Seems my blurry screen shot attracted a huge number of visitors yesterday and today :) That said, I won't be making that level of tease again as I think I went a little too far. As I explained earlier today, I kept adding one more level of blur until the lack of shadows was hidden, but but then it was pretty much a wasted out shot. Sorry about that!
Good and Bad
The bad news is that won't be able to inflict any more shots on you for the next few days given the lack of public worthy visuals, but the good news is that I have switched tracks to work on shaders and shadows (and guns). I've made the decision that Windows 8 and integration can hold off for two weeks while I bring the visuals up to the level where screenshots are not embarrassing. I means delaying the beta slightly, but I think the eye candy treats will be worth it.
I was also sent this worthy article on SSAO which is a nice way to get top visuals through GPU power: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_space_ambient_occlusion
I also plan to visit the world of bloom, light rays, tone mapping, shadow blending and dynamic lighting on my way to better visuals as well, so hopefully screenshots in a few weeks time will not only be permitted but desirable.
Today has been mostly about guns, and it's been a real haul this one. I had to strip out the gun code from FPSC Classic including all the AIRMOD and other modifications and integrate it into a new weapons prototype. The idea is that rather that write the gun system from scratch, I would incorporate all of AIRMOD into the new engine and then augment it with some ideas for improved motion ans visuals around the weapon HUD object itself.
The first stage of this plan worked very nicely and now I have the classic FPSC guns in my prototype running around, reloading and firing through my gun selector. All very good.
The next step is to add the new Reloaded weapons and configure the gunspec on each one to perform all the functionality you might expect of them. The downside is that some animations are missing, some gunspec files don't seem to want to cooperate and the animation.txt file I need is missing on come. Completely expected as this is the first time I have ventured into the weapons area of the file structure we have here. The good part about this is that I can explore the new AIRMOD settings and create a neat and tidy template for the new weapons gunspec file, and get to grips with exactly what is missing. I can then produce a snag list for Mark for his return next week.
It's been great running around with more than the Rifle for company, and using the old weapons got me thinking that bringing in ALL the old weapons might be a real boon for Reloaded. Applying new shaders to the old weapon media might produce a lot of choice right out of the box, not to mention any old entity assets that still look pretty good. For now I am holding off on making too many legacy promises, but by re-using ALL the FPSC Classic gun code, I have paved the way for 100% backwards compatibility with legacy weapon models, including the much sought after ErrantAI collection! My prediction is that by close of business Friday I will have the new weapons tamed and working as far as they can, then I can double back and re-activate related systems like flak, decals, full scale explosions and the myriad of hooks the weapon system taps into. Exciting times!