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Update #49: Water, Trees, Day/Night, Lighting... All That Jazz


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What about pre-rendering the 2D backgrounds with several different shadow lengths/positions for the major times of day, then subtly switching between them while still doing all the other color changes you're currently doing? I'm fine with the current setup, but that's just something that came to mind as a possible solution.

 

I'm sure you could do something with a prerendered overlay for time of day shadows, but it would be a non-trivial amount of work that would have to be done for every level. Not worth the trouble IMO since the day will progress slowly enough you wouldn't see the shadows move in any case. It's pretty noticeable in the video when the cycle is sped up over a few seconds, but I very much doubt most people would notice when the game is running in real time.

 

There are always trade-offs, and so far I'm really digging these ones.

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Uh. Uh. Uh. Exactly what I was expecting (hoping) from the previous screenshot. I won't write a constructive reply, but what a "demo"!

 

How can a video make me think that the future years will be fun? I am thinking about some "weird hippie RPG nerd's saying". Hum. Weird hippie RPG nerd? I like the idea!

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I haven't posted for ages on this forum, so let me just say the video is brilliant. I could nitpick, but I won't: this is a WIP and as such, it's good enough to show Obsidian is on track to give us a great RPG. Can't wait for a combat demo video. It will be much more important.

Edited by norolim
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Hi, this is the wife of the user known as "fortuntek," I just found this account to tell you all that I just found my husband's head-exploded bloody corpse in our computer room, and I am holding you all responsible. But that won't stop me from playing this sweet looking game.

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Yeah, thanks for adressing the concerns, mine are gone :) They were really small compared to the overall very positive impression to begin with anyway, just wanted to add a little substance to my answer.

 

I've always had a good feeling about this game, and by now I am getting quite excited about it - I actually believe it might end up looking and feeling very good indeed :)

 

 

What about pre-rendering the 2D backgrounds with several different shadow lengths/positions for the major times of day, then subtly switching between them while still doing all the other color changes you're currently doing? I'm fine with the current setup, but that's just something that came to mind as a possible solution.

I've seen this technique used - it doesn't look good. It tends to make the game feel more artificial, breaking immersion by periodically reminding the player of the game's compromises. Static shadow direction (from the "sun", not dynamic lightsources) is the better compromise (despite including this point in that "minor critiques"-section before).

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

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Very cool! Though I do have some notes, of course I do.

 

A nice trick on selling mucky/muddy water is shadows on a water surface with shadowing dependent on depth fog.

 

And while I see some bloom, I still say a good HDR implementation is worth it. But really, it looks very very nice, yay! Could go with... ahh it's been a while! A trick where normal maps receive shadows according to the normal map and not the geometry normal, but with the view so drawn out it wouldn't even be that noticeable. Would also love to see the shadows for everything be dynamic, you know, change primary lighting direction and all that, but the scene in question works without that.

 

I'd say the most noticeable thing was the lack of proper lighting on the particles near the waterfall really. Not sure what was going on there. Great work though!

Edited by Frenetic Pony
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I'm so very, very glad that I took a chance and backed this labor of love.  Ladies and Gentlemen of Obsidian, keep up the fine work!  :)  And was that a Will-o-the-wisp?

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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Oh damn, this looks lovely. I already want to go into that cave behind the bridge ... now :). Seeing now basically what I wanted to see ("what will it look like!?") I am just happy I backed. If you put so much love into the story too, I'll love it.

Edited by STiAT
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Looks nice. I think the lighting effects - both ambient, and that 'occlusion-based lighting' (is that right?) of that 'globe-like' lightball that came out of the entrance hole were the best parts of all that were shown in this showcase video. So thank you very much.

I also liked the self-shadowing renders from the characters' own bodies. The way that these shadows seemed to move over the bumpy rocks on the water creek looked very accurate...

I have a feeling that the way these lighting systems works in your own brand of the Unity engine is because you get to save the 'memory' of how lighting are supposed to shine on various textures/surfaces WHILE in the 3D building mode. Then these same surfaces will be 'lit up' in the final 2D render whenever ambient lighting and/or a smaller dimension of a lighting effect comes nearby? Am I correct? I am not a programmer, heh!

Also will you be able to render at least two or more shadows (some of them soft, for instance) if multiple light-points are being shone onto a character or a prop on the ground (like those F.E.A.R. series and Unreal 3 engines are famously known for)?

Will one of you in the team please really answer this question (either here, or in a future blog update in text format) - Will you be looking at and developing a way(s) to have magical effects of various colours, intensity and etc shine different colours and intensity of lights onto nearby surfaces? Man, that would surely make the accommodating environments and big battles look crazy-spectacular!

* Dynamic objects (like the characters) can cast dynamic shadows.  We are already exploring how we want additional dynamic lights in the scene to a) light the objects and b) affect their shadows.

 

* We are still experimenting with the tree, grass, and bush animations.  Our goal is for them to look natural but add life.  If they are distracting/odd or too still, that doesn't work.

 

Thanks for all of your feedback.

 

The second starred line above probably answers this question below already...

 

"OK, about the only thing that I saw in the video that I think should be remedied before game's release is the way the 2D planes within the little bush moves. I think the 'swinging' of the bush's own 2D planes is a bit too slow, and probably too much. Perhaps keep the swinging radius a bit shorter for the small bush, eh? Also the randomly-generated 'double mini-shake' of those animated 2D planes is a too unnaturally quick. Perhaps it's a bug, or an incomplete feature?"

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*Watches the part where the level is "rotated" in the Unity engine's playground editor*

 

... WHAT DEMONRY IS THIS?! O_O

 

 

Scanning English language... ... ... ... ...

 

... Scan: Complete. No entries found matching the desired criteria, "Adequately describe what I've just bore witness to."

 

 

 

halolz-dot-com-thelegendofzelda-shutupan

 

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Art direction, water trick, dynamic shadows (especially from the character onto the river stones!), models... all is just... inspiring!

 

Nice to hear that some of the issues mentioned are due to compression and the others are being worked on. WIP it may be but it's already looking amazing! :)

 

Wish we could see the video in maximum quality with no blurring, too. Any chance we can get the uncompressed video on legittorrents.info or something similar (useful + legal)?

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If there was a method whereby I could erase the past ten years (maybe take a few games with me) but generally go back to the positive view I had on where RPG's would go, I think PE, Planescape Numenera, and Shadowrun Returns are taking me back there.  I might have to stand my character by that waterfall for a while, but I actually think the stink of the past decade is starting to wear off.

 

You guys are solid, and I'm getting all misty. ;(

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Keep trying to think about it... and there's just too much hackiness in getting shadows changing position to work. Would still love to see them animated, seems easy enough. I'm also not sure how well an HDR implementation would work with such a static view. I mean even with dynamic light... just storing luminance in a bigger range and blooming based on that will probably be enough.

 

Still, other ideas always come to mind. Screen space chromatic dispersion? Should be easy enough, you've got depth and everything, so why not? Good for water and fireballs and such.I assume z-map is going on, so SSAO would be welcome, and Unity has it built in, so that rocks.

 

The main thing that could be done is Unity's lightprobes to work with the day/night transition so you could get lightbounce onto characters.... use the probes to store only raw texture albedo from areas hit directly by directional light, then alter the directional light and the probes output by the same color! You could also store the access to the sky dome in the probes, and in a texture channel for the background, and have the artists change the sky color at will, you'd get the same sky color done accurately on dynamic objects and the background at little cost.

 

The only other things I can think of aren't universal, but neat. I'd always go for more universal stuff first, such as SSAO and using the probes for global illumination, as they apply to every scene equally and you get the most bang for your time. But still, it's neat stuff to do. EG a wet shader for when it's raining: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B2iEzxzGlkkZWXNrOURDcFJXbzg&usp=sharing . Fog particles and etc. drifting along, snow textures applied for dynamic snow/lighting. Anyway, looks great now regardless!

 

As for particle lighting, energy preserving wrapped diffuse: http://blog.stevemcauley.com/2011/12/03/energy-conserving-wrapped-diffuse/ . Could be useful for this and other particles (need cool spell FX after all). Is it set up so Unity's probes automatically apply to their particles as well? Oh, and this thread has a pair of fairly easy area light hacks: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/640573-area-lights-forward-and-deferred/ Can't imagine what the big plane area light would be used for in a medievalish fantasy game, but the spherical area light hack http://imdoingitwrong.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/light-attenuation/ is really easy and simple, and could be used for campfires and spells and, whatever else.

Edited by Frenetic Pony
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