A 3D engine is probably overkill for a VTT unless you really plan to make a fully 3d VTT.
Even if you wanted to provide an isometric view then you don't really want a 3D engine.
Something like OpenGL (via JOGL or LWJGL) is a different story though. If you are able to put the time into it you can get the graphics card to do your image composting (although you dont always want to do that) and calculations, but you would probably need to invest the time into learning OpenGL (or Cg) shading language (which really isnt that bad, as long as math doesn't worry you and you have a good grip on the other 3D concepts) for the calculations.
Even without a 3D engine representing things in 3D has some advantages (there is a lot more to 3D objects and 3D drawings), e.g. VBL can have height, and it doesn't require a large change to the VBL drawing tool, just the ability select a VBL "segment" and specify a height. Behind the scenes there is a little more to it, VBL lines become planes, hollow squares 4 planes, filled squares a cube. You can even use backface culling which 3D cards (even the horrid low intel ones) are very good at to perform "one way VBL".
Although its been quite a while I have some experience with 3D engines, OpenGL (I also did some tinkering with Cg a little more recently than that) so if you are still considering it or wanted to bounce some ideas of someone let me know.