How can I explain a voxel effect ? Hmm… right. Fancy a chessboard that is to say a surface made of squares. Some of these squares are rising up like columns, some are small, others are higher and so on, hence creating some relief. Each of these squares contributes to generate some sort of a mountain or better said a landscape depending on how high or low it is. That is my own explanation but you can also go for the technical one. 🙂
Anyway, hopefully the following picture should help you see what I mean. As you can guess this effect is mostly used to create landscapes.
Even tho I am totally green at coding, I believe this voxel effect requires solid coding skills as you need to handle hundreds – or maybe thousands – of squares and set them properly onto a grid so that it shapes into a decent landscape… Not to forget that if voxels are pretty common on PC -since the late 90s- they are seldom seen on very limited computers such as the Atari ST.
Judging from the screenshots it mostly looks like nothing or like a messy pack of blocky squares but you will see that videos look better than that. 🙂 In the end quite few coders dared create voxel effects and while blocky by nature, these effects are quite nice and I find a flight over a voxel landscape always enjoyable !
As far as I know only one production (besides a 96Kb intro that is to say a size limited demo) brought us a different vision on voxels as you can judge by yourself from the following screenshot taken from 2012 Muda demo by Live!:
Not so many examples of voxels, being a very technical effect that only skilled coders can achieve but all these examples are quite impressive. Now I wish we could see more of them especially considering the high level of quality enjoyed in the latest Atari ST demos !
That’s it for words, time for action as voxels cannot be fully appreciated but when moving. Let’s start with the flight over mountains experienced in Suretrip 2 by Checkpoint. Sure it is blocky yet very enjoyable, isn’t it ?