Alpha 11 updates!!!

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Alpha 11 updates!!!

Post by Mistress Cherise on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:03 am

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So that you don't have to look around for information on all of the Alpha 11 updates, I will bring them all to you and post them here. Happy reading!!!


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Block shapes! Well instead of programmed block shapes with coded in uv coordinates we now support fbx block shapes. What this does is allow us artists to make our own blocks. They also have the added benefit of rotations, so you can run your floor planks on a cube north and south, or east and west. Plus we can fix all the bad uvs on blocks and make lots more shapes. It also supports smoothing groups so we can have nice smooth shaded pillars and stuff. First thing on my list is to make some nicer stairs! Users should be able to make their own block shapes with any 3d program as well



Alpha 11 update! Using our new block shape importer, I made these new window plugs. I know they aren’t anything special except for the fact that they are rendered like a block rather than a model which our other upgrading windows are made from which means these new ones render much faster. The old windows took several draw calls and you can have a bunch of these and it only takes one draw call.

So what does that mean? Well for some people’s computers draw calls are the death of their precious frame rate. So we’re taking a lot of stuff that doesn’t really need to be a model and we’re converting it to a block so the game runs way faster.

And we’re making it so that every old broken piece of glass in the game can be upgraded to a window plug, and then a plug with one board, two boards, and finally three boards and probably a piece of scrap metal after that.

And before you rant why are you working on art when we don’t have x feature or y bug isn’t fixed yet, well this is my blog. I don’t represent the whole team. But I do keep an eye on them so I’ll spill the beans about what everyone is up to.

Chris changed the moon light so its controlled by a spectrum texture. This means I can make a purple and green moon now, not that I’d do such a thing, but a bright moon in the burnt forest doesn’t make sense, so I can make the moon light much darker at night during a certain time, or all night, or make it a different color per biome to kind of simulate the fog and overall ambience of that biome.

Rick is working on more prefabs and designing lots of new systems. We’ve got a grocery store coming called Shamway that seems to have well SHAM products. So you can finally get all the sham and sham sandwiches you want because I know you guys can’t get enough sham sandwiches.

Joe is hooking up the new ufps controller. It does loads of cool stuff like weapon bob, camera tilt, spring on weapons, a nice squish when you jump and hit the ground and it feels like a AAA shooter, nice and fluid. To make this even more exciting we’ve got new hands and the animation team is making brand new first person hand animations to go along with it. Nobody will every know this was an indy game when they get done Smile

Chrisopher is working on the terrain shader so hopefully the terrain won’t have any more hard edges where multiple materials meet. He also integrated steam chat or something like that, its a voice system to talk like the old one, but it actually works Smile

Ryan is modeling decor for caves, like mushrooms, moss, cobwebs, stalactites, etc.

Joey is working on a feral zombie, I will post screens of it soon.

Eric is rocking out some nice sounds. He gave us four blunderbuss sounds and we liked all of them so much we decided to try making a weapon have random sounds and it plays one of them at random. It’s pretty cool because something that shoots scrap metal and rocks might not sound exactly the same each shot.

Christian switched to steam networking. Hopefully its faster and no more connection problems!

And last but not least Robert is working hard on random gen 2.0. Not only do we have curving roads on hills but now we have perlin caves. They don’t have any decor yet but the overall shape and the tunnels are looking great. And we’ve talked forever about having perlin worms for mining and its finally in. Yes we do actually do what we say we’re going to, despite popular disbelief. So basically there are gravel tunnels inside caves which you mine out, revealing the soft creamy filling inside…or the ore deposits. It’s a ton of fun mining out the gravel just like the old days except more natural and organic and the ore veins are little worms you dig out.



We’re evaluating Unity 5 to see how much work it will be to get it working, so we tried out some speedtrees, I was running 2560 resolution and getting 60-80 fps with everything maxed, and these trees have 5-10x the polygons our old ones do. Pretty impressive.



Feral Zombies! This is the first of our zombie overhaul. With upcoming performance optimizations we have the overhead to improve some visuals so we are going to redo all the zombies and this nasty feral you do not want to run into! I doubt tumblr will do the images justice the detail on this model and skin is incredible. My big pimp hat is off to Joey for nailing this!




I’m just getting my feet wet with the speed tree tree editor so these trees are not final by any means and our specular component isn’t even working yet, but I’m really impressed with how well they LOD and billboard. You don’t really notice trees popping into billboards ever now, speedtree is just awesome.



I have the trees looking pretty good in the snow biome Smile During runtime it’s nearly impossible to see any LOD or switching to billboards, its very smooth. We’re loving it.



Well in order to make an omelet you have to break some eggs. Now this isn’t really fair, this is about the only place in the game that looks decent at the momentl. All of our buildings and objects have a coating of plastic on them or are black. Yeah Unity 5 is a beast, but we’re getting it and its going to be really cool.

The coolest thing is the lighting, which I’m not properly showing in this screenshot. Basically reflections now probe your surroundings and show off real reflections, not some fake image like the old days. In order to do this we had to nuke the old sky system so we have a new one with a cool star field at night and a very nice horizon and the sunsets don’t have the old orange flicker when you suddenly look at the sun, and a million other benefits.

We have to change or redo a lot of art but we’re working double shifts to make it happen. It’s going to be worth it, the few pieces of art we converted look incredible. In the meantime, enjoy the new juniper tree I put in the pine forest tonight. Oh and the new sky isn’t using my biome spectrums yet, but it will, then everything will look more haunting and evil dead ish like before, but on steroids and stuff.



Here is a wasteland building, I got most of the textures on it upgraded to work with unity 5 today. We have ambient occlusion now on every texture, it basically doesn’t let light into crevices so if you look close the bricks hold up better under direct light and even in the shadows they look better. Also its hard to see unless you look at the corrugated metal but now reflections on shiny surfaces show the surrounding world environment So the metal is reflecting the sky, and the granite on counter tops now reflects the walls and the stainless steel fridge reflects everything around it. It’s pretty cool. When I was crouching in some grass my shotgun barrel reflected the grass onto it and when I was running down the road it was blue from the sky.



With the new physical based lighting you can see the shotgun barrel reflecting the sky, trees and even the ground below it. It looks great moving around in the game and adds much immersion. In the second shot you can see more of our new trees. There is so much to show now I feel like I’m unveiling the game for the first time all over again. Things are just starting to come together, I’m so excited to see it all finished.


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Mistress Cherise
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