Friday, November 16, 2012

92 – Almost 4 months, feature freeze

I uploaded a video with a preview of post processing effects, including the ink border used in cell shaded graphics:

Actually, cell shading is related to the way you shade items, the way illumination works, but most people wrongly consider cell shading to be related to black ink borders, so who am I to correct them. Anyway, in this video the borders were far too artifact prone.

I also released the third video from the "Modular city" series, again amply annotated:

  • Implemented a new tabbed interface for item selection. The first rudimentary version of it can be seen in the video.
  • Implemented item creation feedback. Now for most items, if you hold down the muse and move it around, you will get a color coded preview of what item will be added where. Red means insertion is not possible, green/yellow means it is okay.
  • Enhanced the pipeline to better process assets and also support the special data set needed for shattering  This shatter data is saved, but not yet loaded from disk. Next time. Until then the data is calculated at every run.
  • Tried to fix the cell shading artifacts. I added another model from another game and this one behaved a lot better. Comparing the two, I managed to normalize some data and get consistent output from any input source, so now artifacts are consistent for all meshes. I also tried to fix the borders directly, and I managed to get a compromise version working, which has very weak borders, but almost zero artifacts. I like the effect, but I'm not sure it is worth it, especially since it requires another pass over geometry.
  • A ton of small bug fixes.

And with this I decided to do a code freeze. No new major feature will be added (but a few smaller ones might be needed) before the code base is stable and feature wise everything that kind of works or is at least hinted at will work perfectly. This means also trees and grass which have been disabled for quite a while. Need to refactor and finish that code. Trying to get a RC0 finished.

After a few RC's, I'm hoping to get the pre-alphas going again.

Also after the first RC, I'll do a retrospective and engine feature list since on the 26th four months of development on the new project would have passed. Generally I am happy with the progress. The engine is shaping up. Considering that I started from scratch under a new programming language, new technology and this time I have physics, I think I came a long way from my first real screenshot of the new project:

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