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I understand this is a little vague, but I was hoping somebody might be able to describe a high-level workflow or link to a resource to be able to achieve a specific isometric "2.5D" tile engine effect. I fell in love with this engine. Especially with the lighting and the shaders!

He has a brief description of how he achieved what he did, but I could really use a brief flow of where you would start, what you would read up on and learn and the logical order to implement these things.

A few specific questions:

1) Is there a heightmap on the ground texture that lets the light reflect brighter on certain parts of it?

2) "..using a special material which calculates the world-space normal vectors of every pixel.." - is this some "magic" special material he has created himself, or can you hazard a guess at what he means?

3) with relation to the above quote - what does he mean by 'world-space normal vectors of every pixel'?

4) I'm guessing I'm being a little bit optimistic when I ask if there's any 'all-in-one' tutorial out there? :)

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Have you tried asking the creator? – Byte56 Jul 9 '12 at 14:31
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You simply need to have normal-map texture for anything you want to be lit dynamically. You can do that also with height-map but usually it is done with normal-map.

Here is an example how to do it for XNA:

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