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How did they make the terrain in trine? I think they took a polygon approach. It doesn't seem that they used a heightmap because it is in all three vectors, or a voxel method because it doesn't have overhangs and cliffs. If it is polygon-based (I assume it is), how in the world would you texture the whole thing?


Notice how it's not very symmetrical and has lots of depth:


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I removed the how-its-made tag because it's a meta tag, and those aren't useful/allowed anymore: – Tetrad Sep 11 '11 at 2:34
@Tetrad, ok, Tetrad – Daniel Pendergast Sep 11 '11 at 2:36
They built a polygon landscape and used a bunch of textures and props, just like in any other game. What's so special about Trine's approach that has you intrigued? – doppelgreener Sep 11 '11 at 2:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

They use the same models again and again in Trine. They use a lot of batched rendering. Because of their unique camera angle, a lot of the meshes get culled with frustum culling.

The levels are hand-made by artist. They are just very good at re-using the same models over and over again.

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It looks like any regular 3D model. The only thing that's "2.5D" about it is the fixed camera and play space.

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Ok.... but how would you texture and cull something that large? – Daniel Pendergast Sep 11 '11 at 3:07
It's probably just broken into chunks. Maybe some terrain style texture blending on top of that. – Tetrad Sep 11 '11 at 3:14

The terrain is built as separate meshes by the artist, and possibly have a separate level designer to place the meshes for making the levels. They are just so well-modeled to give the impression that it's one continuous terrain.

In some respects it's really a 2D puzzle action game, making the design and programming of the game logic easier than fully 3D games. The level designer is restricted to just placing the objects along a 2D plane.

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