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Amazing stuff, guys.

 

Amazing stuff.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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Wow, this is a really good looking game. The day/night cycle, dynamic lighting and shadow effects are really impressive in a 2D art style - I've never seen anything like it. Huge props to Michael Edwards.

 

Good luck at E3, Obsidian!

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Well, like I just said now, I don't demand to have any and all info revealed to me but this is E3 after all. And considering how much further along Eternity is now and how big a media spectacle E3 usually is, I wouldn't have been surprised if there were some extra scraps to pick up for us.

E3 isn't like it used to be. I remember when it was open to the public, now it's a press only event.

 

It would be cool to see a combat video or something but I have a feeling that we really aren't going to see anything like that until the end of Alpha 2 (right now they're in Alpha 1), when the combat animations, and FX are close to finalized.

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Great update! I've got two points: 

 

-- I think it'd be a good idea to the environment lights cast shadows, even when characters are in shadow -- at present, the figure standing in the top left of the video isn't casting a shadow from the window's light, and it looks a bit odd. 

 

-- I second the request that we be told as much as the press are! 

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More on the meteorite temple theory:

What we see here is very consistent with large iron meteorites, which are composed of iron-nickel alloys. The thumbprints on the surface are called "regmaglypts". These are formed when materials of the meteor get ablated as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere.

 

From the wiki: "Iron meteorites were historically used for their meteoric iron which was forged into cultural objects, tools or weapons. With the advent of smelting and the beginning of the iron age the importance of iron meteorites as a resource decreased, at least in those cultures that developed those techniques. The Inuit used the Cape York meteorite for a much longer time. Iron meteorites themselves were sometimes used unaltered as collectibles or even religious symbols (e.g. Clackamas worshiping the Willamette meteorite)."

 

Since this could be a huge iron meteorite, or rather a few of them gathered together (from one and the same meteor), it would attract any kind of magnet extremely well. However, these meteorites are not magnets per se.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Gumbercules: "a living shell-like substance called adra", that was PE wiki says, and temples were built out of it. However, clearly this temple in the screenie is not. Perhaps "adra" is mistaken for all of this in certain cultures in the world of PE - but scientifically, they are indeed meteorites?

 

EDIT: Gumbercules is absolutely right, though. I just found this:

"Adra – is a grown, abalone shell-like material, often used to bind souls and magical energy into items. Engwithans used it both as structural elements and for binding purposes in their architecture. Often they would build things like traditional stone arches and grow adra in-between, using it like slow-growing mortar. As their buildings fall apart, it results in impossible-looking/gravity-defying ruins."

 

However, the artists have taken lots of inspiration from how thumbprinted iron meteorites look, if that's the case! :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Great update! Technical question though: going by this old cookie

 

eternity_resolutions_iwd.jpg

 

the high res maps are looking to be ~15,000x10,000 pixels. With two layers of 24 bit colour and one at 8 bit monochrome, that works out to ~600MB of raw data a map. Are you using lossy or lossless compression or no compression? If you're compressing it, does the decompression take a notable amount of time during level load? Or do you stream it in a tile at a time?

 

Also if you've got dozens of maps like this, just how big of a download is the game probably gonna be?

Edited by coffeetable
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Great update! I've got two points: 

 

-- I think it'd be a good idea to the environment lights cast shadows, even when characters are in shadow -- at present, the figure standing in the top left of the video isn't casting a shadow from the window's light, and it looks a bit odd. 

 

-- I second the request that we be told as much as the press are! 

 

Good eye! We would like to have point light shadows too. It's one of those things that got snipped for Alpha, but at some point down the road we will be revisiting it.

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More on the meteorite temple theory:

What we see here is very consistent with large iron meteorites, which are composed of iron-nickel alloys. The thumbprints on the surface are called "regmaglypts". These are formed when materials of the meteor get ablated as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere.

 

From the wiki: "Iron meteorites were historically used for their meteoric iron which was forged into cultural objects, tools or weapons. With the advent of smelting and the beginning of the iron age the importance of iron meteorites as a resource decreased, at least in those cultures that developed those techniques. The Inuit used the Cape York meteorite for a much longer time. Iron meteorites themselves were sometimes used unaltered as collectibles or even religious symbols (e.g. Clackamas worshiping the Willamette meteorite)."

 

Since this could be a huge iron meteorite, or rather a few of them gathered together (from one and the same meteor), it would attract any kind of magnet extremely well. However, these meteorites are not magnets per se.

Hey! One of the only plot tidbits we've gotten so far was that we witness a profound supernatural event. Maybe it's a meteor that crashes into the ground lol.

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Stun: That would be legendary enough! That could very well be.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Great update! Technical question though: going by this old cookie

 

eternity_resolutions_iwd.jpg

 

the high res maps are looking to be ~15,000x10,000 pixels. With two layers of 24 bit colour and one at 8 bit monochrome, that works out to ~600MB of raw data a map. Are you using lossy or lossless compression or no compression? If you're compressing it, does the decompression take a notable amount of time during level load? Or do you stream it in a tile at a time?

 

Also if you've got dozens of maps like this, just how big of a download is the game probably gonna be?

 

There's actually four layers - final, depth, albedo, and normals - all 32 or 24 bit. They are all compressed, but in a way to preserve as much detail as possible. Decompression is quick, and most of the load time is spent loading the textures off of disk. I don't have the exact size, but the game is going to be average download for today's standards.

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Are you using lossy or lossless compression or no compression? If you're compressing it, does the decompression take a notable amount of time during level load? Or do you stream it in a tile at a time?

In Josh's GDC presentation he said they use DXT compression (which I think is lossy) and they stream tiles in so the levels load faster. This may have changed though.

 

Another thing is way back it was said there was going to be two sets of assets

 

720p and 1440p renders. Looks like the assets have now been standardized into 1080p ?

Edited by Sensuki

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Gumbercules: "a living shell-like substance called adra", that was PE wiki says, and temples were built out of it. However, clearly this temple in the screenie is not. Perhaps "adra" is mistaken for all of this in certain cultures in the world of PE - but scientifically, they are indeed meteorites?

 

EDIT: Gumbercules is absolutely right, though. I just found this:

"Adra – is a grown, abalone shell-like material, often used to bind souls and magical energy into items. Engwithans used it both as structural elements and for binding purposes in their architecture. Often they would build things like traditional stone arches and grow adra in-between, using it like slow-growing mortar. As their buildings fall apart, it results in impossible-looking/gravity-defying ruins."

 

However, the artists have taken lots of inspiration from how thumbprinted iron meteorites look, if that's the case! :)

 

I looked through the previous updates and there is a screenshot of adra standing stones in Update 65 that looks different from what's in the latest screenshot (it's more pearlescent) so I may be wrong, or there may be multiple types of adra, or they decided to change how it looks. The new stuff to me looks crystalline, with a yellow glow from some off-screen light source, and it looks like whatever is in the Pillars of Eternity logo, or in the Update 77 screenshot.

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Gumbercules: Nice digging! :) You are right, those in Update 65 look nothing like the ones we saw now or more recently. The weathering and the patina wouldn't make much more difference. The old version of adra looks like eroded limestone formations or rather fossilized kitchenmiddens or something. The ones in the logo are something different yet again. They look more like volcanic glass - and guess what! That would be Obsidian, for instance. :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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If I had to guess I would say that it's an ancient Engwithan ruin with a giant chunk of adra, not a meteorite, in the middle. The architecture definitely looks more interesting than before; I like the scaly decorations on the columns.

 

Maybe I am being Captain Obvious here, but isn't our Meteorite/Adra chunk the same formation we can see in the PoE Logo?

 

Edit: Too slow

Edited by Quadrone

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Not to discredit any artists here - coz they do a fantastic job - but nope. They are not the same, at least not from a geological standpoint:

 

And as a matter of fact, this "obsidian" looks to have been knapped, that is, people have used tools to knap off flakes and (via pressure) blades from them.

 

pe-logo-915x585.jpg
Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Well that's really disappointing, all you need for environment shadow maps is a tiled pre-calculated shadow map. That's it, no need for lightmapping or other oldschool stuff. Just create a planar shadow map from your static sun/moon source and output to streaming tiles the same way the background works.

 

Also just turning SSAO on should still work out well with depth information and etc. Unity has a nice enough built in SSAO right off the bat.

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Rendering Time

Backgrounds

 

pe-daynight-580.jpg

 

 

 

For some reason, I have the impression that the characters are floating over the ground, especially the left one. I don't know why this is the case, but maybe it's because there is no small "shadowy" area around their feet or something like that.

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So will the characters have this too ? Will they use bump maps and normal/diffuse maps and tint maps too ?
 


Obsidian wrote:
 

​"those scummy backers, we're going to screw them over by giving them their game on the release date. That'll show those bastards!" 

 

 

 Now we know what's going on...

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I think there is purple mesh under me right now.

Same!

 

Lets see if we can walk on it.

 

Hey, wild stab-in-the-dark question:

Update by Adam Brennecke, Lead Programmer and Executive Producer

 

pe-encampment-580.jpg

 

Is this one of the entrances to the mega-dungeon?

 

no spoilers, rememebr ?


Obsidian wrote:
 

​"those scummy backers, we're going to screw them over by giving them their game on the release date. That'll show those bastards!" 

 

 

 Now we know what's going on...

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Rendering Time

Backgrounds

 

pe-daynight-580.jpg

 

 

 

For some reason, I have the impression that the characters are floating over the ground, especially the left one. I don't know why this is the case, but maybe it's because there is no small "shadowy" area around their feet or something like that.

 

hey true, he needs a shadow and doesn't have one !


Obsidian wrote:
 

​"those scummy backers, we're going to screw them over by giving them their game on the release date. That'll show those bastards!" 

 

 

 Now we know what's going on...

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Well that's really disappointing, all you need for environment shadow maps is a tiled pre-calculated shadow map. That's it, no need for lightmapping or other oldschool stuff. Just create a planar shadow map from your static sun/moon source and output to streaming tiles the same way the background works.

 

Also just turning SSAO on should still work out well with depth information and etc. Unity has a nice enough built in SSAO right off the bat.

 

We do have dynamic directional light shadow maps. Those are the shadows that are being cast by the spheres and characters. We do not have point light shadows, which can be more complex, and for us is challenging because of our psuedo-2d/3d situation. It's something that I would love to do moving forward! :)

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It could be the walk mesh. In NWN2, it was always tough to bake the area so that it didn't look like characters and baddies were hovering an inch above the ground. I guess it's even more complicated turning a 2D area into a 3D one and have a walkmesh of some kind?


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Rendering Time

Backgrounds

 

pe-daynight-580.jpg

 

 

 

For some reason, I have the impression that the characters are floating over the ground, especially the left one. I don't know why this is the case, but maybe it's because there is no small "shadowy" area around their feet or something like that.

 

hey true, he needs a shadow and doesn't have one !

 

I not only mean the left guy, though. The right guy also seems to float, even with the shadow, but to a less extent. As I said, I'm not entirely sure why it seems like that, I just notice it.

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It could be the walk mesh. In NWN2, it was always tough to bake the area so that it didn't look like characters and baddies were hovering an inch above the ground. I guess it's even more complicated turning a 2D area into a 3D one and have a walkmesh of some kind?

Maybe, I don't know. I guess, the environment artists will figure out the problem and solve it. :)

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