Voxel Engine Tutorial (How To Make A Voxel Game)

How To Make A Voxel Game Engine

A step-by-step tutorial guide for beginners with C++ and OpenGL source code.

Table of contents
I started this site on May 5, 2024 and will continue to update it with new tutorials about building a complete voxel engine from scratch. The information posted here comes from my own experience of developing a voxel engine over the last 4 months which is currently getting close to completion. So please bookmark this site and check back soon.

You can follow my voxel engine channel on YouTube where I post my development updates when there is something substantial to show. Currently I'm working on equally distributing memory load between CPU and GPU, while also creating a dynamic LOD system for rendering voxels in my game. This should clear up some RAM for calculating real time shadows and perhaps even volumetric light. I'm also looking into parallel processing to be applied as an optimization to some of the core algorithms.

With advent of Nvidia RTX (ray tracing-capable) video cards, and popular games like Minecraft and most recently Teardown, game developers all over the world have been considering creating their own voxel engines.

This is a very simple site about making voxel engines, and I hope that it helps beginners and intermediate-level game programmers who are starting out and need a straightforward voxel engine tutorial. While most voxel engine tutorials explain small part that make up the whole, there isn't much information available as far as putting an entire voxel engine together from scratch. The problem with making a voxel engine in Unity or Unreal is that modding will be nearly impossible to implement, at least not in the easy way modders expect.

Creating a voxel engine is an incredibly complex task. There isn't just one way of rendering worlds made up of little blocks. Usually, your voxel engine will depend on a combination of techniques chosen by you. These techniques is what will be discussed on this voxel tutorial site.

Before we begin, watch this demo of my own voxel engine I'm working on that I also plan on turning into an actual game someday.

The soundtrack together with the lyrics was generated by AI, and even though the lyrics do tend toget a bit washed out toward the end, the song itself is somewhat charming and can even get stuck in your head for days!

barren desert scene with earthly colors in a voxel engine (screenshot)

A vast terrain (still not even optimized) showcasing piles of dirt in a wasteland.

voxel engine screenshot with a barren desert scene (screenshot)

Another example of a hill in my voxel engine game. A simple black and white height map was used to sample the height.

Links To Other Notable Voxel Engine Places

  1. Tedd blog about making voxel engine in Unity (part 1)
  2. Nick's "Homebrew" voxel engine
  3. A few words about John Lin's voxel engine, blog and YouTube channel
  4. Exploring Enshrouded’s voxel-based engine

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