Monday, 23 September 2013

Monday Visualised

It's All Eye Candy Baby

As you may know this week has been geared up to dedicate solely to visuals. I have postponed the necessary final integration as it was decided that we needed some gorgeous screenshots about the place, and in the grand scheme of things it all needs doing.  I had planned to add the layers of polish once all the main functionality was in place, but I am sure you will not be objecting to seeing more of the final art take it's rightful place.

As it is definitely blog-worthy, I have produced a very small sneak video from the end of this days work so you can see where I am:

This one shows you bloom, using the multiplication inverse technique, a much deeper water effect so you cannot see the bottom of deep areas and my favorite  the light ray effect which will cast light volumes from the sun through any canopy or other above surface obstructions to create a sense of light volume in the scene.

What Is Next

Having ticked off the three shaders I wanted to do, the next two big visual tasks (apart from adding more content) is to work on flak/explosions and shadows.  I have a neat idea for producing some fast shadows using the cascade technique but it's experimental and might swallow some precious time. To avoid this possibility, I have decided my next task will be flak, explosions and particles.

This should add lots of opportunities for more cool visuals as the flak will leave a trail when you fire the rocket launcher, the explosion will have plenty overlay effects which I am looking forward to tweaking and of course the scene can benefit from particle effects which comprises everything from the dust that slowly settles after an explosion through to gusts of wind, distant fogging using particles and sugar stealers.  Not sure how much of all that I can get done in one day as the Flak is coming directly from the classic engine and it will take some time to re-factor the code so it slots nicely into the new systems.

Signing Off

I stole two hours today to get some gardening done (the weekend was pretty cloudy and cold) and highlighted to me how out of shape I have become in the last six months. Spending every waking hour at the keyboard has it's downsides, with general fitness being the first to suffer.  Hopefully Tuesday will be cloudy so I can rest my bones, but if the sun appears again I have a small path to finish digging and the manual toil does not seem to make a dent in the subsequent coding I can get done.  If you add up all the hours I've been awake, deduct three hours when I was outside and one hour when I ate some food, today racked up a good 10 hours and I'm happy with the result :)


  1. It's the small yet shining details like this that add to the overall atmosphere of it all and make me wonder if this October beta is not moreso a v1 ;-) Color me impressed my friend.

  2. The outside terrain looks awesome! I would like to see inside environments as well, caves, inside of buildings, underground stuff, I'd love to see how that works. :)

  3. Looking good, except that the water is just....bad. Sorry, it really is bad. It just looks like glass! It's extremely transparent, 100% FLAT and......static. If it had some refraction and you couldn't see so far into it (when was the last time you could see the bottom of a natural body of water that deep?) it would be much better.

    Also too much bloom. Bloom can add so much to a scene but not when it's overdone (in this case the grass is glowing....only the sky should be glowing that much).

    1. Hello, i agree for the water, it appear to be a mirror i think is the low quality of video, however i hope, like in other 3d engines, water plane could be tuned giving amount of reflection,refractions, waves, underwater fog, colour and so on.. to have different types of water

    2. The bloom will be adjustable.

  4. Believe me I know how long it takes to get these things just right, but you're working hard and I have no doubt FPSCR will be great when it's finished, so..... all good! :D (I really can't wait to see it all finished!)

  5. @Clonkex:
    I thin the water transparency is fine. I think that the real reason it looks a little off is because there's no underwater vegetation and perhaps occasional swimming fish.

  6. i'm impressed by the light ray effect, i love it! and it look very professional! i suppose all things (sun rays, fog, water, foliage movement, nuts and bolts) can be fine tuned in the editor. absolutely good idea the deeper water effect. to give more realism to water, appropriate (underwater terrain) textures should be applied and i would add a foam at the border of water areas. great work Lee my compliments..

  7. You see Lee, you should wait until you are finished before sharing your "pearls". Still, the community will never let you rest until it all looks great.

  8. I think it looks great. Klonkex think you being harsh on water. Considering hardly see it except for reflection.But we can see better if better video

  9. I think Clonkex is right about the water. It doesn't look good.

    That gun looks so out of place in that scene too. There is zero animation on it when walking. :(

    Lee, I don't understand how putting shadows on the back burner in favour of flaks avoids the possibility of eating up some time? You have to come round to it eventually! :P

  10. Ah, and I saw you mention something about distance fogging. Is this going to receive a visual upgrade!? At the very least giving us nicer control over it.

    I hope so, one game I am interested on working on needs very thick, very close fog. :)

  11. To be fair :

    The video is very small and if enlarged the quality too poor to really see enough of the detail. The speed of Camera/player movement is very fast too so makes it difficult to concentrate on the detail of things. I can see the concerns raised by others however presumably some settings will be eventually available so users will be able to adjust things like bloom, lens flares, lighting and water effects or even turn them off altogether.

    I do agree that some ability to have available the facility to have some control over
    or simulate moving water by some method or other as clearly very few bodies of water have none none at all in most cases. Still and clear water or other liquids is fine where appropriate so that's needed too in any case.

    Reloaded is not finished and its unfair to adjudge it or Lees work at the moment though users are only are generally only commenting to try and be helpful with suggestions and not always complaining as such. Most are I am sure just looking forward to having better than what has gone before and we are in the main very grateful for Reloaded and what is to come.

    Yes you will never satisfy everyone and Reloaded will not be all things nor provide everything
    to everyone which would be just impossible.

    Again concentration on the core items initially is the best option and not trying to include every last suggestion and feature down to the minutest request off the bat, kick off or any initial release.

    There are literally thousands of additional and yes legitimate requests for features and functions all of which are probably a great idea and would be most welcome if they can be added ongoing following any stable reliable core product having the basic set of core design elements in place ready to accommodate more later on.

    Something like that anyway.

    The video was still nice to see thank you.

  12. Thanks for the continued feedback, and it's all good. Bloom and fog levels will all be adjustable, so don't worry about that. I just ramped it up to 11 so you could see the exaggerated effect. Rick would prefer I show you nothing until Christmas, but I believe early feedback will help the finished polished product and it will be a community effort. I also take the advice that flak should not be the next item on my list but shadows, which are sorely lacking in the shots and so so important. It might take two days to get 'fast' but I accept the challenge. Keep a weather eye out for Tuesday's midnight blog!

  13. Quick question. On Facebook reloaded you say that it is released in October and that it is down load only. Followed by updates from then.

    QUESTION is. What happened to the wonderful posted version. is that still happening? cheers

  14. The current plan is pushing the beta towards the end of October so we can lift the visuals before we attack you all with binaries. Please clarity, what is "wonderful posted version" :)

  15. I really love what I see!

    Will the water be adjustable too? Height, fog, reflection, refraction, color... etc? I personally love how the water is looking so far. Only thing that would be missing from the example would be a bit of shadows work and some more realistic player movements.

    Great work Lee as always love how you keep us in the loop and part of the process via feedbacks.

  16. Lee; I believe he's asking about the physical copy of the program (posted). He wants to know if getting it in the mail, as well as a downloaded copy is still possible...or if it's download only at this point.

  17. Gotcha! Until we believe (and the community concur) that we have a solid well rounded product we won't be putting Reloaded in a box. It will be in a creeping beta until we all think we've got something the rest of the world needs to see. Of course pledgers will receive a complimentary copy of the box product when we 'eventually' go to production.

  18. "users are only are generally only commenting to try and be helpful with suggestions and not always complaining as such"

    Definitely! I wasn't complaining when I said that about the water, I was commenting. I realise all will be good in the end :)