On the book: I’ve been revising based on readers’ reactions.  Plus this weekend I added a bunch of German etymologies. I have to say, if German was a conlang, I’d have to say the lexicon creator had his head together.  Lots of straightforward etymologies and calques.  To put it another way, English is an outlier in how divergent the common and learned vocabularies are.

I’ve been learning how to do lots of things in Blender and Unity.


Tonight’s big deal was learning how to do bump maps.  I’ve applied one to the wall above.  Note how the bricks look in the light: the ones at the base of the wall are lit from above, the ones near the top are lit from below.  And yet it’s a completely flat texture. That’s the magic of bump maps.  They’re an extra texture that gives height information, which the lighting model can use to respond to the entirely nonexistent bumps and hollows of the wall.

I wasted several hours trying to do the bump map in Blender, before learning that Blender only handles bump maps in render mode– and I’m not rendering there.  Fortunately it’s 1000% easier to do in Unity.

You can also see some of the other stuff I’ve been working on, including a working door and chest. Each object requires a UV map, which tells the program how to map a square texture onto a 3-d model.  It’s tedious, but it makes for beautiful in-game resources.

And as promised, I made some clothes for the girl.  To make them work with the animations, they have to be keyed to the skeleton just as the body is… which is fine except that her body pokes through the clothes in extreme poses.  Probably the way to solve this is to make parts of the body into separate meshes that can be disabled.

So far I’m impressed with Unity.  It’s not always easy, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who didn’t know how to program.  But it handles all the base mechanics of a 3-d world for you– rendering, collisions, lighting, animation, UI, etc.  So you can operate on a higher level, putting your world together and making the avatar do stuff.

The one big lack is cross-object texturing, something Hammer is very good at. So it looks like the actual room construction will have to be done in Blender.