I figured that I needed some real map data to work with instead of just a jiggled heightfield so I could make sure everything was rendering properly. I wanted to use some data from Dungeon Keeper or Dungeon Keeper 2, but their file formats were fairly impenetrable and I didn’t want to spend too much time getting the data since it was just for test.
Fortunately, I then searched for Syndicate Wars map data and was rewarded with:
This site covers all three games in the series and even goes so far as to deconstruct the data files for each game, so I was able to get some heightfield data very quickly from it. I still don’t have any real lighting, but Ryan suggested that I alter the color of vertices based on their height to show elevations and that’s working nicely for now. The camera control works at least as well as Syndicate Wars’ did, though I’ll probably add some smoothing at some point. Proper textures would be nice but that would require figuring out a rather arcane texture coordinate system and it’s not necessary right now.
So I guess it’s time to stop messing around with this and start dropping units onto the heightfield! Hopefully that won’t take long.