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Darren Monahan

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

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shadows don't move with "sun" during daylight-changes

I don't like this either.

 

There is absolutely no dynamic shadowing. None. Zero. Zilch.

 

The shadows from trees, bushes, etc. never move.

 

If you watch the character cross the river, you can see his shadow shift. But yeah, that's about it. Dynamic shadowing would probably be a very hard problem to solve with these 2D graphics, so I think we just live with it.

 

Then again, maybe in this world the sun doesn't set... it just turns off for the night. 8) Nah...


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Absolutely gorgeous. As has been mentioned elsewhere, I love how pre-rendered 2d leaves low poly 3d in the dust. I've been replaying the IE games of late, and I keep being surprised how gracefully their graphics have aged, compared to their contemporaries.

 

Between this and Tides of Numenera, I'm actually excited about games in development again.

 

But, but...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XosZQh4rwOE

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OH! A long waited and fantastic update! That made my day.

 

Ok, here is my critic.

 

First of all, i am not a tech junkie however i would be happier if this video was 1080p. But it is 720p so i hold on to it, no other choice.

 

Water animation: There is a slight delay in water animation cycle. It's almost unnoticable but if you watch closely, you can see it stopping and restarting. Other than that, it's perfect. I think it's the only perfect thing in this demonstration.

 

Environment animation: The static part of bushes and trees are nice, i think color choice can be better however they seem good enough. But the dynamic part of them is blurry and it's very obvious. Blurry leafs, blurry parts... Is it the video?

In addition, take bushes for example; their center part is static and surrounding circle is dynamic. That style makes them look like they are imported from a cartoon or something; i hope this will improve in time because imho it is an awful style. I don't know if Unity Engine is limiting you but that look... made me worry about the whole environment of the game. Fire animations seemed so weak and light work around it seemed so random made. It can be a lot better than this.

 

Character animation: Same blurry animations here too. When he started to walk he totally became blurry. Armor and other steel items looks pale/faded and details of clothes... err... i can't see them? Ok, video resolution might be causing this. I hope it is.

 

Lastly, this is not a flaw, or it's a side effect of using 2D backgrounds, we can call that. Trees, statues, ground stones etc.; they all have shiny parts, sun is shining and according to the suns angle, they are shining :) But when the sun is down and darkness arrives in land, they still keep on shining, only in a faded way:)

 

Still, this is a fantastic update. I am eager to play P:E in my PC. I have complete trust in you. Don't keep us wating and lurking for an update! THX!

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shadows don't move with "sun" during daylight-changes

I don't like this either.

 

There is absolutely no dynamic shadowing. None. Zero. Zilch.

 

The shadows from trees, bushes, etc. never move.

 

If you watch the character cross the river, you can see his shadow shift. But yeah, that's about it. Dynamic shadowing would probably be a very hard problem to solve with these 2D graphics, so I think we just live with it.

 

Then again, maybe in this world the sun doesn't set... it just turns off for the night. 8) Nah...

 

Maybe there is no sun, but something like Valinor's two trees.

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Stop demanding darker nights, please. Running around and fighting monsters in pitch dark really isn't as fun as it sounds.

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My jaw dropped when I was the environment in action.  I love that the water table can dynamically rise or be lowered.  That should make for some cool secret areas.

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Stop demanding darker nights, please. Running around and fighting monsters in pitch dark really isn't as fun as it sounds.

 

I completely agree. The game designers can model the night effects just by applying combat and skill penalties; there's no need to make the players go groping around on a pitch-black screen.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Looks really nice overall, very impressive stuff. And it certainly gives that IE vibe somehow.

 

Main suggestion I would have is to maybe push lighting (and maybe colors) a bit further. This depends on the scene obviously but one thing I adored about Dungeon Siege 3 graphics was the colors were really strong, and the lighting was very nice. Like someone mentioned, the light around the campfire could be a lot warmer and a bit bigger (more like the firefly thing really).

 

Gorgeous overall.


Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

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Wow! I really love the look of the water reflections combined with the sounds!
The moist and wet stones, the whole design of the surroundings with this big statues.

Beautiful art design!

 

The only critique from my side is the character models:

I like the armor and overall look of the characters, especially the weapons (just look at the RAPIER! I mean: it IS a rapier :D )

BUT -and the only but-

 

they move to stiff in my oppinion.

Its the same problem, that "Temple of Elemental Evil" had.

Good sounds, effects and art, but too sterile surroundings (something that i do not see in your progress)

and stiff character movement.

 

So to speak:

They stay and move more like the Mechs in Mechwarrior, than real humanoids.

I see a certain "bumping", when the char moves, but in the end:

____

The stance is too simple and geometrical.

I hope that you at least will put in some "swaying motions" like the models

in Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale had (like looking to the sides, or stretching their back etc.)

 

And different characters like Rogues should be leaning more over to the front, while

warriors should be more relaxed and firm in their stance (best example: The Nameless One in Planescape Torment)

 

I dont think that would be too much of a hassle, especially with the "skeleton system", that you guys have developed,

to change sizes and proportions of the models. Just use one more dimension of non-symmetric stances.

 

 

But like i said: Thats my only critique. I really loved this short video, thanks for showing us :)

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The dynamic lighting of the flying object was rather good. However it was not shown how the trees, bushes and some other objects interact with this light source.

Lastly, this is not a flaw, or it's a side effect of using 2D backgrounds, we can call that. Trees, statues, ground stones etc.; they all have shiny parts, sun is shining and according to the suns angle, they are shining :) But when the sun is down and darkness arrives in land, they still keep on shining, only in a faded way:)

The shadows seem to be painted onto the 2D background because dynamic shadows are sadly not supported.

 

This also probably means that shadows from trees and other objects can not be cast onto the 3D character models and other moving objects.

Edited by Helm

Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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Great work guys!  The earlier screenshots were amazing, so I was very curious to see how it looked animated.  You did not disappoint.  Others have mentioned some things that need touching up, but I'm sure you have looked at this and have a plan.  I am very impressed and look forward to future updates.  It can only get better, right?  :)

 

On another note, I agree with other backers who are asking for the store option.  I would love to order a t-shirt and/or possibly other goodies you may have.

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To answer a few comments and questions that have come up in the thread:

 

* The baked-in 2D lighting will not shift with time of day.  This is an acceptable trade-off in our opinion because the shadows can be very high quality and it puts no burden on the system.  We really do want this game to look great and run well on a large spectrum of systems, so we want to be careful about processor-intensive lighting operations.

 

* 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.

 

* There are some known character animation glitches we weren't able to work out before we finalized the demo.  Our idle is very subtle right now; it will be more pronounced and include fidget animations in the future.  The walk animation is also new and hasn't been tweaked much.  Finally, there is some odd blurring/artifacting that appears in the compressed videos of the characters, which is why the walk cycle seems to have a blur/stutter in it.  That doesn't appear in game.

 

* The scene where the characters enter the scene and the sabre guy walks across the creek is our current default zoom level.  We currently control zoom on the mouse wheel.  It can get closer than what's in the demo and as far out as the "wide" shots, so you have a lot of flexibility there.

 

* 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.

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It's encouraging to hear the level of detail you all are putting into the game.  I hope the experiments work out. 

 

Can't wait to see spell animations. 

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To answer a few comments and questions that have come up in the thread:

 

* The baked-in 2D lighting will not shift with time of day.  This is an acceptable trade-off in our opinion because the shadows can be very high quality and it puts no burden on the system.  We really do want this game to look great and run well on a large spectrum of systems, so we want to be careful about processor-intensive lighting operations.

 

* 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.

 

* There are some known character animation glitches we weren't able to work out before we finalized the demo.  Our idle is very subtle right now; it will be more pronounced and include fidget animations in the future.  The walk animation is also new and hasn't been tweaked much.  Finally, there is some odd blurring/artifacting that appears in the compressed videos of the characters, which is why the walk cycle seems to have a blur/stutter in it.  That doesn't appear in game.

 

* The scene where the characters enter the scene and the sabre guy walks across the creek is our current default zoom level.  We currently control zoom on the mouse wheel.  It can get closer than what's in the demo and as far out as the "wide" shots, so you have a lot of flexibility there.

 

* 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.

That's great to hear.  That was the most glaring negative least positive in that whole video.  Obviously a few little tweaks here and there could help the scene even more, but for a very early proof of concept, it's extremely impressive.

:yes:

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* The baked-in 2D lighting will not shift with time of day.  This is an acceptable trade-off in our opinion because the shadows can be very high quality and it puts no burden on the system.  We really do want this game to look great and run well on a large spectrum of systems, so we want to be careful about processor-intensive lighting operations.

 

 

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.

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To answer a few comments and questions that have come up in the thread:

 

* The baked-in 2D lighting will not shift with time of day.  This is an acceptable trade-off in our opinion because the shadows can be very high quality and it puts no burden on the system.  We really do want this game to look great and run well on a large spectrum of systems, so we want to be careful about processor-intensive lighting operations.

 

* Dynamic objects (like the characters) can cast dynamic shadows. 

 

* Finally, there is some odd blurring/artifacting that appears in the compressed videos of the characters, which is why the walk cycle seems to have a blur/stutter in it.  That doesn't appear in game.

 

* 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.

That's it. This post can quit every whining about the video. Including mine :) Thx much. 

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I created a profile on your forum just to be able to say that your test is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for all your hard work. I and many others are very much looking forward to the game, more so than ever before.

 

And if you manage to put in as much color (figuratively speaking), depth, and intelligence in the game's scenario(s) and characters as you did in its visuals, I think you'll have a little masterpiece on your hands. I have no doubt you can achieve it.

 

Be bold in your choices. Avoid when possible and when appropriate those heroic fantasy clichés that give the genre a bad name (in that regard, may I recommend Chip Delany's "Return to Nevèrÿon" series of novels). Inject humor and complexity (moral and structural) in your tales. Don't shy away from real-world issues, while keeping in mind that it all comes down to making a fun, meaty game.

 

Onward!

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I believe it is the right time and place for a certain expletive:
I came, buckets.


"Bones heal, chicks dig scars, pain is temporary, glory is forever."

What is glass but tortured sand?
Never forget! '12.01.13.

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