A Good Day
Measured by my yardstick that decrees any day which does not contain a BSOD is now a good day. Friday was a good day. As some of you know, I am recovering from a system crash of mysterious origin and have updated my SATA controller driver in the hope this solves it. The stress test went well, as did my creation of a new SVN repository to hold the entire project off-site and on both machines. For now disaster has been averted.
However, I am sure you want to learn about Reloaded development so here is the latest screen shot:
I am not tempting you with a video just yet, I am holding it back until I have more final artwork in the prototype. You will understand when you see it. Don't worry about the insane specular coming off the sand, there will be much playing around with shaders all the way up to final beta.
So What Do You See
Well you probably recognize the wall and the monolith from the previous demo, but the sandy terrain is new and so is the sky. Mark came through with some lovely undulating terrain, parallax textures and a matching sky box. After much shifting of dev kit linkages, I managed to recompile my code and I do not seem to have lost any of my progress so the shadows cast just fine.
What you perhaps don't see is that the clouds in the sky are not part of the sky box but are in fact real dynamically generated clouds using our DarkCLOUDS module from Dark Basic Pro. Not only is this module capable of producing clouds, but has day/night cycles, sun simulation and a whole host of settings to affect how many clouds you have and what they do. You can even accelerate time, or even reverse time from within the command set. Very powerful, very fast and just the job. I had to mask out the old sky box sky, and in doing so realized I need some really high resolution mountains for the final product but I think the effect is really cool. You get foreground terrain, then background mountains and finally a realistic sky.
I have been REALLY tempted to add extra stuff to the shader (bloom, depth of field, sun flare, etc) but I have a product to finish and the visuals are already looking top draw so I will leave those for tweaks and polish when we have more the product shape in place.
The final part of my deliverable for the Monday meeting is the player controller system which will allow the user to wander around the level. The old one will be thrown out and my new one will take it's place. This one has been written quickly and to my exact requirements, and allows the player to walk and run, mouse look and jump will follow soon. The best feature of the new controller is that I've added smoothing maths so everything feels slick and professional. This is now in the demo and Saturday and Sunday will be spent tweaking the prototype and adding Mark Art as it comes in.
It's that time of year where a small office like mine starts to heat up really bad. The sunny days, coupled with having three PCs on, two large skylights and an overworked coder all contribute to the oven I now write from. Unfortunately, I have a product to finish so I must fight through it to the next battle in this war. I've downloaded the latest Bullet Physics SDK 2.8 and have run through a few of the demos. It seems the first two things I will need is the terrain demo and the kinetic character controller class. Whether it's an easy cut and paste job, or a nightmare on earth remains to be seen. I've also been tinkering with the idea of writing a sand-storm particle effect for the demo as well, but perhaps this is one bridge too far for the weekend.
As a mini quiz, can anyone figure out the name of the game I was thinking about when I wrote the title?