Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Shot Of Latest The Escape Demo

Here is the latest shot to compare with one provided a few blog posts ago, but this time with the subtle bounce light from the ground lighting (notice the slightly green colour under the plank sticking out of the building).

More generally, having this extra bounce light in all the shaders (both sky and floor colour) is like having two extra lights on everything. It's subtle, but it does not only lift the scene but blends them altogether with a common colour theme, especially with the red, golden and darker skies!

Here are the settings I am using, but as with many things during beta development, if I change the shader levels all this could change again :)  Don't worry about the 34 fps, the whole software slows down when all the slider panels are on (something to do with drawing each slider bar bit by bit).

Currently tackling a rather fiendish problem resulting from the terrain system not producing super-accurate LOD0 mesh versions of it's segments, meaning my glass terrain geometry can sometimes be cut by the real terrain. Boo!  I have a few ideas along the lines of building my own glass terrain meshes from the height data, but first I am going to tinker with the built-in one first. It only happens when two segments meet, so that's my clue and my way in.

Currently riding high on the SLANT survey for "What are the best game engines for non-coders?". Why not check out the list and vote for your favorite here: http://www.slant.co/topics/1907/~what-are-the-best-game-engines-for-non-coders

A question also came up and worth bouncing out there. We now have different weapons coming in, and they have different 'hand' models.  If you are doing a game which uses different weapon sources, do you care about the hands changing from 'gloved' to 'ungloved'?  If so, do you have any ideas how we could tackle this without making artists lives hell?  Food for thought.


  1. looking great lee m8 :)
    visuals in the top picture are a lot better than currently possible.. I like it..
    keep it up and get us a topnotch build out soon lol ;p

  2. Hi Lee

    With the 1st screenshot we can finally start to imagine Reloaded having comparable graphics with something like Counter Strike Global Offensive. The color balance is now much better, bounced lighting is looking great and the baked shadows add some needed depth. The visuals are now significantly better.

    One thing I noticed is the shader levels are set to lowest and I can't tell if normal and specular maps are being taken into account. I can't see much bumpiness on the materials but perhaps this has not been added back into the blend yet. Either way the lighting itself is a massive improvement.

    Also please can you ensure shadows cast on static objects are consistent with shadows cast on the terrain. I noticed on the latest beta that shadows on the terrain look fine but shadows cast on static entities are barely noticeable and inconsistent with the terrain shadows when both shaders are set to highest.

    I would still like to know if there is going to be any options to manually set the shadow resolution / quality. You could add a bar to show how much progress has been made with the pre baking process and multi core support should allow us to achieve high quality results in a reasonable amount of time.

    1. Totally agree with you on the colour balance. MUCH more consistent (and if anyone knows me, they know I always rant about how important consistency is) and coherent. It makes the world feel much more grounded.

      I'm definitely seeing CS:GO in those images, but as you say there's a distinct lack of normal/bump mapping.

  3. Looking nice. Although the shadow on the left side of the far buildings window looks odd to me? Hard to tell from a single image.
    I can't think of any simple way to help regarding the model hands, but it is an issue. Having a glove with one weapon and not with another would look pretty silly. Perhaps you should release the hands model in popular formats so artists can use that instead of their own?
    I have always thought adding weapons is a bit of a black art, lol. There's not much info and you basically have to reverse engineer an existing one. I have never looked into making my own model as yet though, so don't know what is needed for that stage.

    I always thought an editor viewed from your players perspective could be useful. So you can load a weapon up. Select if it is a one or two handed gun or even dual wield, melee etc. Then position your gun on screen as you want it to be positioned in game. Then add the hands and adjust them to fit your weapon, or vice versa, whichever works best in practice.

    Probably many reasons why this couldn't be done. But it would help artists set up weapons quickly. It would also eliminate the hands issue.

  4. I think the hands should stay the same. Anything else would spoil the gamr.

  5. How will the weapon models, with hands attached, translate to third person view as needed for multiplayer and third person camera? Furthermore, how will they carry over to different player models? I feel like the switching of hands between weapons would prove distracting and will definitely take away from realism when one second the player has no gloves and the next they do as if they have time during combat to put on gloves ;) Ideally the weapons should be separate to ease the process of creating custom weapons and to allow different player models to have their own look.

  6. I agree with some of the above, the arms/hands should be uniform and not different..
    I did notice some arms come with tattoo and some with gloves ect also, didn't think much on it at the time but now its been mentioned it is important for all the media to be more generic for things like guns at least.. perhaps the store assets which are nonconforming to the stock arms could be changed I don't know but it is going to be a bigger issue than maybe 1st thought?!.

  7. I actually went into this exact hand issue in depth on my review of BSP's weapons.


    The simple fact is that from a consistency standpoint as a developer you have to basically say ok - these are my hands. If I'm using BSP's weapons I will have to ONLY use his weapons or be very creative with the use.

    I'm all for hand types to help bridge the gap and create diversity in the games we make.

  8. I don't see the big deal about the hands. you use that pack weapons only and go on from there. if bond1 make melee weapons with his hand then that can complete his hand pack. eai do the same with his glove hands and bsp as well then there you go. the rules will be same as they where before with fpsc don't mix weapon packs with others.bond1 bsp and eai art style are not same as for most models made for fpscR. every artist style is different so it is up to the artist to complete a pack of a model theme so the developer can models that don't clash with others.some artist are on a higher level then other and put more detail into their models then others. so there is no point to worry about this unless tgc have artist that will be on the same level of high quality models.so just like in fpsc you are going to have to play the matching game to see who model fit in right with others and don't mix you weapon packs with other weapon packs unless the pack is made by the same artist.

    1. see now that's no solution.. why should I be limited to 1 artists guns just because they wanted a fancy tattoo showing?!.. artistic flare is 1 thing but having to limit yourself because an artist wanted to be alittle flash with a tattoo for example. a tattoo that in all odds will be seen over and over again in all manor of game ideas using those weapons ie many users using those guns = less original games because of a little detail that would be better left off the models for store imo.. same goes for gloves to a lesser extent, tattoos honestly should be left out of view unless your making custom art for a customer that will be the only 1 to use them for originality sake..

  9. Honestly I don't disagree and I also would throw in there are bigger fish to fry rather than dedicating limited resources to a small scale problem.

  10. The hands will be a big problem that is going to come back if you implement 3rd person view. The hand should be separate from the weapon and there should be a way in the fpe to specify where to put the generic hand on the weapon so that eventually when you display the complete body of the player there is no problem. This is a bigger problem than many realize

  11. Just have the artists barrow, and cut and paste original arm textures. It can't be hard to cut and paste on top of uv maps. Another thing is that gun sounds, and they way they are handled, are not uniform. There should be echo added like on the original guns.

  12. As the question has been asked. Yes flexibility is the best option to all things to aid better game making and better games and make the product more appealing to more people.

    Character/player hands a weapons are clearly very important being in the forefront and so prominent in the game - its what we are in the game in FPS. Needs to look and "feel" good and right too.

    I like many have various weapon model packs and use very few of the weapons partly because of this issue of mix and match of different characters hands and equally partly because I don't like many of the weapons as being simply not suitable for my game and Character. They just don't look or feel right in game and don't match up either. Too many dont's to make it right. Consistency is important unless your charcater is going to change clothes in game or have his tattoo removed/added somewhere along the line.

    These visual details are very important on such an important item. Similarly the feel is important and I don't use some weapons because they don't feel right, recoil, animations and so on not right for me as the player - feedback is just not right during gameplay. Thus Like many I don't want to use all weapons from one pack but am fussy so need lots of packs and weapons to choose from - perhaps one or none from any particular pack or other.

    The issue of the amount of time required to provide a solution is another issue but as the question has been asked if possible options, choice and flexibility is best.

    I can as others have said only suggest that the player/camera/view/arms in FPS should be separate from the weapons so that as might be the case in 3rd person the game maker end user should be able to choose from more than one character player/set of arms as the default character for their game and then have that character/set of arms/hands collect any weapon available.

    That is what should be the case however clearly that needs a sophisticated system I guess which nevertheless needs to be as with all things not costing a fortune in any kind of resources - money, manpower, time to set up and use and so on. i.e. end result being efficient and easy to use for character/weapon creators and users where the initial effort and costs of design of the system pays dividends later for all concerned including the Game Players.

    Don't want to live with a constant bind so doing things right well initially is always good - much like with everything else - the engine core and so on - get it right and it helps a lot for a long time to come instead of being a daily fight and annoyance. Pays dividends in the end. If it don't then it was never going to happen anyway.


  13. Now obviously, this issue is compounded by the fact that TGC has little resources, but this is my suggested solution:

    Commission one artist (probably whoever made the best hands as voted by the community) to create a single set of hands/arms, possibly with multiple variations in textures. Then, future weapon artists are given free access to the hands/arms models to include with their weapon models.

    Ideally, the hands/arms models should be a separate file (and NOT included with the weapons but with Reloaded) with the animations specific to each weapon appended to the original model (the animations being included with the weapon model). That way, the textures for the arms/hands can easily be changed across all available weapon models while still keeping unique/customised animations for each weapon.

  14. Lee, I do think you should, if you have them, start using better looking assets for your screenshots and demo game. Those buildings, I hate to say, are poorly made and textured. You can see several obvious repeats and the texture takes no account of the attached wood parts that look as if they float. Where the engine is starting to take on quality visuals now, the art is now keeping it back.

    1. The main problem with these screenshots is the objects material bump / specular is non existent so we are essentially looking at diffuse textures with better lighting and shadows.

      Each material should be distinct so wood should look different from brick and metal etc. Ideally you would have something like parallax for brick, bump maps for wood and specular for metal.

      At the moment materials look flat and not reflecting the light in a realistic way. I don't think Lee has merged bump / specular back into the mix yet but its something which needs to be looked at before releasing the beta.

      I think Lee has done a fantastic job on the lighting and if he can get the materials working nicely too then Reloaded graphics will finally be on the right track.

  15. Solution to the hands conundrum:

    TCG should supply a generic set of hands. This set of hands should be made independent of the weapon. Options should be applied to every weapon to support different hand models. All hands should have a pre-set animation (with support of various melee/firearm).

    This addition of interchangeable hand models WILL allow freedom and a simple to use engine which is the soul purpose of this software. The hard work is developing a system which caters for ALL weapon type. Hands made independantly of the models would surly solve this issue.

    Any Inconsistency in any fps shouldn't be tolerated. Hands especially. TCG, in order to for-fill your goal of a simple, easy to use fps development software, this system should be a must. It should be tackled before this project gets in too deep and is flooded with models that will render the tradition impossible.

    Win, win I say. Artist have less work to do when creating models and extra $$ cash/money for artists who upload hand models independantly of the weapons.

    1. First of all, the term is "fulfil", not "for-fill".

      Second, this is pretty much exactly what I already said, except that I suggested arm animations be created by the weapon author and included alongside the weapon model; they can then be used on the 'TGC-standard' arms model.

      Third, you can't have a premade animation set. You just can't. The hand movements would never match the huge variety of weapons the community will (hopefully) create.

    2. When I say "used on the 'TGC-standard' arms model", I mean the animation sets included with the weapon model can be applied to the arms/hands model that would be included with Reloaded.

      When I say "premade animation set", I mean an animation set included with the arms/hands model that would be included with Reloaded.

    3. I'm glad you felt the need to correct me and then reiterate what you said previously purely to make your idea seem stronger.


    4. The correction was because it annoyed me. Don't take it personally, I do it to everyone (and that's probably why I have no friends HAHAHAHahaaa.... *cries*).

      I didn't repeat what I said, I only pointed out the differences between what you said and what I said. Then I made a second post to clarify my clarifications. This post is to clarify my clarifications of my clarifications.

  16. In fact perhaps we are also forgetting the possibility of 3rd person view, perhaps it's time to think about integrating both at this point so as to avoid coding 2 systems. In third person, you would need to animate guns and the whole body as well.

  17. without picking fault too much, there are still a lot of shader issues on the furthest building, top window has a v shape of light in the shadow, the line split going up the centre of the building and basic shadow splitting, i take it that it is the mesh vertex being lit up or darkened, this happened on x10 a lot, just saying